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Brooke students recognized for accomplishments

March 12, 2011
By WARREN SCOTT, staff writer

WELLSBURG - A Brooke High School junior who was among winners of a national competition for students aspiring to be educators and the school's winning girls soccer team were recognized by the Brooke County Board of Education at its March 1 meeting.

Ryan Cipoletti placed third at the national level of a Future Educators of America competition for his creation and delivery of a lesson plan for kindergarteners. He placed second in that category at the state FEA conference.

The son of Raymond and Lorie Cipoletti of Wellsburg, he presented the lesson to children in his mother's kindergarten class at St. John the Evangelist Early Education Center.

Held at Atlanta, the competition involved more than 1,000 students, said Diane Lucero, adviser of Brooke's FEA chapter and instructor.

Cipoletti was one of four Brooke students who competed in the national event after placing first or second in their respective categories at the state competition.

The team of Austin Isinghood and Alexis Haught placed second for its public service ad promoting education as a career, and Mark Mazzella placed second in a competition that challenged students to speak impromptu on an issue involving education.

Lucero expressed appreciation to the many individuals and groups who helped the students to raise funds needed to attend the national event.

The school board also recognized members of the Brooke High School girls soccer team, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class AAA season champions and OVAC tournament runners-up.

Team members are Ashley Wilcox, Maci Hascak, Kara Mezan, Jessica Kennedy, Megan Smith, Megan Johnston, Emily Richmond, Kirsten Minger, Lindsay Chiodi, Shawn Stewart, Ashley Smith, C.J. Hood, Dana Snyder, Lauren Brindley, Amber Govey, Sarah Hardsouk, Haley Dalton and Juliet Casinelli.

The team's coach, Lee Weppler, was named coach of the year. Its assistant coach is Renie Burdette.

In other business, the board heard school improvement council reports from the principals of Brooke High School and Franklin and Hooverson Heights primary schools.

The councils are comprised of staff, community members and at the middle and high school levels, a student representative, and are aimed at improving academics, facilities and other aspects of their schools.

Scott Donohew, principal of Franklin Primary School, spoke about several efforts, including the school's adoption of the EDline computer program, which enables parents to access their children's grades online using personal access codes; a monthly newsletter for parents produced by the school's fourth-graders; and an exercise program in which the school's children take 15-minute walks outside each morning.

Nicole Ennis, principal of Hooverson Heights Primary School, related the support of the school's business partners. They included: Robert Scott Lumber of Wellsburg, which donated scarecrow posts that went up for auction at a school auction and raised more than $300 to be used to reward pupils for positive behavior; Hood's Pharmacy, which has donated landscaping materials for an area near the school's sign; and Borden Office Equipment, which has donated money and assisted with the startup of a program in which children with financial need receive food for the weekend.

The food is packed in backpacks by members of nearby Hooverson Heights Church of Christ so they may receive the food without other students' knowledge, she said.

Toni Shute, Brooke High School's head principal, discussed efforts to improve the school's academic performance and meet state and federal guidelines.

They have included providing additional instructional time to students with lower scores on the state achievement test and eliminating a policy that allowed students to forego end-of-course exams as a reward for good attendance.

Instead, good attendance may be required for attending homecoming or receiving parking privileges at the school.

Brooke County Sheriff's Deputy John White, the school's prevention and resource officer, asked the board to consider returning students from the alternative learning center to its previous site at 26th Street in Wellsburg.

The center was established to provide a more structured environment for students with behavioral issues and was moved to a classroom at the high school in 2006 as a cost-saving measure.

But White said the center and school aren't a good fit because students at the center don't understand why they must follow a different set of rules from others at the school, such as not being permitted to walk the school's halls during lunch period.

The board also:

Citing rising costs for utilities and custodians, approved raising the fee charged to outside non-profit groups for use of school facilities to $60 per hour, with an additional $32.77 per hour charged if a second custodian is needed.

The board previously charged about $9 per hour for each custodian needed and assumed additional costs.

The board now also will require a $500 security deposit, to be refunded after the school is inspected.

Approved the hiring of John Reardon as assistant girls softball coach at the high school; Mary Lou Bingiel as an instructor for a homebound student; Jaime Lash as assistant track coach at the high school; and Brian Cerullo as head girls tennis coach at the high school.

It accepted resignations from Karen Andreas, a special education teacher at the high school; Gary Matteson, as Wellsburg Middle School's boys track coach; and Ralph Smith, as Brooke High School's ski club adviser.

(Scott can be contacted at

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