Monday, March 12, 2018

March/April 2018

From the Principal

Dear West Geauga Families,

The tragic events that occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida reinforced the importance of the safety messages we continue to have with the students at West Geauga High School. Teachers continue to have conversations with their classes about the A.L.I.C.E. program we utilize to help keep students safe in the event of an active shooter. Students and teachers have asked great questions about what they would do in various situations. These questions are being addressed through class meetings and communication with the staff on an ongoing basis. West Geauga High School continuously holds discussions with our local police departments about the A.L.I.C.E. program and how to better prepare our students and staff in the event of an active shooter on our campus.

As you may have seen on the news and other social media outlets a National School Walkout is planned with participants across the U.S. and internationally for Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Dr. Markwardt and I expressed to the students that we are neither endorsing nor discouraging the walkout. This has opened the opportunity for West Geauga social studies teachers to talk with and educate our students about political movements. These conversations are in an effort to get students thinking about making informed decisions regarding their participation in a walkout. The message was reiterated by Dr. Markwardt and me during class meetings. We would prefer students remain in their classrooms for safety reasons. Please know that if students decide to walk out on March 14, 2018, police will be on campus to help ensure students are safe. In addition to the planned March 14th walkout, another National Walkout is planned for April 20th. A National March is scheduled for March 24, 2018 at our Nation’s Capital.

While meeting with each grade level, Dr. Markwardt informed the students that there will be a greater police presence in our building going forward. Students were notified that the district is planning to redesign the High School’s entrances to tighten access to our building. We also want to make you aware of a newly formed student group in which student safety is discussed with teachers and administrators.

We need your help in preventing acts of school violence. Parents and students are encouraged to say something if they see something. If there are conversations, Snapchat posts, Instagram feeds, Twitter messages or anything that does not sit well, parents and students need to tell someone. Tell a teacher, school counselor or school administrator. No matter how minor it might seem, please do not hesitate in contacting the police or school officials. For the community’s convenience, we have a link at the top left of all building websites allowing concerned individuals to anonymously report. Here is the direct link -

Please take the time to discuss this message with your children at home.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Kind regards,

Jay Bishop
(440) 729-5955
@WestGHigh on Twitter

From the Assistant Principal...

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our parents and guardians for their support in assisting with attendance and disciplinary issues. Working together, parents, teachers, and the administration have a greater chance of success with keeping students on the right track. Graduation is right around the corner. Any senior suspended during the 4th quarter will be denied participation and attendance in the Commencement activities.

All students are expected to maintain proper attendance and comply with our Code of Conduct (including Dress Code) as outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook. Saturday School will be open on a bi-weekly basis until June 8th. Students facing disciplinary consequences could have the consequences carried over upon their return to school next August.

As we near the end of the school year and all the related activities and celebrations that accompany it, you will hear this message over and over again: Alcohol and drug related accidents are the number one cause of death of young adults in this country. Monitor your child’s whereabouts and insist that all parties are drug and alcohol free. It’s not only prudent; it’s the law.

Parents often call me asking for advice on how to keep their children from using alcohol and drugs. My advice is to be involved in your students’ lives. Don’t just assume they are making the right decisions. Be a parent; you are not their best friend. Ask questions. If they are going out, verify where they are going. Call the other parents, check out the details. We all want to trust our kids, but we need to let them know the boundaries and let them know we are concerned by checking on their activities.

Ron Dahlhofer
Assistant Principal
(440) 729-5957

The warm weather in recent days definitely has me thinking about spring! Now is the time to start thinking about school attendance more than ever. House Bill 410 requires us to notify parents in writing when too much school has been missed. The state defines this as follows:

Habitual truant
  • Absent 30 or more consecutive hours without a legitimate excuse
  • Absent 42 or more hours in one school month without a legitimate excuse.
  • Absent 72 or more hours in one school year without a legitimate excuse
Excessive absences
  • Absent 38 or more hours in one school month with or without a legitimate excuse.
  • Absent 65 or more hours in one school year with or without a legitimate excuse.
Please encourage your students to be in school every day except when ill. When possible please provide doctors' notes to document illnesses. As a reminder, if your child is going to be absent for an extended period of time due to vacation, you will need to have a Vacation Request form filled out and turned in to the attendance office with all appropriate signatures 5 days before the absences occur. These forms can be found in the attendance office or online under the forms link. If your child is missing school for medical reasons, including orthodontist appointments, please provide a note from the doctor and turn in to the attendance office. Notes for early dismissal should be turned in to the attendance office the day before your child needs to leave early whenever possible. Last minute phone calls, other than true emergencies cannot always be delivered immediately and create unnecessary disruption to valuable instruction time in the classroom. As the weather continues to warm and we all look forward to spring and summer, it’s important that school policies regarding leaving early are followed. Students are not permitted to leave the building without parental permission. This includes students who are 18 years old. If you have any questions regarding attendance or House Bill 410, please give me a call at 440-729-5958.

Thank you,

Theresa Poelking

End of Course Exam Schedule

All students in 9th grade English, 10th grade English, Algebra I, Geometry, Biology, American History and Government will sit for their end-of-course exams. On testing days, students needing to take their exams will report to school promptly at 7:25 am. All students not taking an end-of course exam will report to school at 9:35 A.M. Students in these courses must report to their tests on the following days:
  • Monday, April 16th - English 9, English 10 (Part I)
  • Tuesday, April 17th - English 9, English 10 (Part II)
  • Thursday, April 19th - American History; Government (Part I)
  • Friday, April 20th - American History; Government (Part II)
  • Wednesday, April 25th - Biology (Part I) 
  • Thursday, April 26th - Biology (Part II)
  • Monday, April 30th - Algebra I, Geometry (Part I)
  • Tuesday, May 1st - Algebra I, Geometry (Part II)
AIR Test Dates Bell Schedule

- 9:35 - 10:04 (29 min)
- 10:08 - 10:41 (33 min)
- 10:45 - 11:14 (29 min)
- 11:18 - 11:47 (29 min)
5A - 11:51 - 12:21 (30 min)
5B - 12:24 - 12:54 (30 min)
- 12:58 - 1:27 (29 min)
- 1:31 - 2:00 (29 min)
- 2:04 - 2:33 (29 min)

West Geauga School Counseling News                                           March/April 2018

The school counselors strongly encourage everyone to utilize their Family Connection/Naviance account. The students’ personal accounts have valuable information regarding college planning, careers, scholarships, and many other tools. You can visit the website at Click on high school, Guidance, and Family Connection.

Please follow us on Twitter @WGHSCounselors for updates and information!

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Counseling Office.

David Callahan              Students with last names A-G        729-5963

Kimberly Zannetti          Students with last names H-O        729-5964

Sarah Widman               Students with last names P-Z         729-5965

Michelle Sargent            Assistant                                         729-5962


All returning students will have their core and some elective coursework requested by their teachers. Afterwards, students have the opportunity to select their other elective courses. Each counselor will be meeting with students to make sure the requests are entered. You are encouraged to login to your student’s Infinite Campus account to view the list of requested courses and discuss them with your son or daughter. Any requests made by the teacher can only be changed by the teacher or school counselor. The course override forms are available in the counselor's office if a student wishes to take a course at a higher level than what is recommended by the teacher. Changes can be made through May 1, 2018. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s counselor.


Please remember to attend the Kickstart College Fair on Monday, April 9th. The Keynote speaker is Jimmy Malone, Co-Host of the Nolan, Malone, and Kullik Morning Show and Founder of the Jimmy Malone Scholarship Fund. He will speak at 6:00 pm in the cafeteria and the Fair will be in the gymnasium from 6:30 pm-8 pm. This is a free event and there is no need to pre-register. Take advantage of college representatives coming to you own backyard!

CCP (College Credit Plus):

If you are interested in CCP, we hope you were able to attend the meeting held on January 10th. Please contact your school counselor to learn about the advantages and drawbacks of this program.

IMPORTANT REMINDER-- The mandatory CCP Intent Form is due by April 1. If this deadline is not met, your son/daughter will not be eligible to participate. This includes current CCP students who wish to participate next year. See your counselor with questions. Remember, April 1st is in the middle of our Spring Break. Please plan on turning in forms in by March 23rd!


You are in the final stretch of your high school career! Please know that every college requires us to send a copy of your final transcript. This means they are checking to be sure you finished strongly. Keep working- You can do it!

Decision Day:
Decision Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 2nd. This will be the day that we will celebrate all senior students’ plans for their futures. Be prepared to wear gear (sweatshirt, t-shirt) related to your decision. This could be college, military, or workforce. We will be taking pictures and asking each student to complete important information related to his/her plans. We look forward to celebrating with everyone!

Financial Aid:
Mrs. Sandy Hanley, our LEAF Financial Aid Advisor, works in our high school each Tuesday from 8:00-2:15 throughout the school year. This is a change from Wednesdays. Students and parents may request an appointment with Mrs. Hanley by contacting her at 729-5922, extension 4164 or email her at All of the LEAF services are at no charge to our families.


College Planning:
The junior year is a very important year in the college planning process. Currently juniors should be working hard in their classes to boost/maintain their GPAs, registering for ACT and/or SAT, and visiting colleges. Spring Break is a great time to visit colleges. Check with individual college admissions offices to see what tours and meetings are available to you during that week. It is important for students to show interest!

We met with all the students on February 15th and explained the steps that are needed to start the college process. We encourage your son or daughter to be a frequent flyer and come to our office with any questions as they journey through this process. If you have questions about college planning, we encourage all juniors and their parents to schedule an individual meeting with their school counselor this spring. The presentation is also posted on the Guidance website.

Summer Fun:
The counselors highly encourage students to begin preparing for the college process over the summer. This include: updating resume and college lists on Family Connection, drafting college essays, and completing “brag sheets” for counselors in Family Connection. The brag sheets are used to help the counselors write letters of recommendation.

ACT and SAT:
Each junior took the ACT on February 27th. The scores from this test can be used for the college application process. Juniors interested in attending a college need an ACT and/or SAT score. Any other attempts at the ACT and/or for a student wishing to take an SAT, they need to register online. It is recommended that Juniors take each of these tests at least once by June. Students who are planning to apply to selective colleges that require SAT subject tests should begin their ACT and/or SAT testing as soon as possible so that they have time to complete all of the necessary tests. Students need to register for these tests online.

ACT Registration:        SAT Registration:


Work hard 4th quarter to get your GPA as high as possible. It will make a huge difference in your future! Try to discover new ways to build your resume. Remember, showing a depth of interest can be as important as the breadth of all your activities. Get involved in something you enjoy!

Don’t forget to attend the Kickstart College Fair on April 9th. It is not too early to start the college search process!


You are nearing the end of your first year in high school. Work hard to get your GPA as high as possible. It will make a huge difference in your future! If you are struggling in any of your classes, don’t give up! There are options here to help you, including Advisory Tutoring and help before or after school. Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness!

Talk with teachers and parents to think about challenging yourself as you start to explore classes for next year. Take on as much rigor as you can. Remember, the hope is you find the right balance!

See your counselor for assistance!


February - Noah Ickes

March - David Dela Cruz

February - Katie Clay

March - Lily Martin



December 2017

Sophomore, Bella Burkhard - Basketball
Bella is a sophomore student-athlete on the girls basketball team. She will be earning her first varsity letter for the team this season. Coach Cheryl Rye said, "In Bella's first year on varsity she is already making an impact. She is a determined athlete who has a tremendous work ethic. Bella is a tough young lady who doesn't back down against stronger and bigger opponents. She embraces her role on our team as a one of the first players off the bench and is always positive in her demeanor. Bella is extremely respectful and is a true reflection of the characteristics that our program strives for. This undoubtedly translates into the classroom as well." Bella is also a member of the girls soccer team, where she earned a varsity letter this past fall season and helped advance the Wolverines to the OHSAA District Semi Finals. Off the basketball court, she has recently earned a 3.6 GPA in the second grading period. Although she is still considered an underclassman, she intends on furthering her education in college, studying medicine. Bella enjoys fashion, art, basketball, soccer and working at children's camps.

Senior, Andres Lujan-Salas - Swimming

Andres is a senior student-athlete on the swim team. He will be earning his third varsity letter for the team this season. Andres is one of the team captains. Coach Debbie Diadiun said, "Andres has had a strong work ethic on our team for the last three years and has shown a great deal of improvement in his times and technique. He has worked diligently to juggle work, athletics, and academics. He was the most improved member of the team in the month of December, improving his personal best times by almost half-a-minute in this month, alone. He is well-liked and a great supporter of his teammates." Andres had a great start to the school year academically, earning a 3.6 GPA in his first grading period. He plans on continuing his education and studying in the field of Arts & Photography at Akron University. Andres enjoys taking photos of nature, watching sports, and, of course, swimming!


Seniors and Senior Parents

A Senior mailing will be sent home during the first week of March. This mailing includes important information about prom and graduation, forms, and dates. Please look for the Graduation Participation Agreement, as this form is due back to homeroom teachers by Friday, March 23rd. If your student does not have a homeroom, he/she may turn it in to Mrs. Talty or Mr. Shiban. Caps and gowns have been ordered, but a few students still have not made these arrangements. Please go to to place your order today if you have not already done so. Thank you!  Click here for the Graduation Participation Agreement


Yearbook 2018

Myth: It's too late to order a yearbook.
Fact: It is never too late to order a yearbook, but ordering now saves you money and guarantees you'll receive a copy. Once the books are delivered in May, extra copies are sold on a first come-first served basis. Act now and thank you for supporting our hard working yearbook staff!  Click here for an order form.


West Geauga Educational Foundation
Funding New, Innovative Ways of Teaching and Learning for more than 30 Years

The West Geauga Educational Foundation (WGEF) is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization that provides funds to enable new and innovative ways of teaching and learning in the West Geauga school system. Funds for new ideas and programs aren’t always available within public school budgets, and that's where WGEF provides support. Each year the foundation reviews applications from teachers, administrators, students and parents, and then chooses programs to fund that will enrich and enhance educational experiences for our students.

For more than 30 years, WGEF has funded more than $500,000 to support educational programs that school budgets couldn't otherwise afford. WGEF also holds fundraisers and events throughout the school year to assist students and enrich education.

Grants Funded by WGEF This Year
WGEF requests teachers, parents and students to submit grants for programs they would like to see implemented and need funding assistance for. Twice per year, those interested submit detailed grants and present their programs to the WGEF board and members. The board then chooses which programs to fund based on criteria such as how many students will be impacted, the program costs, etc. We have funded two programs submitted in the fall of 2017, and will be hosting grant presentations later this month for our spring grants. Find out more about the most recent programs we funded below.

“Complete and Total” – Geauga Lyric Theater Play Presented to WGHS Students

Alcohol and drug use by middle and high school students continues to be a major problem in society today. The goal of student education about alcohol and drugs is always abstinence and being 100% drug free. West Geauga and other schools devote part of their curriculum, encourage drug free groups, and provide programming and presentations to identify and explain the dangers and risks of underage drinking and drug use for students.

Last fall, Linda Miller, MSSA, LSW, found a creative way to engage students about the dangers of alcohol and drug use to students, linking a local theater production about substance abuse directly to West Geauga HS students at the school.

The Geauga Lyric Theater Guild presented “Complete and Total,” an original play by local playwright Greg Vovos, about a high school senior with bright prospects who painfully slides into addiction, impacting his future and family. The play was presented eight times during school along with an evening performance for parents and community members. After each performance, groups of students returned to their classrooms to discuss the play with licensed professionals to help develop healthy options like resistance, decision making and refusal skills, and improve self-confidence. The social workers and prevention counselors were also available to talk with students individually
and direct them to resources that could help.

WGEF was proud to fund this unique program, providing students with a look at student addiction, helping to raise awareness, and recognizing pitfalls to avoid becoming part of the alcohol and drug abuse epidemic.

Elementary Robotics and Coding 
STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, is an educational model designed to educate students in these four subject areas, while practicing problem solving skills. Encouraging students to explore STEM-related concepts at an early age will help them develop a passion for these disciplines. Heather Howell, a teacher at Lindsey Elementary, was hired this year to create and implement a new STEM program for all West Geauga Elementary students at both Lindsey and Westwood Elementary.

Heather developed a robotics and coding program to bring interest, engagement, and knowledge to STEM learning, providing a basic robotics program to students to spark their interest in computer science, technology and problem solving. Her intent is for K-5 students to apply their block coding knowledge to a robot to make it perform a certain task, like navigating a maze, turning in a circle, or moving to a specific sight word.

The program allows students to become hands-on roboticists at an early age, applying block knowledge coding from a previous STEM class to make robots come to life. Students program and modify their robot’s actions to complete a challenge or solve a problem. The robots can be differentiated for each grade and ability level, extending learning levels from grade to grade, giving more complex tasks to older grades and more simplified tasks to the younger grades. 

The program required iPads and a classroom set of robots and accessories. The Dash and Dot robots come with a pre-made curriculum and challenges, which the older students will be able to immediately dive into. Each grade level has different goals for their robot and will use a variety of classroom and academic resources to learn with.

The students are extremely enthusiastic about the new STEM class and are learning many new concepts within science, technology, engineering, math and computer science that will prepare them for their future endeavors. By funding this robotics grant, all K-5 students will be able to add coding and robotics to their list of skills.

WGEF was proud to fund the Elementary Robotics and Coding program, giving young students hands-on experience with robots, how to program them to execute basic tasks, and expanding on West Geauga schools’ STEM curriculum.

Join Us!
We are always seeking fresh ideas and welcome educators and parents to join WGEF. We invite you to attend a meeting to find out more about us. Please see the meeting schedule below for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year.

March 21
7:30 PM
Middle School Community Room
April 18
7:30 PM
High School Library
May 16
7:30 PM
Middle School Community Room

Whenever you join, donate or attend a WGEF fundraiser, you become a key player in enriching education at West Geauga Schools.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

January/February 2018

Dear West Geauga Families:

Happy New Year to all of you! I hope you enjoyed time with friends and family over the break.

This past fall, West Geauga High School was proud to introduce a speaker series to all of the students during the scheduled advisory periods. The purpose of the speaker series is to bring relevant and interesting topics to our student body. It is our hope that information presented to our students can be applied to better students' private and academic lives. In addition, leadership opportunities have been and will continue to be available to our students through this program. Students will have the opportunity to participate on a speaker selection committee. They are also invited to participate through presentations of their own.

During the scheduled advisory periods, students meet as a grade level in our large lecture hall. Tuesday presentations are made to freshmen during advisory A and sophomores during advisory B. Thursday speakers present to seniors and juniors during advisory A and advisory B, respectively. Presentations are tailored to the appropriate grade level and the same presentation may not necessarily be made to the entire student body.

The series began on November 7, 2017 and ran through November 30th. First semester speakers included presentations on philanthropy, organ donation, study skills, sexual assault, dating violence and drug and alcohol awareness. Some of the second semester speaker presentations include topics on interview skills, soft skill development, preparing for life after high school and summer internship opportunities.

West Geauga High School is always looking for guest speakers to present interesting and relevant topics to our students. If you have an idea or know a speaker who will capture students’ interests, please feel free to let me know.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2018.


Jay C. Bishop
(440) 729-5955
@WestGHigh on Twitter


Happy New Year and welcome back!

Vaping is increasing around the country, and we are seeing this at our school as well. Vaping is the act of using an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) to inhale a substance through a personal vaporizer. The vaporizer, most often called a vape or a Juul, is a device that looks very much like a USB flash-drive, a laser pointer, and/or a fancy pen. These items often fit in your hand, and hold an electronic charge like a battery to make it portable.

While an e-cigarette may not contain tobacco, the inserts (juice) used in this device can contain nicotine, other chemicals, and/or other types of drug-related oils and substances. Vaping releases small amounts of water vapor that are hard to detect and do not linger. The design of the vaporizer  makes it harder for adults to readily recognize what is being held.

Here are some tips to help try to determine if your student may be vaping:
  1. Items that appear to fit the description above (flash-drive, laser pointer, etc.).
  2. While some are odorless, many inserts have added flavors and scents to enhance the experience and can smell like a fruity or spicy body spray or lotion. 
  3. Increased intake of fluids, especially water (additives in the vapor can cause dry-mouth).
  4. Decrease in desire for caffeinated beverages (additives in vapor can cause a sensitivity or avoidance of caffeine). 
  5. Nosebleeds (vapor can dry out the nasal passages)
Vaping in school or on school property is considered the same as using cigarettes, and the e-cigarette and any items used with them are considered smoking paraphernalia. Our school code of conduct prevents their use in school or at school events, and having them in school is against our code of conduct, also any student found using or in possession of an e-cigarette will receive a three day out-of-school suspension.

Please see the links below for more information about vaping and it’s harmful effects:


December - Caleb Ramey

January - Eva Mulloy

December - Samantha Heim

January - Maxwell Dayringer


West Geauga School Counseling News                                      January/February


The counselors would like to give students three simple suggestions to help make West Geauga High School a better environment to learn in and to allow each individual to capture his/her own success:
  1. Be nice to everyone, always.
  2. The next task that you are charged with doing, do it the best that you can.
  3. Never quit!
The Naviance/Family Connection website has valuable information regarding college planning, scholarships, and careers. You can visit the website at and click on high school, then guidance. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the counseling office.

David Callahan:             Students with last names A-G         729-5963

Kimberly Zannetti:         Students with last names H-O         729-5964 

Sarah Widman:             Students with last names P-Z          729-5965 

Michelle Sargent:          Secretary                                          729-5962 

College Credit Plus (CCP)—
The CCP Information Meeting was January 10th. At the meeting, a presentation about CCP’s procedures and application guidelines were presented. If you missed the meeting, please contact your school counselor for information. A very important document called a “CCP Intent Form” MUST be returned by April 1st. If this deadline is not met your son/daughter is not eligible to participate in this program.

SAVE THE DATE--Kickstart College Fair
All students are invited to the Kickstart College Fair. The Fair will take place at YOUR school on Monday, April 9, 2018. At 6:00 pm the guest speaker will be Jimmy Malone, WMJI Radio Personality. The fair will be from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. This fair will be a great opportunity to explore schools and meet admissions counselors. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending!
There are just a few of you with whom we have not met to discuss your post-graduation plans. If you need assistance, stop by the counseling office where you can get information on colleges and apprenticeships. Check the scholarship rack for opportunities, too! The door is always open. Please remember to check your college deadlines, follow the application submission procedures, and check Family Connection for updates!

Do not forget that schools will require a final transcript at the end of your senior year. Do your best throughout your whole senior year to earn the best grades possible. The finish line is close!

Continue to make good all have a bright future ahead of you!

Mid-Year Reports:
Some of you applied to schools that require a mid-year report. If you are unsure what your colleges require, you need to go online to check. For Common Application schools, your mid-year reports will be submitted online through Family Connection. If, however, any of the colleges to which you applied are NOT Common Application schools, you need to communicate to your counselor that a mid-year report is required as soon as possible.

Information on scholarships that our office receives can be found in two places. There are hard copy materials in the scholarship rack in the counseling office. Also, please check Family Connection/Naviance. Scholarship information can be found in the Colleges tab of your account. Make sure you take advantage of any opportunity to find dollars to help fund your education.

Financial Aid:
Mrs. Sandy Hanley, our LEAF Financial Aid Advisor, works in WGHS each Wednesday throughout the school year. Students and parents may request an appointment with Mrs. Hanley by contacting her at 729-5922, extension 4164, or by emailing her at All of the financial aid services provided by LEAF are at no charge to our families.

It is time for us to start working with you on your post-graduate planning and college selection process. Please plan to attend the following activities listed below:

Junior Student Meetings- During Government classes on Thursday, February 15th

As part of the State of Ohio graduation requirements, all current juniors will participate in an administration of the ACT on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. Testing will begin at 7:30 am and last approximately 4 hours. Test sections will include English, mathematics, reading and science. Students will not complete a writing section.

During the pre-administration session, students will have the opportunity to select four colleges/universities to receive their ACT scores (free of charge). Students are required to bring a photo i.d., pencils and calculator. Students are not permitted to possess or access a cell phone at any time during test administration or during the break. Additional details will be shared closer to test date.

Students can prepare for the ACT by visiting the following website:

Please see your school counselor for additional information.

If Juniors wish to take the ACT a second time or take the SAT, the registration process is online. It is a good practice to have students take both exams, and then repeat at least one in order to improve their scores. Students who are planning to apply to selective colleges that require SAT subject tests should make sure they register for tests by the end of the school year. Students must register for these tests online.

ACT Registration

SAT Registration

It is time to really explore what you want to do next year. There are many opportunities to consider, like the various levels of West G courses you choose to take that include Advanced Placement, College Credit Plus (CCP) and Excel TECC. We will be meeting with you about course scheduling during your Advisory period or Study Hall. Please see below for more information about Excel TECC.

Excel TECC:
February 1 – Students accepted to Excel TECC programs are notified via USPS.
February 22 – Students need to accept or decline their offers to be in Excel TECC programs.

Students should have received an email from CollegeBoard with instruction to retrieve PSAT scores for the test that was administered in October. If you have not created a CollegeBoard account prior to this test, you are encouraged to start one and have it connected to Khan Academy. See you school counselor if you need assistance.

If you are struggling in any of your classes, don’t give up and think that there is no hope. Ask for help! It is a sign of strength not weakness. The counselors suggest speaking directly with your teacher if you are having difficulty. Be prepared to ask specific questions. See your counselor for assistance. Our doors are always open! During your Advisory Periods in February, we will be meeting with you to discuss your scheduling options for next year.


Happy New Year from the Attendance Office! As a reminder, if your child is going to be absent for an extended period of time due to vacation, you will need to have a Vacation Request form filled out and turned in to the attendance office with all appropriate signatures 5 days before the absences occur. These forms can be found in the attendance office, online under the forms link, or by clicking here. If your child is missing school for medical reasons, including orthodontist appointments, please provide a note from the doctor and turn in to the attendance office. Notes for early dismissal should be turned in to the attendance office the day before your child needs to leave early whenever possible. Last minute phone calls, other than true emergencies, cannot always be delivered immediately and create unnecessary disruption to valuable instruction time in the classroom. Tardy arrivals to school are considered unexcused, even if a parent calls in for the student. If your student is driving to school this year, please remind him/her of this policy.

Opening Day paperwork did not come home this year due to the implementation of OneView. An informational letter with instructions was sent home at the beginning of the year and also over the winter break for those of you who did not complete these forms yet. It is imperative that you take the time to go online and fill out these form as soon as possible. If there is an emergency during the school day that involves your child, we will not be able to provide proper care or get ahold of you without the proper information being completed. In addition, your child may not be included in the 2017-2018 yearbook if you do not grant permission. If you have any questions or did not receive the letter in the mail, please call me and I will help you. We are asking that all accounts be updated as soon as possible.

Thank you and have a great second semester!

Mrs. Poelking
(440) 729-5958


Senior Internship Packets are available now!  Make sure you get yours as your proposal is due to your faculty advisor by Friday, January 26th!  Click here (or link above) to get your packet!!


The year is flying by and graduation will be here before you know it! This year our commencement ceremony will be held on Monday, June 4th, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Keybank State Theater at Playhouse Square, Cleveland. Each student will receive 8 tickets to the ceremony. For more pertinent information, please visit the "Seniors" tab at the top of this newsletter or click here.


There will be a PTO meeting on Wednesday, February 7th in the middle school library.  We are looking for executive board members for next school year.


Pre-order your yearbook now to reserve and guarantee a copy for your student. Order now and save as the cost increases at the time of delivery!

Senior parents: Limited space is still available to purchase a grad ad for your senior.

All order forms are available under the yearbook tab at the top of this newsletter or click here.


News from West Geauga Educational Foundation (WGEF)
Funding New, Innovative Ways of Teaching and Learning for more than 30 Years

Another Successful Thanksgiving Breakfast at McDonald’s Fundraiser

Thanks to everyone who came in for breakfast to support WGEF’s 30th annual Thanksgiving Pancake Breakfast at McDonald’s in Chesterland. We raised over $1,900 to help fund educational programs for students in the West Geauga school system.

Special thanks to Steve Goden and Caise Rode McHale, co-chairs for this year’s event, all our volunteers and students who took time on Thanksgiving morning to work the breakfast, and to John Powers, McDonald’s Chesterland owner/operator, and his staff for opening their store on a holiday and giving their time and support. A shout-out as well to our business sponsors who bought ads for the breakfast placemats. “Everyone involved should be proud that their efforts helped to raise funds that will go toward supporting innovative and enriching learning experiences for West Geauga students,” said Caise McHale, WGEF President.

SAT, PSAT, ACT Practice Tests – Sponsored by WGEF
Did you know your child can practice taking college entry tests in test-like conditions run by Huntington Learning Center? Each practice test includes a follow-up session that will provide you with insight to the exam and additional preparation tips necessary for college entrance. The benefit: your child will learn about the exam format, become comfortable taking the tests and determine what areas he/she needs to work on.

For students in Northeast Ohio, including eastern Cuyahoga County suburbs like Mayfield, Beachwood, Chagrin Falls and Solon and Lake and Geauga Counties, WGEF hosts practice sessions for the SAT and ACT at West Geauga High School. Students from any school can attend.


ACT Practice Test
Sat. January 13, 2018     8 am – 12 pm
West G High School, Room 124
Thu. January 25, 2018, 6 – 8 PM
West G High School Library
SAT Practice Test
Sat. April 7, 2018     8 am – 12 pm
West G High School, Room 124
Thu. April 19, 2018, 6 – 8 PM
West G High School Library

What you need to know
  • Practice Tests are held Saturday mornings from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm – see the schedule above
  • Tests are in rooms 124 at West Geauga High School, 13401 Chillicothe Road (Route 306), Chesterland, Ohio 44026-3598
  • Follow-up sessions are on Thursday nights from 6:00pm in the Library
  • The cost is $10 for West Geauga students and $15 for students from other schools
Registration and costs
West Geauga students should register and pay in advance at the high school Guidance office. Payment will be accepted at the door. No one is admitted without payment.

Students from other districts can pay in advance or at the door. The cost is $10 for West Geauga students, $15 for students from other schools.

Checks should be made out to the West Geauga Educational Foundation. We do not accept credit cards.

What to bring
  • #2 pencils
  • Calculator
For more information
Please contact Theresa Kulp at 216-346-9028 with any questions.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November/December 2017

From the Principal...

Dear High School Families;

It is hard to believe we are already one quarter of the way through the school year. First quarter report cards have been posted to our new Infinite Campus student management system website and we are now three weeks into the second quarter. Since the beginning of the year, students have had the opportunity to use advisory period to get help with course work, attend a club and/or activity meeting or take an Advanced Placement science course.

One goal of the advisory period is for students to seek academic help or to enrich the learning experience. Classroom teachers are available to students either during 5A or 5B advisory periods. Students should communicate their need or desire to meet with their teachers during advisory and obtain a pass. Commonly, teachers will reach out to the students needing additional support and use advisory period to assist their students. Time commitments during advisory and lunch periods are very flexible and allow students to switch lunch periods in order to find a mutual time that works for both the teacher and student.

During the month of November, an Advisory Speaker Series was initiated. The purpose of the series is to provide engaging presentations that are relevant to students’ lives. Information learned can be applied to students academic and/or private lives. Topics include philanthropy, study skills, test taking strategies, dating violence prevention and drug and alcohol awareness. It is also my intention to build student leadership opportunities within this program. Students are encouraged to present topics that are interesting and relevant to their peers. Interested students should see me for more details. Please see the school’s calendar for presentations that will be given during the month of November and during the second semester of the school year.

It is my intention for advisory to contribute to the positive school environment and allow experiences for student growth and academic success. Please encourage your student to take advantage of some of the many opportunities advisory period offers throughout the school year.

Have a wonderful holiday season.


Jay C. Bishop
(440) 729-5955


Complete and Total comes to West Geauga High School

The play Complete and Total is an original play by a local playwright, Greg Vovos, about the dangers of heroin and drug addiction. It is the story of a high school senior and how his painful slide into addiction impacts him and his family. It follows the student with a bright future ahead of him, but heroin and addiction quickly become his priority. The senior addict believes in his ability to become clean, but it’s not that simple.

The play Complete and Total is scheduled for Thursday, November 16th and performed by youth from the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild. It will be shown during periods 1-4 and 6-8. All high school students will have an opportunity to see it in Room 124 during their social studies class with a short follow up discussion in each social studies classroom. Discussion will be led by social workers, counselors, prevention specialists and other professionals, knowledgeable in the drug and alcohol field.

We invite all parents and community members to attend an evening performance at 7:00 P.M. on November 16th.  A question and answer session will follow the play. We hope you will join us! Click here to see a flyer with additional information.

The bus lanes for morning drop off are for busses ONLY.

Please drop your student(s) off at the south or west side of the building.

Thank you!


From the Assistant Principal....

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather. A few quick tips…

  • Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. are great ways to communicate via the Internet. Unfortunately, all too often we see the negative side of social networking. Bullying, threats, offensive language, and inappropriateness are everyday occurrences on these sites. Daily, we deal with the after effects of these transgressions. Please monitor your child and speak to him/her about appropriate use of these sites.
  • The number one correlation between academic success and potential failure is consistent attendance at school. When students attend regularly, they succeed. Please remember to call the Attendance Office (729-5951) between 7:00 and 9:00 am each time a student is absent. This is a voicemail number, which can receive messages 24 hours a day, so you can even call the night before. Students who do not clear up absences within three days of returning to school will be considered truant and be issued a Saturday School Detention.
  • Maintaining a safe, secure and productive educational environment is a high priority at West Geauga High School. Proper attire helps create an atmosphere conducive to learning. Clothing which includes references to alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substances is unacceptable. In addition, clothing which depicts graphics or wording with sexual, vulgar, lewd, or indecent meanings or connotations is prohibited. Please also keep the following guidelines in mind: 
    • Shirts and shorts must be worn at a reasonable length
    • Tops must have straps
    • Necklines should not fall below an imaginary horizontal line between the underarms.
    • The bottom hem of tops should overlap pants or skirts. No midriff exposed.
    • No undergarments should be exposed. This includes through sheer fabric or out of low-riding or loose fitting pants.
    • No hats at school. Hoods are not to be worn while in the building

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Ron Dahlhofer
(440) 729-5957

September - Nathaniel Bihun

October - John Wenger

November - Mariah Barboza

September - Grace Carter

October - Ayah Ighneim

November - Michael Osters


WGHS School Counseling News             November/December 2017

It has been a busy fall in the school counseling department. We have met with our seniors and their parents to begin the college application process. The web program Family Connection/Naviance is the most important resource for the counselors and students. This program is allowing the school counselors to begin college exploratory activities with the underclassmen, as well as making communication between home and our department considerably easier. It allows us to submit nearly all of our students' college applications electronically. If your student has an iPhone, there is an app available. We highly encourage our students to use this resource throughout their high school careers! Our career specialist, Mrs. Ann Marn, has also offered her talents in helping our students focus on writing a high school resume, begin career interest inventories and search for colleges.

David Callahan            Students with last names A-G        729-5963 

Kimberly Zannetti        Students with last names H-O       729-5964  

Sarah Widman            Students with last names P-Z         729-5965 

Michelle Sargent         Secretary                                        729-5962  

Dates to Remember:

The PSAT was administered to the sophomore class and some freshmen and juniors. The results should be available sometime in mid-December.

Excel TECC Opportunity Day: December 12, Sophomores are invited to attend as a field trip. Permission forms will be given to students and available in the counseling office.

Excel TECC Opportunity Night: December 12, 7 pm at Mayfield High School.  Parents of prospective sophomores are encouraged to attend.

CCP Information Night: January 10, 7pm in Room 124.

The guidance website has valuable information, regarding college planning, scholarships, and many other timely topics. You can visit the website at, click on high school, then guidance. If you have any question or concerns, please call the school counseling office. Students: we have an "open door" policy. If you need to speak to your counselor, just drop in. If we are unavailable, leave a note, and we will find you as soon as possible!

Please remember that this is the time of year to work on college applications! Please remember to check your college deadlines and follow the application submission procedures (Senior College App Process PowerPoint can be found on the Guidance website). Remember: Please give your counselors and teachers at least two weeks to get supporting documents/letters completed. Know your deadlines! See your counselor if you have any questions.

Scholarships: Start looking in Family Connection/Naviance for scholarships. There is also a scholarship rack in the Counseling Office. Make a habit of visiting our office and checking if anything new has come in and checking your Family Connection account. Please give counselors two weeks notice for deadlines on scholarships, too.

Financial Aid: The FAFSA timeline has changed and is already open to submissions for next year. A representative from the Lake/Geauga Educational Assistance Foundation (LEAF) is available to discuss financial aid options, scholarships, and the FAFSA form. Mrs. Sandy Hanley, our LEAF Financial Aid Advisor, works in our high school each Wednesday throughout the school year. Students and parents may request an appointment with Mrs. Hanley by contacting her at 729-5922, extension 4164, or email her at There is also a sign-in sheet in the Guidance Office. All of the LEAF services are at no charge to our families.

Reminder - this is your last year to work on maintaining or bringing up your GPA. Remember that when colleges receive your transcript next fall, your cumulative grade point average is only based on your high school classes completed in the middle school, 9th, 10th and 11th grade marks. If you are having difficulty in a class, your school counselor is always here to help. Do not forget to take advantage of the tutoring available during Advisory period. Also, start thinking about what you want to do after high school. A good resource to begin with is Family Connection/Naviance. See your counselor if you forgot your login. Start planning college visits and registering online for the ACT and/or SAT.

When is the last time you logged on to your Family Connection/Naviance account? You have been given a task to complete the “Strengths Explorer.” Please find the time to complete this before winter break.

Mr. Hayes, Excel TECC's (Technical Education Career Consortium) counselor will meet with all sophomores on November 13. Opportunity Day for all Excel TECC is Thursday, December 12. Students are able to visit programs during the field trip that school day and parents are invited to Mayfield High School that evening from 7:00 - 8:30 pm. You got your report card. How are you doing? What can you change to achieve even more success? If you need some help, see your counselor.

As soon as you get your PSAT results, remember to connect your scores with Khan Academy. Stop by our office for help if you need any assistance.

Well, you are finished with your first quarter at West Geauga High School! Was your first report card a good one? If so, keep up the good work. If not, do not forget to take advantage of the tutoring available during Advisory Period. See your counselor for help, too. Remember: Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness! Also, be open to the information covered in the Freshman Mentoring with topics offering help with the transition to the high school.



September 2017

Junior, Rachel Ange - Tennis
Rachel is a junior student-athlete on the girls tennis team. She will be earning her third varsity letter for the team this season. She has helped lead the girls tennis team to their first Chagrin Valley Conference championship last season and their second this fall. She was 8-2 in the month of September to bring her overall record to 14-2 for the year. She went 2-0 in the CVC tournament to earn First Team CVC honors. She will be competing on Friday October 13th in the OHSAA District tournament with her partner in doubles, Mackenzie Hanford. Coach Dimattia said “She has been winning in a dominating fashion. She leads by example both on the tennis court and off.” She has also been a member of the girls fastpitch team and will also be earning her third varsity letter this spring season. Off the athletic fields she has been able to maintain a 4.4 GPA. She serves as the Student Council Secretary and is a board member of the Interact Club. She intends on furthering her education by attending college to study in the field of business but is undecided on which school she will attend. Rachel enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

Senior, Joseph Conrad - Soccer
Joseph is a senior student-athlete on the soccer team. He will be earning his second varsity letter for the team at the end of this season. Coach Gerhardt said, "Joey is a team player who exemplifies respect, sportsmanship and fair play. Joey Conrad is the leader of our defensive chain and a role model for all players on the team, especially the underclassmen. Joey is highly skilled, possesses great soccer sense and is a very competitive central defender who is all business in practices as well as in games. A senior and student of the game, Joey is a key player in the Wolverines success on the soccer field this year.” Joseph is also a member of the track team and has earned two varsity letters. Joe has also excelled in the classroom where he has retained above a 3.75 GPA. Joseph plans on continuing his education in the field of aeronautics at Kent State University to eventually become a licensed commercial pilot. In his free time, Joseph enjoys camping, hiking snowboarding and playing soccer. 

October 2017

Freshman, Nicola Ehrbar - Soccer
Nicola is a freshman student-athlete on the girls soccer team. She will be earning her first varsity letter for the team this season after starting and playing in every game. Overall she had 11 goals and 7 assists. One of those goals was versus Chagrin Falls in an OHSAA Sectional Final game, where she helped lead her team to a 2-0 victory with a goal from 35 yards out, advancing the Wolverines to the District Semi Finals. Coach Kori Chapic said, "Her hard work and athleticism this season has made her an outstanding asset to the West Geauga girls soccer program and a leader for the team to look up to." She earned Second Team All Chagrin Valley Conference honors. She is also a member of the girls basketball team and will be seeing a significant role in the program this winter. Off the athletic fields she has earned 4.08 GPA in the first grading period. She intends on furthering both her education and athletic careers in college but is undecided at this early stage of her high school experience. Nicola enjoys baking, hiking and playing sports.

Freshman, Johnny Patterson - Cross Country
Johnny is a freshman student-athlete on the cross-country team. He has earned his first varsity letter for the team this season. Johnny, as a freshman, was consistently West Geauga's number one runner this year. His fastest time was 18:00, which helped him earn Second Team All Chagrin Valley Conference honors. He lead the boys cross country team to second place finishes at both the McDonough and Andrews Osborne Invitationals. Amongst freshman competing at the OHSAA District Meet at Madison High School, Johnny finished 3rd and 32nd overall. Coach John Boylan said, "Johnny is only a freshman but leads by example. He will be fun to watch as he matures as a runner. I am excited and looking forward to the next 3 seasons with Johnny." Johnny has also been successful in the classroom as he recently accomplished a 4.25 GPA in his first grading period at the high school. He plans on continuing his education in the field of biology but is undecided as to where he will attend. Johnny enjoys running, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking.  


The Senior Internship Program, endorsed by the school administration and Board of Education, is designed to provide interested and eligible seniors with the opportunity to participate in meaningful, independent projects of their own selection and design.

Full details and the internship packet will be available in December.  In the meantime, you can click here to see the internship timeline.


Order your yearbook now and benefit from the lowest price of the year!  Yearbooks will cost $70.00 until 12/31/17.  After the new year, the price will increase to $75.00  Click here for an order form.

If you haven't submitted a Grad ad to your senior, please email to see if any space remains.



Thanksgiving Day Pancake Breakfast at Chesterland McDonald’s

Sponsored by West Geauga Educational Foundation
The last think you’re thinking about on Thanksgiving morning is making breakfast. But your family is hungry! Don’t stress! Visit the Chesterland McDonalds, where once again, the West Geauga Educational Foundation (WGEF), will be serving breakfast!                               

     WHEN: Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 23, 2017 7:30 to 11:30 AM

     WHERE: Chesterland McDonald’s,  8329 Mayfield Road, Chesterland

What’s on the menu: a breakfast of pancakes and sausage with juice, milk, coffee or tea for $5.00. Eat breakfast in the restaurant or take it to go. Please note that on Thanksgiving morning, McDonald’s will only open for the WGEF fundraiser during the hours above and their regular menu will not be available.

For almost 30 years, WGEF has been hosting this holiday breakfast, with the help and support of John Powers and his team at the Chesterland McDonald’s. “Make Thanksgiving Day a little easier for your family this year by getting breakfast at McDonalds,” said Caise Rode McHale, WGEF President. “At the same time, you’ll be helping to support innovative and enriching learning experiences for West Geauga students.”

WGEF is a non-profit organization that provides funding to enable new ways of teaching and learning in the West Geauga School System. Each year the foundation trustees review applications from teachers, administrators, students and parents and fund educational programs over and above what school budgets will allow. The foundation is grateful for our community’s continuing support.

Interested in volunteering at WGEF’s Thanksgiving Breakfast? Please email:

           Steve Goden at

           Caise Rode McHale at

We hope to see you and your family on Thanksgiving morning!