Board member Gretchen Downs shakes the hand of Perrysburg girls soccer player Andrea Wertz during Perrysburg school board meeting at the Commodore Building in Perrysburg, Ohio.
The chance to recognize academic, creative, and athletic efforts from Perrysburg school students is one of the more enjoyable tasks board members have, Superintendent Thomas Hosler said Monday.
"It's really a great testament and snapshot of what we all value here," he said.
The Perrysburg Exempted Village School District Board of Education honored high school students' efforts with the online newspaper, a television commercial that touts the district, and the state championship varsity girls soccer team.
The Yellow Jackets posted a 23-0 record to become the first girls program from northwest Ohio to win a state title.
Mr. Hosler said the girls deserved appreciation not just for outscoring their opponents 108-5 or being ranked No. 2 in the nation, but also for being kind people, upstanding community members, and good students while also being dominating athletes.
"It's the way you've conducted yourselves," Mr. Hosler said.
Board members echoed those sentiments, congratulating the girls for being a role model for young soccer players as well as adults.
"You've raised the bar for all of us in Perrysburg," board president Barry Van Hoozen said.
Team members received charm necklaces engraved with a soccer ball and "State Champs 2012," and decorated with black and gold beads.
"That was a good surprise," forward Beth Glowacki said.
Sophomore Eunice Park was recognized for producing a video that Perrysburg Schools will run on local airwaves. The spot highlighted the district's education mission and invited viewers to "join the fun."
"She is a wonderful student and very creative. ... She took the initiative and did that on her own," said her teacher, Tim Kitson.
Eunice said Mr. Kitson's class on technical writing and video production, dubbed "The Seller," was a good program and encouraged more students to become involved with it.
The board also welcomed editors from The Blade who had helped create eSomethin.com and continue to mentor students with the publication.
The high school launched the site in October after the print version folded at the end of the 2011-2012 school year because too few students signed up for the course, high school Principal Michael Short said.
English teacher Ben Fry, who advises the newspaper staff, said having eSomethin as a club activity helps students fit it into their busy schedules and other academic demands.
"They want to be there. I don't have to hold a grade over their head," he said.
Dave Murray, managing editor of The Blade, said the students were bright and talented and that it was rewarding to be teaching them how to be good reporters.
"This really is a laboratory teaching Web site to me," he said.
Mr. Murray said the goal was for the site to be an entirely student-run production, including the hosting and technical design that The Blade is facilitating now.
Blade executive editor Kurt Franck said other area school districts had expressed interest in duplicating what Perrysburg was doing with its online news outlet.
"This is the future," he said.
Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at 419-356-8786, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @RebeccaConklinK.