Learning early to be s good leader

Mar. 15—NORWALK — Learning to be a good leader starts early in Norwalk.

Maplehurst Elementary Principal Ken Moore brought his students and adult volunteers to Tuesday night's Norwalk City Schools board of education meeting to talk about the school's "The Leader in Me" program.

Moore and his staff work with students in grades K to 1 and they get right to it when it comes to taking charge.

The school's leadership team is comprised of five teams — academic; shared leadership; environment, teach students to lead; and a student leadership team.

On the student leadership team are: Milo Alexander; Mazy Davis; Ensley Goodright; Sophie Kipp; Eli Knoll; Rhylie McIntyre; Jackson Meagrow; Leo Ringenberg; and Lillian Scheumann.

The student leadership roles:

—Greeters at the beginning of the day

—Collection of recycling om Wednesday

—Selling ice cream on Friday

Jackson Meagrow talked about collecting recyclables every Wednesday with adult leaders from Christie Lane. Moore talked about students standing at the door in the mornings welcoming other students and then selling ice cream every Friday for 50 cents as a special treat for the students.

Also discussed Tuesday:

Norwalk resident Jeff Bertram talked about Ohio House Bill 1, the flat-tax proposal sponsored by freshman Rep. Adam Mathews (R-56).

"This is not a new piece of legislation," said Bertram, who is running for Norwalk mayor in November. "The 'fair tax' has been discussed in fiscal conservative circles for years. This bill represents the first time that this kind of tax structure has been brought to the House floor for consideration.

"Several school boards and municipalities have raised concerns about a possible loss in revenue of an estimated $1.2 billion after adoption. The bottom line is that our legislature is looking to make Ohio attractive for business and education, and that this bill has a ways to go in terms of being an acceptable way to eliminate the income tax."

Later the board voted to oppose HB1.


Lonny Rivera of North Point ECS talked about threat assessment.

"How do we prevent these things from taking place," he said about attacks on schools, noting "these are still the safest places for our kids to be. Culture is king to everything."

What is threat assessment?

—Behavioral threat assessment is a problem-solving approach to violence prevention that involves assessment and intervention with students who have threatened violence in some way.

Threat assessment is a violence prevention strategy

—Identification: Friends, family members or others seek help when concerned about someone in distress/threatening violence.

—Evaluation: Threat assessment team evaluates the seriousness of the threat.

—Intervention: The team initiates assistance to address the underlying problem, conflict or need. In the most serious cases, protective action is taken.

When should a threat assessment be conducted?

—Statements or behaviors that express intent to harm others.

1. Direct or indirect statements of intent.

2. Concerning behaviors, such as planning or preparing to harm someone.

Rivera noted in 2021 there were at least 138 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 28 deaths and 80 injuries nationally. For every victim in a school there are 568 victims outside a school, he noted.

According to 2020 numbers tracking 11,383 homicides, 5,710 happened in the home while just 10 happened in K-12 school.

Student assessment is not designed to determine whether a student has made a threat, but whether a student poses a threat.

Teams of teachers and administrators should be set up in the schools to handle threats.

Norwalk Superintendent Brad Cooley said the schools are on board and doing all it can to protect its students, noting there will be ongoing training.


Keith Mora was on hand Tuesday, as he was officially hired as the middle school athletic director and head varsity football coach.

Current NMS athletic director Ray Scheid will remain dean of students and a teacher at the Christie Ave. building.

"It was an awesome experience getting to meet our young men last week and we started in the weight room this week," Mora said. "We have great kids here. I know as a young kid growing up in Fostoria, Ohio, I did not ever think that my road would take me to Norwalk, Ohio — and I am so thankful that it has.

"I hope that I make everyone of you proud not only on the field, but the things we can also do with these young men in the classroom and with leadership development, which is something I am very passionate about."