Students of the Month
Mercy Alamina (Grade 7)
Parents: Abiye & Folu Alamina
Mercy’s activities include cross country and track. In her free time, she enjoys reading, helping others with homework, and getting involved at her church. Mercy’s favorite class is band because she loves playing the flute and she very much enjoys Michael Leeds.
In the future, Mercy hopes to attend MIT or Stanford to study engineering. Mercy has really appreciated the transition to Junior High and the independence it has offered.
“Mercy is a very hard-working and dedicated student. She works diligently in the classroom and works well with others. Mercy is very respectful and kind to both her peers and her teachers. Mercy is a leader in the 7th Grade.”
- Nicole Silvers, science teacher
Elise Denk (Grade 12)
Parents: Walter Denk & Stacie Roshong-Denk
Elise’s activities include Student Council, National Honor Society, Model UN and Sunrise. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and her sisters, listening to music, watching movies, and being outside.
Elise’s favorite classes are physics and computer programming because she says that the content she learns has an immediate, real-life application. Elise’s best experience at Ottawa Hills was climbing Ruth Mountain as an extension of Agora in 9th Grade. In the future, Elise plans to attend The Ohio State University and study electrical and computer engineering with a minor in economics.
“Elise has been a three-year participant in the Model UN Club. This includes her junior year when both conferences were online, a period in which a number of my Model UN students decreased their participation. She has exemplified a true interest in global affairs and events. Elise has been a positive influence both in my Model UN Club and my AP GOPO class. She deserves to be Student of the Month.”
-Tom McCarthy, social studies teacher
Alex McCaffery (Grade 9)
Parents: Lauren McCaffery & Matt McCaffery
Alex’s activities include basketball and football. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing basketball, and video games. Alex’s best experience at Ottawa Hills so far was the 8th Grade trip to Washington, D.C. He credits his friends and his coaches for having the largest impact on him and he is very grateful for their support and guidance.
Alex does not know exactly what he wants to do in the future, but he feels confident that with all of the support he has, he will be able to anything. People would be surprised to know that Alex is a huge sports fan and owns 19 jerseys.
"Alex is an amazing young man who regularly demonstrates good character and citizenship. He has excelled in and out of the classroom and has earned the respect of his teachers, coaches, and peers. We look forward to his continued growth and contributions to our school and community. He is an ideal recipient for both the Turnaround and Student of the Month awards."
- Ben McMurray, Principal
Zoe McCarthy (Grade 10)
Parents: Joe and Barb McCarthy
Zoe’s activities include swimming and GSA. Outside of school, Zoe is involved with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Conservation Teen Advisory Council. In her free time, she enjoys reading, crafting, making jewelry, cross-country skiing, backpacking, and camping.
Zoe’s favorite class is English where she is taught how to think, rather than what to think, allowing space for creativity. Zoe’s best experience at Ottawa Hills so far has been joining the swim team and taking part in “Romantic Idol.” In the future, Zoe plans to go to a university and study medicine with the hope of becoming a doctor.
“Zoe has been a positive role model to her peers in chemistry. She is always prepared for class and asks thoughtful questions. She has a positive attitude and continues to strive for her best performance each day. I appreciate her work ethic and grit during class.”
- Dr. Gloria Kreischer Gajewicz, chemistry teacher
Bre Rotterdam (Grade 11)
Parents: Christi Ansberg & Rob Rotterdam
Bre’s activities include tennis, cheer, and Challenge Crew. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, hanging out with friends, and babysitting. The person who has most influenced her life has been her mom who is constantly supporting her and encouraging her to do her best and put in the hard work.
People would be surprised to know that Bre has traveled to 10 countries. Bre’s best experience at Ottawa Hills so far was the 8th Grade trip to Washington, D.C.
“Bre is one of the most positive, upbeat students I have had in class. She is a leader in Anatomy and her peers look up to her. She comes to class prepared and inquisitive about the content. Bre works well with others and is polite, caring, and compassionate toward her peers.”
- Liz Puskala, anatomy teacher
Lowell Shreve (Grade 7)
Parents: Eric & Adrianne Shreve
Lowell is currently involved in track, specifically the pole vault. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games and practicing the tuba. Lowell’s favorite class is band with Michael Leeds.
In the future, he hopes to become a teacher and band director. Lowell has enjoyed the transition to Junior High and loves coming to school each day with his friends.
“Lowell is a polite and attentive student. He has a great attitude about school and gets along well with his peers.”
- Karen Fischer, English teacher
Samantha Bigioni (Grade 12)
Parents: Terry & Kim Bigioni
Samantha’s activities include GSA, French Club, Art Club, and track. In her free time, she enjoys participating in the ZOOTeens program, reading, writing, and art. Samantha’s favorite class is Honors Scientific Research with Jeremy Nixon where she has had many valuable experiences. Samantha’s best experience in high school was during Agora 2018 when they made cobbler over a campfire.
In the future, Samantha plans to attend college and study biology and anthropology. People might be surprised to know that Sam has a pet gecko.
“Samantha exhibits all the characteristics of a learner. She is curious about the world around her and seeks to find answers. She has a realistic lens on the expectations she puts on herself and others. She’s flexible and adaptable to the given situation. Her positive attitude provides those around her a calming atmosphere.”
- Sara Eisenbaum, English teacher
Zoe Cheema (Grade 10)
Parents: Javed Cheema & Rabia Akbar
Zoe’s activities include the Speech and Debate Team, track, field hockey, and OH Stand. In her free time, she enjoys running, being a part of Boy Scouts, listening to music, and spending time outside. Zoe credits her parents for having the largest impact on her life by encouraging her to reach her goals as well as setting an example of success that she aspires to achieve.
History is Zoe’s favorite class so far. She enjoys thinking critically about the past in order to better understand our world today. In the future, she plans to attend college and study law.
“Zoe is a wonderful presence in study hall. Over the last few weeks, Zoe has led chemistry practice for many of the sophomores in the room, placing practice problems on chalkboards around the room. She will model problems, help students solve them, and practice with her peers. She is knowledgeable, positive, and energetic during each practice session, and I have absolutely loved watching her lead and collaborate, creating a dynamic study hall of peer-to-peer studying.”
- Sam Abbott, English teacher
Sam Kapadia (Grade 7)
Parents: Jimmy & Jennifer Kapadia
Sam’s activities include robotics, theater, MathCounts, Student Council, Jazz Band, Junior Chorale, and track. In his free time, he enjoys studying, map drawing, singing, playing piano, listening to music, and going for rides in his grandfather’s Model T Ford.
Sam’s favorite class is band because he loves playing music with everyone, as well as Michael Leeds’ “useless surveys.” Nicole Silvers also has had a positive influence on Sam this year through her sense of humor and enjoyable environment in science class. Sam’s best experience in Junior High so far was winning the Spelling Bee. In the future, Sam hopes to go to college and study history or geomatics engineering.
“Sam is a very motivated student and a leader in the classroom. He exhibits an extremely strong commitment to and enthusiasm to his school. As a leader, he also exhibits empathy towards both his peers and teachers, has good communication skills, and is willing to take ideas/feedback from others. Sam is a joy to have in the classroom. His positivity is contagious, and it makes our classroom a better place.”
- Nicole Silvers, science teacher
Thomas McCarthy (Grade 12)
Parents: Tom & Stephanie McCarthy
Thomas’ activities include Model UN, theater, football, Choraliers, and ASL Club. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends and playing video games. Thomas’ best experience at Ottawa Hills High School was being a part of the “Guys and Dolls” production; he called it the best three months of his life.
In the future, Thomas plans to study political science in college and attend law school. He credits the history department as having the greatest impact on him throughout high school. Collectively, the history teachers helped him realize what career he would like to pursue.
“As I coached Thomas in ‘Guys and Dolls,’ I couldn’t help to reflect on his incredible educational journey. He has grown into a truthful performance artist, a thoughtful student, and a leader/coach who understands the importance of ‘leading from the head and the heart.’ He has developed a wonderful rapport with our Acting Out! students. His ability to connect with students and his talent to teach simple concepts as well as more sophisticated ones are excellent. Finally, the qualities I admire most in Thomas -- after his talent, sparkle, subtle wit, intellectual curiosity, and involvement -- are his determination to succeed and his personal integrity.”
- Darrin Broadway, dean of secondary teaching and learning
Cassie Davis (Grade 11)
Parents: Kirk & Stacy Davis
Cassie’s activities include OHbreathe, Volunteer Focus, Marching Band, and the theater. Outside of school, Cassie is very involved at Company C dance. Cassie credits James Kinkaid as having a significant impact on her in the classroom. While in his English class, Mr. Kinkaid pushed Cassie to think differently about herself and the world. In the future, Cassie plans to attend medical school with the hopes of specializing in plastic surgery.
“Cassie has performed consistently at a high level of academic achievement that is exemplary. She is helpful towards her peers and continues to display her dedication, unselfishness, and commitment to AP Chemistry on a daily basis.”
- Dr. Gloria Kreischer Gajewicz, chemistry teacher
Ethan Green (Grade 10)
Parents: Laura Rothschild and Michael Green
Ethan’s activities include cross country, track, Esports, and Science Olympiad. In his free time, he enjoys Tae Kwon Do and being a part of the ZooTeen program. In the future, Ethan plans to go to college at the University of Toledo and then onto The Ohio State University for graduate school. Ethan’s best experience so far has been being a member of the Marching Band and performing on football Friday nights.
“Ethan has been dependable and kind to all. He works very hard in class and participates well with his peers during group work and presentations.”
- Dr. Gloria Kreischer Gajewicz, chemistry teacher
Brody Martinez (Grade 7)
Parents: Mike & Gina Martinez
Brody’s activities include football, basketball, and lacrosse. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, and walking his dog. In the future, Brody dreams of becoming a Division I athlete. People might be surprised to know that Brody loves to sing.
“Brody comes to school every day with a positive attitude that is contagious to those around him. He is a model student athlete, and a leader both in the classroom and on the field.” - Greg Neuendorf, physical education teacher
Alyssa Rosenberg (Grade 12)
Parents: Joe & Veronica Rosenberg
Alyssa’s activities include cross country, GSA, Mesasa, Science Olympiad, and softball. In her free time, she enjoys reading, horseback riding, sewing/embroidering, and volunteering at a local homeless shelter. Alyssa credits Liz Puskala and Dr. Lauren Hurst as having a significant impact on her throughout high school through their guidance, instruction, and direction in the classroom. Alyssa’s best experience at Ottawa Hills was her first day of senior year. In the future, she plans to go to college and study biology with the hopes of becoming a veterinarian.
“Alyssa is an advocate. She cares about the well-being of others and stands up for what she believes is right. She is steadfast and encourages others to recognize when what they are saying or doing disregards the needs of others. She is an impressive leader for justice.” - Sara Eisenbaum, English teacher
Roz Dougherty (Grade 7)
Parents: Patrick & Katie Dougherty
Roz’s activities include field hockey, basketball, and yearbook. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports, hanging with friends, and fostering kittens. Roz’s favorite class this year is math with Dan Feuerstein. Her best experience so far in Junior High has been playing field hockey and basketball. She also has enjoyed the freedom that Junior High offers. People would be surprised to know that Roz likes to collect miniature fake food.
“I have been impressed by the way that Roz advocates for herself and others. Roz is a kind, young lady who always does what is in the best interest of all students and her teachers. Roz is an incredibly hard worker, and always puts forth her best effort. I appreciate having Roz in class. She makes teaching fun.” - Nicole Silvers, science teacher (faculty nominator)
Ava Morgan (Grade 12)
Parents: Eric & Holly Morgan
Ava’s activities include Choraliers and theater. She will be playing the role of Arvide in the upcoming production of Guys & Dolls. In her free time, she works at Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and enjoys spending time with friends. Ava is in the process of choosing a college where she can pursue music education. She credits Johsua Dufford as having the biggest impact on her in high school by pushing and inspiring her in Choraliers and the theater.
“Ava is an outstanding member of both Honors Choir and Choraliers. She constantly is stretching herself to succeed outside of rehearsals by auditioning for honors choirs, theatre productions, and learning solos to stretch her abilities. Ava is a fine leader by example and well respected by her peers. Her kind demeanor makes her easy to talk to and her eagerness to succeed in choir encourages my own teaching as her director.” - Joshua Dufford, vocal music director (faculty nominator)
Collin Potts (Grade 9)
Parents: Matt & Brittany Potts
Collin’s activities include baseball, basketball, and Boy Scouts. In his free time, he enjoys wake surfing, slalom skiing, and wake boarding. Collin’s best experience so far at Ottawa Hills was the class trip to Washington, D.C., where he had the opportunity to lay the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. In the future, Collin hopes to go the The Ohio State University, following in the footsteps of his parents. Go Bucks!
“Collin is a model student who is always respectful and well behaved. He stands out with his consistent good behavior and shows true leadership. Collin is a model student.” -Tracy Richards, health education teacher (faculty nominator)
Warren Goik (Grade 12)
Parents: Pat Goik & Jennifer Barrett
Warren’s activities include baseball, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and National Honor Society. In his free time, he enjoys drumming, golfing, caddying, and tutoring. Warren credits his parents as having the biggest impact on his life for always encouraging him to pursue his goals academically, athletically, and musically.
Next year, Warren plans to attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Ind.) and study mechanical engineering while also playing baseball. Warren’s best experience at Ottawa Hills was beating Anthony Wayne his junior year, which was a huge win.
“Warren ranks as one of the best student musicians we've had at OH. His great performance ability is on display at every performance, including the Drum Line, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and volunteering at choir concerts when extra percussion is needed. His talent on the drum set and mallets is also quite remarkable. In the classroom setting, Warren shows wonderful composition skills in Music Theory. I count us lucky he shares his gift of music with our school and community.” – Michael Leeds, instrumental music director (faculty nominator)
Thomas Lathrop (Grade 7)
Parents: George & Kathy Lathrop
Thomas’ activities include swim, cross country, track, robotics, and Power of the Pen. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, running, and hanging out with his family. His favorite class at Ottawa Hills right now is math with Dan Feuerstein because he enjoys problem solving. In the future, he dreams of being an author of fictional stories.
People would be surprised to know that he has already written several novels with the hopes of someday publishing. Thomas’ best experience so far has been Power of the Pen because it has pushed him to continue writing and has created an environment that encourages his creative process.
“Thomas is a great artist, but also a team player. He is kind to everyone and dedicated to his work. He is the first one to offer help to a classmate and is such a help to me this semester. He is one the kindest students I have ever taught.” - Hannah Lehmann, art teacher (faculty nominator)
Timothy Lim (Grade 9)
Parents: Hyonjoon & Youngsun Lim
Tim’s activities include swimming and tennis. In his free time, he enjoys playing games, studying, and biking. Tim credits English teacher Sara Eisenbaum for having the biggest impact on him throughout the year; he appreciates her teaching style and support in the classroom. Tim is new to Ottawa Hills and we are lucky to have him here.
“Tim is a new student to OH this year. He has demonstrated grit and perseverance with every single assignment he has been given. He asks for feedback even after he revises because he genuinely wants to grow in his speaking, reading, writing, and researching skills. He is kind to his classmates, he is respectful to his teachers, and he maintains a positive attitude even when he struggles with a specific concept. He is the very definition of a leader.” - Sara Eisenbaum, English teacher (faculty nominator)
Keelie Wimmers (Grade 11)
Parents: Dan & Lora Wimmers
Keelie’s activities include volleyball, basketball, softball, Choraliers, Challenge Crew, and Mesasa. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports, hanging out with friends and family, listening to music, andWar baking. Keelie is very grateful that Ottawa Hills now offers American Sign Language with Ashley Gorsuch, because she loves the language.
People would be surprised to know that due to the fact that Keelie has grown up with foster siblings, she is now an aunt to 34 nieces and nephews. The best memories for Keelie have been her athletic experiences and bonding with her teammates. The coaches and players have been Keelie’s support system through the ups and downs of high school.
“Keelie has always excelled in American Sign Language. She has been a leader from the start by her actions and words. Keelie does not let her age limit her abilities. Keelie helped establish the ASL Club this year and has played a vital role in the overall program, whether she receives recognition or not. Her attitude is one of inclusion and great care for others despite any differences. She strives to help others and spreads that attitude among her peers.” – Ashley Gorsuch, American Sign Language instructor (faculty nominator)
Graydon Begeman (Grade 10)
Parents: Garett & Johanna Begeman
Graydon’s activities include track, cross country, e-sports, and GSA. In his free time, he enjoys Dungeons and Dragons, writing, hanging out with friends, and biking. Gradyon credits his parents and friends as having the biggest positive influence on his life so far. While in school, Graydon enjoys his public speaking class with Ms. (Sara) Eisenbaum and band with Mr. (Michael) Leeds because they are both classes where he is actively engaged the whole time. This year’s Homecoming Dance was his best memory at Ottawa Hills so far, but he knows that there are so many great experiences yet to come.
“Graydon has a positive attitude with a capital P! His passion for music (and the other musicians in the band) is downright contagious. In our ensemble, I see daily his positive work ethic, grit, support of others, and humor come through in all of his interactions. He embodies the Green Bear Nation spirit and we're proud to have him in our band!” -- Michael Leeds, instrumental music director
Will Berschback (Grade 12)
Parents: Jay & Jenny Berschback
Will’s activities include soccer, basketball, baseball, Volunteer Focus, and Student Council President. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and playing more soccer. Will’s best memories from Ottawa Hills have been the soccer team’s state tournament runs. Coach Brian Hanudel has had the biggest impact on Will, teaching him character both on and off the field. He is very thankful for Coach Hanudel and knows that it will be a lifelong friendship. In the future, Will plans to go to college to study aerospace engineering with the hopes of working for NASA or SpaceX.
"Will is a class leader. He participates with ease and doesn't allow fear of an unknown or 'wrong' answer hold him back from taking risks. He solicits feedback throughout his process and integrates that into creating high quality work. When working with his peers, he is a model of how to use time productively to initiate and complete tasks." -- Sara Eisenbaum, English teacher
Avery Dale (Grade 12)
Parents: Andy & Bethany Dale
Avery’s activities include tennis, lacrosse, OHbreathe, Teen PEP, NHS, Volunteer Focus, and the Challenge Crew. In her free time, she enjoys fashion, trying new foods, and hanging out with family and friends. Avery’s best experience at OH has been being a part of the OHbreathe team, specifically creating the vision behind the program and watching the vision come to life during the OHbreathe days. In the future, Avery plans to study business and fashion with the hopes of moving to New York City.
"I cannot write enough positive words about Avery. She always shows tremendous compassion and empathy for others. As a leadership team member of the Ottawa Hills Teen PEP program, she is instrumental with helping the group develop compelling and engaging classroom presentations that help guide and mentor our younger students. She is a trustworthy student in our building and enriches our community through her contributions." -- Lisa Nagy, high school guidance counselor
Jasmine Hajjar (Grade 7)
Parents: Elias & Joy Hajjar
Jasmine’s activities include field hockey, theater, Power of the Pen, and robotics. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing poetry, singing, listening to music, and playing the piano. Jasmine credits the theater department, specifically Randall Johnson and Grace Wipfli, for having the greatest impact on her at Ottawa Hills.
Theater has been one of her favorite activities so far and those adults have elevated her experience. Field hockey has also been an incredible experience for Jasmine and she is very much looking forward to next season. People would be surprised to know that Jasmine is a huge hockey fan and never misses a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. GO, HABS, GO!
“Jasmine Hajjar is such a wonderful example of leadership for her 7th Grade peers. Jasmine smiles and speaks to classmates and adults as she passes them in the hall and is respectful at all times. Jasmine has made a smooth transition from elementary to Junior High and is involved in several extracurricular activities, Junior Chorale, and Youth 2 Youth to name a few. Jasmine is passionate about spreading the message of awareness and has been a wonderful attribute to Youth 2 Youth. Jasmine also has been able to stay on top of her school work and continue to get good grades this entire semester.” -- Nikki Tolliver, guidance counselor (grades 7-9)
Ren Berryman (Grade 10)
Parents: Andrea & Eric Berryman
Ren’s activities include theater productions and Avalon Foundations. Ren is also a math tutor and leader of the GSA. In his free time, Ren enjoys weightlifting, reading, and running his crochet business.
Ren’s best experience so far at Ottawa Hills High School was the first-ever National Coming Out Day in 2020 and he is very excited about the future of that event. He credits Madame (Noreen) Hanlon for having the most influence on his life throughout high school, supporting and guiding Ren since Junior High. In the future, Ren would like to practice law and work to defend LGBTQ rights.
“Ren is extremely involved in school and after-school programs. He is passionate about the things important to him and always willing to help and volunteer. He is very engaged in class and brings so much to the discussions we have in class. He is a true leader who leads by example, kindness, and passion.” -- Tracy Richards, health and physical education teacher (and faculty nominator)
Josef Duley (Grade 8)
Parent: Marie & Matthew Duley
Josef's activities include Bear Pause, Science Olympiad, Power of the Pen, and Youth 2 Youth. In his free time, he enjoys video games, basketball, watching The Office, reading, and playing music, including the alto sax and violin. His best experience so far at Ottawa Hills Junior High has been playing in the Fall Collage concert. Josef is new to OH this year and has adapted very well, enjoying all of his classes, particularly honors geometry with Mr. Feuerstein.
“Josef has done a wonderful job academically and making sure that he's apart of multiple extracurricular activities. Josef is part of our newly formed Youth 2 Youth group and on the school newspaper. Josef is respectful, always has a smile on his face and eager and willing to help when needed. He is a wonderful example of leadership.” -- Nikki Tolliver, guidance counselor (and faculty nominator)
Dylan Fall (Grade 12)
Parents: Tracy & Craig Fall
Dylan’s activities include band and Esports, where he is captain of the Super Smash Brothers Ultimate Team. Band has been Dylan’s favorite class; having started with very little music experience, he now is a leader in the percussion section and has found a community and teacher that he appreciates. Dylan’s best experience at Ottawa Hills High School was the band trip to Toronto. In the future, Dylan plans to attend college and major in business and graphic design.
“Dylan has been a pillar in our music program. His transformation from section player into leader has been nothing short of remarkable. His passion for making things the BEST they can be is infectious! In the classroom, Dylan goes above and beyond in working to understand music theory. I'm glad to have him in our music classes, and our music program is better off for having Dylan.” -- Michael Leeds, instrumental music director (and faculty nominator)
Faith Seo (Grade 12)
Parents: Yongwoo & Mary Seo
Faith's activities include volleyball, OHbreathe, Model UN, and Diversity Board. In her free time, Faith enjoys spending time with friends, listening to music, drawing, and playing guitar. She credits her parents as having the biggest impact on her throughout high school. They have supported her passions and provided her with opportunities to grow. In the future, Faith plans to attend college and study computer science and design.
“As a newcomer to the Mesasa staff this year, Faith has stepped up to design the yearbook cover - never an easy task. Faith has taken on the challenge with grace and skill and has worked with senior staff members to help integrate an amazing color scheme for the Mesasa 2022!” -- Dr. Lauren Hurst, English teacher (and faculty nominator)
Leila Clausen (Grade 12)
Parent: Kori Clausen
Leila’s activities include tennis and track. In her free time, she enjoys walks, hanging out with friends, and working at Sip Coffee. The person who has most influenced her life is her mother who has always encouraged her to try new things outside of her comfort zone.
Leila’s favorite class is English because she enjoys writing. In the future, Leila plans to go to college and also backpack around Europe.
“Leila is a positive force in class and outside of it. She happily works with any of her peers and regularly makes people feel at ease. When others are absent she fills them in on what they missed, helps them to develop their writing through giving feedback, and takes feedback to strengthen her own narrative writing.” – Sara Eisenbaum, faculty nominator
Olga Isailović (Grade 10)
Parents: Dragan & Slavica Isailović
Olga’s activities include Quiz Bowl, Student Council, Volunteer Focus, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, and French Club. In her free time, she enjoys writing, reading, studying foreign languages, listening to music, fashion design, drawing, and watching old movies. Olga’s favorite classes are French and Spanish because she appreciates the language and communication skills she has adopted.
In the future, Olga would like to attend a small university where she can pursue her goals of learning six languages and preparing for a career as a writer. Olga’s best experience so far at Ottawa Hills High School was after a tough loss for the varsity volleyball team, the team came together and encouraged one another.
People would be surprised to know that Olga has a strong love for Pellegrino and white Tic Tacs.
“Olga is constantly engaged in class and actively participating. Public speaking can be daunting for many students, but if it is for her, she never shows that. Her confidence and enthusiasm are infectious and she continually goes above and beyond in the quality of her work.” – Sara Eisenbaum, faculty nominator
Blaise Malczewski (Grade 12)
Parents: Jason and Beth Malczewski
Blaise’s activities include Model UN and Mesasa. He also is on the OH News with his own segments, Bears in the Box Office and A Day in History. In his free time, he enjoys working at Blaze Pizza, researching historical events, biking, and skateboarding.
Blaise credits teachers Jessica Kozy and James Kinkaid as having the most impact on him. Ms. Kozy’s enthusiastic support has cultivated his love for history. Mr. Kinkaid has encouraged Blaise to reach his potential both in the classroom and in his own personal journey through high school.
Outside of the classroom, Blaise’s best experience so far at Ottawa Hills was the exciting first day of senior year. In the future, Blaise would like to go to college and study history and political science.
“Blaise has shown since day one an enthusiasm for reading and discussion that has been wonderful to see. He engages at a very deep level and what he shares is highly intellectual. He is a positive peer and is able to maintain focus on the task at hand. He leads by example!” – Sara Eisenbaum, faculty nominator
Caitlin McCarthy (Grade 8)
Parents: Joe & Barb McCarthy
Caitlin’s activities include cross country, track, swim, GSA, Science Olympiad, and Bear Pause. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing the piano, art, and downhill skiing. Caitlin has greatly enjoyed Ottawa Hills since moving here, including the teachers, the football games, and new friends.
Her favorite class in junior high is science. In the future, she plans to go to college and study medicine.
“In a year that has begun with so many distractions and challenges, Caitlin remains positive and focused. Regardless of what is going on around her, she takes advantage of what each day brings with enthusiasm, curiosity, and hard work.” –Paul Genzman, faculty nominator
For many years, Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School has celebrated the hard work and achievements of students by selecting an elite few monthly to be honored as "Students of the Month." From October through May, at least three students (one each from the 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12 grade clusters) are selected as determined by the following criteria:
- Citizenship: A student who exhibited or continues to exhibit dedication, unselfishness, and commitment to a class, the institution itself, and/or the people within our school.
- Community Service: A student who unselfishly accomplished or performed an act or series of acts which, as a result, greatly benefited another person or Ottawa Hills Local Schools as a whole.
- Extracurricular: A student who through a superior effort or outstanding ability, has performed or continues to perform in an extracurricular activity in such a way as to bring positive attention to themselves and the Junior/Senior High School.
- Leadership: A student who exhibited or continues to display the ability to motivate others towards the betterment of themselves and of the Junior/Senior High School.
- Scholarship: A student who has performed consistently at a level of academic achievement that is exemplary either in an individual class or at the Junior/Senior High School as a whole.
The nominations are made by faculty and staff at the building. The "Students of the Month" are selected by a committee of faculty and administration. The honorees are recognized by the Board of Education at one of its meetings and receive a special certificate from the Board president. Additionally, students are featured on the Junior/Senior High School's digital sign; in a special showcase in the building's main hallway; in the district's weekly e-newsletter; and in the Village Life & Home monthly publication.