The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 15, 2012

Geneva band tuned up for Christmas parade

Star Beacon

GENEVA — As we all enter the coming holiday season, students at Geneva High School are once again busy with projects and activities to benefit the entire community. One such group of students is the Geneva High School chapter of Project Love, which is a national organization that works to create a more positive school environment. Members of Project Love, in collaboration with the American Red Cross, the Senior Steering Committee and National Honor Society, are preparing for their annual G.E.T.M.A.D. (Geneva Eagles Together Making A Difference) donation drive.

The adviser, Jessica George, is determined to make this year’s drive a success. “The G.E.T.M.A.D. donation drive allows the students to branch out into the community for a positive experience,” she said.

Group members are hoping to collect any donations that can be passed on to families in need, such as non-perishable food items, toiletries, gently used or new toys and winter-wear, such as coats, hats and gloves. These donations will be given to families through local churches, and the donated toys will be distributed by the county HALO (Holiday Angels Loving Others) program.

The drive will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at Geneva High School in the front parking lot. In addition to the food and clothing drive, baked goods and hot chocolate will be available, and Santa and his elves will also be making an appearance. The American Red Cross will be there from noon to 4 p.m. to take blood donations. Community members can drop off items at any time from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and students will be on hand to help with unloading.

For further information or to suggest community families in need, contact Mrs. George, at the high school, (440)-466-4831, extension 4303, or email:

Another group at Geneva High School eagerly anticipating the holidays is Marching Geneva. For more than 10 years the band has participated in Geneva’s annual Christmas parade, and this year is no exception. The members are particularly excited to introduce this activity to their new director, Gianna Colella. The band plans to play a variety of well-known Christmas tunes, along with their traditional rendition of “Winter Wonderland,” and will once again be dressed in assorted holiday costumes. The Christmas parade will take place in downtown Geneva at 7 p.m. Nov. 30.

Geneva High School’s chapter of National Honor Society is also very involved in a major health awareness activity. Members will be sponsoring a “Red Out,” in conjunction with the American Heart Association. Adviser Kim Debacker is very excited to sponsor this event because she believes heart health is very important.

“The Red Out will bring awareness to heart health. It is very important to help people recognize the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy heart,” said Mrs. Debacker.

The Red Out will take place Dec. 7 at Geneva High School, during the Geneva vs. Riverside basketball game. During the game, there will be blood pressure checks and information available. All attendees are encouraged to wear red to show their support for the event. T-shirts will be sold at the door for $10 each and all proceeds will go to the American Heart Association. T-shirts will also be available to students during their lunch periods, and in the high school office.

This dedicated group is also collecting money each day to aid in the relief effort for victims of hurricane Sandy. Each day NHS members collect donations from students and staff during all three lunch periods. Any community members wishing to give money to this worthy cause may call the main office at Geneva High School (440) 466-4831 for further information.

In the midst of the festive preparations, faculty members and students are still focused on academic pursuits. Once again, GHS faculty members and administrators are working together to help students understand and prevent plagiarism in any of their written assignments. Each student at Geneva High School received an informational packet on the types of plagiarism and was encouraged to take it home to share with his parents. In, addition, Geneva High School subscribes to an online anti- plagiarism program which allows any student to submit his work to a large database which then compares the student’s work against literally billions of sources to ensure that the work is original. Geneva High School has been successfully using this resource for more than three years. Douglas Wetherholt, GHS principal, is a proud supporter of this program.

“Plagiarism tends not to be a problem at Geneva High School because of the steps we take to prevent it,” Mr. Wetherholt said. “We always make sure the students know how to identify plagiarism. The database also helps, and teachers always proof-read students’ work before it is handed in. We teach students that plagiarism is a serious issue.”

English teacher MaryAnn Svagerko encourages her students to be independent thinkers “Plagiarism is a problem everywhere. I want my students to be able to think for themselves,” she said. “I ask a lot of opinion questions so they can share their own ideas. I also ask them to cite their sources when answering questions. In the future, my classes will be going to the computer lab to learn how to find good sources.”

Many Advanced Placement English students agree with this. “Plagiarism is not only an offense the author of the plagiarized work, but it is also a hindrance to the plagiarizer, “ said senior Elizana Coltman.

As we head into the holiday season everyone at Geneva High School would like to thank the community for its continuing support.