‘Sharing Shoes’ by Circleville Elementary Teacher Cathy Kint


shoe drive 14.jpg

Pictured: Mrs. Akers’ class celebrates as the winning class for bringing in the most shoes.

Circleville Elementary School – For educators the heart of teaching lies within books.  Every day we teach and learn through books. One of the greatest joys of teaching is the moment when a child’s face lights up because they just received the message delivered in a book. Books are the means by which we receive someone else’s message.  We read the words out loud or to ourselves so that we can connect to the author’s purpose. That very connection is what led to our 1st grade community service project entitled “Sharing Shoes.”

the lady in the box

In the middle of winter I chose to read the book ‘The Lady in the Box’ by Ann McGovern to each first grade class.  Each time that I choose a book it is with the hope that at least one child will have a personal connection to the central message of the book. With McGovern’s story, it was the hope that students would see how important it is to reach out to people who have less than we have. We have talked all year about our purpose as students and as human beings.  We are here to make others feel  important…to give to others what we can…and to not waste time in those efforts. 

As I visited each classroom the children began to talk about what they could do to help people who are homeless. They realized that they did not have money of their own to give as 6 and 7-year-olds, but they also realized that they might have useful things to gift to another person. It was decided that shoes would be a good choice because most of the children could honestly say that they had some shoes they did not need anymore.

In one class a girl was really excited and said that we could make flyers to let people know what we were doing with our efforts. So, once we decided on the best time to do the shoe drive we invited all of the first grade classes to make a flyer that included pertinent information. We received many flyers. Teachers chose one winner from each classroom to have their flyers printed for distribution to other grade levels. These students were recognized and given a sneaker key chain as a prize. 

shoe drive 12 fliers

Our 1st grade Shoe Drive Flier winners pictured with their winning artwork and advertising.

We contacted our parents on the Class Dojo school messaging app and on Twitter to encourage them to support their children’s community service project. We received some thoughtful responses from parents who were glad to see us setting the tone of giving for their students.

Next, we needed to think about where the shoes would go. I was at our elementary school’s ‘Darlings and Donuts event’ and asked the ABC Club president if she knew of any organization that could use children’s shoes.  She excitedly said “Yes. The new youth drop-in center Foundations4Youth will be opening soon and they could probably use something like that!” Right away we contacted our school resource liaison, Officer McIntyre who is involved with the center, and he came to see me. Now we had one place to send our shoes.

We also thought of our local shelter in the Haven House and contacted them. They were so happy to hear that we not only had children’s shoes, but some women’s shoes as well. We now had two places to send our shoes!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As we collected shoes I saw that we had many pairs of men’s sneakers.  I knew that the Pickaway County Jail accepted shoe donations for their inmates who are released and don’t have proper footwear.  One phone call later we were sending shoes to them as well. Now we had three places to send our shoes.

We also kept shoes for our own students at CES.  We have all seen the student who loses the sole of a shoe or who came to school in flip flops and they break…with no other shoes to change into.  We were able to keep shoes of all sizes right here. Now we had a fourth place for our shoes.

After a week of collection we were able to send 300 pairs of shoes to local organizations. We had one class (Mrs. Akers’ class) that brought 82 pairs. The top donation came from a girl in that same class who contributed 14 pairs.  The ABC club will be providing a pizza lunch for the class as a reward for their efforts and the top winner will receive two brand new pairs of shoes and a gift card. 

The best part of this whole project was seeing the faces of children when they brought in their donated shoes.  They were so proud. Whether it was one pair or 10, it did not matter. They would track me down to tell me that they had shoes on a given day.  They all received a paper shoe pattern to decorate each time that they brought in a pair of shoes. These are being displayed in the first grade hallway. They were never told that we were going to recognize the class with the most shoes or the person with the most shoes. They gave because they wanted to give.  They were happy to have a paper shoe to decorate. They got it. The message of the book we read was simple…give to others without expectation. 


We were happy to open up the project to staff and children in other grade levels.  It was their contributions that helped us make it to the 300 shoes threshold. The first grade had about 170 pairs on their own.

The first book I ever read to the first grade students this year was ‘The Three Questions’  based on the writing of Leo Tolstoy. We go back to those questions throughout the year because they should be in the forefront of our lives and minds every day. The questions and answers are so simple…

  1. When is the right time to do things?   Now.

  2. Who is the most important one?   The one at your side.

  3. What is the right thing to do?  That which benefits the one at your side.

Mr. Tolstoy tells us…that is why we are here.

On behalf of the 1st grade team and Circleville Elementary, we would like to extend a  thank you to each and every student, family, and community member who participated in our shoe drive. Every day we try to instill in our students our Tiger Traits that call to “Be respectful. Be responsible. And Be Safe” in all that we do. This project was an extension of those traits and I am incredibly proud of our students for developing this student-led project. 

Kint, Cathy

                                    Cathy Kint

                                   1st Grade Intervention/Title Reading Specialist

                                                                  Circleville Elementary School

CHS Freshman awarded Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship: Will study abroad in Turkey in 2018


Circleville High School freshman Oscar Knece has been awarded the Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship for a year-long foreign exchange program to Turkey for the 2018-19 academic year.

This coming August, he will begin his role as a global ambassador when he departs for his year-long exchange. Oscar’s exchange will be in Turkey. Between now and his departure date, he will be involved in extensive language & cultural training and preparation to be immersed in their new culture provided by Rotary.

“Oscar exemplifies the traits needed to succeed as a goodwill ambassador representing Rotary International and the USA abroad,” said Beth Spears, student communications coordinator for Rotary International.

Annually, 8,000 students between the ages of 15 and 18.5 participate in this program worldwide. The program began in the 1920’s and its primary mission is to work towards peace and understanding the world. Rotary Youth Exchange is a member of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), a non-profit organization on committed to setting standards for international educational travel and monitoring compliance with those standards. It is also approved by the U.S. Department of State.

The scholarship, valued at over $24,000, covers room, board, tuition, and provides a monthly stipend for one academic year.

Chartered in 1989, the Rotary Club of Circleville has a membership of more than 77 men and women actively dedicated to fostering service above self in their community and around the globe, and is part of Rotary International District 6690.

Congratulations to Oscar on this prestigious honor and for exemplifying what it means to serve as a good will ambassador.

Ted Lewis Museum donates baby grand piano to CCSD music programs

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Circleville City Schools – Last week, the Ted Lewis Museum orchestrated the donation of a historic baby grand piano to our choral and instrumental music programs.

The piano, a 1934 Kurtzmann baby grand, made its way from a donor in Westerville to its new home on the Circleville High School stage early last week.

“We are incredibly humbled and thrilled that the Ted Lewis Museum felt compelled to secure this prized donation of this Kurtzmann for our students,” said district communications director Evan Debo. “From Mrs. Braswell and Mrs. Kelly’s choral music programs and musicals to Mr. Tennant’s concert orchestras, this historic piece further enhances our programs to benefit our students and community. Mr. Lewis’ passion for making ‘everybody happy’ through his music is very much alive today as a result of the efforts of museum curator Joseph Rubin, board president Joyce Keller, and their dedicated board of directors.”

“C. Kurtzmann & Company was established by Christian Kurtzmann in Buffalo, NY in 1848. In about 1859, C. Kurtzmann went into partnership with a gentleman by the name of Hinze to form the company of “Kurtzmann & Hinze“. Christian Kurtzmann dissolved this partnership sometime in the late 1860’s and started building pianos under his own name.
During the 19th Century, Kurtzmann built a number of square grand piano models, slowly integrating upright and grand pianos into their line by the turn-of-the-century. The firm was incorporated as “C. Kurtzmann & Co.” in 1901 and their factories were located on Niagara Street in Buffalo, NY. During the early 20th Century, C. Kurtzmann & Co. had gained control of the Capen Piano Company and “Brockport Manufacturing Co. The Wurlitzer Piano Company took control of Kurtzmann in 1935, and built the Kurtzmann brand name until 1938.
Kurtzmann was known for building very high quality, expensive pianos and organs, and their instruments were often very elaborate and sometimes “overbuilt”. These instruments are truly amazing examples of old-world quality and craftsmanship.”

Circleville City Schools would like to thank our community partner in the Ted Lewis Museum who orchestrated and secured the donation of this historic piano for future generations of Tigers. While the piano does not have direct ties to Mr. Lewis’ prolific career, the gesture by the museum is yet another layer of commitment to Ted’s passion for Circleville and their board’s efforts to preserving local music history through initiatives that strengthen music education.

Ted Lewis flier.png

Members of our community can see the new Kurtzmann baby grand in concert this June, when Circleville High School and the Ted Lewis Museum play host to the “Rubinoff And His Violin “Pops” Concert” on june 2nd at 7 p.m.
For more information on Ted Lewis and upcoming events with the museum, visit www.tedlewismuseum.org.

Student Achievement: CHS Junior Shannon Benner places 3rd in State of Ohio SAR Essay Contest

Benner photo.png

Circleville City Schools – Circleville High School junior Shannon Benner has been named the 3rd place winner in the State of Ohio for the Sons of the American Revolution sponsored George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest.

For the contest, Benner was required to submit “an original 800- to 1,200-word essay based on an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. Each student’s essay [was] judged based upon its historical accuracy, clarity, organization, grammar and spelling, and documentation”.

Her essay, entitled “The Trues causes of the American Revolutionary War” identifies a “series of events rather than one pivotal moment” as most closely contributing to the concerted organization of colonial efforts against the crown leading up to 1776. 

Benner is a junior at Circleville High School where she is involved in Mock Trial, volleyball, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and plans to pursue a career in the medical field upon graduation in 2020.

“Shannon is an outstanding student, strong writer, and is very conscientious about all aspects of her school work, and this assignment appealed to her meticulous nature,” said Jason Wells, Benner’s English teacher. “The essay requires a lot of work, from research to writing to documenting sources, and Shannon did a great job in all areas.”

Benner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and recognition certificate in light of her achievement.

Congratulations to Shannon and her English 11 teacher Jason Wells in this impressive feat.

SAR Essay (1)

CHS, Pickaway HELPS team up to host annual ‘Tiger Boot Camp’ for students


Circleville City Schools – On Friday, April 6th, juniors and seniors at Circleville High School participated in what has become an annual career development event called the Tiger Boot Camp.

The event, in partnership with Pickaway HELPS, aims to provide students with soft skills training, career development workshops, and mock interviews (seniors only) in an effort to equip upperclassmen with tools to be viable work force candidates upon graduation.

In Friday’s mock interview session, students sat down in rotations with local hiring business personnel, government officials, and community members to simulate a real life interview. Following the session, students worked with the interviewer, who took notes and used a rubric to score their interaction, to discuss feedback and recommendations for improvement.

Beyond the mock interviews, 12 workshops were run concurrently on campus covering an array of topics specific to professionalism and career development:

  1. The Hiring and Interview Process (Kenworth) 
  2. Banking Security (presented by the Pickaway Banking Center)
  3. The Culture Shock (thecultureshock.org)
  4. Finding Money for College
  5. Career Options from Pickaway Ross Career and Technical Center,
  6. Social Media – Time Well Spent?
  7. Personality Plus – Developing Effective Relationships,
  8. Find a job – The ‘Ohio Means Jobs’ Way
  9. A Military Career – Is it for you?
  10. STEM Careers are Everywhere! The 21st Century Workforce
  11. What is Philanthropy?, and
  12. Teamwork

Guest interviewers and presenters were also served refreshments from our outstanding Tiger Claw Cafe students in between sessions. Circleville City Schools and Pickaway HELPS would like to thank the Tiger Claw Cafe and all of our community members who volunteered their time Friday to provide this beneficial boot camp for our students.


Mr. Styers’ Tiger Claw Cafe students provided refreshments for community members participating in the boot camp with interviews and presentations Friday.

To find out more about Pickaway HELPS, its programs, and student-centered career development initiatives visit PickawayHELPS.org.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Engineering solutions: How a partnership with Dynamix Energy Services has district facilities operating at peak performance


Circleville City Schools – As Circleville City wrapped up its 6-year construction project this past fall, the district’s board of education passed a measure which marked the construction of a comprehensive plan to streamline and optimize our energy usage on campus.

On August 9th, 2017, the Circleville City School District board of education approved an agreement with Dynamix Energy Services for the amount of $464,174 over two years (paid out of district budgeted maintenance funds) to oversee retro commissioning and controls in our new facilities in regards to lighting, heating, and cooling systems. The management and regulation of HVAC and lighting was not a part of the district’s state building project.

The partnership with Dynamix is a part of Circleville City Schools’ strategic planning and long-term focus on energy conservation and efficiency. Establishing fiscally responsible energy initiatives early on will enable the three campus buildings to operate at peak efficiency and cut down on energy costs and wear and tear on equipment over time.

“Our treasurer’s office, board, and facilities crew has done a tremendous job of putting us in a position to save money and be good stewards of our new buildings and manage our energy emissions,” said assistant superintendent Kyle Uhrig. “Energy conservation and reductions in equipment replacement down the road is not just about being in a good place right now, it’s being in a good place for years to come.”

From regulating compressors, heat exchangers, and suction temperatures to comprehensive analytics on lighting by way scheduling when and where lighting is used around motion detectors and to what wattage, this board measure is an investment in the long-range sustainability of our schools.

In working with Dynamix on energy solutions for the district, company Vice President and Principal-In-Charge of Operations and Energy Division Todd Mace in particular has been a hands-on project manager working with district administrators and maintenance staff to make the most of the learning environment we provide for our students every day.

“Todd is very knowledgeable on the school side of HVAC systems and lighting systems and his company is very in tune with the latest technological aids in reducing energy costs. He has been an unprecedented  asset unto us looking to the future.”

So what does this mean for daily use? When staff is on campus and notices poor or too strong of lighting, they can log an electronic request to change the efficiency of that lighted area by way of the Facilities Management eXpress software (FMX) and a Dynamix engineer will make the appropriate adjustment.

As with the heating and cooling, requests can be made based on variables such as external temperature changes and pre-heating a dormant overnight common area prior to an event on campus.

On any given day there are 24 compressors facilitating heating and cooling in all three buildings. Initially after building construction, the compressors ran near daily at the same time which would have resulted in a short life span of mechanical components over time had the district and Dynamix not put together this comprehensive energy conservation plan. With the ability to now schedule and more accurately monitor those compressors, they can be cycled and sequenced as to reduce daily wear and tear and maintenance costs over time.

In a span of October 2017 through January 2018, the billed kilowatt hours on campus (KWH) represented a 42% decrease at Circleville Elementary and a 27% decrease at Circleville Middle and Circleville High School (Figure 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3).

Figure 1.1Figure 1.2Figure 1.3

*Charts provided by Dynamix Energy Solutions, LLC.

The above KWH savings from heating, cooling, and lighting has in turn yielded the district $80, 134 in savings in comparison to the billed amounts received over that same time span from a year ago. That amount equates to 17.26% of the October contracted agreement covered in just four months’ time.

On its current pace, the district will make back the agreement based on these returns and will save approximately $20,000 per month in aggregate energy costs moving forward to remain fiscally responsible and keep state and local funding dedicated to student specific programming.

In recognition of Dynamix’s resolve and commitment to engineering energy conservation at Circleville City Schools in going above and beyond their contracted agremeent, the organization was recognized at the district’s March 14th meeting of the board of the education where they informed board members and the general public about project updates and energy savings.