The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

May 9, 2012

Activity themed days help Geneva students learn how all academic disciplines are interconnected

GENEVA — This year, Geneva High School has provided great events and opportunities for members of the student body. Teachers, students and administrators are looking back on this year and evaluating some of the new projects completed. For example, this year each classroom was involved in four cross-curricular activity themed days. This means that every student worked on a designated topic on a designated day. The four themes for this year commemorated Sept. 11, Veterans Day, Pi Day and Earth Day.

“We planned these collaborative activities in an effort to promote interaction among all classrooms,” said principal Douglas Wetherholt. “We wanted to give students real, authentic educational experiences which would demonstrate to them how all academic disciplines are interconnected. The activities for each day were varied and unique.”

For 9/11, students in each classroom spent time remembering the tragic events that are part of their history in their lifetimes. On Veterans Day, students in Susan Vara’s foods classes baked cookies to send to United States troops in Afghanistan, while students in Carla Pasqualone’s English classes shared pictures and stories of veterans in their own families. On Pi Day, JoAnn O’Conner’s French students learned about the contributions of French mathematicians, while math students in Amie Irving’s classroom played Pi Day Jeopardy to learn the history and meanings behind pi. Earth Day activities ranged from comparing and contrasting organic and inorganic foods in Christopher Clemens’ health classes, to researching conservation efforts of multinational corporations in David Yost’s Principles of Democracy class.

While many are focused on end of the year activities, some enterprising young journalists have big plans for the next school year. Led by junior Ford Carlisle, these students are meeting after school each week to plan a new student produced and student centered newspaper for Geneva High School. Carlisle came up with the idea after attending a writing camp last summer where everyone talked about how much fun their school newspaper is. The newspaper will be composed over summer, and the team hopes to have an issue ready to distribute during the first week of school. Mr. Wetherholt will edit and approve each issue before it is printed. The team will meet after school on Fridays to brainstorm but students will write their articles on their own time. None of the students have any experience working to produce a newspaper, but Carlisle is optimistic about getting contributions and features from other students and teachers. The newspaper will include student life, sports and editorials and perhaps even a miscellaneous section with fashion statements and humor.

As this year comes to an end, we would like to say good-bye to four retiring teachers: Michael Strater, Linda Goss, Dale Johnston and Raymond Barnum. Mr. Strater has been teaching career based intervention classes and industrial arts classes at Geneva Area City Schools for 25 years. Ms. Goss has been at Geneva Schools for 21 years and has taught various art classes for grades seven to 12. Mr. Johnston has taught science courses for 30 years at Geneva High School, and Mr. Barnum is retiring after teaching Spanish in our district for three years. We thank all four for their service to our school and for being inspirations to the students.

We will also sadly say goodbye to the seniors as the year ends. Graduation exercises will be on June 3 at 2 p.m. at Spire Institute’s indoor track field. A faculty member chosen by the Senior Steering Committee will speak along with several student speakers chosen by a faculty panel. Members of the GHS Concert Choir will sing for this occasion and members of the Media Production Class will be taping the ceremony and will afterwards be selling copies for all students who want a permanent memory of their graduation. Senior fees this year were only $10 per senior, and covered the caps and gowns, flowers for mothers of graduates and a professional photograph.

The senior motto this year is: “Be you: it takes a lot of courage to be different, to develop your own beliefs and speak them… to build your own dreams and live them… being yourself is the only way to let others really know you; and if they really know you, they will be able to truly love you.” (Larry S. Chengges)

Congratulations to the members of the graduating class of 2012. Geneva wishes you all the very best of luck.


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