Circleville City receives PPG grant to launch e-Sports team

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Photo credit Florian Olivo

Circleville City Schools has received a funding awarded in the amount of $3,900 from the PPG Foundation for the purposes of launching an e-Sports team at Circleville Middle School and Circleville High School.

Specifically, the grant will be used to purchase materials to build six new computers capable of supporting the graphics and memory necessary to compete in a regional e-sports league.

The new computer hardware will be used by students in the middle school to implement an e-Sports team and will also be used daily by high school students to expand our 3-D modeling simulation capabilities during our Intro to Engineering course, build upon our capacity to create virtual reality simulations during VR Development, and increase our ability to train Neural Networks for Autonomous Robotic Navigation in our Robotics II course.


#NationalSchoolCounselingWeek Hightlight: Play Therapy in our Schools


Dawn Whiteside M.Ed, LPC, Registered Play Therapist is a Counseling Source school counselor practicing at Circleville Elementary School.

National School Counseling Week this year falls February 3rd through 7th and celebrates the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems.

This year’s celebratory theme is “Helping Build Better Humans,” and as a part of that theme we caught up with Counseling Source counselor Dawn Whiteside M.Ed, LPC, Registered Play Therapist who gave us some insight on how a technique called play therapy is helping Circleville Elementary School build better humans.

“Play Therapy is working with kids through how they communicate,” said Whiteside. “For them, their first language is play so its a way that we can communicate with them through toys, art, and other manipulatives. Even before they can learn to speak they are playing. We know that children usually lag behind in their cognitive development, but play is how they learn to communicate and toys are the means by which children express themselves first. They will use figurines in how they act out things from school and home. It is always fascinating to see how they interact and what they use to communicate.”

To most, Play Therapy seems kind of primitive says Whiteside, but to be certified to implement this counseling strategy to get kids to open up about their feelings takes a lot of extra work.

“To become a registered play therapist you need an additional 150 hours of training, said Whiteside. “You then have to obtain continuing education hours annually to keep the credentialing.”

In house, while Circleville City employs counselors that utilize this technique Whiteside is the only registered play therapist of our counseling staff at Circleville City Schools and through The Counseling Source, LLC.

When a child plays, they express thoughts and feelings that otherwise would remain hidden according to the Association of Play Therapists. Play Therapy can be a powerful tool for expressing a child’s cognitive, behavioral, and emotional challenges. Simply put, licensed clinical practitioners use this strategy to help kids manage their world.

In the video below meet Andrew in the satirical parent-kid skit. Andrew portrays an atypical student response to the parent age-old question of “how was your day?” This serves as a great contrast to applicable work of licensed professionals like Dawn who are able to use play therapy to get kids to speak about their emotions, regulate themselves, and interact with others.

As a part of National School Counseling Week we would like to thank Dawn Whiteside and our entire team of school counselors for all they work they do each and every day building strong connections with our students and the expertise they bring to student health and wellness!

Flu season fast facts for families from the school nurse

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If you have seen the news lately, this year’s flu season is fully upon us!

But fear not! Our Circleville City School District Nurse Jaime McKeivier is here with some helpful tips and reminders to keep you informed and your children healthy and in school.

How can I keep my child away from germs?

“With any flu season, we need to remind our students about proper hand washing. It may sound repetitive, but that is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs along with keeping hands away from resting on our face or  wiping our eyes.”

What are the symptoms I should be looking out for?

“While not official, until confirmed as as influenza symptoms range from case to case but usually come in the form of….

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • aches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

It is also important to note that a fever is not always tied to these symptomMckeiver, Jaimes. If you notice any of these symptoms in your children you should keep them home to prevent the spread of illness and have them checked out by a doctor to test for influenza. 

How will I know if someone in my child’s classroom has the flu?

“When there is one case of flu, strep, pink eye or other major illness, we send a notice home to that classroom to make families aware until attendance and cases are reevaluated in two weeks. When there are two or more cases in a classroom we work hand-in-hand with our excellent custodial staff to satirize and disinfect tables, door knobs, ‘cubbies’, chairs and more.”

When can my child return to school?

“Students have to be cleared by their doctor and fever free without medication for can 24 hours without medication assistance, before they can return to school.”

Isn’t there a clinic at the school I can take my student to?

“The OhioHealth Tiger Care Clinic operates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. While there is no obligation by parents or guardians to participate in the program, the clinic does offer students an opportunity to be seen by a certified nurse practitioner or physician in the event an illness warrants further care. In keeping up with familial demands and schedules in 2018, the district understands that sometimes there are logistical gaps in getting students seen by a licensed physician in a timely fashion. We are proud to work alongside Berger with this opt-in program to bridge some of the barriers and keep our students healthy and in school.”

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CHS’ Theller wins Silver Key in Scholastic Art Competition



Circleville High School – Senior Andrew Theller has been awarded a Silver Key as a part of the Central Ohio Scholastic Art Awards Competition. Theller is the only Pickaway County student to be awarded the distinction as a result of the competition.

Theller’s photography series entitled “Seasonal Depression” will be on display from February 11th-22nd at the Canzani Center Acock Gallery at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

The award winning piece brings awareness to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Theller hopes to start a dialogue about winter moods when the days are long and daylight is slim.

“I don’t think people always take it seriously,” said Theller. “They don’t always realize exactly what it is like until it happens to them.”

Last week, students Philipp Barth and Madison Imler received Honorable Mention in the competition.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program, and become a part of our community—young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, video game artists and science fiction writers—along with countless educators who support and encourage the creative process.


Theller’s series follows a lingering ‘ghost’ who follows an individual around such as SAD does to many in the winter months. 


Three middle school students qualify for regional Power of the Pen tournament


Pictured left-to-right: Madison Jarrel, Devin Gray, and Kaylah Huggins

Circleville Middle School – Three CMS students, Madison Jarrel (8th grade), Kaylah Huggins (7th grade), and Devin Gray (7th grade) have qualified for the regional Power of the Pen tournament.

Recently, the students competed at the district level competition hosted at Circleville High School on January 11th coordinated by middle school teacher Mrs. Karen Valentine (District 1 coordinator) and the ELA staff.

Power of the Pen is an interscholastic creative writing program for middle school students across Ohio and is dedicated to ” helping young people find and develop a creative voice that is uniquely their own.”

The South-Central Regional Power of the Pen Tournament will be held on Saturday, March 7th at Otterbein University in Westerville.

Congratulations to Madison, Kaylah, and Devin!


Circleville Middle School’s Davis departs for Empire State Winter Games with US Junior Olympic Team

DavisThis weekend Circleville Middle School 8th grader and Junior Olympian Jalynne Davis will be departing for competition in the Empire State Winter Games.

Jalynne is a member of the United States Junior Olympic Luge Team, a sport characterized by sliding feet first down an icy track in a series of time trials where every second counts as team members tackle sharp turns and technically difficult steering maneuvers.

Specifically, Jalynne will be competing in the Youth B division of the games.

The Empire State Winter Games are a multi-day sports event hosted in the New York Adirondacks from January 30th-February 2nd.

Best of luck to Jalynne in her upcoming training camp at Lake Placid! To follow along on the Empire State Winter Games, tune in to their Facebook page (link) and Twitter page (link) and stay connected with Circleville City Schools for television viewing information.


Luger on the ice

Perini signs on to Ashland University Track and Field

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Circleville High School – On Wednesday, Circleville High School senior Peyton Perini signed on to further her academic and athletic career at Ashland University where she will major in education and run Track and Field for the Eagles.

“Ashland offers a great education department and great track program,” said Perini. “Those programs and the Eagles’ friendly coaches made it feel like home.”

Heading into her senior season this spring with the Red & Black, Perini has been named District 4x400m champion (2017, 2019), was a regional qualifier (2017-2019), state qualifier (2019), was named 1st-team all-Mid-State League (2019) and 2nd-team all-Mid-State League (2017, 2018). In the classroom she has also excelled taking home academic all-Ohio honors in 2019 and academic all-Mid-state League (2017, 2018, and 2019).

Perini has been coached by coaches Brian Lennex (CHS), Dick Walters (CHS). Bill Search (CMS), and Steve Kalinoski (basketball).

Peyton is the daughter of proud parents Nick and Rachel Perini of Circleville. Also in attendance for Wednesday’s signing day ceremony were younger sister Isabelle and numerous teammates and friends.

Two CHS students place in 2020 Central Ohio Scholastic Art Awards


IMG_9689Circleville High School students Philipp Barth and Madison Imler have placed in the 2020 Central Ohio Scholastic Art Awards competition as honorable mention.

Barth had two pieces selected entitled  “Trapped in the tube” and “Forbid us to speak, but the walls will scream at you.” Imler’s piece is entitled “Oman Deserts” magnificently displayed on ribbed cardboard.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program, and become a part of our community—young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, video game artists and science fiction writers—along with countless educators who support and encourage the creative process.



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A Q & A with new Circleville City School Board Member Jeff Burrow

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This past November, Jeff Burrow was elected to serve on the Circleville City School District Board of Education joining fellow new board member Chris Wagner who will be replacing devout board members Todd Stevens and Amy DeLong who did not seek re-election.

In an effort to familiarize our community with Mr.Burrow and his background, the district provided him with an informal Q & A where he elaborated on his family, passions, and all things Tiger Pride.

As a Circleville resident what does it mean to you to serve the local school district as a member of the school board?  

As a resident of Pickaway County, being on the school board is an opportunity for me to give back to the community that has helped to raise our two sons and provided my family a great place to live. 

What does ‘Tiger Pride’ mean to you as a parent…and now school board member?

The best way for me to answer this question is by giving a couple examples of “Tiger Pride”. As a parent, seeing my oldest son, Carter, walk on stage and pick up his diploma filled me with what Tiger Pride is all about. 

It was not just the act of graduating, but it was a reflection of the great memories that we collected from his journey to adulthood at CCS. Helping with seasonal parties in elementary school, watching his friendships develop through middle school, the challenge of middle school cross country, navigating problems with help from administrators and staff, Destination Imagination, High School Band, and the overall participation of the teachers, coaches, and band directors at CCS have been an example of Tiger Pride. 

As a new school board member, I also attribute Tiger Pride to those who came before me and exemplified by outgoing board members. Todd Stevens and Amy DeLong who have been great examples of Tiger Pride that we can all build upon.  

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Aside from all things Circleville City Schools, what else occupies your time? (hobbies, travel, sports, etc)

I spend as much time as possible with my family.  My wife Andi (CHS Alumni and a teacher) and I have two sons – Carter graduated from CHS in 2017 and Landon is a Junior at CHS.  Carter’s girlfriend, Ashley, a CHS graduate, and student at the Cleveland Institute of Art. We spend a lot of time watching Landon play Tiger Soccer in the fall.  We have two dogs, a crazy fun-loving 3-year-old St. Bernard and a 10-year-old Golden Retriever. You might see us walking these two on the Roundtown Traill behind the schools! 

Outside of school, Andi and I spend a lot of time doing outreach on behalf of our church. 

I spend a lot of time raising funds for research to end Multiple Sclerosis through Bike MS and an organization called Meat Fight that purchases bikes for individuals living with MS, including  my sister and sister-in-law who are living with MS. This means that I also ride a bicycle a lot! 

I also enjoy cooking  – especially smoking and grilling meats!

As an elected board member you are a leader within the community, what does leadership mean to you? 

To me, leadership is about connections, relationships, and asking people to do things that you would do yourself.  As a sales person, often my job was not only to sell, but to connect people within an organization, or two organizations and lead them through a process that resulted in a win for both organizations.  
If there is one thing I would like our Tiger families to know about me, it is……..

I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane – twice.  I do not intend to do it again! 

Why did you decide to run for the school board?

I was Band Booster President for several years.  I missed being involved with the school, kids, teachers, and parents.  Several people provided me with encouragement to run. In addition, I was able to take a position locally that required less travel.  In the end, it all just worked out. 

What does it mean to you for your community to elect you to the school board?

I appreciate everyone that encouraged me to run, signed my petition, and voted for me. Especially my family.  This is a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly.


Circleville Elementary School receives $4,350 grant for Sensory Pathway from CCSF

Circleville Elementary School has received a $4,350 grant from the Circleville City School Foundation (CCSF) for two Sensory Pathways for the building.

The Sensory Motor Pathway is an evidenced-base tool for kids to improve their planning, motor skills, and sensory skills. It also addresses sensory connections in the brain such as sight, touch, balance, position and movement and more.

Peer-reviewed research conducted with control groups in other districts around the country have shown evidence of student academic improvement as a result of implementing sensory activities. Additionally, students with autism also benefit from sensory motor experiences as indicated in a student by Schaaf, et al (2013).

As Circleville Elementary School rolls out the new pathway, which was installed over winter break, the occupational and physical therapy teams have already begun integrating it into their work with students. However, it is important to note that this new initiative is not limited to students with plans in the coordinated services team’s caseload and is open to all students and classes as they walk by the pathway when they are in need of a brain break of simply to get the after-recess energy out!

Circleville City Schools would like to thank the Circleville City School Foundation for their unwavering support of our students and staff. We would also like to thank Circleville Elementary School assistant principal Tim Harris and coordinated services specialists Chelsea Scott and Rebekah Ashmore for their collaboration and work on the grant.

OhioHealth physical therapist Chelsea Scott explains how the pathway works in the video below.