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February 23, 2024
Dear Madison Community,
It is hard to believe that the month of February is winding down and the third quarter of the school year is coming to a close. Every year seems to go by much more quickly than the one before.
We have had several things to celebrate this week. First, our 200 Medley Boys’ Swimming Relay qualified for State. Congratulations to Carson Peterson, Adam Gibbons, Cooper Myers and Lindon Blake on their accomplishments. While they did not make it to the finals, qualifying for State is quite the achievement. Second, our Girls’ Competition Cheerleaders are headed to the State competition this weekend. Good luck to Olivia Caruso, Mikayla Ruscin, Lily Holt, Addison Wesley, Brooklyn Wesley, Lauren Mrva, Marissa Poe and Jocelyn Bancroft.
The Board wants to congratulate Treasurer Sarah Palm in the completion of the audit for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The district once again had a perfect audit and received the Auditor of State Highest Achievement Award in Open and Transparent Government. For more information about the audit and the award, please contact Ms. Palm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank those who attended our strategic planning community group this week. For those not able to attend the focus group, there is a survey that will take no more than 10 minutes to complete. I have attached a flyer with all the details. Your feedback is important to us and will help to shape our district’s goals for the next several years.
Finally, I hope you take the time to read this week’s Good News Newsletter. The articles in this newsletter feature the upcoming renewal levy; next week’s MEA Bunny Breakfast; and Laura Arietta as our teacher feature.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. #MadisonStrong.
On March 19, our community will be voting on Issue 1, which is the renewal of an operating levy for Madison Local Schools. This levy is not a tax increase, but the renewal of an existing levy that was originally approved in 1989.
These dollars help to fund the day-to-day operations of the district and are applied toward programming, staffing, supplies, and utilities that allow for MLS to provide a diverse array of opportunities for students to prepare them to be college- and career-ready. If this levy does not pass, deep cuts to instruction and learning provided by the district will be required to balance the budget.
Madison Schools has three renewable levies on five-year cycles; one of these was renewed last year. Issue 1 has been re-approved six times since 1989. Once again, this is not a tax increase, but simply the renewal of an existing levy.
Superintendent Angela Smith states, “Madison Local Schools is proud of the multitude of learning and instruction opportunities we are able to offer our students. We are privileged to be providing an education that goes above and beyond in preparing our students for life after graduation – when they enter the world as young community members.”
If the value of your home has increased since the last election, your taxes will still not increase for this issue. With the way Ohio state funding works, as property values increase, millage decreases by the same percentage, which means the levy will generate the same amount year after year. This levy generates $697,270 annually.
To find market value used by the county to calculate your taxes, you can use the property tax search tool on the Lake County Auditor’s website or call 440-350-2532. For more information on the levy, voting information, and more, please visit our website or call the Madison Local School District Central Office at 440-428-2166.
Madison Local Schools is dedicated to providing opportunities to MLS students that benefit their futures – as while we love having them in our buildings, our goal is to prepare them for life after graduation, when they enter the community to create lives of their own. Financial preparation for post-graduation can be tricky to secure and navigate – which is why our local teacher’s union, the Madison Education Association (MEA), hosts an annual fundraiser to fund two $1,000 scholarships that are awarded to two high school seniors.
This year, the MEA has chosen to host a Bunny Breakfast to raise funds for the two annual scholarships while also providing a fun family experience! All members of the Madison Community are invited to the Bunny Breakfast. Purchase of a ticket includes:
- Hot breakfast by Scramblers in Mentor & Giant Eagle in Madison
- Themed games & crafts
- Pictures with the Easter Bunny
Attendees will also be able to participate in an auction featuring items from local businesses and organizations! Auction tickets are $1/ticket or $5/six tickets.
“We are hoping for great success and to host this event again next year,” says Ms. Gabriela Peters, Kindergarten teacher at North Elementary School. “Come out and enjoy our first Bunny Breakfast!”
The MEA Bunny Breakfast will take place on March 2, 9:00-11:30 AM, in the Madison High School cafeteria. Tickets are $10/each – children two years old and under are free! – and can be purchased at the door on the day of the event.
Welcome back to Madison Local Schools’ latest feature, “Why Did You Become a Teacher?” where we spotlight just a few of the incredible educators we have on staff here at MLS. All of our teaching staff deserves recognition for their efforts, and we are honored to be able to share a few of these stellar individuals.
This week we celebrate Ms. Laura Arietta, second grade teacher from North Elementary, who has been teaching at MLS for the entirety of her teaching career – 18 years! Ms. Arietta received her undergraduate degree from Westminster College in 2006 and went on to achieve her Masters from Kent State University.
“I come from a family of teachers,” says Ms. Arietta. “My parents are both retired teachers – my dad taught high school English and my mom taught fourth and second grade. I was lucky enough to watch my parents go to work at a job they loved; I watched them both put their heart and soul into their students and instruction, and from them, I learned dedication, hard work, compassion, and selflessness.”
Growing up, Ms. Arietta doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a teacher. “I have the school desk in my classroom that I used to make my younger brother sit in and be my student when we were growing up and playing school. I also used to beg my mom to help her grade papers,” she adds.
Ms. Arietta is thankful to make a difference in the lives of her students and loves hearing all of the success stories of her former students. “When I get emails, texts, phone calls, graduation and wedding invitations – it brings a special smile to my face,” Ms. Arietta says. “There isn’t a success that is too small to make me proud.”
In fact, some of her favorite moments with former students include getting to work with them! Many of her former students are teaching or subbing throughout MLS. Ms. Arietta recalls seeing them as second graders and finds it incredibly rewarding to see them and chat with them about their lives. She often refers to her students as a “classroom family,” and her classroom as a “home.”
When asked why she loves teaching at MLS, Ms. Arietta states, “I love teaching in Madison because of the feeling of family and support from my colleagues, students, and families. I often share this story… During virtual learning, I read and heard so many stories online about unsupportive families or disrespectful treatment toward educators. That never once was the case for me. Every single family that I had during those virtual learning years was so understanding, supportive, and patient with me. They were supporting their children in the best way they knew how and making adjustments that were needed for such an unpredictable time. I even had people messaging me or calling and thanking me – I want to be the one to say thank you to those families, for making something completely out of my comfort zone so much easier and manageable.”