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First DSA of School Year Presented to Garfield's Mary Jarstfer

On Tuesday, November 19th, Superintendent Dave Knight presented this year's first Distinguished Service Award to Garfield Secretary Mary Jarstfer. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor bestowed on an employee within the district. Recipients of the award are positive role models and exemplary representatives of the school district.

Dave Knight read the following upon presentation of Mary's award:

Mary Jarstfer is an incredible secretary at Garfield Elementary School. Mary has an uncanny ability to multi-task, like no one else that you will ever meet. Every day she can be seen doing things like creating a spread sheet, greeting a parent, tending to a student in the clinic, answering the phones, making copies doing it all with a smile on her face. Teachers rely on Mary to know exactly what is going on at all times. She keeps the schedule straight for the building and knows the comings and goings of students, parents, visitors and the staff. 

This year, students across Medina County are reading the book, Wonder. There is a quote from this book that says, "Courage.  Kindness.  Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion to greatness.”  Mary Jarstfer demonstrates these qualities each and every day in her work at Garfield Elementary. But what really makes Mary so great? She is courageous in her care for our children, making certain that they are safe and cared for. She is kind to those who are sometimes not so kind back. Mary is a loyal and honest friend to all. Add to all this that she is smart, funny, and incredibly talented. 

Mary is also a visionary. She has the ability to a see a solution to a problem that the rest of us didn’t even know existed. She has master-minded traffic flow, testing schedules, picture day, report cards, Kiwanis shopping and even Formshare procedures. There is truly nothing that Mary can’t take on, systematize and make better. For the past few years, Mary has volunteered her time to organize family events at Garfield such as Scarecrow Night, Family Expo Night, and Ornament Painting Night. She not only organizes these special events, but is also there at the events helping out in any way she can. 

During her time in Medina, Mary has worked at both Ella Canavan Elementary and Garfield Elementary School. She is respected as a leader among district secretaries and frequently trains newly hired office staff. Truth be told, many administrators also call Mary directly because she has usually already figured out what most are just starting to contemplate. She has a knack of figuring out what you need done even before you know what you need. She makes everything better and easier. Medina City Schools has been fortunate to have Mary faithfully serve for over 17 years. She is a treasured part of our school family, a consummate professional and a model employee. It is no Wonder that she should receive the district’s highest honor- the Distinguished Service Award. Congratulations, Mary!

Remembering Dan Sherman

Back in June we unexpectedly lost a friend and staff member, Dan Sherman, fifth grade teacher at Waite Elementary. Dan was also the high school baseball coach and assistant varsity football coach.
On Saturday, November 22, a benefit dinner for the Sherman family will be held at Rustic Hills Country Club from 6:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. There will be an Italian buffet dinner, DJ, and a silent and live auction.  Tickets to this very worthwhile event are still available. Tickets are $40 each and will be available at subsequent home games or at Waite Elementary or A.I. Root Middle School until the event is sold out.  Tickets are limited to 300 for this venue.

The staff committee organizing this event is looking for silent auction items or completed auction baskets. If you are interested in donating, your generosity would be very much appreciated. Please contact Cindy Grice, Waite Elementary at gricec@mcsoh.org or Tara Kaplack, A.I. Root Middle School at kaplackt@mcsoh.org to drop off donations.

Medina High School to Host Show Choir Festival

The 2014 Medina Show Choir Festival will light up the Medina Performing Arts Center on Monday, November 24. This year’s festival welcomes show and jazz choirs from Highland High School, North Royalton High School, Solon High School, and the ETC School of Musical Arts.

Show choirs perform a choreographed, high-energy production that includes singing, dancing, instrumental accompaniment, costumes, and props. Jazz choirs perform challenging unaccompanied and accompanied vocal arrangements of popular songs. The show and jazz choirs are made up of many of the finest musicians in their respective schools.

This event will be hosted by Medina High School’s show choirs, The Encore Entertainment Company and Spotlights, an all-female show choir founded in 2013.

Performances are appropriate and enjoyable for people of all ages.  You will be amazed and delighted at the young talent in our schools.  The festival will begin at 7:00 pm. General admission tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door for $5. Advance tickets are available by calling the Medina Performing Arts Center Box Office (330-636-3400). The Medina Performing Arts Center is located at 851 Weymouth Road.

Medina High School Releases Honor Roll and Merit Roll Names for First Quarter

Medina High School has released the Honor Roll and Merit Roll student names for the first quarter. Congratulations to these students for their hard work and efforts.

Criteria is as follows:

Honor and Merit Roll shall be based on all subjects in which a student is enrolled and grades will be weighted accordingly. In determining Honor Roll, any grade below a B- (including Honors and AP) disqualifies a student from this honor. In determining Merit Roll, any grade below a C- (including Honors and AP) disqualifies a student from this honor.

The following grade point averages are necessary to qualify for each level:

Honor Roll      3.667 GPA or above
Merit Roll       3.000 GPA or above

[Incompletes eliminate students from consideration for Honor and Merit Roll.]

Filling a Need in Our Community


During the week of October 27, students and staff from A.I. Root Middle School, Claggett Middle School, Heritage Elementary, and Waite Elementary participated in the 8th annual Conquering Hunger Food Drive. This campaign is sponsored by the North Coast Browns Backers; North Gateway Tire; Advanced Health and Wellness Center; Root 18 Crossfit; SafeCo Insurance; Medina Auto Mall; MPR Exteriors; Gepetto’s Johnny Malloy’s; Scapegoat Tattoos; Rinky Dink Family Fun Center; and I-Candi Graphics who printed over 400 t-shirts that were given away as prizes to students.

This year’s theme was “to Shermanate” in honor of late Waite Elementary fifth grade teacher, Dan Sherman, who passed away in June of this year. Dan, together with eighth grade math teacher at Root, Wade Chapman, worked to coordinate this effort along with Amy Lloyd, intervention specialist, Claggett Middle School; Claggett Builder’s Club; Jerry Todorovich, fifth grade teacher, Heritage Elementary; Cindy Grice, principal, Waite Elementary; and Vanessa Shriver, fifth grade teacher, Waite Elementary.  “Dan was a keystone in this annual food drive and really cared about the community and helping others,” said Chapman. 

This was a banner year for the annual food drive bringing in over 6,900 food items far surpassing last years’ drive by over 2,000 food items. “I was glad to see the increased participation by students and staff which helped to make this our best year to date,” states Chapman. “I would like to thank everyone involved who made this a huge success.” The contributions collected were distributed through the generosity of UPS who donated the transportation to the local food pantries this project served:  Adventists Community Service Center; Medina United Methodist; and Holy Martyrs Church. Chapman reflects, “Dan would have had a huge smile on his face as we unloaded the cans to the pantries. It is warming to know that this is one area, we as a community, can help and ease some of their daily stress in life,” said Chapman.

As a thank you, in addition to the over 400 t-shirts awarded, 1,500 “Shermanate” bracelets were given away as well two Brown’s tickets which were raffled to a student at each participating school as a grand prize.  Special prizes were also awarded at the building level for the class who collected the most food items.

Director of Bands and Medina City Schools Music Department Chair Receives Proclamations


During the annual band banquet on Saturday, November 8, Gary Ciulla, director of bands and Medina High School music department chair, received proclamations from both the Ohio Senate and the House of Representatives in recognition of his thirty-five years of service to the Medina City School District. Thanks to the efforts of Todd Brady, Medina Band Boosters president, and his work with Mr. Niehaus who served as Ohio Senate President prior to his retirement from public service, who was instrumental in obtaining the resolutions. 

Ciulla is currently in his 35th year as the Director of Bands for Medina City Schools, hired by Medina City Schools in July 1980 as the new Head Band Director of Medina Senior High School.

During his 35-year tenure as Band Director, his teaching responsibilities have included head marching band director of the Medina Musical Marching Bees, director of the Medina High School symphony band, director of the Medina High School concert band, and director of the Medina High School Stardusters jazz band. In addition to his high school teaching, Mr. Ciulla also maintained the responsibilities of instructing and directing fifth grade elementary beginning band and sixth grade band at Heritage Elementary, and direction and teaching lessons at the Medina Junior High School for seventh and eighth grade bands. When the school district grew large enough to create two Middle Schools, Mr. Ciulla became the director of bands at A. I. Root Middle School, instructing and directing three bands in sixth, seventh and eighth grades as well as creating and directing the A.I Root Middle School jazz band. Gary also serves currently as the Music Department Chairman for the Medina City Schools Music Department.

Mr. Ciulla’s professional accomplishments are diverse and many. Over his 35 years, the band program has continued to increase in student enrollment with record-breaking numbers of students. Currently the marching band enrollment is 277 students, and even with the implementation of a district wide “pay-to-play” several years ago, the students still wanted to “be in the band” – no matter what the monetary cost and at all grade levels. Gary has always maintained the belief and approach that “it is about the integrity and excellence of the students always. They are not here for me – I am here for them.”

Under his direction, the Medina Musical Marching Bees have consistently received SUPERIOR ratings at the Ohio Music Educators Association State Marching Band Finals. The Medina Musical Marching Bees are regarded as one of the top Marching Bands in the State of Ohio having earned and won many Grand Champion awards at OMEA Sanctioned Events across the state. In 1988, the Musical Marching Bees performed in the Cotton bowl Parade that started his tradition of providing his students with the experience of band trips and performances. The Musical Bees have returned to perform at Disney in Florida every three years in the Spectromagic parade numerous times since then. He has also served as a mentor to countless numbers of students who have gone into Music Education and Music Performance with successful careers, using education and experiences that are unique to his style of directing. 

The Medina High School symphony band has consistently received Superior ratings in Class AA at OMEA sanctioned district and state large group adjudicated events. Under his direction, the Medina High School symphony band has been invited to perform for the Ohio Music Educators Association State Professional Development Conferences, the American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA) State Convention and the Ohio Band Directors Conference – all representing the excellence in music education and instrumental music performance in the State of Ohio. The symphony band has also been honored to perform three different times at the world acclaimed Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio under Ciulla’s direction.

Mr. Ciulla has served the community in many ways over the years by participating in Community Parades, performing for the Annual Community Christmas Candlelight Walks with the Marching Band and the Candlelight Brass Choir in the Gazebo. He maintains the dignity and importance of patriotism with the Marching Bands annual performance in the City of Medina’s Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Day Service of Remembrance.

Several years ago, Gary was honored by the school district as the Teacher/Educator of the year and has also received honors from the Medina County Gazette as the Best Director in Medina County, as voted upon by the communities as well as the Medina Marching Band voted the best marching band in Medina County for the last four years.

Gary holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Kent State University, Class of 1980 where he met his wife, Lori. He earned a Master’s in Music Education from the University of Akron, Class of 1995. Mr. Ciulla was published in the Who’s Who of America in 1982 and holds professional memberships in the Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA) and Phi Beta Mu (International Bandmaster’s Honorary Fraternity). 

Gary has lived in the city of Medina with his wife, Lori for 35 years. He is proud to have raised his four children in this community and have them attend Medina City Schools. All have performed under his direction, Lindsay, French horn (Class of 2003), Nicholas, Trumpet (Class of 2006), Vincent, Trombone, (Class of 2012) and Jacob, Trumpet (Class of 2012). 

Medina City School District Honors Our Veterans

Tuesday, November 12 is a day of honor for our many Veterans nationwide. In recognition of our veterans and their contributions to our country, assemblies took place at each building district-wide. Students and staff were encouraged to invite their special veteran to the assemblies so that they could be honored for their service. Thanks to the generosity of the Medina Rotary, Medina High School, Fenn Elementary and Claggett Middle School had the opportunity to be a part of their Parade of Flags. This was a great way to visually recognize our veterans.

Community Challenge

Beginning spring of 2015, Ohio students will experience new computer-based tests based on Ohio's New Learning Standards. Get a feel for these new tests. Click here to participate in Medina's Community Challenge.

Safe School Helpline

To view Dr. Quallich's letter containing valuable information on the Safe School Helpline, a resource available to parents, students and others who have concerns regarding a student's safety, health or well-being, please click here.

Parent Access in Blackboard

Parent Access Setup for Blackboard

Please click here to create a Parent Portal account for Medina City Schools.

Parent Portal accounts will allow families to:

  • Complete Emergency Medical forms online
  • Access student grades online
  • Provide access to view all Blackboard classes for your student(s)

Only one Parent Portal account is needed for each parent or guardian. With our new Parent Portal, account holders will be able to view all of the information for their students with a single sign-on.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to set up a parent portal account and Formshare Access.

Manage Your Blackboard Parent Portal

Click here   for a form that will help you change your username or password for your Blackboard Parent Portal account.

Please contact Sandy Downey with any questions.

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