WRV Board treated to song, STEAM in action

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The White River Valley Board of School Trustees were given many reasons to smile at Monday’s school board meeting, held at WRV Middle School.

The board was treated to a performance of “Circle of Life” by the cast of the upcoming musical, “The Lion King,” which will open at WRV High School on Friday, November 4 and run through November 6. The cast, composed of middle and high schoolers, each introduced themselves and explained the role they will play before performing the song. The cast was accompanied at the meeting by Drama Sponsors Conner Hill, Jacob Graham, Emily Willoughby and Rebecca Harris.

More smiles were in the works, as Riley Dance Marathon Team President Mattlyn Hollingsworth, herself a “Riley kid,” presented School Board President Brock Hostetter with a framed certificate designating WRV as a “Red Wagon District,” or a school district that raises at least $1 per enrolled student for Riley Children’s Hospital.

“It’s neat that if a student of ours should have to go to Riley, that we have helped the hospital to raise funds,” Hostetter commented.

WRV Cross Country Coach Connor Hill, also there to present the Lion King cast performance, introduced four cross-country standouts to the board.

Jake Antibus, Sydnee Sullivan and Lucas Wilhoite all advanced from sectionals to regionals and the fourth, senior Brandt Driscol, was named Academic Allstate Honorable Mention.

The board greeted members of WRV’s Lady Wolverines volleyball team, introduced by Coach Angie York. The team, said York, “dominated the sectionals,” played Saturday against the Clay City Eels.

“They had passion, they had drive,” York said. “I’m so proud of these girls.”

Superintendent Dr. Bob Hacker gave York some of the credit.

“This kind of success doesn’t happen without strong leadership at the top,” he commented.

The board was given a presentation on STEM/STEAM happenings at the middle school, courtesy of Principal Jason Walton and STEM Coordinator Jacob Graham. Graham was recently chosen by ROI as a STEM Fellow, along with fellow WRV educator, Business Teacher Megan Cargal.

Walton explained the difference between STEM and STEAM, noting the added “A” is for Arts.

He said the program consists of design and modeling, robotics, medical detection and other components, and said the students are creating a “Wolverine Enterprises Junior,” with the goal of having a student-run business similar to the six running at WRV High School, and tying in with career pathways.

Graham led interested guests over to an adjacent room filled with STEM/STEAM students and several of the projects they had completed.

At the medical detection table, filled with prototypes created for people with foot pain, Emelyn Milton and Harris Reetz explained the process they had used, including a 35-page detection/diagnosis report which included patient’s vital signs and symptoms.

Reetz said as each patient was evaluated, students used clues gathered from the reports to diagnose their disease. The students also used a green screen to film a news report on their findings.

When asked if the project had sparked an interest in a future career in medicine, Reetz, whose mother is the CEO of Greene County General Hospital, quickly answered, “No.”

Molly Settles, an eighth-grader, stood at the Design and Manufacturing table, explaining the processes they use to create items, including personalized coasters, plaques and light-up items. Settles and fellow eighth-grader Madison Dimbath showed off the 3-D printers and GlowForge engraver used by the students.

“Every student gets to be involved,” Settles said.

The board approved the acceptance of a Dept. of Education Cohort Round Two STEM Acceleration grant in the amount of $25,000, an anonymous donation of $500 to the WRV HS Athletic program and an anonymous donation of $250 to WRV HS Wolverine Enterprises.

Wolverine Enterprises (WE) Logistics Team, made up of CEO Michael John Solliday, COO Mattlyn Hollingsworth and CFO Wesley Sluder, gave an update on WE, explaining the current financials to the board and announcing the upcoming Wolverine Enterprises Open House on November 4 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., during which all six student-run businesses under the WE umbrella will open their doors to visitors, showing the products they make and the processes used to make them. Several items will be available for sale during the event.

As the middle school and high school Drama departments have begun to work together on plays and musicals, the board approved a request to eliminate the middle school Drama ECA account and combine it with the high school account, creating a new MS/HS Drama ECA account.

The board approved the resignations of Jeff Richardson as WRV MS social studies teacher and Kelsie Archer as WRV HS special education instructional assistant and the hiring recommendations of Carter Hostetter as WRV HS boys basketball volunteer assistant coach, Clayton Sluder and Nate O’Neall as WRV MS boys basketball volunteer assistant coaches, Bailey Wiseman as WRV MS cheerleading coach and Ryan Karr and Cody English as WRV MS fifth/sixth-grade boys basketball coaches.

The next meeting of the WRV School Board is at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 21 at WRV HS Wolverine Center.

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