Put-in-Bay School Prevails Amidst COVID-19 Challenges

Put in BayPut-in-Bay School News – by Steve Poe, Superintendent

Congratulations to the graduates of 2020!  Though their graduation ceremony is postponed till June 18 due to the Perry Monument closure, we celebrated their accomplishments with a parade on the date they were supposed to graduate, May 29.

The graduates, dressed in their caps and gowns, viewed the parade from DeRivera Park as people drove by with signs and noise makers.  It was exciting and emotional to see our island community come out and support the Class of 2020.  Alexandra Knauer, Cecilia Glauser, Joseph Byrnes, Hannah Lentz, Morgan Stacy, and Carin Kirsch will forever be remembered as the graduating class that had their school year cut short by the coronavirus.  Not only was their school year cut short, this class missed out on their senior class trip to Hawaii, their prom, and all the fun classroom activities that come at the end of the year.

Each of our graduates looks forward to a bright future:

Alexandra Knauer:  “In the fall I will be attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  I plan to major in biochemistry and minor in molecular biology.  After I receive my degree I plan to pursue a career as a research scientist.”

Cecilia Glauser:  “I plan on attending Bowling Green State University in the fall. I am majoring in early childhood education and after college I plan to work in a daycare or school setting. I may even apply for the Teach for America program where I would work with children in low income areas.”

Joseph Byrnes:  “I will be attending Miami University in the fall to pursue a degree in Political Science.  I look forward to a future of activism and hope to participate in future political campaigns.”

Hannah Lentz:  “My plans after graduation are to attend Bowling Green State University to major in Accounting and minor in Spanish as well as Aviation management/operations. I also plan to be part of the Air Force ROTC program. I hope one day to be an accountant in the Airforce. I plan to travel the world and assist as many people as I can, as well as our country!”

Morgan Stacy:  “After graduation I will continue my education at the Tiffin Beauty School.  I plan to obtain my esthetician and nail technician licenses.  I wish to own and operate my own beauty spa in the future.”

Carin Kirsch:  “I plan on attending Hocking College to get my certifications in firefighter one and two, as well as my EMT certifications. After that I plan on getting my associates degree in fire science from Purdue University online.”

Put in Bay Class of 2020Graduation Ceremony

Assuming that the Perry Monument will be reopened and the weather cooperates, graduation will be held on Thursday, June 18, at 6:30pm.  Attendance for this event may be limited and the format modified in order to meet the requirements specified by the governor’s office and the health department.  Please check our school’s website for the latest updates.  We would like to thank the staff at the Perry Victory and International Peace Memorial for providing the beautiful venue for this event.  We would also like to thank our scholarship donors for providing over $30,000 in local scholarships for our graduates.  A list of scholarships earned by each graduate will be posted next month.

Put in Bay School

On April 15, Alexandra Knauer was to be recognized for her academic achievements at the Ottawa County Top Ten Banquet.  However, this event was cancelled.  Alexandra is this year’s Valedictorian and recipient of the Earl Johnson Scholarship.  She is the daughter of Doug and Elizabeth Knauer.  Congratulations Alex!

Cecilia Glauser was scheduled to receive the “Nine-to-Five” award on May 1.  That, too, was cancelled.  Cecilia was among students from the six other schools demonstrating exceptional improvement from last September, the ninth month, to May, the fifth month; hence, “nine-to-five” award.  Cecilia is the daughter of John and Robin Glauser, long-time residents on Middle Bass Island.  Congratulations Cecilia!

Joseph Byrnes is this year’s senior class Salutatorian.  He will deliver the Salutatorian address at graduation on June 18.  Joe is the son of Mike and Susan Byrnes.  Good job, Joe!

Our 2020 Buckeye Girls State representative this year is junior, Lucille Schneider. Lucille is the daughter of John and Kathryn Schneider.  Students interested in attending Buckeye Girls State submit an essay expressing interest in the program. Buckeye Girls State is designed to educate Ohio’s young women in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of good citizenship. Students learn about City, County and State Government.  Congratulations to Lucille in representing Put-in-Bay School.  Girls State is usually held at the University of Mount Union, however, the session is cancelled this year due to Covid and the health and safety of all attendees.

The Hugh O’ Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program is for students to realize their leadership talents and apply them in becoming effective leaders in their home, school, workplace and community.  Students attend a seminar in the summer where they participate in leadership skills opportunities.  The 2020 sophomore student representative is Kate Byrnes. Kate is the daughter of Michael and Susan Byrnes. HOBY is typically held at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. This opportunity will now be held virtually in June.   Congratulations Kate.

The Put-in-Bay School family would like to wish long-time custodian Karen Riddle all the best as she officially retires at the end of this month.  Finally, she will have a winter when she isn’t at the school at 5:30am shoveling snow and salting sidewalks!  Enjoy your retirement, Karen!   Replacing Mrs. Riddle in a custodial/maintenance capacity will be island resident, Patrick Green.   Welcome to the family, Patrick.

Please mark your calendars for the 2020-2021 School Year:
  • Monday, August 31 – First Day of School
  • Friday, September 4 – Early Dismissal
  • Monday, September 7 – No School, Labor Day
  • Monday, October 19 – No School, Appointment Day
  • November 25 – 27 – No School, Thanksgiving Break
  • Friday, December 4 – No School, Great Lakes Islands Tournament, TBD
  • December 19 – Jan 3 – No School, Christmas Break
  • February 19 – 28           – No School, Winter Break
  • April 2 – 6                     – No School, Easter Break
  • Thursday, May 27 – Early Dismissal – Last Day of School
  • Friday, May 28 – Graduation

We do not know what school will look like next year.  The only thing we can predict is that we will need to be patient and flexible.  We have formed a committee that will meet throughout the summer to adjust, modify, and plan for the 2020-21 school year:

Transition Committee – Position / Perspective

Steve Poe    Superintendent / Principal  —  Health and Safety, Overall School Operations

Karen Goaziou   Board of Education Vice-President  —  Health and Safety

Debbie Bianchi   Elementary Teacher  —  Health and Safety

Craig Schuffenecker   High School Teacher  —  Extra-curricular Activities & Athletics

Carol Cerny   K thru 12 Teacher  —  Technology

Margie Warnicke   Guidance Counselor  —  Scheduling

Suzanne Kostura  Parent of Children in School  —  Parental Issues