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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Attends the Ohio Mock Trial State Championship

By: Staff Blogger

The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education welcomed 300 students, representing 23 schools, to the annual Ohio Mock Trial in Columbus. In its 36th year, it is the state’s largest high school academic competition. Over the course of the three-day event, students sharpened their arguments and showcased their masterful critical thinking, reasoning, teamwork and communication skills for this year’s case focused on Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures as it applies to technology.

Legal professionals volunteer their time as judges, competition coordinators and advisors during this authentic trial experience. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria attended the state championship final round on March 9 between Indian Hill High School (Hamilton County) and Sylvania Southview High School (Lucas County). Congratulations to each of the participants, and bravo to the 2019 champions – the students from Indian Hill High School! The state champs from Indian Hill Exempted Village School District will represent Ohio later this school year at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Georgia.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Attends the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center Advisory Council

By: Staff Blogger

Children of parents who are engaged in their education are much more likely to graduate and succeed. The Center on Education and Training for Employment at The Ohio State University, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education, received a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop a statewide center to serve Ohio’s families and schools. The Statewide Family Engagement Center empowers families to support their children’s education and provides comprehensive training and technical assistance to schools and organizations that support family-school partnerships. Over the course of the five-year grant, the Ohio Department of Education will receive more than $700,000, and the grant is projected to reach more than 10,000 families over the next five years.

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The Rewards of Recognition… How the Ohio Teacher of the Year Program Opens Doors

By: Jonathan Juravich

Editor’s Note: During the Ohio Teacher of the Year selection process, outstanding educators from each of the 11 State Board of Education districts are chosen to be District Teachers of the Year. Finalists for the Ohio Teacher of the Year will be selected from these 11 honorees. Ultimately, only one will become the Ohio Teacher of the Year. This person is then in the running to be the National Teacher of the Year. 

As the nomination window for the 2020 Ohio Teacher of the Year opens, 2018 Teacher of the Year Jonathan Juravich invited Bre Sambuchino, a 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year finalist, to help him write this blog. Below, Jonathan and Bre share how their respective recognitions have impacted their careers and lives. They also invite you to nominate an outstanding teacher for this honor.

NewOTOY_noyear-002.pngJonathan Juravich, 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year

To be named the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year set into motion the most remarkable year and a half of my life. To be honest, I will never be the same again. I have realized that I have become a stronger version of myself. I am confident in sharing my perspective and my experiences in the classroom. I have learned what true leadership can be and how sometimes sitting back and actually listening to someone else can mean so much more than being the loudest voice in the room. I have learned that Ohio Teacher of the Year is so much more than a title, it is an opportunity, a responsibility and full of possibilities.

Right before the announcement was made of my recognition, I was on a conference call with previous honorees. One of them said, “You are going to join the most incredible professional network of people when you meet the other state teachers of the year.” I remember rolling my eyes. Really? Another network of educators? I think I’m okay. And then I met the 54 other state Teachers of the Year and realized this was so much more than a professional network. This group of educators has so many things in common with me — they process the same struggles, challenge me to think bigger, are there when I need someone to listen and have opened my eyes to gratitude. They have become my close friends.

Together, we have had once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We explored Google’s campus, shared our experiences with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, toured the White House, attended Space Camp and stood on the field during the national anthem at the National Championship football game. And the adventures continue. Then, there was that day I stood on the TED stage in New York City, telling the stories of my students, my daughter and my grandmother to fellow teachers in the audience.

Throughout these experiences, I was very cognizant that I was representing Ohio and the excellent educators of our state. I knew when I saw something amazing or experienced excellent professional learning, it was my job to share it with the people who needed it. And now, piloting the teacher-in-residence position at the Ohio Department of Education, I have had the opportunity to meet and celebrate some of the most remarkable educators across our state.

This experience has led me to dream big and believe in possibilities — possibilities for my students, for education and for myself.

Bre Sambuchino, 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year Finalist

I remember the day when my superintendent walked in my class with flowers in hand. I was teaching Education Principles. This is a class for seniors who wish to become teachers, and they are absolutely delightful — a joy, really. She came in and explained she had just submitted my name for Ohio Teacher of the Year. The students in the class were enthralled. They wanted to know everything and asked, “So, what is next?” “When will she know?” “How can we help?” I remember thinking they were being so sweet, but I was pretty sure my road was going to end that day because I knew of all the amazing teachers that were in my building — let alone the state of Ohio.

They asked for a group hug. Yes, a hug. Senior students were hugging it out. I thought, “Maybe I did teach them something.” As the instructor for our school’s Teaching Professions Academy, my motto is to do all things with grace and love.

The Ohio Teacher of the Year process continued and was challenging at times. I was juggling a lot of life changes at the same time as I was preparing for my presentation and writing my essays. However, the process gave me the opportunity to reflect on my life and, for that, I am grateful. When all the essays were written, I realized I like building and creating things. Almost everything I had been recognized for had been for creating something that had not existed previously.

The process gave me confidence, which gave me grace. It gave me the opportunity to say, “What is next?” Since then, I have volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Retrofittings Committee, and I recently met with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society about becoming involved in their work. I love working on teams, building things and creating anew.

In the classroom, the Ohio Teacher of the Year process has solidified the passion I have for my vocation. I know I am meant to be an educator. I love what I do and am grateful for each day. I love modeling grace and love, and I know I am where I am meant to be.

Our challenge is for school administrators, community members, parents, students and fellow educators to nominate an outstanding teacher for the Ohio Teacher of the Year program. Excellent teachers open doors to opportunities for students. In turn, excellent teachers deserve to have doors opened for them.

Jonathan Juravich is the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year, was a finalist for National Teacher of the Year and serves as the Ohio Department of Education’s teacher-in-residence.

Bre Sambuchino is the State Board District 4 Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year. She teaches in Loveland City School District.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Attends Gov. Mike DeWine’s State of the State Address

By: Staff Blogger

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Welcomes Dr. Talisa Dixon on Her First Day as Columbus City Schools Superintendent

By: Staff Blogger


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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Celebrates Read Across America Day at the Columbus Library

By: Staff Blogger

Every story brings a new chance to learn! Protagonists from every genre were getting a page-turning workout for Read Across America Day on March 2. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria joined the celebration of stories as a guest reader for family story time at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Superintendent DeMaria read Bark, George by Jules Feiffer to a group enthusiastic young learners.

Ohio’s libraries are fantastic education partners. Library CEO Patrick Losinski and Director of Strategic Initiatives Nikki Scarpitti welcomed Superintendent DeMaria to their world of wisdom and wonder, and highlighted the many mays the Columbus Library creates and strengthens learning for students. Story time is among the many ways families can work together on fundamental reading strategies. Reading aloud to children is a great way to engage young learners, promote language development and reinforce early literacy skills. Did you know reading three new picture books a week to children can increase their vocabulary by 40 percent? Sarah Wright, Youth Services Manager, shared how families can practice these literacy skills at home and build excitement for reading. Follow along below with highlights from Twitter and Instagram.


Pages are turning for today’s #ReadAcrossAmerica celebration! 📖➡️🌎 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ State Supt. Paolo DeMaria joined the book bonanza as a guest reader for the @ColumbusLibrary’s Family Story Time. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The young learners in attendance were excited to recognize sounds and practice saying letters as Supt. DeMaria read "Bark, George" by Jules Feiffer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Many thanks to Patrick Losinski, Columbus Metropolitan Library CEO, and the library youth services team for welcoming us to their world of wisdom and wonder! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Check out our Story Highlights to see more from today’s visit. #OhioEd

A post shared by Ohio Department of Education (@oheducation) on

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Practical Tips to Harness the Power of Student Engagement

By: Kimberly Monachino

GettyImages-877033978.jpgWe hear the term student engagement quite a bit, but what does that mean in the classroom and how is it done? Student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism and passion students show when they are learning or being taught. This extends to their levels of motivation to learn and progress in their education. To create high levels of student engagement, teachers craft lessons that focus on student-driven inquiry and create learning environments that challenge students to actively research, investigate and collaborate. Students have multiple options to demonstrate their mastery of both content and skills. Simply stated: the students are actively participating in their learning, not passive bystanders.

As Benjamin Franklin stated, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This quote speaks to the power of student engagement. We know that the more students are engaged, the more learning occurs. So, how do we create classrooms with high levels of student engagement?

Here are several ways to increase the amount of time students are engaged.

  1. Make the lesson meaningful and real. Have the students incorporate their experiences, interests and knowledge.
  2. Give students choice. Empower the students to make choices on their assignments (for example, tic-tac-toe style boards that offer choices of activities).
  3. Use the 10:2 method. For every 10 minutes of instruction, allow the students two minutes to process and respond to the instruction or reading material. This can be done in various ways: have them write about what they learned or read, have them ask or write down questions they have about what they read or learned, or have students discuss the lesson or reading material with partners.
  4. Incorporate movement into your lessons. Require students to respond to a question about a reading passage or lesson by moving to a certain spot in the room, writing on whiteboards or standing (or sitting) when they are done thinking about the question.
  5. Embrace collaborative learning. By teaching students to work together, they learn how to problem-solve, think critically, improve social interactions and develop communication skills.
  6. Allow students five to seven seconds of ‘think time’ when asking a question about a story or reading passage. At the end of the time, draw a random name to answer the question.
  7. At the end of a lesson, have students use the 3-2-1 method of summarizing. In this method, students record three things they learned, two interesting things and one question they have about what was taught or read. Allow time for them to share their findings with peers.
  8. Take a moment to pause. Periodically pause mid-sentence when teaching and require students to fill in the blanks.
  9. Establish positive teacher-student relationships. Students need to feel safe in their classrooms. They need to know they can take risks and make mistakes in their learning.
  10. Remember your role as a teacher. Remember that the goal of engagement in the classroom is to change from being a teacher who is the sage on the stage to one who is the guide on the side.
Kim Monachino is director of the Office for Exceptional Children for the Ohio Department of Education. You can learn more about Kim by clicking here.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Visits Dayton Public Schools

By: Staff Blogger

  • Step One: Aspire to make a difference.
  • Step Two: Inspire everyone around you.
These intricate and visionary steps drive the educators in Dayton Public Schools. Their work to make a difference in the lives of students was on full display when State Board of Education Vice President Charlotte McGuire and State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria visited the district today. Dayton Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli and Treasurer Hiwot Abraha shared points of pride from every grade level during visits to Edison Elementary, River’s Edge Montessori, Stivers School for the Arts and Belmont High School. Superintendent DeMaria met with teachers and students to learn about the variety of dynamic teaching and learning experiences the district offers. Check out highlights from Superintendent DeMaria’s Twitter feed below!  

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Visits Centerville City Schools

By: Staff Blogger

It was a teaching and learning showcase today in Centerville City Schools. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria joined State Board of Education Vice President Charlotte McGuire to visit learning communities in the Montgomery County district. During the visit, Superintendent DeMaria connected with educators, staff and students at Primary Village North Elementary and Centerville High School.

Primary Village North Elementary earned the State Board of Education’s Overall A Award, which recognizes high performing schools and their efforts to earn this grade on the Ohio School Report Card. Principal Mindy Cline and her education team highlighted the many ways their school promotes building character among its learners. The school emphasizes care plus a commitment to preparing all students for success.

“Superb,” “high-energy” and “dynamic” describe Centerville High School social studies teacher Jason Whited. Mr. Whited is the 2019 Teacher of the Year for State Board of Education District 3. Superintendent DeMaria and State Board Vice President McGuire observed his class and listened to students’ rich discussion of the events leading up to World War II. While at Centerville High School, Superintendent DeMaria interviewed a group of learners to hear how the district includes student insights and viewpoints to strengthen its decision-making and whole child focus.

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State Supt. Paolo DeMaria Celebrates Career Tech Month

By: Staff Blogger

Every Ohio student is on a unique path to greatness. One of the key strategies in Each Child, Our Future – Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education – details the importance of a rich and meaningful high school experience. This strategy discusses giving students multiple ways to demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed for every avenue after high school. Ohio’s career and technical education programs are essential to providing these hands-on learning experiences for students. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria celebrated Career Tech Month with visits to three Career Tech centers on Feb. 22 — Swiss Hills Career Center, Belmont-Harrison Career Center and C-TEC of Licking County. Each stop featured exemplary educators, excited and engaged learners and impactful business and industry partners. At C-TEC, Superintendent DeMaria moderated a panel discussion with students and a teacher to hear success stories of how the school prepares students for college, advanced training and the workforce. Follow along below with highlights from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Last Modified: 5/17/2019 3:20:37 PM