March 2013

March 1, 2013

Happy Friday Ravenna Staff!                                                                                                    

I wanted to share some interesting reading I came across last week.  This really stuck with me.  I hope you find it valuable.  You may even consider sharing it with family, friends and even STUDENTS!


YES, it’s okay to share your work

YES, you’re capable of making a difference

YES, it’s important

YES, you can ignore THAT critic

YES, your bravery is worth it

YES, we believe in you

YES, you can do even better


YES is an opportunity and YES is an obligation.  The closer we get to people who are confronting the resistance on their way to making a ruckus, the more they let us in, the greater our obligation is to focus on the YES.  There will always be a surplus of people eager to criticize, nitpick or recommend caution.  Your job, at least right now, is to reinforce the power of YES.

I will not have a staff message next Friday as I am going to practice what I preach.  I will be chaperoning my oldest son and 350 of his classmates on a three day trip to Washington D.C.  I have always talked about family being important and now I have an opportunity to put that philosophy into practice.

I hope everyone has a great few weeks!

March 8, 2013

Hello Ravenna Staff:

Unfortunately, some of the best laid plans do not come to fruition.  I was “snowed out” of my Washington DC trip.  Bummer!

Anyway, I hope that everyone has had a productive week and is staying focused on the big push towards “testing season”.  Once again, all research for the past 30 years has detailed how unreliable one time, high stakes testing is.  Regardless, the legislation in Ohio requires that we participate and use this snapshot as evidence of a successful education for our students.

That having been said, please understand that these are the cards that we have been dealt for now.  As a result, we must do our best to have our students achieve to their capabilities.  PLEASE review test format and old test questions as often as possible with your students.  These are easy, quick ways to help your students prepare.  Insist that they answer every question and write full responses on the short answer and extended response questions.  Give examples of model work and provide rubrics so that they understand the writing process.  These easy, best practices instructional techniques can be used in every grade and every subject.  We owe it to our students to give them the equal playing field that other Ohio students have.

March 20, 2013

Hello Ravenna Staff:

I hope that everyone is having a great week and is finishing strong before we head into spring break!

I wanted to share with everyone some news about the upcoming Ravenna High School Stadium project.  As everyone is probably aware of, we have been playing at the stadium for 14 years.  The track, field turf and tennis courts have deteriorated considerably.  At this point, it is a safety issue for our students and our guests.  As you are also likely aware, we will be going on the ballot for additional operating monies in November.  In an effort to offset the costs of the stadium repairs and 21st century additions, we are attempting to solicit donations and develop an advertising plan that will not only pay for the current repairs, but also look to the future with regards to repairs and upgrades.  Our goal is to not use school district/taxpayer dollars for this endeavor.  Rather, we are hoping that they will support the district financially at the ballot in November for additional operating money.

That having been said, we were able to secure our first “naming rights” donor, Portage Community Bank.  They have purchased the naming rights for the stadium for 250k over a ten year period.  The stadium name will now be called “Portage Community Bank Stadium”.  Please tell everyone that you know that Gilcrest Field is and will always remain the name of the actual field.  We are hoping to continue our initial success and raise a substantial amount of money through advertising by the beginning of the 2013-14 soccer/football/marching band seasons.

My purpose for sharing this with the staff is that I realize that all of you are the ambassadors and the spokespeople for the school district.  My hope is that our “Raven Pride” shows through in every aspect of our organization!

If anyone has any questions or ideas, please feel free to call or e-mail me.

March 22, 2013

Happy Spring Break Ravenna Staff!

Rest well!  I hope that everyone has a restful or productive break!