Mustang Moments

Strongsville City Schools News (2016-17 Vol I, Iss 10)

Strong Schools. Strong Community. Strongsville.

In This Issue - October 28, 2016

  • Important Dates to Remember

  • 60 Seconds with the Superintendent

  • “Fill the Bus” for the Strongsville Food Bank - TONIGHT (Friday, October 28)

  • Mustang Spotlight - Strongsville Middle School Intervention Specialist Ms. Jenna Rutz

  • OMLA Parent of the Year

  • SHS Fall Athletics Recap

  • Did You Know? (Fiscal Responsibility)

  • Issue 120 - Strongsville City Schools Renewal Levy

  • “State of the Schools” Presentation - Thursday, November 3

  • Junior Mustangs Basketball Program

  • SwimStrongsville & SHS Swim Teams "Splash Out Cancer" Event

  • Community Events

Important Dates to Remember

TONIGHT (Fri. 10/28) - 7pm

Strongsville vs. Brunswick Varsity Football Game
“Fill The Bus” for the Strongsville Food Bank
Pre-Game Ceremony Recognizing Senior Football Players, Cheerleaders, & Band Members
Pre-Game POW/MIA Seat, Flagpole, & Flag Dedication
Car Raffle Winner Announced at Halftime, sponsored by The Chevy Network & Serpentini Chevrolet of Strongsville

Thursday, November 3 - 6:30pm
“State of the Schools” Presentation by Superintendent Cameron Ryba (Strongsville Middle School Auditorium)
* Board of Education Meeting will immediately follow the presentation in the SMS Auditorium

Tuesday, November 8
NO SCHOOL (Election Day & District Professional Development Day)

Thursday, November 17 - 7pm
Board of Education Meeting (Administration Building - 18199 Cook Ave.)

November 23-25
NO SCHOOL (Thanksgiving Break)

60 Seconds With The Superintendent

Strongsville High School is home to one of the finest music programs in this area. This week’s episode visits with Mr. Andrew Hire, Director of Orchestras and the Fine Arts Department Chair at the high school. What does a strong music program mean to a school district? How is music making an impact with students? Click HERE, as Mr. Hire and members of the high school’s Symphony Orchestra answer those questions and more.


Bring a canned food donation to the Strongsville/Brunswick varsity football game TONIGHT (Friday, October 28) and help us “fill the bus” for the Strongsville Food Bank.

The Food Bank is especially in need of the following items: canned soup, canned tuna fish, canned fruits, canned vegetables, and boxes of Kleenex.

Look for the Strongsville School Bus in front of Pat Catan Stadium - let’s fill it for the food bank!

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Ms. Jenna Rutz is in her second year working for Strongsville City Schools as an Intervention Specialist at Strongsville Middle School. She earned her undergraduate degree from Kent State University and is currently working on a Master's Degree.

As an Intervention Specialist, Ms. Rutz is responsible for managing students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEP) and making sure their academic needs are met by giving different strategies and methods for acquiring knowledge. She stays in close communication with parents and works cooperatively with general education teachers to assist with intervention strategies.

“I really enjoy working with my students at Strongsville because they are so appreciative of any help I offer, and they are always eager to learn and want to be successful. The students I work with are so diverse in their own ways and make everyone second of my day exciting,” says Ms. Rutz.

Thank you Ms. Rutz for the excitement you bring to the classroom and the impact you are making on our students on a daily basis!


Congratulations to Jodi Largent, former Center Middle School parent, who has been chosen as the 2016 Ohio Middle Level Association’s Parent of the Year. Each year, a parent who makes significant contributions of time, service, and leadership to a school is acknowledged with this award.

The mother of four daughters, Jodi has been a tireless volunteer for students in the Strongsville City Schools, in particular for Center Middle School students. When her youngest daughter, Molly, was a student at CMS, Jodi was a constant presence in the school, donating her time to sell tickets for PTA events, as well as volunteering her time to chaperone school functions, setup for Orchestra concerts, Student Council dances, and create memorable faculty lunches (including a Staff Appreciation Week for the ages)! Jodi also donated the funds for every student on the Rulers team to have an eighth grade T-shirt to commemorate their final year at CMS. Whenever a need arose, Jodi always asked “how can I help?” While every SCS parent is special, Jodi’s dedication to all students is what truly made her stand out.

Jodi was recognized this morning for her outstanding accomplishment at the OMLA Annual Conference in Cincinnati. We are extremely proud of Jodi and thank her for the efforts she has made for our middle school students!

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Jodi Largent - 2016 OMLA Parent of the Year


From Strongsville’s Athletic Director, Andy Jalwan:

It has been a great fall for the athletic program at Strongsville High School. Our student-athletes and coaches are working harder than ever to represent our school district and this community with the highest level of dedication, commitment and sportsmanship. Please take a moment to recognize a few highlights from this fall and some upcoming events that we would love to see you attend:

Cross Country
Both the boys and girls cross country teams have had outstanding years this year and are 'hitting their stride' in the OHSAA postseason. The program has also hosted two major invitationals this year on our high school campus, the annual Fleet Feet Invitational and the Greater Cleveland Conference Championships. This year, in an extremely competitive conference, the boys placed 4th overall and the girls team placed 6th.

At last weekend’s District Championship, the boys team finished in 2nd place and the girls team finished in 5th. Both the boys and girls teams have successfully qualified for the Regional Meet at Boardman High School (race held tomorrow - Saturday, 10/29). Brian Wyler and Jake Papish are also individual Regional Qualifiers and Jocelyn Knauss is an individual Regional Qualifier, as well. This marks the 26th year (out of 28 years) the girls team has qualified to the Regional Championships for Cross Country.

The football program has gone through a rebuilding season this year and despite several key injuries and playing a very competitive schedule, the team has worked very hard to represent our district and community with pride and determination. There is still one more chance to catch the Mustangs in action at home this year. The annual week 10 rivalry game versus Brunswick will take place TONIGHT (Friday October 28th) at Pat Catan Stadium. There are plenty of exciting events also happening at the game, including the Strongsville City School's "Fill the Bus" food drive, the dedication of our new flag pole, and someone will be driving home a brand new 2016 Chevy Cruze, thanks to Serpentini Chevrolet of Strongsville.

Girls Golf
The girls golf team finished the season with an overall record of 4 wins and 8 losses. In the Flo-Bar Tournament on August 11 at MeadowLakes Golf Course, the girls placed 2nd. Junior Rosemary Zaleski led the Mustangs with a 48.5 average for nine holes and freshman Molly Duperow’s 95.9 average for eighteen holes was a team best.

Boys Golf
The boys golf team finished sixth in the conference standings. Senior Brendan McDonnell was named to the all-conference team. Senior Camron Klingerman finished as individual runner-up in the Greater Cleveland Conference tournament with a 78.

Girls Soccer
The girls soccer team finished their season with a record of 15-0-1. Our success this year has earned our girls soccer team several distinctions including currently being ranked the #1 team in the State of Ohio in the most recent OSSCA Poll. In the most recent national poll, published by USA Today High School Sports, Strongsville is the #3 ranked team in the entire country. Lastly, the girls have clinched the Greater Cleveland Conference Championship this year, our first conference championship since 2013 for the girls soccer program.

The girls soccer team has defeated Valley Forge 8-0 and Shaker Hts. 6-0 on their way to the District Championship match which will be held tomorrow (Saturday, October 29) at 11am at Padua Franciscan High School. In a matchup of the top two seeds in the district, the Mustangs battle North Royalton High School for the right to move on in the state tournament.

Boys Soccer
The boys soccer team finished their regular season with a record of 10-3-3 and earned a 4th place finish in the Greater Cleveland Conference. The team is seeded second in the district and has shut out both Amherst and North Olmsted in the postseason tournament on their way to a District Championship match against top seeded Olmsted Falls. The boys play tomorrow (Saturday, October 29) at 7pm at Independence High School.

Girls Tennis
The girls tennis program had a successful year, as all three squads finished well over .500 (Varsity 12-7, JV 13-6, JV-B 4-2). The varsity team also improved during the season, finishing with victories in six of their last eight matches, and ended 4th overall in the Greater Cleveland Conference. The girls tennis season is complete; however, we are very proud of the accomplishments of the girls both on the court and in the classroom!

The girls volleyball program at the high school finished their regular season with a record of 18-4 and a conference record of 13-1. The team also earned the recognition as champions of the Greater Cleveland Conference. The volleyball team, seeded #1 in their district bracket, has defeated Lakewood and Berea-Midpark on their way to the District Championship match against second-seeded Brunswick. The match is set for tomorrow (Saturday, October 29) at 7pm at Strongsville High School, with the winner advancing to the next round of the state tournament.

Good Luck to all of the Mustang teams and individual athletes competing in the postseason tournaments!

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Through financial prudence and fiscal responsibility, did you know that Strongsville City Schools has managed the budget and saved money in the following ways:

+ Since 2010, our District has eliminated six buildings and re-purposed one building to save resources and maximize educational offerings.

+ Since 2009, there are 212 fewer positions in our District (23% reduction) keeping pace with declining enrollment. During the past two fiscal years, we have been able to reduce another 50 positions for a savings of $1.9 million. An additional $1.1 million in savings is projected through fiscal year 2019, with respect to further reductions in staffing.

+ During 2014, our District switched from a fully-insured to a self-funded health care plan. Since the switch, our District has saved $2.8 million.


Strongsville City Schools will be placing a renewal levy (Issue 120) on the November 8, 2016 ballot. Issue 120 is a renewal of an existing operating levy and is not a tax increase. Issue 120 means continuation of the high quality education for our students and community by ensuring:

  • Up-to-date textbooks and learning materials to prepare students for college and career
  • Access to honors and advanced placement courses
  • Bus transportation throughout the community
  • Integration of technology into student learning
  • Class sizes at an optimum level for student learning
  • Co- and extra-curricular opportunities for student involvement
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“State of the Schools” Presentation Thursday, November 3

Our students, teachers, and staff are accomplishing fantastic things on a daily basis. To learn more about these achievements in our District, we invite the entire community to join us for a special “State of the Schools” presentation on Thursday, November 3rd from 6:30pm-7:30pm in the Strongsville Middle School auditorium. This presentation is open to the public, with a chance to hear an update from Superintendent Cameron Ryba on our Strong Schools 2020 Plan and also ask any questions you may have about our District. The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will immediately follow the presentation in the SMS Auditorium.

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The Junior Mustangs program is open to K-8th grade youth basketball players looking to further develop their skills. These Thursday night sessions will be led by SHS varsity basketball players and held at Strongsville High School. Participants also receive free admission to Mustangs Basketball Games! Click HERE for registration and more information.


Join SwimStrongsville and the Strongsville High School Boys & Girls Swim teams as they work together to “splash out cancer” on November 5th & 6th at the Ehrnfelt Recreation Center in Strongsville. The teams will be hosting a swim meet with funds being raised for the Seidman Cancer Center of University Hospital in the name of Kelly Kinney.

How can you get involved? They are looking for donations from residents and businesses to build raffle items. Should you be willing to donate, please email Nikki Whitehead at

Specially designed t-shirts in support of the meet and pre-sale event tickets will be available beginning Wednesday, November 2 from 3pm-7pm at the Rec Center.


Team Strongsville “Goods at the Gazebo” Event - Sunday, October 30

Join Team Strongsville and support the Strongsville Food Bank by donating to their “Goods at the Gazebo” event on Sunday, October 30 from 11:00am - 3:00pm. Community members are encouraged to drop off non-perishables at the center of town, as Team Strongsville fills the gazebo with your generous donations. Important items needed include peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, canned soups, canned meats, and toilet paper.

Strongsville Athletic Boosters Social Event

The Strongsville Athletic Boosters Club has an upcoming social event. This evening is NOT a fundraiser and is meant to be a fun evening to get to know other parents in the District.
What: Strongsville Athletic Boosters Night Out

When: Saturday, November 12 (6:00pm - 8:30pm)

Where: Strongsville Cleats

Cost: $20.00 per guest, includes food (mozzarella sticks, pretzel sticks, fried pickles, quesadillas, chips & salsa, cheeseburger sliders, boneless and traditional wings, mac & cheese, and salad) and drink (domestic drafts and house wine).

Strongsville Women's League Pancake Breakfast

Please join the Strongsville Women's League for their Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, October 30th, 8:00-10:00am at Applebee's. Breakfast includes pancakes, bacon and hash browns along with coffee, orange juice, milk, or soft drinks. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children (8 and under). For tickets, contact Mindy at 440-572-4672 or Tamara at A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door.

Southwest General ‘Safe Sitter’ Classes

Southwest General, partnering with University Hospitals, presents “Safe Sitter” classes. Keep your child safe while home alone or when babysitting. Safe Sitter is a nationally recognized program, developed by a pediatrician, designed to teach both boys and girls (ages 11-14) how to be safe and responsible sitters. Call Southwest General at 440.816.8036 to register.

Strongsville Chamber of Commerce

Please note the following events hosted by the Strongsville Chamber of Commerce. Registration is required for all events. Please call 440.238.3366 to register or for more information. Those interested may also visit to register and to see more event information.

Business After Hours Event – Hosted by Olympia Sweet Treats & Grill

Thursday, November 3rd from 5:30-7:30pm

Strongsville Chamber members are free! Future members cost just $10 per person.

November Breakfast – ESPN 850 WKNR's Mark “Munch” Bishop

Tuesday, November 15th from 7:30-9:00am at the Holiday Inn. Cost is just $20 per person

Holiday Scholarship Dance. Friday, December 2nd. 7:00pm at Michaud’s

Contact the Chamber now to reserve your table! $350 for a table of 10 or $70 per couple.

100% of ticket sale revenue goes toward scholarships

FitKids at Empowering Punch

Empowering Punch in Strongsville offers youth fitness classes for boys and girls ages 3-12. It’s a great way to burn off some energy, and builds self confidence by learning new skills and becoming more physically fit. No experience is ever necessary and the classes are suitable for any fitness level. Visit for additional details.

Strongsville Library
Please note the following November 2016 events at the Strongsville Branch Library. Registration is required for most events. Please call (440) 238-5530 to register or for more information. All events sponsored by our Friends of Strongsville Branch Library. Customers may also visit to register and to see more library event information.

**The Library, administration and all branches, will be CLOSED for the Thanksgiving holiday beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23rd. Regular hours resume on Friday, November 25, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.

Year-Round Story Times!

Cuyahoga County Public Library offers story time sessions year-round for children Birth to Age 5. Our current story time sessions are in full swing! Please call the library for more information about our Fall story time sessions.

Steps to an Effective Job Search. Tuesday, November 1st from 2 - 4 p.m.

This workshop will help you develop a job search strategy, learn how to search for a job, look up companies and use common job search websites. You will also be taught the importance of networking and how to become your own recruiter. Finally, you will be taught how to learn more about companies of interest by using the libraries research databases.

Young at Heart. Tuesday, October 4th from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

A book club for adults who love Children’s and Teen books. Meets the first Tuesday evening of every month. Please register in person to pick up a copy of the book. Our next discussion will be on Graphic Novel classics. Read a variety of classic titles that have been changed into a graphic novel format

Tap an App Storytime. Preschools Ages 3-5 with parent or caregiver.

Friday, November 4th from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Come join us for a program that blends a traditional storytime program with 21st century technology. Children and their parent/caregivers will be able to enjoy and learn about apps that help with various literacy skills. Space is limited and registration is required.

Geocaching 101. Thursday, November 10th at 7:00 p.m.

Looking for a way to appreciate the outdoors, get off the couch, and meet people? Join the world of Geocaching - a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Discover this global past time that never ceases to amaze! Our very own staff member and geocaching expert, Amy Martin, will share tips and information on how to get started with this exciting treasure hunting experience!

Just 4 You Student Friends Volunteers. Ages 10-18. Saturday, November 12th from 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Join Just 4 U Student Friends and get involved at the Strongsville Branch and in your community. Pick up an application at the Teen Desk.

Online Security Series. Mondays, November 14, 21, & 28th from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Come learn how to identify threats and security weak points and take home practical, actionable, advice for securing your information and implementing best practices. Week 1: Basic Computer Security; Week 2: Basic Internet Security; Week 3: Set up a Secure Wireless Network.

Parkfit Mall Walkers Wellness Talk: "Money Saving Strategies for Medications" Tuesday, November 15th from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

This month's speaker will be Josh Unsworth from PharmD speaking on cost saving strategies for medications. The ParkFit Mall Walkers Club is a combined effort of Southwest General and SouthPark Mall in Strongsville. The Club provides an opportunity for community residents to improve their health by walking for exercise in a safe, interesting and climate-controlled facility. Walk at the mall first, then come over to the Library for this informative wellness talk!

Good Morning, Strongsville Speaker Series. Wednesday, November 16th from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Please join us for our bi-monthly Good Morning, Strongsville Speaker Series. Each month we bring a special speaker of interest to seniors and residents of Strongsville. Our November speaker will be Dr. Lika from Southwest General speaking on options for Hip and Knee Arthritis. Refreshments served.

Wednesday Evening Book Discussion. Meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. New Members Welcome! Our next discussion will be on Wednesday, November 16th. This month we will be discussing The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. Copies of the book will be available at the check-out desk. Registration for this program is not needed. Join us for an evening of great discussion!

Weird Science: Build a Bridge! Teens Ages 10-18. Tuesday, November 22nd from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Calling all future engineers! Learn how to build a truss bridge with craft sticks. Even if you don't plan to be an engineer, come have fun with us!

Monday Afternoon Book Discussion. Meets the 4th Monday of each month at 2:30 p.m. New Members Welcome! Our next discussion will be held on Monday, November 28th. This month we will be discussing Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar. Copies of the book will be available for check-out at the circulation desk. Join us for great conversation!