8th grade students encounter “Real Money, Real world”


8th grade student Cara Cooper visits the childcare station in the “Real Money, Real World” simulation to find out the costs of childcare for her given adult profile. 

All this week, March 18-22, 8th grade math students at Circleville Middle School have been working with Pickaway Works on “real money, real world (RMRW).”

The program is facilitated by Pickaway Works executive director Christy Mills and the curriculum comes from the Ohio State University Extension. Circleville Middle School serves as one of the county’s five middle schools that she visits implementing the five-day course throughout the school year.

“[The program] can be used with youth ages 12-18, but it is ideally suited for youth ages 13-16. The curriculum is time-tested and has been highly successful because of the creative community efforts of Extension educators, local school teachers, and community volunteers. Real Money. Real World. is fun and distinctive because it includes an interactive spending simulation that provides the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those made by 27-year-old adults.” – realmoneyrealworld.osu.edu

RMRW brings students face-to-face with checking accounts, paychecks and direct deposits, jobs, childcare, taxes and more. The 5-day program concluded on Friday with a simulation where students are given randomized adult and family profiles with a set income and have to navigate the real world with community volunteers donating their time as bankers, retail store associates, businesses and more without going over budget.

From lines of credit to transportation, speeding tickets, and utilities, 8th graders received their glimpse of the “real world” at Circleville Middle School this week in partnership with Pickaway Works.

Circleville City Schools would like to thank Mrs. Mills and our community volunteers and businesses for assisting us with our real-world simulation this week.

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CHS senior Shannon Benner takes home D.A.R. essay honors


Circleville High School – Senior Shannon Benner has been named the building winner of the Good Citizen essay contest on behalf of the Pickaway Plains Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution (D.A.R.).

According to DAR.org, the “DAR Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship.

This award recognizes and rewards individuals who possess good citizenship qualities of
dependability, service, leadership and patriotism in their homes, schools and communities. These students are selected by their teachers and peers because they demonstrate these qualities to an outstanding degree.

  • This program is only open to high school seniors whose schools are accredited by their state board of education.
  • Only one student per year may be honored as a school’s DAR Good Citizen.
  • United States citizenship is not required.
  • Additional rules and guidelines can be acquired by contacting your local DAR chapter.

Once a student is chosen as the DAR Good Citizen the student is invited to participate in the scholarship portion of the program. This consists of a personal statement and an essay.”

Congratulations to Shannon on her accomplishment and for representing Circleville High School and D.A.R. as our Good Citizen ambassador.

Benner’s essay entitled “The New Age of Politics” addresses the D.A.R. prompt of “what new challenges America will face in the future.”

Benner DAR Essay

3 Tigers take home top county D.A.R. essay honors

Pictured left-to-right: Circleville DAR Essay winners for Pickaway County Maddux Bigam, Ava Justice, and Ty Foster. 

Circleville City Schools students Ava Justice (5th grade), Maddux Bigam (6th grade), and Ty Foster (7th grade) have been named Pickaway County essay winners for the Pickaway Plains Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

This year’s national American History Essay Contest was open to all students in grades 5-8. Students in 5th grade were required to submit an essay of 300-600 words in length and students in grades 6th-8th were required to submit an essay 600-1,000 words in length.

This year’s topic put the spotlight on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage:

“The 19th amendment o the U.S. Constitution was passed by the United States Congress on June 4th, 1919, and was ratified on August 18th, 1920. This amendment granted all American women the right to vote and hold elective office. Many Americans at the time viewed this as a radical change to the U.S. Constitution. Imagine you are living in 1919 while the women’s suffrage campaigns were having an impact on Americans politically and socially. Discuss the pros and cons of this new amendment the U.S. Congress has passed.”

Of the county winning essays, one will be selected to as the Pickaway Plains Chapter winner which will be submitted to move on to the state level for judging.

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

Ava Justice – Pickaway County 5th grade winning essay

Maddux Bigam – Pickaway County 6th grade winning essay

Ty Foster – Pickaway County 7th grade winning essay

Congratulations to these Tigers for using their power of the pen to craft compelling stories, arguments, and highlight the importance of the 19th amendment. These students were recognized on February 19th in a ceremony at the Pickaway County Library where they read their winning essay to members of the public, chapter, school officials, and family members.


Tigers in Ties club teaches students leadership skills


Circleville Elementary School – There is a new club at the elementary level aimed at teaching leadership skills to young men in grades 3-5.

The Tigers in Ties Club meets before school every three weeks from 8:40-9:25 a.m. in the elementary cafeteria and serves as a forum for assistant principals Aaron Conn, Tim Harris, and other staff to teach students how to be a gentleman and use leadership to positively impact their classroom.

The goal of Tigers in Ties lies in displaying leadership and “gentlemanly” manners each and every day. On meeting days, students wear ties on designated “Tie Thursdays” in as a visual symbol of the club’s commitment to leadership within our school and community.

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Students start each meeting by greeting their peers and teachers with a handshake and breakfast before breaking into small groups to discuss a component of leadership. With the school district’s core Tiger Traits as their guide “be respectful, be responsible, and be safe,” the group expands upon those traits to discuss habits of being a leader such as:

  • how to give a firm handshake
  • looking others in the eye when in conversation and shaking hands
  • learning how to greet others
  • listening to understand instead of listening to respond
  • showing respect for others by always doing the right thing
  • and of course…..how to tie a tie (a work in progress, but we will get there!)

Students interested in joining the club can have their parent or guardian fill out a sign-up form and return it to the elementary school front office (Tigers in Ties Flier).

For families of prospective club members and current group members, the remaining Tigers in Ties meetings for this school year will take place on March 7th, March 28th, April 18th, and May 9th (all Thursdays).

And for our elementary school young ladies, stay tuned for more information on a leadership-based girls club coming your way in a few short weeks!

Five CHS students place in 2019 Central Ohio Scholastic Art Awards competition


Row 1: Morgan Cordell; Row 2: Jaycee Fullen and Chloe Weiss; Row 3: Krista Szymczak and Payton Otterbacher.

Circleville High School – Five Circleville High School students – Remy Cordell, Jayce Fullen, Payton Otterbacher, Krista Szymczak, and Chloe Weiss – have had art submissions place in the 2019 Central Ohio Regional Scholastic Art Awards competition.

Senior Remy Cordell received two Silver Key awards and Honorable Mention for her paintings and photography submissions. Sophomore Jaycee Fullen (Drawing and Illustration category), junior Payton Otterbacher (Painting category), junior Krista Szymczak (Mixed Media category), and senior Chloe Weiss (Mixed Media and Sculpture) all received Honorable Mentions.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are “presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Through the Awards, students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Students across America submitted nearly 350,000 original works this year in 29 different categories of art and writing.”

Members of the Tiger family and Circleville community can view Cordell’s Silver Key winning works at the 2019 Central Ohio Regional Scholastic Art Awards exhibition at the Columbus College of Art & Design from February 11th-22nd (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

2018 Art Scholastic Awards 1

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CHS inducts 15 into National Art Honor Society


Circleville High School- Fifteen Circleville High School students were inducted into the 2019 Class of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) Monday afternoon among peers, faculty, and administrators.

The 2019 Class was made up of the following: Caleb Morgan, Victoria Sprague, Hallie Anderson, Kinsey Whaley, Courtney Moebs, Aubrey Barker, Hannah Brosher, Cole Radcliff, Elliana Park, Jasmine Knisley, Maya Welsh, Whitley Calder, Mariah Hemming, Anna Whitaker, and Emma Whitmore.

In order to obtain membership in NAHS, students must receive a recommendation/nomination from a teacher, hold a 3.0 GPA or higher, and display institutional values of kindness, generosity, leadership and service skills, and a willingness to use creativity and art to make the world a better place.

Also in attendance were members of last year’s class of inductees including president Morgan Cordell, vice-president Allyson Withers, historian Madison Imler, secretary Brenden Dunn, and treasurer Tash Rice.


Members of the NAHS Class of 2018 and 2019: Left to Right:
1st row: Mrs. Grady, Maddie Imler, Allyson Withers, Brenden Dunn, Morgan Cordell, Tasha Rice
2nd row: Jaycee Fullen, Krista Szymczak, Payton Otterbacher, Emma Whitmore, Courtney Moebs, Whitley Calder, Caleb Morgan, Gabrielle Ortiz
3rd row: Hallie Anderson, Victoria Sprague, Mariah Hemming, Hannah Brosher, Elliana Park, Aubrey Barker, Cole Radcliff, Maya Welsh
4th row: Kinsey Whaley, Anna Whitaker, Jasmine Knisley, Gretchen Search, Danielle Jones, Shannon Benner, Drew Theller, Ryan Jenkins   – Not pictured: Victoria Goff


CES students learn about tech and online safety


Circleville Elementary School – If you have been following along on our journey at Circleville Elementary School in 2018-2019, you are familiar with the new Career Connection Friday format for the last Friday of each month. This month’s feature? “Safe use of technology.”

With more and more apps and gaming chat rooms available to students at an early age, it is important to discuss with them best-practice safety tips as they move forward throughout their academic careers and eventually into the workforce.

Students started off the day watching a webcast of principal Mr. Sims reading the book “Cell Phoney” in every classroom. “Cell Phoney,” written by Julia Cook, follows the story of Joanie Maloney who gets a lesson in cell phone safety from her mom after receiving her first cell phone. The story addresses themes such as: refraining from texting and moving (walking, riding bikes, and in the car), not letting phones take over your life, not using phones to hurt others, and the “grandma test” which prompts students to make sure they would be okay with their grandma reading their messages before hitting send.

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From here, Circleville Police Department Officer and school resource officer David McIntyre met with students in small groups in the library to discuss cell phone, gaming, and internet safety at an age-appropriate level.

While many social media apps require users to be older than elementary age to have social media accounts, we understand that some families make the decision to allow their child to have an account; however, being smart while online helps students be safe. Ofc. McIntyre echoed those sentiments as he met with students on Friday.

“Never post personal information or disclose your location while online,” said McIntyre.


Ofc. McIntyre addresses 4th-grade students on internet safety as a part of the January edition of Career Connection Friday.


McIntyre also urged students to utilize caution when it comes to online gaming – a popular forum for kids to play online with friends and often times strangers also playing the game.

“If we get a friend request from someone we do not know what do we do with that?,” McIntyre asked students. It is incredibly easy to make a fake account and create a fake name. Someone can pretend to be anyone they want to be online and in online gaming. You should always ask a parent or a trusted adult before becoming friends with someone.”

Students were also prompted to play an active role in the school and national “See something, say something” campaign and to let a trusted adult, parent, or law enforcement officer know if they see any suspicious activity in person or online.

As students move forward in their schooling and in their eventual careers, things they post online are likely to be saved online forever – something employers will search when they go to apply for a job. Today’s topic served as another touch point for great discussion with students when it comes to online safety.

For more information for families in follow up discussions after today, we have added some great resources below:

If you are new to the Career Connection Friday fold, the last Friday of each month serves as an opportunity to put an added emphasis on careers with our youngest Tigers and get them to be mindful at an early age of expanding their horizons and thinking about who they want to be when they grow up. These days have featured a movement away from our traditional school day and towards a topical academic focus on careers marked by grade level assemblies, video reads of books with principal Mrs. Sims, and curriculum aligned to the day’s topic.

For a recap of previous Career Connection Friday events click the links (article 1 and article 2).

CES students code, put problem-based learning skills to the test


5th grader Miles and his classmates work through mapping code to their character’s movements from code.org programming.

In recent weeks, K-5 students at Circleville Elementary School have been participating in the National Hour of Code ™. According to ACMECorp.com, “National Hour of Code is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week (csedweek.org) and Code.org (code.org) to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming”.

With a tiered-ability approach to computer science lessons, students in grades 3rd-5th participated in the code.org program while students in grades kindergarten through 2nd learned to code with Kudo robots provided to the district last year through the Circleville City School Foundation. Kindergarten students also learned about parts of the computer and about the importance of balancing screen time wisely.

KUBO RobotsWith KUBO, students provide robots with directions to turn left or right, move forward and backward, loop or set a path on repeat, and navigate a number of obstacles right from their computer.

“Coding teaches students how to apply hat higher level of thinking to find real-world solutions,” said elementary librarian and Media Arts specialist Tammy Laughlin. “Students write multi-solution steps, work together, and learn from their mistakes by redesigning their solutions. This type of STEM related thinking aligns with our district project-based learning focus we have undertaken in recent years.”

With project-based learning, students “gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge” according to the Buck Institute for Education.

To stay up-to-date on all things Circleville Elementary School and Circleville City Schools, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @CirclevilleCity and like the Circleville City School District on Facebook!



Circleville High School named Purple Star School by Ohio Department of Education

PurpleStar PNG1000 by 1000 logo

Circleville City Schools – On Friday, December 7th, 2018, the Ohio Department of Education announced that Circleville High School was one 57 schools across the state that have been designated as a Purple Star School, acknowledging the building and the district’s commitment to recognizing and assisting military families and veterans.

“Our social studies department and students have long led the charge for military recognition and our kids are really respectful and appreciative of the service men and women we work with throughout the year, said principal Chris Thornsley. “This is a building and district commitment and we have involved everyone from our foods classes preparing meals and desserts for veterans to our art students decorating hallways. Honoring our veterans and active duty military personnel is something Circleville High School really rallies behind.”

Specifically, the Purple Star Award for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military. Additionally, recipients must have a staff point of contact for military students and families who serves as the primary liaison between those families and the school, hosts a resources page for families on their school website, and hosts annual military recognition events that demonstrate a military-friendly culture.

This past year, Circleville High School has hosted a number of military honors including their annual Day of Honor Veterans panel for students, a school wide Military Signing Day Ceremony for students enlisting in the Armed Forces upon graduation, in addition to a number of veteran specific and military themed fundraisers and drives.

While the CHS student body has always been receptive of military-themed recognition and opportunities to five back, there was one pivotal moment for Thornsley that stood out at our recent Day of Honor Ceremony.

“The one thing from the assembly that really struck me was when we recognized those veterans at the end and saw our kids come down [unprompted] to shake their hand and thank them for their service,” said Thornsley. “It shows that what we are doing by educating these kids and making them aware of our military families is important.

It  shows that regardless of where they come from, regardless of their background, they all realize that they need to support and that we need to show our appreciation to them. It shows our kids understand and how appreciative they are of their service.”

Over nine percent of all Circleville City School District students have direct ties within their immediate family to the Armed Forces. Of that nine percent, 12.1% have a sibling or parent/guardian currently serving on active duty.

CCS Military Families Graphic.jpg


Today, as we remember the 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Circleville City Schools would like to again show its support and reaffirm our gratitude to all those serving past and present and the families behind them for their many sacrifices on behalf our freedom.

Circleville City School District (CCSD) is a public education institution serving the City of Circleville in the county seat of Pickaway County in south-central Ohio. The district proudly serves approximately 2,200 students annually in a PK-12 setting at Circleville Elementary, Circleville Middle, Circleville High school, and through the Circleville Digital Academy. To view the CCSD Quality Profile, please follow through to the link provided (here).

5 CMS students take on Middle School Youth & Government State Assembly

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Middle school students Raegan Evans, Lillianna Stafford, Camille Hoop, Kirsten Metzger, and Mallory Holcomb took on the same responsibilities as those who currently work in state government through hands-on legislative experiences.

Last week, the Circleville City School Foundation sponsored five Circleville Middle School students to attend the annual YMCA Middle School State Assembly, a three-day event where students take over the statehouse and run a mock government of Ohio.

Middle school students Raegan Evans, Lillianna Stafford, Camille Hoop, Kirsten Metzger, and Mallory Holcomb took on the same responsibilities as those who currently work in state government through hands-on legislative experiences. Students were chaperoned by CMS teachers Mrs. Lisa Powers and Mr. Nathan Elswick.

According to Ohioymcag.org, “the Ohio YMCA’s Youth & Government Program enhances the development of the American democratic process for young people through participatory training in the theory and practice of the Ohio state government.

Teens in the program learn about the legislative process, how to write and research bills, and how to participate in elections. Their work culminates in teens serving as delegates at their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature. Some teens have actually made bills into laws.”

On the first day of the Youth and Government Summit, students received information on chamber best-practice and etiquette such as “how to address the chair” and standing to speak.

On day two, students took a vote in the judicial chamber after debating bills and Senator Metzger from the Circleville delegation served as the Committee Chair of Scarlet Senate 3.

Notable alumni of the Youth and Government program include:

Former Ohio U.S. Senator John Glenn
State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser
U.S. Representative Tammy Baldwin
Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna
Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law Professor
Fmr. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Congressman Dennis Ross, FL
Christa McAuliffe was a YAG advisor in NH before she was chosen to be on the Challenger
George H. Gallup (founder of Gallup Polling) conducted some of his first state polls with NJ YG delegates

Many thanks to the Circleville City School Foundation, Mrs. Powers, and Mr. Elswick for their work in drafting and fulfilling this grant request for our students to attend and gain invaluable experiences as a result.