Ryan Walker named CHS boys soccer head coach

The Circleville High School Athletic Department is excited to announce Ryan Walker as the next head coach of the school’s varsity boys soccer program. Walker will take over the boys program, replacing coach Steve Wastier who announced his retirement after 16 years at the helm earlier this school year.

Walker comes to Circleville High School by way of Kentucky Christian University where he serves as recruiting coordinator, previously serving as a soccer graduate assistant during the 2018 season. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from the school.

News Photo
Walker at his jersey retirement ceremony at Kentucky Christian University. Phot Cred: KCUKnights.com

Outside of KCU coaching experience, Walker has an array of skills camp coaching experience with the Northwest Soccer Camp of Seattle and the Grayson Youth Soccer Association’s U-12 and U-8 teams.

As a player at Kentucky Christian University, Walker starred on the pitch as a defender playing 75 games, scoring 29 goals (3 game-winners), and dishing out 14 assists during his 4-year collegiate career with the Knights. His play led to numerous National Christian College Athletic Association honors including NCCAA 1st Team All-American (2015-2017), USCA/NSCAA 1st Team All-American (2015-2017), and USCA/NSCAA Scholar-Athlete (2016-2017).

We are excited to welcome Ryan into the Red & Black Family! Go Tigers!

Three Tigers take home D.A.R. essay honors

Circleville City Schools students Jackson Hatfield (8th grade), Madison Blakeman (7th grade), and Cicely Esterline (6th grade) have been named essay winners on behalf of the Pickaway Plains Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.). Student submissions were overseen by teachers Karen Valentine (6th), Brooke Paxton (7th), and Allison Davis (8th).

Students received a medal, certificate, and a gift card for their prize winnings.

This year’s national American History Essay Contest was open to all students in grades 5-8. Students in grades 6th-8th were required to submit an essay 600-1,000 words in length.

6th grade winner Cecily Esterline receives a pin from Pickaway Plains DAR representative Rosemarie Drummond.

This year’s topic put the spotlight on the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre:

To read the student’s essays follow through to the links below!

Jackson Hatfield

Madison Blakeman

Cicely Esterline

Congratulations to these Tigers for using their power of the pen to craft compelling stories, arguments, and highlight the importance of the American Revolution. These students were recognized on February 25th in a small ceremony at Circleville Middle School where they participate in a small pinning ceremony from the D.A.R. representatives in front of school officials.

Pictured left-to-right: Marcia Helwagen, Cecily Esterline, Cheryl Bircher, Madison Blakeman, and Rosemarie Drummond; not pictured, Jackson Hatfield.

Circleville City Food Services Department Awarded Children’s Hunger Alliance Child Nutrition Award

Food Services Director and Human Resources Director Suzie Gerhardt and her team receive the honor from Rick Oxley of the Children’s Hunger Alliance.

Circleville City Schools Food Service Department has been awarded the Children’s Hunger Alliance’s Child Nutrition Award in recognition of their pandemic feeding response.

Founded in 1970, Children’s Hunger Alliance is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger.

The organization partners with organizations throughout Ohio to provide nutritious meals to at-risk children who need them most. Children’s Hunger Alliance helps day care providers, day care centers, local school districts and afterschool and summer programs provide balanced, healthy meals to children in their care. Their team of educators also deliver nutrition education and lead children in physical activities to provide a balanced approach to childhood health.

Circleville City Schools are thankful for our partnership with Children’s Hunger Alliance (CHA) as their support and technical assistance helps secure funding from No Kid Hungry. Through the partnership, CHA will continue to assist the school district as they look at ways to provide and sustain alternative means to serve school meals now and beyond the challenges of the pandemic. School looks different this year for millions of students across America, but whether they’re learning in a classroom or online, kids need nutritious food to reach their full potential.

Mrs. Gerhardt and her team will long be remembered for their herculean efforts in feeding kids when the state of education and the globe were turned upside down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are incredibly grateful for all of our Food Services Team’s efforts over the past year in helping to make sure no child goes hungry with our remote meal initiatives.

Updated P-EBT Information for Families: February 2021

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Circleville City Schools students are once again eligible for P-EBT meal benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently the program was extended from January through August 2021. If a child in your household usually attends one of our school buildings, is in our preschool through 12th grade, they may be eligible for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program when the district:
• Operated with reduced attendance or hours (for example, with a hybrid schedule) for at least 5 consecutive days OR
• Had been fully remote learning for at least 5 consecutive days OR
•Had been quarantined for 5 consecutive days or more due to COVID-19

These P-EBT cards will come by mail from the state (not the school district) and the balance will continue to be reloaded monthly so it is vitally important that these cards are not lost or thrown away.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much will my child receive?

The benefit amount is $5.86 per child for each day the child did not receive a free or reduced priced meal at the school due to closure, reduced attendance or hours, beginning in October 2020. The benefits may change month to month, depending on how many days your child was remote learning or did not have access to breakfast or lunch at school.

How can we use the benefits?

P-EBT benefits can be used to buy food items at grocery stores and other retailers that accept the Ohio Direction Card (also referred to as an EBT card).

You mentioned cards would come from the state. Explain.

ODJFS obtains a list from the schools or school districts of all children eligible for free and reduced- price meals and the number of days they met the criteria for P-EBT. Based on this data, P-EBT benefits are provided on an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card.

The October and November benefits (and August and September benefits for children now eligible under the new law) are to be issued in early February. New P-EBT cards should be received by families in mid-February.
• December benefits will be issued by the end of February.
• January benefits will be issued by the end of March.
• February benefits will be issued by the end of April.
• March benefits will be issued by the end of May.
• April benefits will be issued by the end of June.
• May benefits will be issued by the end of July.
• June benefits will be issued by the end of August.

Does a family have to accept the card and use it?

No, your participation in the program is voluntary. If you choose not to participate, please dispose of your card by cutting through the magnetic stripe on the card and discard the card in a secure manner. You cannot transfer the card to someone else.

Read the Full FAQ Here

Six middle school Tigers qualify for Power of the Pen Regionals

Pictured left-to-right: (1st row) Devin Gray, Kayla Huggins, (2nd row) Lucas Davis,
Amelia Tarbill, (3rd row) Addy Powers, and Ali Ferrell.

Six Circleville Middle School students – Devin Gray (8th), Kaylah Huggins (8th), Addy Powers (7th), Amelia Tarbill (7th), Lucas Davis (7th), and Ali Ferrell (7th) – have qualified for the regional Power of the Pen competition.

Recently, Circleville Middle School students hosted 15 participating schools virtually for the January 30th district competition sponsored by the Circleville City School Foundation and the Vinton County National Bank, a member of the VCNB Family.

Founded in 1986, Power of the Pen is an interscholastic writing competition for 7th and 8th graders in the state of Ohio to showcase their writing skills as artistic expression. Because the ideas, dreams and beliefs of today’s youth form the foundation of tomorrow’s communities in Ohio, Power of the Pen is dedicated to helping young people find and develop a creative voice that is uniquely their own.

The program’s aim is to positively impact academic achievement overall. Power of the Pen does so by providing mentor texts of excellent student writing that will serve as models for middle school students throughout Ohio this year. More than 3,000 students will compete directly in a Power of the Pen tournament each year.

These six middle school writers will next compete on March 20th for the South-Central Regional Tournament, hosted by Ann Simpson Davis Middle School.

Congratulations to these outstanding Tigers and their advisors Mrs. Wallace and Mrs. Valentine!

Board appoints Todd Stevens to vacated board position

At a special meeting of the Circleville City Schools Board of Education Wednesday night, school leadership voted to appoint Todd Stevens to its vacant board position.

The board’s vacancy was created earlier this year when a sitting member resigned following a family move outside of the district, triggering the non-residence clause of Ohio Revised Code (RC) 3313.11.

After announcing the vacancy and fielding several very qualified public applications to fill the position, the board moved to approve Stevens Wednesday ahead of their next regularly scheduled board meeting a week from today. The Circleville City Schools Board of Education would like to thank all applicants for the position for their willingness to serve and interest in investing their time to serve our students and community.

For Stevens, he returns to the board of education as a former 16-year board member and board president. As the district looks to make a hire of a new superintendent in the coming months, his experience hiring several school superintendents will be an asset to the board in their search. Stevens’ appointment for the vacated term will run through the end of the calendar year when the current seat is set to expire.

To contact Todd, parents, staff, and members of the public can email him directly at todd.stevens@cvcsd.com.

Circleville High’s Oscar Knece to attend United States Military Academy at West Point

Pictured: Circleville High’s Oscar Knece holds up his appointment to United States Military Academy at West Point documentation he received last week

Circleville High School senior Oscar Knece has received an appointment, by way of a letter of assurance, to further his military and education career at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The assurance letter, to be formally offered as a cadetship, is a prestigious and very selective honor from the preeminent leader development institution.

Knece is the first Pickaway County senior to receive an appointment to West Point in five years (Justin Trapp, Westfall High School Class of 2016).

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s mission is “to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.”

Knece is a 2019 graduate of the U.S. Army’s basic training program (Fort Jackson) and is a member of the Ohio Army National Guard 91 Bravo out of Chillicothe and is a four-wheel mechanic.

Knece as pictured in his basic training graduation photo.

“I was working for it,” said Knece. “I was called by the National Guard liaison at West Point and he said he liked my application. He said the sooner I [turned in a supervisor letter] the sooner he could potentially get me in. I had to wait until November until my sergeant could do some of the paperwork himself and then I got the letter of assurance in November.”

While undecided on a field of study halfway through his senior year of high school, Knece sees himself as a candidate to major in history and political science – a passion he attributes to his high school history teacher Mr. Jason Beavers.

“Mr. Beavers class also was big for me,” said Knece. “His teaching honestly….he is one of the best teachers I have ever had,” said Knece. “Through him, just learning about the Army history of Eisenhower, McCarthur, Patton. I hope to just be a fraction of that leadership one day.”

To complete the formal appointment, Knece will receive a full informational packet in January to officially confirm his acceptance from West Point before graduating next May from Circleville High School.

On behalf of Circleville City Schools we would like to congratulate Oscar on his outstanding achievement and dedication to serving his country.

Circleville High School names 20 to Everts Chapter of National Honor Society

The Everts Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) at Circleville High School today announced 20 new members into the prestigious ranks of the society as a result of distinguished, academic excellence. 

2020 Inductees are as follows: Abby Dengler, Hunner Griffith, Ella Jenkins, Olivia Wastier, Emily Cooper, Kat Stanley, Chloe Betts, Jordan Rhymer, Emma Beavers, Kilea Dupler, Addison Lowe, Taaliya Fulgham, Marissa Miller, Craig Fleck, Ed Zheng, Alaina Francis, Sydney Willams, Matthew Colburn, Lilia Winter, and Noah Woodgeard.

While Circleville High School has postponed the in-person assembly for the time being, CHS senior and NHS Everts Chapter president Gretchen Search will preside over the eventual ceremony with assistance from officers Ben Mogan (vice-president), Autumn Derosette (treasurer), Alyssa Heft (secretary), and Hannah Kegley (historian).

According to NHS.us, student eligibility is open to “students in grades 11–­­12 who meet the requirements for membership outlined by their school’s chapter are eligible to be invited for membership.

At Circleville High School, the honors are open to all juniors and seniors who have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, received a recommendation from a staff member through an evaluation survey, submitted additional letters of recommendation, and were evaluated in the four NHS pillar areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These pillars character traits are detailed below:


Per national guidelines, at a minimum, students must have a cumulative GPA of 85, B, 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent standard of excellence. (Each school chapter is allowed to require a higher cumulative GPA.)


This involves voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, done without compensation.


Student leaders are those who are resourceful, good problem solvers, and idea contributors. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activities while working with or for others.


The student of good character is cooperative; demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability; shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others; and generally maintains a clean disciplinary record.

Congratulations to these 20 Tigers for their induction into the Circleville High School Everts Chapter of the National Honor Society.

Circleville City named Top Energy Savings Performer by META Solutions

Circleville City Schools board president Tony Reeser receives the META Solutions energy commendation from Dynamix Energy Services Business Development Specialist Jon Saxton at the November meeting of the board of education.

Earlier this month at the November meeting of the Circleville City School District board of education, district leadership was recognized as being a top-rated ‘Energy Savings Performer’ among META Solutions and Dynamix Energy Services customers. At the November 18th public meeting at Circleville High Schol, Mr. Jon Saxton of Dynamix Energy Services, an affiliate of Veregy Corporation, commended the district for their excellence in energy efficiency and operational performance.

With an eye on sustainable and energy efficiency solutions for our school buildings, the district uses utility auditing and electric programs as a means of fine tuning facility energy performance to reduce usage and wear-and-tear on equipment. At the time of the district’s commendation, Circleville City’s usage for the 2020 year as measured in the annual Utility Auditing Report indicated that district is operating at a total cost per square foot of $0.78.

Under this criterion, our district is rated as a top performer in META’s Energy Program, receiving an Energy Grade of ‘A’ based on current electric and gas expenditures per square foot and also as measured by a mark of 34.78 Kbtu/square foot.

Back in 2017, school leaders and members of the Circleville City Schools board of education entered into a Retro-Commissioning and Energy Savings Project with Dynamix Energy Services in the amount of $464,000.

The scope of the Energy Savings Project impacted savings by:
• Optimizing lighting controls
• Reprogramming and adjusting control algorithms of the Air Handling Units throughout the district
• Retrofitting operations of the Geothermal System to operate more efficiently
• Reducing run- time hours for many of the Geothermal System components
• And by improving overall HVAC operations at all buildings in the district
The project as of November has resulted in an energy savings of 40% and the 2017 investment being recouped in less than three years.

Energy conservation and fiscal stewardship remain core values of board leadership and the district has also implemented additional conservation measures through the varying stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce unnecessary energy usage to continue to strive to meet those goals.

To view the commendation from the November meeting of the board of education, see the video below for details (minute 2:30).

Major League Soccer and Wells Fargo name Circleville City’s Suzie Gerhardt Community MVP

This week, Major League Soccer and Wells Fargo announced that Circleville City Schools food services director Suzie Gerhardt has been named as one of 26 Community MVPs that were selected for making a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March of 2020, when state school closures turned the district into a remote learning school, many students and families worried where meals would come from. Within 72 hours, Gerhardt assembled a team to distribute meals in her community. From March 16th to June 22nd, Gerhardt purchased supplies, mobilized volunteers, and organized mobile meal deliveries to bring more than 105,000 meals to kids in the Circleville area.

This effort continues today, where her team has distributed an additional 12,000 meals on remote learning Fridays from August 25th-November 17th.

Created by Paul-Michael Ochoa. All rights exclusive to Paul-Michael Ochoa and MLSWorks.com. Uploader: MLS Video Created Nov 16, 2020, 8:09 PM

Earlier this year, fans throughout the soccer community had the opportunity to nominate themselves or individuals who have provided critical services, including healthcare professionals, social workers, teachers, first responders and many other essential workers keeping our communities resilient and safe. At the local level, Suzie was selected by Columbus Crew SC as the club’s Community MVP designee.

Through the 2020 MLS WORKS Community MVPs Program presented by Wells Fargo, $2,500 will be donated to a charity on behalf of each Community MVP, one representing each MLS club, for going above and beyond to serve their communities during these challenging times.

For her charity of choice, Suzie is allocating her award donation to Circleville High School’s Club Future initiative, a Drug Free Clubs of America affiliated program that promotes students to lead a drug-free lifestyle through randomized opt-in drug testing. As members of the club, students receive incentives in the form of discounts and free appetizers at partner restaurants and businesses, memberships to different organizations, and snacks and ‘school swag’ on testing days.

Gerhardt will also receive a donation to a 501(c)(3) charity of their choice, a customized adidas MLS jersey and an MLS adidas 2020 NATIVO XXV Official Match Ball. Both items, Gerhardt has generously donated to the Circleville City School Foundation as items that can be bid on for their upcoming Raise Your Paw Auction in February with proceeds going to support student initiatives in the school district.

To read Suzie’s profile, award visit MLSsoccer.com/CommunityMVP for additional information on this year’s Community MVPs.

On behalf of Circleville City Schools, we would like to congratulate Suzie and her entire food services team for their continued effort to make sure no child goes hungry during this pandemic, on remote learning days, and each day we are in school.