January 2010
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Member Highlight
Ottawa Hills Schools

The Village of Ottawa Hills, with a population of about 4,564, supports an Elementary School (K-6) and a Junior-Senior High School (grades 7-12). The schools have consistently been ranked as “Excellent” based on state achievement tests, and were ranked first in Ohio for the 2007-2008 school year, and second in 2008-2009. The ranking is based on a Performance Index determined by the Ohio State Achievement Test results. For the last two school years, the district was designated as “Excellent with Distinction.” Students must display more than one year’s growth for each year of school in order for a district to receive this honor.

School District Superintendent Cathleen Heidelberg explained why the district has been a long time member and supporter of TMACOG. “We believe that our school district must develop strong business and community partnerships in order to maximize opportunities for our students and staff,” she said. “We are also constantly searching for new ways to control costs, generate resources, and improve efficiency in order to protect the investment our citizens have made in their schools. TMACOG helps us to accomplish these goals.”

The school district has a mission to maximize student achievement. It promotes a culture of continuous improvement by establishing clear/specific goals with measurable results. In his State of the Schools Address in October 2009, School Board President C. Gary Wilson cited innovations in the schools directed toward goals. The district added courses in Mandarin Chinese to the junior-senior high school curriculum taught by a guest teacher from China. Advanced Placement Chemistry is now offered in grades 9 through 12. There are 13 Advanced Placement courses at Ottawa Hills – unusual in a school of its size. Students also have opportunities to excel at sports, visual and performing arts, and other extra-curricular activities. In 2008, Ottawa Hills’ athletes won the state championship in boys’ soccer. To expand the use of the field and increase safety for the student athletes, the Athletic Boosters were part of a community-based effort which recently funded the installation of an artificial turf field at the football stadium.

Mr. Wilson concluded his State of the Schools address with a thank you. “In Ottawa Hills, we are fortunate to have all the ingredients of an excellent school district: students who come to school ready to learn, involved parents, dedicated experienced teachers, and a supportive community.”

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