Lakewood OH

Westlake Chatter – May 23, 2012

Brothers Brian and Mark Sutcliffe are collecting donations of used soccer equipment for African children. (Photo courtesy of Westlake City Schools)

LIBRARY LOT CLOSED: The parking lot of Westlake Porter Public Library will be closed Sunday and Monday (Memorial Day) for resealing and restriping. The drive-up materials return boxes and the after-hours lockers will not be accessible those days. The library itself will also be closed Sunday and Monday.

Library spokeswoman Elaine Willis said the library reseals and restripes the parking lot annually to protect the surface of the lot and make sure parking spaces, directional signs and crosswalks are clearly visible to drivers.

WESTLAKE IN BLOOM: The deadline to enter Westlake in Bloom, the city’s annual beautification contest, is June 25. Categories range from window flower boxes to residential landscaping. This year, the century home category has been eliminated due to lack of entries. A new category, rain garden, has been added. Entry forms can be picked up at Westlake City Hall, 27700 Hilliard Blvd., and at sponsoring garden centers. There is no cost to participate.

Entries will be judged July 9, 10 and 11. Winners will be announced at the Volunteers in Bloom appreciation reception and awards ceremony Aug. 2 at LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility.

SHRED-IT DAY: A shredding truck from Shred-It Mobile Shredding and Recycling will be parked at Westlake City Hall, 27700 Hilliard Blvd., from 9 a.m. until noon June 16 for free, quick destruction of sensitive documents, computer disks and CDs.

Shred-It staff will shred the documents while residents watch. Each Westlake household may bring material equivalent to the capacity of two standard-size copy paper boxes. Because the service is for Westlake residents only, those bringing items should also bring identification.

GLOBAL SPORT: Brothers Mark and Brian Sutcliffe, a junior and freshman at Westlake High School, respectively, recently started collecting used soccer equipment to ship to African refugee camps in Ghana and Liberia. The idea came to Brian and his family after a teammate on Brian’s Premier soccer team, Challenger Crew Juniors Black, told of coming to the United States five years ago via Ghana as a Liberian refugee. Lawrence Yarwaye and his father, Moses, talked to the team about African children using one soccer ball for a team of 23 and often playing in their bare feet.

The brothers, who both play soccer for Westlake High’s varsity team, formed Operation Hope – Soccer Retread for Africa, an organization collecting used soccer shoes, balls, shin guards and jerseys for African children in refugee camps. Mark said the organization’s goal is to raise at least 1,000 pairs of soccer shoes in addition to as many jerseys, balls and shin guards as possible.

Dropoffs for donations will be at Force Indoor Sports, 21220 Center Ridge Road, in Rocky River, on June 9 from 2 to 4 p.m., and in the lobby of the Westlake Recreation Center during the month of May. There also will be a collection bin at the Westlake Invitational Soccer Tournament (WIST), which is held Memorial Day weekend in Westlake.

For more information, check out the organization’s Facebook page at

IT’S GREEK TO THEM: Two Westlake High School seniors studying Greek through an independent study course earned high scores on the National Greek Exam, earning them Certificates of High Honor and a ribbon for achievement.

Tom Carroll and Samantha Buck were among the 1,835 students from across the country taking the exam, and among the 52 percent who scored high enough to receive recognition. Senior Elizabeth Boor also took the exam. The three are studying under Latin teacher Lisa Patton.

LATIN SCHOLARS: Several Westlake High School Latin students earned top awards on the National Latin Exam, a comprehensive test that covered Roman history and culture in addition to grammar and vocabulary. 

The 11 students earning summa cum laude and gold medals awards are Samantha Buck, Tom Carroll, Caitlin Smith, Christopher Dunlap, Elizabeth Goldberg, Michelle Adamczyk, Ethan Fitz, Kal Patterson, Ryan Thaxton, Alexander Lathem and Vishal Shah. Another 11 students received maxima cum laude and silver medal awards: Benjamin Fritz, Sophia Kyrkos, Charlie Baddour, Sameena Kahn, Jass Kaur, Sean Phillips, Eleni Packis, Jack Ryan, Daniel Squeri, Kartik Dhinakaran and Anthony Li.

STUDENT JOURNALISM: The Green & White, Westlake High School’s student newspaper, earned a second-place overall award last month from the Ohio Scholastic Media Association.

Several students were recognized with individual awards. In the ad design category, senior Conor Emser won an Excellent award. In the feature photo category, sophomore Michael Steinetz won an Honorable Mention. In commentary, senior Kelsey Salamone won a Superior and sophomore Natalija Tyler won an Honorable Mention. In the feature page layout category, senior Caitlin Smith earned an Honorable Mention. Senior Jeff Kassouf won an Excellent in newswriting and a Superior for review.

The Green & White staff, led by advisor Laura Miller, has been in existence for nearly 100 years. All members are students of Westlake High School.

TECHNOLOGY GRANT: Hilliard Elementary School intervention specialist Christina Meecha recently received a $500 grant from Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club to buy an iPad for her classroom.

Meecha said students unable to physically write will use the iPad’s touch screen to type and interact with various websites to reinforce lessons in both the regular education and special education classes.

Meecha received a $250 grant earlier this year from Wal-Mart to buy literature dealing with math concepts during math lessons and guided reading. Meecha also earned a $2,000 grant from Target this year to use toward math literature for teachers and students.



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