FCCLA Students Continue Excellence!


FCCLA students recently attended the 2016 FCCLA State Conference in Columbus, Ohio.  Congratulations goes to the Outstanding Chapter team consisting of Olivia Iannantuono, JJ Sumser, and Morgan Blanden. Receiving the Power of One Awards were Brooke Hampton, Kayla Klotz, and Faith Deskins. Kayla Klotz competed in the CDE Event, Environmental Ambassador and received a silver rating for her event. Conference helpers included Ashleigh Poock, Courtney Selvey, Alysha Klotz, and Ashley Tyree. The highest honor was awarded to Hannah Halsey who received her FCCLA State Degree. Also a congratulations goes out to Elaina Eskins who competed with a Early Childhood CDE. Elaina received a gold rating and will now compete at the national level this summer in San Diego, CA (more information below).


By Elaina Eskins, BHS and EHOVE Senior

This past week I took part in the FCCLA state conference in Columbus, Ohio. My event was called Teach and Train which is an event for researching future careers in education or education related fields. My project was called “A Look into the World of Speech Pathology”. I had to compile a professional portfolio that included career exploration, a self evaluation compared to the skills I will need in this field, and a shadow experience. My shadow experience was done at Huron City Schools where I am currently placed for Teacher Academy at EHOVE. I have spent time with the District SLP and this project included an original lesson that I have completed with the students. I also had to complete a presentation where judges rated me based on the knowledge I have about the field of Speech and Language Pathology. I received a 96.5/100 points total which qualified me for gold rating (90-100). From there I was up against three other students in my event who also received gold ratings. I was honored to receive 2nd place in my event which means I qualify for the opportunity to compete in the National FCCLA Conference in San Diego, California (1st and 2nd place for each national event qualify). The competition is in July.

Congratulations to all our students for a very successful trip to state! #GoRed #RedmenPride



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Reflecting on the #ShadowAStudent Challenge!


By: Nate Artino, Principal

Bellevue High School

Over the the last few weeks it has been an absolute pleasure to get a peek into the perspective of our students. On March 1st I had the opportunity to shadow junior Skyler Foster as a part of the Shadow a Student Challenge – a nationwide initiative that encouraged principals to take a crash course in empathy by shadowing one of their students for a day. A big thank you to all of our students and staff for making this work out so well. I could not have had such a positive experience without everyone’s support and acceptance. A special thank you to Mrs. Kim Swartz, Bellevue City Schools Director of Curriculum and Instruction, for encouraging principals to partake in this worthwhile activity. To say it was time well-spent would be an understatement.


As a part of the selection process BHS students were asked to email me why they wanted to be shadowed. Nearly 30 students “applied”. There were some great applications. I wish I could have shadowed each of them; however, I selected Skyler. Shadowing her gave me a great perspective into a typical junior student’s schedule (including band) and the opportunity to ride the bus to/from school. Skyler is also involved in many extra-curricular activities so her social circle covers a wide-range of student interests, many of which I was able to observe.


In addition to shadowing Skyler and because there were so many other great applications, I wanted to find a way to dig deeper with what I would have seen, if these other students were selected. To accomplish this I organized a “Principal’s Lunch”. The “Principal’s Lunch” concept is something I do monthly but this time around, I wanted to gear it towards the “Shadow a Student Challenge” for those students who applied but were not selected to be shadowed.Shadow a Student Badge

I separated the students into two groups. Marco’s and Pizza Hut provided lunch for a group of juniors/seniors and a group of freshmen/sophomores. The students came to the lunch prepared to discuss five questions that I sent them with their invitation. The questions revolved around what I would have seen if I shadowed them. There were also questions regarding what they liked about their school day, what they did not like and what they would like to change.


The Good Stuff – Five Top Takeaways

Now that I have had some time to reflect and process my observations, interactions and discussions with our students (during the shadow and principal lunches) I wanted to share by top takeaways.

  1. The family-like relationships that exists amongst our students and staff is very similar to how I remember it growing up in Bellevue and attending BHS. We continue to be a close-knit school/community where people genuinely care for one another. It is clear our students and staff appreciate one another, carry a positive attitude, smile and work together to accomplish the tasks at hand. 01aa06e7a1f59a49d39e44d0082ca085e94d2a2f24
  2. There was a sense of hopelessness when assignments were tough and I did not understand the lesson. On the other hand, when assignments were going well I felt encouraged and ready to tackle the world! I could sense similar feelings from a few of the other students in my classes as well. This experience fortified my belief that “grit” is such an important non-academic skill that we all need to be able to excel.01d8b8652f07b52013f99e180371bc2ffbb27919f1
  3. The classes were very engaging. Even though we were sitting most of the day there were variations to the way the lessons were delivered and it was engaging – all day. I also noted the various ways the classrooms were set up. Some setups made it easier than others to navigate to/from my desk and to feel “close to the action”.01f10e3988b1b2b077b7d64c4dd971dc55fa2ebe6a
  4. Lunch was surreal. I was at a table full of outstanding young ladies but the experience of being in the cafeteria with 200 students (as a wannabe student) was surreal. At first I felt like everyone was starring a me but once that subsided it was still an awkward feeling. The girls at my table were more than accommodating though and that certainly helped, especially when we started talking about prom dresses!0102a57f5b7b06f3aa9918befdfb26f10373cbdb19
  5. We have made great strides in getting students to apply their knowledge vs. memorizing information. High-quality education is about learning and learning is about being able to apply your knowledge. Some of our students see the bigger picture and embrace this shift in education. Others do not and simply reply “it’s too hard” when they are asked to apply their knowledge.0187cacfb2485f7ae92ba9fc297b282c432cc5c919

A Few Other Takeaways

  1. 2016 high school protocol calls for you to have your tongue out in every picture or at least flash the peace sign…or both!
  2. Sense of smell is such an under-appreciated sense when you go throughout an entire school day with over 650 students. Whether it was the chicken bowl in lunch, a familiar cologne/perfume or something less pleasing, I certainly experienced a wide-spectrum of smells throughout my day.
  3. Math, science and French after lunch made me ready for a nap by 2:50pm. The pure rigor of Algebra II, Chemistry and French made me strain my brain and feel exhausted.
  4. Do not be late. Do not be late. Do not be late. I was late to 2nd period study hall. I forgot my earbuds in Skyler’s locker but I was certain there was plenty of time to get there then back to the cafeteria. I was not even close to making it on time. Thankfully, Mrs. Rector let me off with a warning.
  5. Trying to focus when reading was hard! I thought it was supposed to get easier the older you got but in a classroom setting, I was very distracted by the faintest of movements. I realize my senses were heightened but focusing at times was a challenge.0152c789bd5f9354ab970bb5a6227ea4fad3916336

Now What?

I am looking forward to using the shadowing experiences, including the Principal’s Lunches to continue to keep our students’ perspectives in the forefront. As I continually tell our students, this is their educational experience and it is critical they believe they play an important part in making it an experience that will help prepare them for life beyond high school. Along the journey will always be hard work but believing you are a part of the solution and working together makes the hard stuff much more manageable.

Over the last four years there have been so many events/activities that have made me proud to be back at my alma mater; serving our students, school and community. The Shadow a Student Challenge and those experiences definitely add to the long list of prideful moments.

Stay the course Red Team and let us continue to battle together! #GoRed #RedmenPride


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BHS Junior Alivia Strunk Continues Equine Success on Way to State Championship!


Bellevue High School Junior Alivia Strunk has had a busy summer and fall season on the back of her three horses! During the summer Alivia qualified and competed at the Ohio State Fair, placing in all three of her classes. Alivia took 3rd out of 119 in the Stakes race. She tied for 10th place in the barrels and then won the tie-breaker with a time of 16.435. There were 121 kids in her class. She finished out her competitions at the Ohio State Fair by placing 12th out of 117 in the Keyhole class.20150731_18012520150801_121405

Next up was the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) state finals show where Alivia placed 3rd in her division out of 320 entries. Alivia’s time of 16.329 was her personal best in the barrels. As a result of her fantastic performances throughout the year, she has once again qualified for the NBHA Youth World Show in July 2016.2015-06-21 13.06.48Alivia also had a very successful year in 4-H where she and her three horses have secured several Senior High Point Performance titles in various classes including; Showing Draft, English, Western, Reining, Showmanship and Trail.


In August, Alivia competed at the Sandusky County fair in 51 (yes, fifty one) different classes. Some of the highlights included being named Reserve Grand Champion Showmanship, Grand Champion Senior Contestor, 5th place Versatility competition, 1st place in the Open Draft Saddle competition, Reserve Grand Champion Halter and 3rd place Trail in Hand class. Alivia also earned the title of “Fastest Horse in Sandusky County”. In the Horse Queen competition contestants had to complete an interview, write an autobiography and complete a showmanship test. Alivia finished 2nd Runner-Up.

Alivia’s passion for horseback riding has carried her into a successful fall as well. Most recently, Alivia competed on the Fremont Area Ohio Interscholastic Horsemanship Association (OIHA) team. The team won the district title which qualified them for the state competition on October 10th. The team was able to outscore all the others teams in three disciplines of various events on their way to being crowned Division 1 state champions!


Individually, Alivia earned the title of Division 1 State Champion in barrels, poles, speed and action, saddleseat Equitation and bareback saddleback Equitation. She is looking forward to competing with her team and is obviously proud to have been such a valuable member of their second state championship.

Congratulations, Alivia! BHS is proud of your success and we look forward to seeing you continuing to compete at such a high-level!


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Thank You & Best Wishes Mrs. Zientek!

Amy Zientek

The end of the school year is always an exciting time but this year BHS is sad to say goodbye to Mrs. Amy Zientek. Mrs. Z. will be relocating near her hometown in June due to her husband’s job. Mrs. Zientek has enjoyed her time at BHS and we have certainly enjoyed having her as an Agriculture Science teacher and the FFA Assistant Advisor during the last four years.

Mrs. Zientek indicates the most rewarding part of her job has been seeing students succeed. “Whether it is our FFA members in a competition or students who do well on tests and projects, seeing them understand concepts that they didn’t know about before excites me”, said Mrs. Zientek. She went on to say the best part of working at BHS has been the support and camaraderie amongst the staff. She is grateful for her time at BHS and feels like she has learned a lot about herself. She also feels like she has achieved goals that she never thought she would get a chance to fulfill. She is obviously excited to return home and raise her children closer to her family.

A few pieces of advice she offers to our students are to; “treat people the way you want to be treated, have goals, work towards them and enjoy the feeling you get when you have achieved them”. Whatever the next chapter of Mrs. Zientek’s life will look like, it is certain to be marked with success, care and compassion. Thank you very much for all you have given to our students, our Ag-Science/FFA program, our school and our community! You will be missed, Mrs. Z.!

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BHS Highlight: Mrs. Woodard and the Visual Arts Program!


This blog post highlights Mrs. Leslie Woodard, art teacher at Bellevue High School. Mrs. Woodard has worked with Bellevue City Schools for 17 years. During her career she has taught at all grade-levels. Mrs. Woodard indicated the most rewarding part of her job is “helping students get excited about art and seeing their enthusiasm after they have created something of their own”. She said the best part of working at BHS is the students – “the students are the best”. In addition, she believes our students, staff and community have such great pride in our school and that’s another part that makes working at BHS the best place to work.

Mrs. Woodard and her husband of 22 years, Marc, are the proud parents of Madison (’14) who is a freshman at Kent State University and Landon who is a sophomore at BHS. During her free time, Mrs. Woodard likes to spend time with her family. She also likes to shop, travel and sleep. Currently, she’s developed an interest in working with clay. Mrs. Woodard loves to laugh and says that she does not take herself too seriously. If she had one wish she said she “would wish for seven more wishes, and when I got to the sixth wish, I would wish for seven more wishes! She went on to say “of course, all my wishes wouldn’t be just for me!”

Mrs. Woodard was asked why students who are not “artsy” should take art classes. She replied, “you don’t have to be artsy to learn about and create art. Art helps one to appreciate life. Art is everywhere! Art is a subject that is related to all other subjects such as math, English, and science. Studies have shown that students who are enrolled in the arts excel in other academic areas. Finally, art helps us become more like individuals instead of like everyone else.” When asked what one piece of advice she has for our students, she indicated “make good choices, be kind, live each day to the fullest, and have fun!”

Make sure you give Mrs. Woodard a high five the next time you see her for the awesome job she does and the positivity she spreads! Also, be sure to visit the Art Show to see Mrs. Woodard’s leadership and our outstanding student work on display this Friday, May 8th from 6:30-8:30pm.



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BHS Cafeteria is Staff Highlight! #WellDeserved #RedmenPride

Students: what is your favorite part of the school day? It would be surprising to hear any answer other than “LUNCH”! Whether packing or buying, “lunch” is so much more to our students than just eating. The same can be said for our hardworking cafeteria team, lead by BHS Head Cook Mrs. Bonnie Vickery, Mrs. Sue Rohlf, Mrs. Janet Scheid, Mrs. Gayle Kryling, Mrs. Ronica Zerman, Ms. Mel Eaken and Mrs. Deb Smith.


Mrs. Vickery

Lunch at BHS is an operation that runs efficiently and that does not happen by accident. Our cafeteria team is a well-oiled machine that gets students through the line so they have the maximum amount of time to eat (and socialize) each lunch period. Working in our cafeteria is more than just the 93 minutes from the start of 5A to the end of 5C. Whether it is preparing today’s lunch, prepping for tomorrow’s or making sure everything is washed and sanitary, our cafeteria team members each have an important role to make sure things go off without a hitch. Their teamwork makes things go smoothly day in and day out!


Mrs. Rohlf


Mrs. Scheid











Mrs. Kryling


Mrs. Zerman











Ms. Eaken


Mrs. Smith









Without their daily dedication and continual flexibility, the best part of our students’ day would not be “the best part”! Here is to telling our cafeteria team thank you for the job they do so well every single school day. We greatly appreciate it!

Recently, BHS Cafeteria Staff members were asked to share a little bit of information about themselves.

How many years have you worked with Bellevue City Schools?

Mrs. Bonnie Vickery – 15 years

Mrs. Janet Scheid – 7 years

Mrs. Ronica Zerman – 2.5 years

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Mrs. Bonnie Vickery – Seeing the kids smile when you have something they like on the menu.

Mrs. Janet Scheid – Watching these teenagers grow up and excel in what they enjoy doing.

Mrs. Ronica Zerman – Interacting with the kids.

What is the best part of working at BHS?

Mrs. Bonnie Vickery – Being there for the kids.

Mrs. Janet Scheid – Working with a wonderful group of co-workers.

Mrs. Ronica Zerman – The staff and kids.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Mrs. Bonnie Vickery – Get on the computer, walk on the treadmill, quilt and read books.

Mrs. Janet Scheid – Spend time with family, research family history and read.

Mrs. Ronica Zerman – Spend time with children, be on the lake and exercise.

If you could have one wish, what would it be?

Mrs. Bonnie Vickery – “For my son to be prosperous, healthy and have a long and happy life.”

Mrs. Janet Scheid – World peace.

Mrs. Ronica Zerman – Unlimited wishes and that all food could be calorie-free.

If you could give our students one piece of advice, what would it be?

Mrs. Bonnie Vickery – Be yourself. Be proud of who you are. Don’t let the talk of others change who you are or make you feel less of a person. Be true to yourself.

Mrs. Janet Scheid – Be truthful. Be helpful. Be positive and do your best in life.

Mrs. Ronica Zerman – The choices you make today last a lifetime so choose wisely.

The next time you are in the cafeteria make sure you give them a high-five for a job well done!


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Blog Update – Mrs. Mercer is Staff Highlight #RedmenPride

This blog update highlights BHS alum Mrs. Mercer for the excellent job she does every day as a BHS English teacher. This year Mrs. Mercer teachers English I, English IV and AP Literature & Composition. Make sure you give her a high five and tell her congratulations the next time you see her!


How many years have you worked at BHS? Two years.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? I like watching them (students) grow into young adults and become excited for their future, especially the seniors. It is fun getting to high five them when they’ve gotten their acceptance letter. The relationships and the rapport with the students are what make each day rewarding. I enjoy getting to know my students and sharing a laugh or story with them.

What is the best part of working at BHS? Getting to bug Och before he retires… haha. I think it is the sense of pride the school and the community has towards the school and school events. I taught in a school and community that lacked pride. It is such intangible things that is so important to have. Having that pride is a special thing and it is so evident in many different ways here.

What do you like to do in your free time? Spending time with my son and family; watching movies with Ms. Kozak; taking naps; pinning things on Pinterest, and reading AYA books.

If you could have one wish, what would it be? To live in Cinderella’s castle and have all-access to Disney World… Or, live in a house on the beach in the Caribbean. Or, I would like to see a cure for cancer. I hope someday that this truly happens.

Other tidbits about Mrs. Mercer:  I’ve been married to Scott since 2011 and we have one son, Carter. We adopted a rescue dog named Brutie, who is a puggle. He has a snaggle tooth. We’ve had him since 2012. I am a big OSU fan and know more of OSU’s alma mater and fight song than my own college (Ashland). I have no secret talents. Ice cream, in particular Tofts, is by far my favorite food. I am addicted to shopping and the mint green chapstick. I love Christmas music and basically listen to it all year thanks to Pandora.

If you could give our students one piece of advice, what would it be? Be willing to speak up and ask questions. Too often students say they are scared to ask a question, but in college and the “real world,” you are the only person who can advocate and ask for you. No one will stop to ask you if you are understanding or if you’re doing okay. Learning to speak up and ask questions now is such an essential life skill for the future.

Thank you for sharing, Mrs. Mercer! We appreciate the opportunity to learn more about you and your family!

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