WB Students Show Smarts and Hearts in School Programs

BELOIT – West Branch Local Schools students and staff engaged in a whirlwind of activity during the winter months, with programs at all schools in the district encouraging both academics and charitable giving.

Check out some of the recent happenings at West Branch buildings:

LASER COURSES – Early Learning Center students participated in a laser light show presented by the Prismatic Magic program. The students discovered lasers by listening to music.

West Branch third graders showed their support for a number of causes during the school's Color A-WEAR-Ness week.  Here they wore a variety of colors on

COLOR A-WEAR-NESS – Three fourth-graders, inspired by school events and Spirit Weeks, organized a “Week of Color” to show their support for various causes. The “Color aWEARness Week” offered a different theme every day. Kennedy Fritz, Rory Rohaley and Sadie Weaver selected each day’s themes and presented the campaign to their peers over lunch, explaining the colors and causes of the week. “We were nervous at first, because we thought people wouldn’t like the idea or it wasn’t good enough,” Kennedy said. But their classmates have been inspired all week. Pink Monday for Cancer Day; Tuesday was blue for Sea Creatures; Wednesday was Rainbow for Different Causes; Thursday was green, to support the green team; and Friday was reserved for students to show off their favorite color. “It was a good feeling,” Kennedy said.

West Branch middle and middle school students raised more than $2,800 for a local family in a fundraiser that allowed them to wear hats during the school day.

FUNDRAISING HAT – West Branch middle and middle school students gathered to raise money Jan. 27 for a local family. Students and staff who donated $1 to the fundraiser were able to wear a hat to school that day. The families also made a number of additional donations. The event raised $2,858 for a local family.

COLLEGE MEDIA – First-semester students in West Branch Middle School’s New Media course learned the ins and outs of video production. Students studied filmmaking, learned how to use camera equipment, practiced telling a story, and learned how to use sophisticated editing software.

HIGH SCHOOL MEDIA – Ms. Buckley’s media class created slides to showcase winter sports teams on a new TV in the Fieldhouse lobby. The class of 2021 donated the TV as a senior class gift. Students in the class also produced slides and videos promoting students in the district on the new football scoreboard and on the sign in front of the building.

West Branch High School band students participated in a recent band competition, and many ensembles and solo musicians performed well in the judging.

GROUP PERFORMANCE – The group’s students performed Jan. 22 at the OMEA District 5 Solo and Ensemble Competition in Warren. Seven events scored a 1; nine scored a 2; and one event got a 3. The ensembles receiving 1s were the brass sextet, the flute trio and the saxophone quintet. The ensembles receiving 2 were the wind trio and the wind quintet. The soloists receiving 1s were Elizabeth McCune, Ally Zion, Zak Karlen and Isaac Holbrook. The soloists receiving 2s were Liana Gabrelcik, Landon Reichenbach, Sami Tubbs, Eris Dugan, Makiah Kutz, Ella Scofinsky and Peter Blanchard.

BLACK BOARD – The West Branch Local Schools Board of Education welcomed three new members in January. David Yaggi and Joe Courtwright were elected in November 2021 and are currently serving their first terms. Bryan Hobbins was also elected for the first time, having served the last two years of another council member’s term. Mikki Kanagy, Chair of the Board, is in her eleventh year on the Board, and Mr. Aaron Hawk, Vice-Chair of the Board, is in his third year of service.