The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 17, 2014

Edgewood prepares for new academy-style classes

Spring events include talent shows, concerts and scheduling classes


Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — As April rolls around, Edgewood is putting on more fantastic events.

A talent show sponsored by the Student Council will help to raise money for The Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. Auditions were held on April 9, welcoming Braden Middle School contestants as well! The show will be held at 7 p.m. on April 17 at Edgewood High School. Awards will be given to the first, second, and third place finishers. This year’s judges are Sherry Williamson, Cathy Best, and Benjamin Wickstrom. Erik Hodges, senior Student Council President, said, “I worked the talent show last year; it was a fantastic event for a great cause. I’m really looking forward to doing it again this year!” Tickets are $5 at the door with no advanced ticket sales.

Members of Edgewood’s prestigious show choir, The Soundsations, are taking on a new challenge this year as they prepare for their Spring, “Pops, Pizzazz, and all that Jazz!” concert.

The group will be performing their first ever all acapella show, featuring various song covers and even two selections from the popular movie Pitch Perfect.

“Since it is our first time doing an all acapella show, I feel like everyone is more excited for our show,” said senior Soundsations member Ashley Mascatelli, “I think we’re all a little nervous about it too because we don’t want to disappoint Mr. Kirby, the director. Singing acapella puts everyone a little out of their comfort zone because we are making the music as well as singing the lyrics, and not having a piano to back us up is a little scary. But the group has adjusted to it very well. Mr. Kirby does a great job helping us through everything so it was an easier transition than we imagined. Our work in the past has definitely paid off since we are Mr.Kirby’s first group to go acapella, and he would not have chosen this show for us if he wasn’t confident on what we could do.”

The Spring Pops concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. on May 1 in the Edgewood auditorium. Tickets will be $3 per student, and $5 per adult.

A rigatoni dinner will be held at Edgewood on May 1 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Christi Evans, sophomore class co-advisor said, “This dinner is a great fundraiser for the sophomore class to help raise money for prom and other events around the school.”

The goal is to bring in between 200 to 300 people and has been pretty successful in the past. Show choirs from other schools usually come to the event to eat prior to “Pops, Pizzazz, and all that Jazz” which is immediately following the dinner. This makes for a great turnout. The meal, donated by Phil’s Catering, is $3 for students and $5 for adults and includes rigatoni and meatballs, salad, bread, and beverage.

Big changes are coming to Edgewood next year as the school prepares to enter into a new academy-styled schedule system for the 2014-2015 academic school year. This was decided by school and district administration. Students recently scheduled their classes for next year and are adapting to the new system about which the Edgewood administration is excited.

“We are looking forward to developing the academies to benefit students across all grade levels,” states principal Karl Williamson. “The academies will provide college and career readiness, which is the direction the State now wants us [schools] to go.”

Beginning with the incoming class of 2018, Edgewood will be reconstructed into three academies designed to meet the educational needs of students and the demands of a global society. The three academies are the Workforce Academy, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Academy, and a Humanities Academy.

The Workforce Academy has an emphasis on preparing students to enter the world of manufacturing. Students will master the required academic standards, as well as earn credit and experience while participating in job shadowing, working with an assigned mentor, and gaining insights into the manufacturing world by interacting with members from the Buckeye Community Partnership (BCP).

The Humanities Academy has an emphasis on the disciplines of English, social sciences, and the arts. Students will be given an opportunity to enroll in dual-enrollment post-secondary options (PSEO), and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Students will be exposed to the arts in efforts to expand knowledge bases while preparing for college.

The final academy, the STEM Academy, emphasizes preparing students to enter higher education in one of the STEM fields. Students in STEM will master their respective courses and will have opportunities to take AP classes and enroll in PSEO with the goal of being prepared for college. Students will also have mentors from the BCP.

With the new changes, Edgewood will remain on block scheduling, and students will not be “locked in” to their respective academies.

“All students are free to move up or down in curriculum difficulty as needed,” said Edgewood guidance counselor Gary Himes.

Williamson said, “The focus with the academies is to get people toward the careers they want. The academies will pose an opportunity to schedule students into classes of their interest. We are looking into new explorations into the academy system, we will be creating a STEM lab in the school, and getting new STEM equipment to benefit the students in the learning process.”