United Way recognizes WCS’ employee, student giving efforts

The United Way of Trumbull County presented Warren City Schools with the agency’s Give Award during the May 18, 2023, combined annual meeting and awards luncheon.

The United Way, while celebrating its 100-year milestone, recognized varios individuals, businesses and organizations for their contributions during the event held at the Eastwood Event Centre.

WCS Superintendent/CEO Steve Chiaro accepted the district’s Give Award garnered “In appreciation of the highesty engagement of employee and student campaign” for 2022.

McGuffey’s Titonics get school & community-wide sendoff to New Jersey robotics competition

Students and staff, along with parents and community members, gathered outside Warren City Schools’ McGuffey PK-8 School Friday morning (May 12) to give the school’s robotics team the Titonics a big sendoff. The team is heading to New Jersey for a two-day national competition at the Liberty Science Center Invitational.

The nine-member team, with students in grades fourth to eighth, have had a successful season competing against various robotics teams.

Warren Mayor Doug Franklin gave the team some words of encouragement as they prepared to board the bus. Representatives from the city’s safety forces escorted the team off campus and along the first leg of the trip.

McGuffey celebrates the arts: Hands-on activities make afterschool event an arts fest for students, families & staff

McGuffey PK-8 School was filled with activity Wednesday, May 10, 2023, during an afterschool event that brought dozens of families in for an afterschool Celebration of the Arts fest.

The event featured a variety of hands-on activities, including rock painting, beading and other crafting projects. Music spilled from the cafetorium to the hallways. Other activities included games, a photo booth and a picnic dinner for all McGuffey students and families in attendance.

Volunteers from the River Church in Warren dished up some freshly made popcorn.

WCS celebrates student art

Students and their families, along with Warren City Schools staff and community members, gathered at Warren G. Harding High School on Friday, may 5, 2023, for the annual districtwide art show.

The event, which drew in hundreds of area residents, celebrated the creativity and talent of WCS students with outstanding artwork from all five of the district’s schools: Jefferson PK-8, Lincoln PK-8,
McGuffey PK-8, Willard PK-8 and Warren G. Harding High School. All aspects of media were represented at the juried show. More than 400 WCS students participated.

Dani Burns, WCS Gifted Coordinator/Virtual Programming Administrator, said this year’s show was the biggest one to date.

“The amount of outstanding artwork and the overwhelming response and support from the community was wonderful,” Burns said. “Our students and staff did an amazing job and their efforts were appreciated by so many who came and truly admired the creativity, talent and dedication our students have.”

In addition to other awards, one student from each building received a Principal’s Award:

  • Jefferson:  Aniyah Nolan, 8th grade
  • Lincoln:  Tristan Hobbs, 7th grade
  • McGuffey: Sha’Kya Buxton, 7th grade
  • Willard: Ny’Eimah Gibson, 6th Grade
  • Harding: McKenna Murphy, 11th grade

WGH pieces were judged by WCS alumni and former WCS Visual Arts students: Emily Martin and Molly Martin.

Emily is a 2013 graduate of Warren G. Harding High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media and Design (Graphic Design) from Baldwin Wallace University in 2017. Over the past six years, Emily has worked with a number of non-profit organizations in media-related roles in the Greater Cleveland area.  Currently, Emily works as Communications & Outreach Specialist for the Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research in Cleveland.

Molly is a 2013 graduate of Warren G. Harding High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders from Baldwin Wallace University in 2017, and her Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from BW in 2019. Molly currently works as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Ashtabula County ESC.

Here is a sampling of artworks that were displayed:

Nearly $53K in scholarships awarded collectively to WGH seniors at this year’s Warren High Schools’ Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony

Outstanding members of the Warren G. Harding High School Class of 2023 were presented a total of $52,918 in scholarships at the Saturday, May 6, 2023, Warren High Schools’ Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony.

The scholarship recipients are:

  • Kaylee Abel
  • Lilanna Bays  
  • Amaria Bercheni
  • Isabella Brant
  • Brooklyn Brown
  • Abigail Bungard
  • Max Burns
  • Zyaire Bush
  • Frenchie Dayangco
  • Karyna DeCarlo    
  • Gianna DeMark
  • Olivia Dunn
  • E’mari Edmonds 
  • Brigid Faulk
  • Sade Garrett 
  • Nai’Jai Glover
  • Ki’Mari Hall-Williams  
  • Madison Hazy
  • Kadence Host  
  • Tamairi Jackson
  • Carlee Kaswinkel    
  • Laci Kinter
  • Haylie Kozak 
  • Lillian Lowry
  • Morgan McLennan
  • Nadia Petersen  
  • Jovana Pirivatric
  • Erina Ramsey
  • Taylor Redick  
  • Kerrigan Riley
  • Sha’zon Robinson
  • Damien Schenk 
  • Hannah Shuttic 
  • Allison  Sincich
  • Sydni Strother
  • Emily Trisler
  • Mary Vencel  
  • John Waldman
  • Chloe Williams
  • Zion Williams
  • Madelynn Zuccaro

More information about the recipients and individual scholarships can be found in the WCS’ Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame 2023 Program.

WCS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inducts 7 into Class of 2023!

The Board of Directors of the Warren City Schools’ Foundation and the Committee of The Warren High School’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inducted seven new members into the Class of 2023 during the 31st Annual Awards Dinner Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Warren G. Harding High School.

The new members are Jill Christein-Merolla (WGH Class of 1983); Shawn Cupples (WGH Class of 1983); Kenneth Davis  (WGH Class of 2004); Atty. Stanley A. Elkins (WWR Class of 1977); Joseph Kotwis (WGH Class of 1984); Wendy Marvin (WGH Class of 1980); and Kirk Stiffler, MD, MPH  (WWR Class of 1988).

Stiffler and Marvin were not able to attend. However, Stiffler’s father, Wayne, shown in the inductee group photograph, accepted his award for him. Marvin’s award also was accepted on her behalf.

The purpose of the award is to honor those individuals who, through their performance and achievements, reflect credit on the Warren High Schools (Warren High School, Warren G. Harding, and Warren Western Reserve), so that today’s students may find inspiration from the past and establish goals for the future.

Beverly A. Barile, who worked for Warren City Schools for 16 years teaching English at West Junior High School, Warren G. Harding High School and Harry B. Turner Seventh Grade School, was also recognized as this year’s Distinguished Faculty member.

About the 2023 inductees:

  • Jill Christein-Merolla (WGH Class of 1983), Warren, OHJill Christein-Merolla completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1987 and her Master’s Degree in Education Administration in 1992, both from Youngstown State University. In 1987, she joined the Warren City Schools as an elementary teacher at McKinley, Horace Mann, Roosevelt, and Dickey Avenue Schools. She was awarded the A+ Teacher Award by the Tribune Chronicle in 1992. In 1997, Jill advanced into administration as a middle school principal at Turner, and an elementary principal at Secrest, McGuffey K-4 and McGuffey K-2 at the Emerson Building. In 2010, Jill transitioned to central office leadership as Supervisor of Community Outreach and Grant Development where she led two major national initiatives in Warren with CASEL, Collaborative for Academic Social Emotional Learning with former U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan and worked collaboratively with SMARTS (Students Motivated by the Arts) to make Warren City Schools an Any Given Child school district, one of 25 with the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C.
  • Shawn Cupples (WGH Class of 1983), Scottsdale, AZAfter graduating from Warren G. Harding in 1983, Shawn Cupples attended Thiel College where he was a four year letterman on the football team, member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, and served in the United State Marine Corps reserve. After earning a degree in Accounting and Business Administration, he accepted a position at Deloitte Touche in the Audit and Assurance department working as a Certified Public Accountant. In 1994 he accepted a finance position with General Nutrition Corporation and was transferred to the United Kingdom. In 2001, he returned to the United States and worked with GNC in various roles including Vice President of Internal Audit and Vice President of International Business Development. He currently resides in Scottsdale Arizona and is the Financial Controller for Paddy O’ Furniture. He has been involved with several charitable and social justice organizations including the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and the Keystone Progress Education Fund.
  • Kenneth Davis  (WGH Class of 2004), Bourbonnais, Ill.  Kenneth Davis is father to Ethan (6) and Kennedy Davis (4) and husband to Brittney Davis. Kenneth is owner of Grow Pro Genetics LLC and Account Manager at Syngenta Seed, KWS Cereals USA and Bayer Crop Science. He graduated from The Ohio State University, Agribusiness and Applied Economics with a Bachelor’s degree and received his Master’s degree from Iowa State University, Seed Science and Technology.  Ken is a YMCA Youth Sports Coach and Morning Star Baptist Church Men’s Ministry Leader during his free time. Kenneth is also a recipient of The Ohio State University CFAES Young Professional Award.
  • Atty. Stanley A. Elkins (WWR Class of 1977), Newton Falls, Ohio Atty. Stanley A. Elkins attended Defiance College and graduated with a degree in both Criminal Justice and Psychology.  He obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron, School of Law in 1984.  Mr. Elkins was admitted to practice law in Ohio in May of 1985.  He has served as a prosecutor for both the City of Warren and Trumbull County.  Attorney Elkins currently serves as Chief Prosecutor of the Juvenile Division of the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office. Stanley has been a member of Second Baptist Church for over fifty years, where he serves as an Usher and Trustee.
  • Joseph Kotwis (WGH Class of 1984), Canal Winchester, OhioJoe Kotwis attended Clemson University and graduated in 1988 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. After two years with International Paper in South Carolina, he enrolled at North Carolina State and earned a Masters in Management graduating in 1992, while designing part time in Research Triangle Park. Joe married and moved to Iowa in 1992 for a 31-year career with Dupont. He transferred to West Virginia 2000 and then to Ohio 2006. Joe consulted across most films and laminates businesses in Dupont as well as external cell phone and aerospace customers. He was promoted to Technology Fellow in 2018 and retired in 2023, to pursue a manufacturing engineering consulting business.
  • Wendy Marvin (WGH Class of 1980), Warren, OH Wendy Marvin was born in Kimbrough Army Hospital in Fort Meade, Maryland. She arrived in Warren, Ohio at the ripe old age of 3 days. Her mother always told her this was the beginning of her wanderlust. Attending Laird Avenue Elementary, East Junior High and Warren G. Harding High School, Wendy went on to attend Kent State University where she spent eight years dabbling in this and that. She eventually became a medical assistant and never spent a day working in the field because working at the Trumbull YMCA not-for-profit sector while going to school was a job she loved. Wendy spent 34 years there before deciding to leave and move abroad. She received a teaching certification from the University of Miami of Florida for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and this was the start of her life abroad, first moving to Paris, France, followed by China, Bali and her current home, Warsaw, Poland. It has afforded her the opportunity to travel to 42 countries of the world and she has never looked back.
  • Kirk Stiffler, MD, MPH  (WWR Class of 1988), Hudson, OhioKirk Stiffler enrolled in the combined BS/MD program at the Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine, earning his Bachelor’s Degree at Kent State University and graduating NEOUCOM (now known as NEOMED) with his M.D. in 1994. The following three years were spent in the Emergency Medicine residency program at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio. Afterwards, Kirk joined Summa Health System as an attending emergency medicine physician at the training program. He was awarded teacher of the year by the residents in 1999; soon began to perform clinical research; and eventually served as director of clinical research for emergency medicine. During much of that time, he also chaired the Institutional Review Board (IRB) ensuring patient safety for those participating in clinical research trials at the institution.  During that time, he completed his Masters of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was promoted to Professor of Emergency Medicine at NEOMED, and has published multiple peer reviewed research papers. After nearly two decades at Summa Health System, Kirk accepted a new role as Director of Emergency Medicine at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical system in Beechwood, Ohio during the late summer of 2017. In 2020, Kirk was instrumental in helping Ahuja’s Emergency Department navigate the coronavirus pandemic. Kirk has served as the Chairman of Ahuja’s Department of Medicine, and is currently serving as the President of the Medical staff. Throughout his career, Kirk manages to support various philanthropic organizations and is a dedicated father, son, and husband.