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As the holidays approach, it is not unusual to see decorative stars all over the community. We have many, many stars in the Nordonia Schools, too. Let me tell you about a few stars of which we are so proud.
Star Students: Congratulations to the following Nordonia High School students who were inducted into the National Honor Society last month: Walid Abuhashim, Carly Adams, Sarah Bon, Kayla Buck, Haylee Bugaj, Madeline Chester, Anthony Cinalli, Jaret Cingel, Rachel Cornett, Kevin Costello, Matthew Crawford, Emily Cundra, Elizabeth Daniels, Katelyn DeShane, Hailee Dobbins, Olivia Dobbins, Katrina Eterovich, Megan Garvey, Rachel Hayes, Macey Hill, Elise Jurkovich, Hannah Kendall, Rachel Kidd, Kylie Kocab, Nicholas Kovacs, Casey Kowatch, Julianne Kutil, Ethan Lee, Kendra Lippincott, Daniel Liszka, Caroline Lohm, Hannah Luketic, Delaney Major, Christina McFarland, Delaney Monroe, Samuel Mysza, Talia Naylor, Shane North, Hannah Ours, Alec Pajek, Lauren Palinkas, Siddharth Patel, Madison Pearl, Megan Pietro, Nolan Postolka, Seth Rainey, Holly Ross, Halle Rust, Adel Salti, Jared Schneider, Stephanie Schueren, Anamika Singh, Sandra Spellman, Emma Joy Stanczak, Jenna Stephens, Jacob Vetrovsky, Rachel Vickers, Jackie Wendel-Pinyon, Amanda Westbrooks, Brett White, Jason Zaborszki, Adree Ana Ley and Sydney Vitt.
To be selected for induction into National Honor Society, juniors and seniors must first maintain a GPA of 3.5 or above. Those who meet this scholarship criterion are then evaluated on their display of excellence in leadership, service, and character.
Star Student Council: Kudos to the Nordonia High School Student Council who collected more than $800 by holding an Alex's Lemonade Stand! This money will be used to help fund critically needy children suffering from childhood cancer. Since its inception, the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised more than $127 million dollars to fund 650 childhood cancer research projects. We are proud of our generous students.
Star Athletes: This past fall, 310 students played on one of the district's 11 high school athletic teams. These student athletes had an average GPA of 3.697, which goes to show that not only are our Knights successful on the field and the court, but also in the classroom. The individual team GPAs were as follows: Cheerleading, 3.794; Boys Cross Country, 3.702; Girls Cross Country, 4.047; Varsity/JV Football, 3.330; Freshman Football, 2.925; Boys Golf, 3.928; Girls Golf, 4.198; Boys Soccer, 3.593; Girls Soccer, 4.003; Girls Tennis, 4.030; and Volleyball, 4.048.
Star Band Student: Over Thanksgiving break, Senior Julianne Kutil attended an audition camp for Drum Corp International 2016 World Champions, The Canton Bluecoats. Across the country there are four auditions: California, Texas, Georgia, and Ohio, as well as one in the UK. Thousands of young people audition at these camps for approximately 135 spots. After a successful audition, Julianne was given a contract with the Canton Bluecoats Color Guard and will be performing with them next summer.
Star Singers: Nordonia's very own pop a cappella group, Synergy, has had a busy and successful fall season. Synergy was selected to be the opening act for the National Tour of Vocalosity at E.J. Thomas Hall on the campus of University of Akron in October. Vocalosity is the all-new live concert event from the creative mind of artistic producer Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect, The Sing-Off) that takes a cappella to a whole new level. No genre of music is off limits in the world of a cappella and Vocalosity explores them all -- from 10th Century Gregoria and classical choral to barbershop quartet and bouncing doo-wop all the way to The Beatles and Bruno Mars.
On Nov. 4, Synergy celebrated the release of their first professional CD recording. This recording is a compilation of 12 tracks from over the past two years and features many of the founding members of Synergy, which was formed in the fall of 2012. It was those individuals who set the course and vision of this impressive group and the reason the album is appropriately titled Legacy.
The a cappella movement has hit the Nordonia community pretty quickly in recent years. Synergy, Momentum, Knightrhythm and Genesis are all currently preparing for the seventh annual Nordonia A Cappella Festival on March 18.
This Saturday event hosts choirs from all over the state and beyond for a day of interactive and hands-on seminars and masterclasses that are taught by professionals in the industry. This event has grown from having 150 audience members its first year, to being sold out with audiences well over 700 for the past three consecutive years. You can purchase tickets for the A Cappella Festival at www.NordoniaChoirs.com and you can purchase a copy of their newly released CD by contacting John Pickering at: NordoniaChoirs@gmail.com.
Star Volunteer: We have literally hundreds of volunteers who give so much time and effort to the Nordonia Schools that it would be impossible to name them all. But I want to take this space to honor Don Lamberton, the "senior" volunteer for the past 16 years in Karen McMillan's second-grade class at Ledgeview. At age 87, Don has finally retired. Don was a former government teacher and track coach at Solon High School. Don has not only been in McMillan's classroom for nearly three hours a week for the past 16 years, he also would make special holiday gifts for the classroom (e.g., hand-decorated pumpkins, personalized Christmas trees, an Easter bunny with the students photos).
Thanks to all of Nordonia's wonderful volunteers, and best wishes on your retirement, Don!
As you can see, we have many stars in the Nordonia Schools. I only had space to tell you of a few, but there are enough to fill the sky! The community should be very proud of its schools.
As always, thanks for supporting the Nordonia Schools, have a great month, and remember to follow me on Twitter @DrJoeClark.