On January 16, Highland High School and Highland Middle School welcomed Joseph Sojourner through a Highland Foundation grant. This year's HHS theme is “The Power of US,” and the hope is that HHS students work together throughout the year, rely on each other, put differences aside, and have positive relationships within the school community and beyond. Sojourner's message was the perfect fit for the "Power of Us" theme, as his program is titled “Conflict Resolution (Deal With It: Arriving at WE from YOU against ME)." Sojourner, originally from Akron, is a next generation leader and rap artist and masterfully ties his story to life lessons providing both humor and authenticity. He was honest, engaging and inspiring!
The Highland Foundation experienced yet another year of record-breaking attendance and fundraising at its Annual Great Gifts Dinner Auction held on November 10 at Weymouth Country Club. With attendance at 368 and funds raised surpassing $122,000, this was The Foundation’s most successful event in its 14-year history.
Dubbed “An Evening of Fire & Ice,” guests enjoyed beautifully-decorated surroundings, dinner and dancing, as well as live and silent auctions. They also had the option to bid on a delectable dessert auction with items donated and prepared by local bakers and bakeries.
Notable highlights from the event included raising $7,540 for scholarships awarded in the memory of Mike Kudla, 2002 Highland graduate and member of The Ohio State University National Championship Team, who passed away July 15, 2018, and raising more than $12,000 through the “Fund-a-Need” live auction item to support The Foundation’s continued underwriting of the district’s Intercultural Program.
Theresa Wright, Executive Director, expressed her gratitude and stated, “This phenomenal support will help continue to grow The Foundation and deepen its impact on our students and staff in the Highland Local Schools.”
Applications for 2019 SPRING GRANTS are due March 11, 2019. The Highland Foundation distributes funds each year based on grant requests submitted by Highland Local School teachers and staff. A wide array of grants have been approved over the years...from music and art programs to apprenticeships and innovative new resources to enhance classroom instruction. The Highland Foundation encourages Highland teachers and staff to consider submitting a grant proposal.
Download an application and useful grant resources below.
Granger Elementary School welcomed Elizabeth (Lizz) Maxwell, director of GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland, on December 7, as part of the school's “Keys to Success” initiative. GiGi’s Playhouse is a one-of-a-kind achievement center for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. GiGi’s Playhouse offers more than 30 therapeutic and educational programs that advance literacy, math skills, motor skills and more; all of which are free of charge. Ms. Maxwell spoke to students in grades K-5 about recognizing and celebrating differences, and expanded upon the Generation G Campaign: Be Accepting. Be Generous. Be Kind. More information can be found at: https://gigisplayhouse.org/ This program was made possible through the generous support of The Highland Foundation.
Sharon Elementary 3rd grader Anthony D'Amico served as “Principal for A Day” on November 30 and learned the ropes from Mrs. Kathryn Kowza, Sharon Principal. He had several duties to take care of throughout the day including helping with morning announcements, inspecting the building, eating lunch with the principal, and of course, having his picture taken with the principal! This day was one of the many items auctioned off during the 14th Annual Highland Foundation Dinner & Benefit Auction held on November 10. Each elementary school participated in the auction. Anthony is the son of Tony and Amy D'Amico of Montville Township.
It’s that time of year to honor your Highland STAR and make their day just a little brighter. The holidays are upon us again, and many of us are searching for that perfect gift for teachers or community members who have made an impact on our child’s academic success. The Staff and Teacher Award Recognition (STAR) program, offered through The Highland Foundation, proudly honors a Highland community member of your choice for their outstanding achievements. Each recipient is presented with an award certificate and either a box of bonbons, or the Highland Diamond etched with the Highland Hornet and the year. A personal note from the donor can also be included with the STAR award. Just fill out the STAR Award form found online or in any school office, and The Highland Foundation will do the rest!
Each award presented requires a $10 minimum donation for a mini decorated box of bonbons, a $30 donation for a large decorated box of bonbons, or a $30 donation for the Highland Diamond hanging ornament. The deadline for submission is Thursday, December 13. Awards will be distributed before the holiday break.
There are two easy ways to place your order:
1. Pay online with a credit card at www.highlandfoundation.org
2. Mail your completed form with payment to The Highland Foundation, 3880 Ridge Road, Medina, OH 44256. Please make checks payable to The Highland Foundation.
Sharon Elementary students and staff participated in a unique, educational experience on November 2 as Taiko drummer Eric “The Fish” Paton visited the school. The visit was made possible through a grant by The Highland Foundation. All students attended a school assembly and then took part in workshops during their music classes. From the dynamic style of taiko drumming of Japan to the infectious rhythms of samba from Brazil, Paton infused excitement and interaction into his guest residency at Sharon Elementary. Paton actively engaged students and teachers as they explored the language, history and culture of music from around the world. Each workshop incorporated a wide variety of information and met the fine arts music content standard for: Historical, Cultural and Social Contexts and Creative Expression and Communication.
The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence is pleased to announce the appointment of five new Trustees to its Board.
“After several years of growth, we’re excited to bring new leadership perspectives to our team,” stated Foundation Executive Director Theresa Wright. “Each of these individuals brings a unique set of experiences and ideas. Collectively, they will help us to broaden our skills, strengthen our offerings and energize our efforts.”
Dominique Moceanu, New York Times Best Selling American author and retired American gymnast, was the guest speaker at Granger Elementary School on September 12. Moceanu, a member of the gold-medal-winning United States women's gymnastics team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, was the first of three keynote speakers scheduled this school year as part of the "Keys for Success" initiative at Granger Elementary. The initiative, sponsored by The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence, will help students build upon "Granger's 3 R's" (Respectful, Responsible and Ready to Lead) and help them strive for success and focus on the future. Mrs. Moceanu, a Hinckley resident and owner of a local gymnastics center, spoke to students about her life leading up the Olympics, striving for success and what it takes to be a leader. She offered them age-appropriate leadership skills that they can apply while at school and at home.
The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence, in conjunction with the Medina County Sheriff’s Office DARE Program, are pleased to welcome Retro Bill to the Highland Schools. Retro Bill is a nationally known entertainer and motivational speaker who teaches children (K-12) the “Six Pillars of Character.” These include Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. He boosts students’ self-esteem while celebrating diversity and encouraging goal-setting, good grades and making safe choices at school, home and on the internet. Retro Bill is also highly regarded for his anti-bullying/conflict-resolution and his anti-drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse presentations.
Through his high-energy performance and humor, Retro Bill will connect with students, inspire and motivate them to be the best they can be! Retro Bill will share his presentation with Highland students in grades K-6 on the following dates:
Join us for “Oktoberfest” ~ the 4th Annual Highland Parent’s Night Out on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 6-9 p.m. at The Blue Heron Brewery, located at 3227 Blue Heron Trace in Medina. This event supports The Highland Foundation’s 14th Annual Great Gifts Dinner Auction. Minimum $20 admission or like-valued donation. Light appetizers and one drink ticket included. No RSVP required! Download Flyer
Interested in applying for a grant through The Highland Foundation? Applications for 2018 FALL GRANTS are due October 8, 2018. Download the application and useful grant resources below.
Hinckley Elementary 3rd grader Chase Piazza served as Principal for the Day on March 7 and learned the ropes of being a principal with Mr. Jim Carpenter (Hinckley Principal). He had several duties to take care of throughout the day including helping with morning announcements, office duties, inspecting the building, eating lunch with the principal, and of course, having his picture taken with the principal! This day was one of the many items auctioned off during the 13th Annual Highland Foundation Dinner & Benefit Auction held on November 4. Each elementary school participated in the auction. Chase is the son of Mike and Heather Piazza of Hinckley Township.
Pictured with Chase is Mr. Carpenter.
The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence presented Diane Thomas (left) with a special gift of appreciation for her many years of service to The Foundation. Diane has served as the Highland Board of Education representative on The Foundation Board of Trustees for the past 7 years, but has been involved with The Foundation since its inception in 2000. Theresa Wright, Executive Director, personally thanked Diane for her generosity throughout the years, as well as her unwavering commitment to Highland students, staff and the community-at-large. Highland BOE member Chris Wolny will now assume the role as representative on the Foundation Board.
Elise Broach, author of Masterpiece is visited each Highland elementary school on February 9 and spoke to students about her book, the writing process and what it takes to become a successful author. All Highland elementary students are currently reading Masterpiece as part of the One District, One Book program, sponsored by The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence.
Pictured with Ms. Broach are Sharon Elementary 3rd graders from left, Kandes Penn, Jenna Parry, Ethan Derr, Chloe Falconer and Jacob Akins.
Thanks to a generous support of The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence, the Yoga & Mindfulness Training has returned to Highland Middle School. Yoga techniques are taught regularly in physical education classes at HMS, and this time around, a “relaxation” component has been added to supplement the program. The goal of this initiative is to increase the physical and emotional health and wellness of students at the middle school level.
The winter wonderland display arrived just in time for teachers and staff members to be honored with The Highland Foundation’s holiday STAR awards before winter break commenced. The Staff and Teacher Award Recognition (STAR) awards program proudly honors a Highland teacher, staff or community member for their outstanding achievements and commitment to the district. Each award recipient is presented with a certificate, and a box of bonbons from The Bon Bon Cakery or the Highland Diamond sun catcher etched by Carrie Rischmiller.
Proceeds from the STARS program are used to fund unique and innovative learning opportunities for Highland Local Schools and the community. The Highland Foundation awards grants for classroom innovation, special needs, musical enrichment and artist-in-residences. Grants are awarded for projects and programs that demonstrate creative teaching practices, seek to engage students and explore new and imaginative curriculum ideas.
Congratulations to the STAR Award recipients for the 2017 Highland Winter Campaign:
Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence extends a sincere thank you to the Highland community for a record-breaking, 13th Annual Great Gifts Dinner on November 4 at Weymouth Country Club. The theme for this year’s event was A Vintage Soirée...Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future. Guests enjoyed a 1920’s theme and each neighboring township was represented at 1920s-style stations. Guests were given passwords to “enter” into the different township stations to try to win a prize.
For its 2017-18 Annual Report publication, The Highland Foundation would like to feature the work of a Highland student on the cover. Highland students in grades Pre-K through high school are invited to submit a high-resolution photograph, graphic design or other piece of art that captures the spirit of Highland and showcases educational excellence. Download form for full details: Contest Entry Form
AN EVENING OF FIRE & ICE...
IGNITING EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE
The Highland Foundation cordially invites you to attend its 14th Annual Great Gifts Dinner from 6-11 p.m. on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at Weymouth Country Club.
This year’s theme is “An Evening of Fire & Ice…Igniting Educational Excellence.”
Online ticket registration is now open at highlandfoundation.org. Cost is $100 per person ($75 for Highland staff members).
Guests will also enjoy dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions with spectacular gifts, as well as a dessert auction featuring many talented local bakers and pastry chefs.
All proceeds benefit The Foundation and its mission to enhance, enrich and supplement learning opportunities for Highland students, staff and community.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Please download the SPONSOR FORM for more information and available options. Thank you for your support!
The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence has completed a redesign of its website. The site will further enhance functionality and improve communication with parents, students, donors, staff and the community. The site features an updated and consistent design, easy-to-read content and user-friendly navigation.
“Much like our partners at the Highland Local Schools, The Foundation is continuously looking for ways to more effectively connect and communicate with members of the school community,” stated Theresa Wright, Executive Director of The Highland Foundation. “The new website allows our organization to more efficiently provide information regarding our mission and vision, as well as grants and programs, our successes, financial reports and future goals.” Additionally, the new site is ADA compliant and offers accessibility features for those with disabilities.
Visitors to the website will notice that the design and functionality mirrors that of the Highland District site in an effort to maintain consistency. The Foundation has added the ability to register for e-communication updates, as well as an updated calendar of events. One important change to note is that all Highland alumni information, updates and alumni database registration is now being filtered through the Foundation site. “For the past year, this information was located on the school district website, but since the Highland Alumni Association works in conjunction with The Foundation, the migration of the information to the new site made the most sense,” explained Mrs. Wright.
The Foundation will continue to review the web site on a regular basis to ensure that it meets the needs of all users.
The Highland Foundation’s STAR Award Program completed one of the largest campaigns to date in May with 45 teachers and staff members recognized. The Staff and Teacher Award Recognition (STAR) awards program proudly honors a Highland teacher, staff or community member for their outstanding achievements and commitment to the district. Each award recipient is presented with a certificate, and a box of bonbons from The Bon Bon Cakery or the Highland Diamond sun catcher etched by Carrie Rischmiller. Proceeds from the STARS program are used to fund unique and innovative learning opportunities for Highland Local Schools and the community. The Highland Foundation awards grants for classroom innovation, special needs, musical enrichment and artist-in-residences. Grants are awarded for projects and programs that demonstrate creative teaching practices, seek to engage students and explore new and imaginative curriculum ideas.
The 3rd Annual Hornet Dash, sponsored by the Highland Alumni Association in conjunction with The Highland Foundation, is set for Sunday, June 24. The 5k Run/Walk and Kid’s Fun Run will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Highland Stadium. Onsite registration and packet pick-up begins at 8 a.m. Cost is $15 per adult and $5 for students (includes t-shirt). The Fun Run and Kids Obstacle Course, hosted by Premier Fitness and Performance, is FREE! To guarantee a t-shirt, please register by June 8 through the following link: http://register.chronotrack.com/r/39582. Proceeds benefit The Highland Foundation.
It’s that time of year to honor your Highland STAR and make their day brighter. The holidays will be here before you know it, and many of us are searching for that perfect gift for teachers or community members who have made an impact on our child’s academic success.
The Staff and Teacher Award Recognition (STAR) program proudly honors a Highland community member of your choice for their outstanding achievements. Each recipient is presented with an award certificate and either a box of bonbons or the Highland Diamond etched with our Highland Hornet and date. A personal note from the donor can also be included with the STAR award. Just fill out the STAR Awards form found online or in any school office, and the Highland Foundation will do the rest!
Each award presented requires a $10 minimum donation for a mini decorated box of bonbons, a $30 donation for a large decorated box of bonbons, or a $30 donation for the Highland Diamond hanging ornament. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, December 13. Awards will be distributed December 14 and 15.
There are two easy ways to place your order:
1. Pay online with a credit card at highlandfoundation.org
2. Mail your completed form with payment to the Highland Foundation, 3880 Ridge Road, Medina, OH 44256. Please make checks payable to the Highland Foundation.
For more information, contact Michelle Cottrell at 440-935-4223 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Actors from the Great Lakes Theatre Company hosted workshops each day, May 7-11 at Highland High School. Sophomore English students had the opportunity to gain an appreciation for the art and writing style of Shakespeare as the actors portrayed scenes from Julius Caesar. The goal of this hand-on and creative experience is to help English students with reading and connecting to the text of Shakespeare. The Great Lakes Theatre residency, made possible through a grant by The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence, included acting, discussion and theatre exercises.
Be Part of the Tradition of Excellence! Recognize a STAR!
The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and with it comes warmer temperatures and excitement for summer to begin. You can show your appreciation for a wonderful school year by selecting an exceptional teacher or staff member to be recognized in school with a Highland Foundation STAR Award. Deadline for submission is Monday, May 21. Awards will be delivered Friday, May 25. Forms can be found at all school offices, or you are welcome to order and pay online at http://www.highlandfoundation.org/Content2/30. The Staff and Teacher Award Recognition (STAR) program proudly honors a Highland teacher, staff or community member for their outstanding achievements. Each award recipient is presented with a certificate and either a box of bonbons or a Highland etched diamond ornament. A personal note from the donor can also be included. Proceeds from the STAR Award program are used to fund unique and innovative learning opportunities for Highland Local Schools and the community. For more information, contact Michelle Cottrell at 440-935-4223.
Elementary students at all three schools will received a common book to read during a month-long reading celebration beginning in January 2018. The new book will be announced to the schools in January and students will celebrate with a kick-off event. The, throughout the month, students will participate in related activities. This initiative, now in its 4th year, encourages students to engage in reading outside of the classroom.
Over the past several years, the One District, One Book program, sponsored by The Highland Foundation, has proven extremely successful in fostering a love of reading for students in grades K-5. Each January, students and staff enjoy a whole-school “book reveal” assembly. This year was no different as students could barely contain their excitement to start reading the book “Masterpiece” by Elise Broach.
To supplement this month-long program, “Masterpiece” author Elise Broach was invited to each school to offer a presentation on her book and explain what it takes to become a children’s author.
A young and innovative classical string quartet (2 violins/viola/cello) from Pittsburgh, PA, Beo Strings specializes in a traditional classical repertoire, as well as exploring new musical styles and boundaries. They will work with the 410 students of the Highland orchestra program during a two-day workshop on March 7-8, 2018, on chamber music, technical precision and making artistic decisions as independent performers. The project will culminate with a performance featuring Beo in concert with the HHS orchestra students on March 8 in the high school auditorium.
Many students find it difficult to understand waves in science and technology. Highland Middle School students will begin to see and understand those waves through a program that will take place over the course of two weeks in May. Ozobots are miniature infrared sensors using robots that respond to different color-coded sequences, as well as other stimuli, to perform a task. In addition, using a Microwave Optics System to indirectly observe invisible microwaves, students will develop a deeper knowledge of different frequency ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum and how they are used to communicate and decode information to perform a task. Students will compare these technologies to community-used technologies such as cell phones, radios, remotes and satellites. Cost of this Foundation-sponsored grant, which focuses on STEM studies, is $3,017.
The Highland Alumni Association, in partnership with The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence hosted the Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame on October 6 at Highland Middle School. The committee honored the first Hall of Fame class and recognized the 50th Anniversary of the Class of 1968. It was a special evening, as Highland Board of Education member Chris Wolny read each inductee’s impressive list of accomplishments.
All those things you wish your local public school could provide your child in terms of enrichment, the Highland Foundation strives to deliver.
From funding educational tools and programs to sponsoring college scholarships, the Highland Foundation’s non-profit goal has remained the same throughout our 17 years: to acquire and distribute unique and innovative resources to Highland Local Schools – resources that otherwise wouldn’t be available. We are independent from the District, yet we work together to deliver a more enriching experience for the district’s students and staff.
Contact us for more information: The Highland Foundation, 3880 Ridge Road, Medina, Ohio 44256
The Highland Foundation has funded the "College Now Great Cleveland" initiative for the past five years. The mission of College Now is to increase college attainment through college access and success advising, financial aid counseling and scholarship services. On-site appointments are held at the high school for parents and students.
During the 2016-17 school year alone, College Now served 116 HHS students, aided in the completion of 170 FAFSA applications and offered 89 individual sessions.
The Highland Foundation is proud to underwrite the College Now program, the first to be offered in Medina County, to our Highland School District. To learn more, visit the College Now web site. To schedule an appointment, please contact CARMEN DANIEL at (330) 485-9364 or via email: cdaniel@collegenowGC.org.