The Paw Print Summer 2017, Issue 5

Welcome to the Paw Print

You are currently reading the fifth edition of The Paw Print, Newark City Schools’ district newsletter. You can find PDFs of each previous issue here.

This important community communication tool will be delivered three times per year to community homes and varied locations across the community.

In this issue, you will find information about our Kindergarten Readiness Camp, which opened for 80 incoming kindergarteners in an effort to help them transition to school. You can also meet our new treasurer, Julio Valladares, who has a long history with Newark dating back to his time playing in the Babe Ruth World Series.

Finally, readers can learn more about 2012 graduate Kayla Bear, who was named the first female combat engineer of the year in the Marines in 2016.

If you would like to receive a digital PDF of future newsletter editions, please email or call Seth Roy at 740-670-7020.

Superintendent Doug Ute stands with Heritage students on the first day of school 2016

Superintendent's Message:

Busy Summer at Newark City Schools

The beginning of each new school year is always an exciting time. I can’t wait for our hallways, classrooms and lunchrooms to be filled again with children who are learning, smiling and being challenged academically.

Even though we’ve been out of school for the past couple of months, Newark City Schools has been far from idle.

Our personnel department has been working hard to hire new teachers to replace those who have retired or taken new opportunities. We are excited to welcome about 25 new teachers to the district who have discovered that it’s a great time to be a part of Newark.

In June, we welcomed 300 students heading into grades 4 through 9 to Newark High School for our second annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Camp. The students — led by dedicated staff members — studied different parts of the City of Newark and offered their own ideas for solutions. Students suggested improvements to a dangerous intersection, learned about wastewater treatment and more, while using important 21st Century learning standards.

Our Kindergarten Readiness Academy kicked off district-wide in July. Twenty teachers led 90 incoming kindergarten students through five weeks of instruction designed to prepare them for school. The program is geared toward students who may not have been able to attend preschool, and focuses on the alphabet, school procedures and various STEM activities.

Both of these programs are designed by our curriculum department, in cooperation with many teachers, and are offered to students for free.

Outside the classroom, we have been busy maintaining our buildings and even adding a few things.

At Hillview Elementary, the PTA generously donated the money to build a new walking track at the school. We are so thankful to all of our parent groups that have added to our district. This track — like others across the district — will be able to be enjoyed by students and the surrounding community for years.

White Field also continues to transform, as our new ticket booth is now complete and a new ramp will make it easier for fans to get into the stands.

These summer activities are just snapshots of why it’s a great time to be a Cat.

By Superintendent Doug Ute

Alumni Spotlight:

Kayla Bear, Class of 2012

Kayla Bear had never left the country before she was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, as a Marine. She spent four years stationed on the island and treasures that experience.

“I had a goal to get out of the country, to go see the world, to go serve my country,” said Bear, a 2012 graduate of Newark High School. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got to experience things at 19, 20 years old that some people are never going to see.”

In high school, Kayla loved taking art classes — especially ceramics — and was also involved in Student Council. But she loved playing basketball and credits that experience with preparing her for a career in the Marines.

“He has set me up for success,” she said of her former coach, JR Shumate. “I think it was the way Coach treated us, like adults. He set the standard. He told us what time to be at practice, what to wear, what to bring. Someone forgot their water bottle, the whole team got the consequences.”

The emphasis on physical fitness during basketball prepared her well for the demanding regimen with the Marines.

Kayla is a combat engineer with the Marines, which allows for a variety of experiences. She has helped with building bridges on land and in water, demolition, using mine detectors, carpentry and more.

Last year, she was named the Combat Engineer of the Year, becoming the first female recipient of the award.

“It was a pretty big deal for me,” she said. “I’m on the right path, (but) I need to keep working.”

Currently, Kayla is stationed in Camp Pendleton, California. She doesn’t make it home to Newark too often, but whenever she does, she likes to connect with her former coach and tries to work out with the girls’ basketball team.

She’s enjoyed watching the team’s success the past few years — which includes two state semifinal appearances — and wishes them well in the coming season.

By Community Outreach Coordinator Seth Roy

Kindergarten Readiness Camp

Students who get off to a good start in school have the best chance to be successful later on in their educational careers. Kindergarten is a vital time in a child’s life, and Newark City Schools wants to help all of our students get off to a great start.

This summer, the district expanded its Kindergarten Readiness Academy districtwide. More than 90 incoming kindergarten students attended the academy for five weeks, three mornings per week. 20 teachers from across the district led the program, allowing for a 5-to-1 student-teacher ratio.

The free program focuses on teaching students school procedures, the alphabet, early math skills and working with other students. It is primarily meant for students who may not have attended preschool.

Ben Franklin Elementary hosted a pilot Kindergarten Readiness Academy in the summer of 2016 and had a lot of success with student growth, which lasted throughout the school year. Students in the program were leaders in their classroom once the school year began. Parents were also involved in school programming.

From the Treasurer's Office

Newark City Schools Treasurer Julio Valladares

Newark City Schools hired new Treasurer Julio Valladares on June 30. Valladares comes from Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, where he served for 15 years as the district treasurer.

He started his education here in Newark at Central Ohio Technical College, where he graduated with an associate’s degree in accounting in June of 1994. He later graduated from Franklin University with his bachelor degree in accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration by August of 2000.

Treasurer Valladares’ first report for the district shows a comparison of revenues, expenditures and cash balances for fiscal years 2017 and 2016.

Total Revenues: $71.8 million (increase of $2.1 million over 2016)

Total Expenditures: $68.5 million (increase of $2.6 million over 2016)

Total Cash Balance: $28.3 million (increase of $3.3 million over 2016)

Newark City Schools is in a healthy fiscal condition. The total cash balance covers just over 4 months of operations.

Overall, the district is fiscally sound and continues to look for ways to maximize taxpayer dollars by spending within the means of the five-year forecast, while at the same time continuing to provide quality education to all of our students.

Treasurer Valladares is excited to join the Newark City Schools family.

White Field Update

Please join us for the first Newark Wildcat football game of the season at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, as the Wildcats host Mount Vernon. We will be dedicating the Paul “Hoss” Starr Stadium at White Field prior to that game.

White Field continues to look better on an almost daily basis. Crews have been working all summer to complete the second phase of renovations to the field.

This summer, in addition to water pipe repairs underneath the field, we have added a new ramp in the northeast corner of the field that allows easier access to home seating.

Visitors to White Field will also notice the new ticket booth that has been build in front of the stadium on the Church Street side.

This brings much of the planned construction to an end at the field. During the past few years, we have added artificial turf, renovated the locker rooms, added a concession stand in the northeast corner of the stadium, and more.

This upgrade to the field benefits many programs at Newark City Schools, including soccer, lacrosse, marching band and football. The renovation has been a tremendous partnership between private donors and the district. Thank you to everybody who has contributed to its success.

Important Dates

Please visit our website,, and our athletic website,, for more important dates, such as concerts and games. Here are a few events coming up:

Aug. 9: 9 a.m.: First Home Golf Match vs. Bloom Carroll at Trout Club

Aug. 15: 4 p.m: First Home Girls’ Tennis Match vs. Bloom-Carroll

Aug. 17: First Day of School, grades 1-6, 9

Aug. 18: Full day of school, grades 1-12

Every year, our 6th graders and 9th graders get a full day at the middle and high schools on their own to help with their transition. Kindergarten students are also transitioned into school slowly to help them adjust to the routine of school. The first full day for kindergarten students will be Aug. 25.

Aug. 24: 6 p.m. First Home Girls’ Soccer match vs. Mount Vernon at White Field

Aug. 24: 7 p.m.: First Home Volleyball match vs. Grove City at NHS

Sept. 1: 7 p.m. First Home Football game, vs. Mount Vernon: Dedication of Paul “Hoss” Starr Stadium at White Field

Sept. 2: Noon: First home Boys’ Soccer match vs. Logan at White Field

Sept. 16: 9 a.m.: Cross Country Invitational at Evans Athletic Complex

Oct. 5: 4 to 9 p.m.: NCS Orchestra Spaghetti Dinner/Performance

Oct. 13: 7:30 p.m.: Homecoming Football game vs. Groveport Madison, with parade prior to game

Oct. 17: 7 p.m.: Fall NHS Choir Concert

Oct. 21: 1 p.m.: 43rd Annual Newark Marching Band Invitational

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