Students of the Month

Student ribbon

For many years, Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School has celebrated the hard work and achievements of students by selecting an elite few monthly to be honored as "Students of the Month." From October through May, at least three students (one each from the 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12 grade clusters) are selected as determined by the following criteria:

  • Citizenship: A student who exhibited or continues to exhibit dedication, unselfishness, and commitment to a class, the institution itself, and/or the people within our school.
  • Community Service: A student who unselfishly accomplished or performed an act or series of acts which, as a result, greatly benefited another person or Ottawa Hills Local Schools as a whole.
  • Extracurricular: A student who through a superior effort or outstanding ability, has performed or continues to perform in an extracurricular activity in such a way as to bring positive attention to themselves and the Junior/Senior High School.
  • Leadership: A student who exhibited or continues to display the ability to motivate others towards the betterment of themselves and of the Junior/Senior High School.
  • Scholarship: A student who has performed consistently at a level of academic achievement that is exemplary either in an individual class or at the Junior/Senior High School as a whole.

The nominations are made by faculty and staff at the building. The "Students of the Month" are selected by a committee of faculty and administration. The honorees are recognized by the Board of Education at one of its meetings and receive a special certificate from the Board president. Additionally, students are featured on the Junior/Senior High School's digital sign; in a special showcase in the building's main hallway; in the district's weekly e-newsletter; and in the Village Life & Home monthly publication.

February

Race KowalczykRace Kowalczyk

7th grade

Parents: Julie and Tod Kowalczyk

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Race plays on the undefeated 7th grade boys’ basketball team. In his free time, he enjoys water skiing and playing basketball. Byron Schwartz, his coach at Ottawa Hills, has had the most impact on Race in Junior High. His most memorable experience so far has been winning the TAAC championship after an undefeated basketball season.

Faculty nominator: Nicole Silvers

“Race is a very kind and compassionate young man. He always listens, and always strives to do his best. I really appreciate how attentive and cooperative he is both with me and his classmates. It is a pleasure to be his teacher. Though I've only worked with Race for a semester, I've many reasons to nominate him for Student of the Month. Race arrives daily with a positive attitude and willingness to learn. He accepts challenges to further his knowledge, even within a subject that he has to work hard at. While I don't know nor see Race in the rest of his academic world, one period of instruction has proven evidence of the type of human being he is: thoughtful, respectful, and mindful to and of those around him. I couldn’t be more proud of his transition to OHJH, and the person he strives to be each day.”

Sophia HeidenreichSophia Heidenreich

10th grade

Parents: Amy Jerome & Trevor Heidenreich

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Sophie’s activities at Ottawa Hills High School include Dance Team and Teen PEP; she also is currently running for “Student of the Year” honors through the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Outside of school, she is a dancer at Toledo Ballet. In her free time, Sophie enjoys spending  with family and cooking. Sophie’s favorite class is chemistry and her favorite book is The Giver by Lois Lowry. People would be surprised to know that she has lived in North Carolina and California before moving to Ohio. In the future, Sophie plans to go to college and travel. Sophie’s favorite experiences at Ottawa Hills so far have been her involvement in Dance Team and other school-related activities.

Faculty nominator: Jeremy Nixon

“Sophie is one of the hardest working students I have ever taught. She has a great desire to not only learn the material, but to also thoroughly understand it. Sophie is also a very nice and approachable student that has great relationships with both her peers and teachers.”

Deepta ParamasamyDeepta Paramasamy

12th grade

Parents: Bhuvaneswari Paramasamy and Paramasamy Karuppuchamy

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Deepta’s activities include field hockey, Teen PEP, AFS club, Science Olympiad, Speech and Debate, Tamil Cultural Group, Model UN, Quiz Bowl, and French Club. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as playing her guitar. In the future, she plans to go to college and eventually earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry. The person who has most impacted her during high school has been Jeremy Nixon, helping Deepta grow in the scientific community and as a researcher. Deepta’s most memorable experience at Ottawa Hills has been her Agora trip to Costa Rica.

Faculty nominator: Sara Eisenbaum

“Deepta is engaged in the art of learning. Seeing her face light up with insight, whether from her life-changing research with siderophores or her literary acuity, she shines. Knowing that she will attend college, she has been tireless in her quest for scholarships. Writing many, many essays above and beyond her school and extracurricular responsibilities. I don’t know where she finds the time, but I think it’s further evidence of her dedication to education.”

January

Jack PerozekJack Perozek

8th grade

Parents: Joy and Ed Perozek

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Jack’s activities include football, basketball, and baseball. In his free time, he enjoys being outside and spending time with friends and family. His favorite class in Junior High is life skills because he enjoys cooking. In the future, Jack plans to attend college and go on to become an orthodontist. The person who has had the most influence on his life has been his dad. His most memorable experience in Junior High has been being a part of the football team. 

Faculty nominator: Madame Hanlon

“Jack is consistently conscientious, positive, and kind in class. He leads by example, and is quick to reach out to others who need help. I appreciate Jack’s participation in class and also the contributions he makes to our classroom community.”

Stella CooperStella Cooper

10th grade

Parents: Lana and Matt Cooper

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Stella’s activities include cheerleading, field hockey, OHbreathe team, and Spanish Club. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family. Stella’s favorite class is AP Biology because she enjoys the material and appreciates Mr. Nixon’s engaging strategies. Her favorite experiences in high school so far have been the SnowBall Dance and the Homecoming Dance. The people who have most influenced her life are her parents. They have taught her how to be independent, yet ask for help when she needs it. Stella believes that these life lessons are also reinforced at Ottawa Hills High School. 

Faculty nominator: Patty Dowd

“Stella is a very hard worker in robotics, as well as her other extracurricular activities. She’s also very kind and willing to help other students.”

Sradhanjali McGrathSradhanjali McGrath

11th grade

Parents: Michelle and Tom McGrath

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Anjali’s activities include cross country, track, ice hockey, Marching Band, Pep Band, Teen PEP, and SLA. In her free time, she enjoys running, doing puzzles, playing video games, and watching movies. People would be surprised to know she is adopted. Anjali’s favorite class is French with Madame Hanlon because of the strategies Madame uses to engage students in her classroom. Anjali’s best experience in high school so far has been joining the cross-country team. Cross country has transformed her running, her friendships, and her own personal growth. In the future, Anjali plans to attend college and hopes to work in the medical field. The people who have impacted her life and encouraged her the most are her parents. They have shaped her as a person and taught her to be proud of who she is, not being discouraged by how others define her. 

Faculty nominator: Mary Kate Hafemann

“Anjali is a positive force in our class! She always has a smile on her face and is so willing to help out in any way. Her kindness and concern for detail make her a great friend and team member! Academically, she works very hard to always give 100 percent effort. She’s an awesome person inside and out.”

Abdul MaaiehAbdul Maaieh

12th grade

Parents: Jaouni Raniah and Mohammed Maaieh

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Abdul’s activities include basketball, cross country and track. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball with friends, exercising, board games and spending time with friends and family. His favorite class is AP Physics with Mr. Adkins. He claims it is the most challenging class, but also the most relatable to real life. In the future, he plans to attend college and study computer engineering. Abdul’s most memorable experience in High School has been his time on the basketball team, both on and off the court. People would be surprised to know that Abdul started a youth group at a local mosque during his freshman year that is still growing and thriving today. 

Faculty nominator: Sara Eisenbaum

“Abdul is a kind and caring individual. Having him for public speaking and English IV lets me see how consistent he is no matter what course he is in. He participates in class, cares to listen to his peers, balances his job, his passions, and his community involvement.”

December

Anthony Packo Anthony Packo 

8th grade

Parents: Ali and Tony Packo

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Anthony’s activities include swimming, golf, and theater. In his free time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and baking. His favorite class is art because he likes to create things. During his time at Ottawa Hills, the person that has had the most impact on him was Mrs. Palko in 6th grade because of her welcoming classroom and her kindness. Anthony’s favorite experience so far in Junior High has been Agora 2018. In the future, he hopes to go to Miami to study business and University of Michigan for law school.  

Faculty nominator: Sean Mercer

“Anthony is a bright, hardworking young man. He has a wonderful demeanor and sense of humor. Anthony is a role model and leader of his peers.”

Erin KadrovachErin Kadrovach

12th grade

Parents: Michelle and Eric Kadrovach

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Erin’s activities include varsity soccer, Model UN, and Mesasa. In her free time, she enjoys working and writing. Her favorite class is math with Mrs. Keckler. Erin’s most memorable experience in High School was advancing to the soccer tournaments for the first time ever in the history of Ottawa Hills High School.  People would be surprised to know that she has camped on the beach in Hawaii. 

Faculty nominator: Lauren Hurst

“Erin couldn't have been more helpful as a junior member of our Mesasa staff, which made the decision for Editor-in-Chief an easy selection. Erin has been conscientious, has made logical suggestions, and has implemented a mature attitude in her senior position. Other than Erin’s academic endeavors, she excels on the soccer field and works a part-time job after school and/or weekends. Erin is the type of young lady we can rely on due to her maturity and attention to detail!”

John KightJohn Kight

12th grade

Parents: Joy and Daniel Kight

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: John’s activities include varsity soccer, varsity basketball, and Choraliers. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends, eating food, playing with his dogs, video games, and spending time with his family. His favorite class is economics with Mr. McCarthy. In the future, he plans to study business at either The Ohio State University, Indiana, or Georgia. The people who have had the most impact on John during his high school career were his coaches: Coach Nate and Coach Lindsay. They taught him the importance of working hard and competition. He is very grateful to them. John’s most memorable experience was having the opportunity to play in the state finals at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.

Faculty nominator: Liz Puskala

“John is a respectful, conscientious student who comes to class daily prepared and ready to learn. John is honest, hard-working, and a great role model for his peers.”

November

Amalia RybarczykAmalia Rybarczyk

7th grade

Parents: Nicole and Ronald Rybarczyk

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Amalia is very involved in AAA hockey which takes up most of her time. When she does have spare time, she enjoys practicing hockey, spending time with friends and family, and playing with her dogs. In the future, Amalia plans to attend University of Wisconsin and play Division I hockey. Her dream is to play for the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey team. Amalia’s favorite class is science with Mrs. Silvers. Mrs. Silvers has impacted her greatly this year, caring about Amalia in both her academic life and her life outside of the classroom. Her favorite experience in Junior High so far has been listening to the guest speaker Rodney Walker, who shared about his personal and professional life, growing up in foster care, and making it to Harvard University.

Faculty nominator: Nicole Silvers

“Molly is delightful to have in class. She comes to class with a smile on her face and is always ready to learn. Molly makes teaching fun! She is interested in learning new topics, and always puts her best foot forward. She is kind, cooperative, and is a leader among her peers. I believe she exemplifies all of the characteristics of a future leader.”

Celia MillerCelia Miller

9th grade

Parents: Patrick & Lydia Miller | Katie Miller

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Celia’s activities include cross country, speech and debate, GSA, and track. In her free time, she enjoys making YouTube videos and playing the guitar. Celia’s favorite class is biology with Mrs. Puskala and her best experience since coming to Ottawa Hills was attending the Homecoming Dance.

Faculty nominator: Liz Puskala

“Lia is quiet and very hardworking. She comes to class prepared every day and her work is very thorough. She is pleasant and wonderful to have in class.”

Yale MillerYale Miller

12th grade

Parents: Carla and Kevin Miller

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Yale’s activities include cross country, Quiz Bowl, eSports, Model UN, and band. In his free time, he enjoys drawing, listening to music, and playing video games. Yale’s favorite class is graphic design because of the creativity and problem solving that it requires. His most memorable experience in High School was his Agora trip to Spain. In the future, he plans to go to college and study graphic design.

Faculty nominator: Sara Eisenbaum

“Yale is a leader in AP English and he does so with calm and a determination to dive into interpretation of any text he is given. He consistently puts forth sincere effort and engagement in his writing and reading and he thrives when given feedback. His revision process is impressive and doesn't entail a focus on the negative but a willingness to grow.”

October

Caelan ReaCaelan Rea

8th grade

Parents: Michelle and Matthew Rea

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Caelan is very involved in hockey in the area as a member of the Sylvania North Stars AAA Hockey Club. He also plays junior high soccer. Caelan’s favorite class is science. People would be surprised to know that Caelan has played violin since he was 4 years old. His favorite memory from Ottawa Hills so far is the Junior High Agora experience.

Faculty nominator: Paul Genzman

“Caelan is an extremely nice kid and a great student. Very organized, engaged, respectful to all students and teachers. He exemplifies the idea of quietly being great. I have a lot of respect for that.”

Libby HagenbuchLibby Hagenbuch

9th grade

Parents:  Julie and Craig Hagenbuch

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Libby’s activities include lacrosse, Student Council, Environmental Club, Choraliers, and theater. In her free time, she enjoys singing, spending time at SIP Coffee, and playing lacrosse. Her favorite class is history because it pushes her to think deeply. In the future, Libby hopes to graduate and attend University of Michigan. People would be surprised to know that she loves fashion design. Libby’s favorite experience at Ottawa Hills so far was performing in “Beauty and the Beast Jr.”

Faculty nominator: Laurel Underwood

“Over this past month, Libby has shown a passion for charity and a determination to reach her goals. She doesn’t let obstacles stand in her way and she inspires others to become their best selves as well.”

Henry McQueenHenry McQueen

12th grade

Parents: Matthew & Sally McQueen

Activities, interests, and accomplishments: Henry’s activities include golf, tennis, Speech and Debate Team, Science Olympiad, Arrowhead, and Quiz Bowl. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, spending time with his friends, and tailgating. His favorite class is AP US History because he appreciates Mr. Bobak’s stories and teaching.

Faculty nominator: Sara Eisenbaum

“Henry shows dedication to outstanding citizenship on a daily basis in AP Literature and as one of the editors of the Arrowhead. He pursues community respect and engagement, drives discussion towards multiple vantage points, and engages in the learning process. He is highly motivated and motivating towards those around him.”

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