The Ginn Academy, founded in 2007 by Ted Ginn, Sr., is the only all-male public high school in Ohio. Come in and see what goes on inside the hearts and minds of 655 E. 162nd Street each day. Let us tell you our stories.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring at Ginn Academy: Health Fair, Empty Bowls, Beautiful Faces + More

It's been much too long! Cleveland's relentless wintery weather since December has really put a damper on the Ginn Academy blog. Welcome back! Let's get caught up.

Coach G, Principal Petty, and a group of Freshmen (with one junior added in!) ready to head out to a middle school to talk to them about Ginn Academy
When we last got together, we were wrapping up the Glenville Tarblooders' football season, which ended with their run at a state championship. A few months have passed and, at this point, spring is very nearly here!

The school hosted two big events in December that deserve a mention here. We've covered our HealthCorps health fairs for the past two years, so you might be familiar with those. Ms. Jasmyne Jackson, our HealthCorps coordinator and all of the seniors put a lot of hard work into another one with many professionals from our community joining in. Thank you to The Cleveland Clinic, Friends of Ginn Board members: Councilman Polensek, Albert Ratner, Edmund Leopold; the USMC, Whole Foods, Levels Fitness, NEON Health, the Cleveland Browns, and the US Army.

Three seniors made fruit smoothies with our donated Vitamix blenders

Mrs. Parker got some help with her basketball skills from Damien Anderson, one of our 9th graders

Thank you to the USMC for coming to the health fair each year!

Mr. Gibson wore the impaired driving goggles as he tried to make a basket

These seniors were in charge of the guacamole and it was delicious!

Ms. Jackson, our HealthCorps coordinator

This was the inaugural year for Ginn Academy's Empty Bowls event, and it was such a successful gathering! Not only did it bring together members of our faculty who made large quantities of soup and planned the event together, but also our students, who formed and painted bowls out of pottery in Judy Rickel's art classes. Then there were the restaurants in the community that volunteered to provide soups and breads, plus the National Council of Jewish Women's Thriftique store, which donated linens and silverware. Thank you to Bistro 185, the Grovewood Tavern, and Jack's Deli for your soups! They were wonderful and everyone loved them!

Left to right: A lovely volunteer from the National Council of Jewish Women's Thriftique shop; Ginn media specialist, Adrienne Kahn; security officer, Ray Albert; art teacher, Judy Rickel; special education teacher, Natalie Castor; Colleen Damerell, College Now guide; and English teacher, Claire Lucas.

More than 200 bowls were made by our students and Mrs. Rickel for the event

Mrs. Rickel was assisted by Ryan Williams, Demonte Richmond, Theodore Tate, and Jerome Wright

This first Empty Bowls event was a huge success with all proceeds being donated to the Cleveland Foodbank, which is right down the street from Ginn Academy.

Another benefit of the Empty Bowls lunch was seeing local community leaders come together for some terrific neighborhood discussion around our tables.

Maria Cruz, CMSD Barrier Breaker and Janet Tribble, CMSD Academic Coach

Penny and Helyn Presser, Ginn Academy supporters

Safety Coordinator Ward 8, Greg Pollard; Councilman Michael Polensek; Ted Ginn, Sr. (seated); Margaret Craig, Community Organizer at Northeast Shores Development Corp.; Charlie Kamen, Property Manager, Northeast Shores Development Corp.; (We are trying to find the name of this lovely lady in the black jacket!); and Code Enforcement Officer Ward 8, Mike Troha

Ginn Academy Freshmen have a leadership class as part of their curriculum this year. It's called Freshman Seminar and it's based on a program developed by Stedman Graham, who visited in December to talk with the boys and parents. While he was here, he got his own red Ginn Academy jacket, thanks to Martin's Menswear.

Sometimes we have no specific reason whatsoever for our photos, other than showing you the bright faces of our young men who are working so hard every day at Ginn Academy. Just look at these boys, these faces, these smiles! They are on the right track and headed somewhere good. We can't wait to see where!

In February, we had a group of extraordinarily dedicated athletes sign their letters of intent to play football and run track in college. Unfortunately, the weather kept some of us from attending the official CMSD ceremony, but we gathered the boys the next day for more celebrating. Missing from these photos are Marcelys Jones, who has already started at Ohio State and Tyree Farrier who attends Glenville HS.

They might be nearly grown and heading off to the big time soon, but they still have a great time playing games with ping pong balls on the table

Seated, L-R: Erik Simpson, Davon Anderson, Erick Smith. Standing, L-R: Aaron Ivory, Darius Lewis, Devine Redding, Marshon Lattimore, and Quan Robinson, Jr.

Ms. Colleen Damerell, our College Now advisor, made the boys a cake! So kind...

In the beginning of March, Coach Ginn had the honor of sharing his thoughts about "giving" at the Tolerance Fair held at the new Convention Center downtown. A few of our young men accompanied him and helped at the event.

Coach Ginn at the Tolerance Fair with GA students along with students from Solon High School and Laurel School

Every week, a group of 20 students meet with Advocate Counselor, Nate Phillips, from  the Urban League of Greater Cleveland for one class period. This group at the Ginn Academy is known as the Urban Elite, but is part of the Urban League's Project Ready Career Beginnings program. Topics of discussion include leadership, ethics and character building, and preparing for college.

During one recent meeting, the topic was being our brothers' keepers: boosting each other up in challenging times, encouraging friends to be the best they can be and to not go down the wrong path, and sharing what we've got when we can. The discussion definitely fell under the classification of "Good Stuff" and it was great to hear them talking about these things.

Our Urban Elite Advocate Counselor, Nate Phillips, during a recent class

A team-building exercise during a recent Urban Elite class

Mr. Nate Phillips and Ginn Academy's Urban Elite

A group of our students had the honor a few weeks ago of traveling downtown to the Cleveland Public Library (CPL) along with Ms. Adrienne Kahn, Mrs. Hazel Parker, and Ms. Damerell to attend the discussion with author, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Ms. Kahn, our media specialist, brought Mr. Coates' book, "The Beautiful Struggle," to the students via a grant made possible by the CPL. Ms. Kahn also arranged for a guided tour of  the new CPL technology center.

Author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, at the Cleveland Public Library. Photo courtesy of Hazel Parker

Ginn Academy students at the Cleveland Public Library for the discussion with author, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Photo courtesy of Hazel Parker

Ginn Academy faculty, Adrienne Kahn, Hazel Parker, Colleen Damerell, and Heather Thacker, from College Now. Photo courtesy of Hazel Parker

Social Studies teacher, Mr. Devin Demaske, deserves a special mention as this winter comes to a close. He travels to and from Ginn Academy every day -- rain, shine, blizzard, ice storm, you name it! -- from Edinboro, Pennsylvania, a 90-minute drive each way. Even on the very worst snowy days, he's here and ready to teach in his classroom and we'd like to say thanks for that. You show real dedication, Mr. Demaske, and we all appreciate it. Thank you.

Ms. Johnson's ninth grade science class showed off their work and motion dioramas last week. A lot of hard work went into these projects so we want to show them off a bit. 

Four of the Ginn Academy Freshmen with their life coach, Mr. John Abrams, display their work and energy dioramas

Wow, that was a long post! And there is still so much more going on at the school. Thank you for keeping up with our news at Ginn Academy, and be on the lookout for another more timely update before the school year ends. This crazy winter has to leave us soon, doesn't it?

Take care, everyone.

Kind regards from all of us at Ginn Academy...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What is a Tarblooder?

The Glenville Tarblooders football team had a pretty epic season this year. Most of you know that Ted Ginn, Sr. has been Glenville's head coach since 1997. The team is well-known nationally for its prowess on the field and its athletes that populate university rosters from coast to coast.

We'd like to wrap up the season with photos that begin in August and end on a very snowy night in Canton in December. We'll share the lessons learned along the way and introduce some of the many dedicated men who lead the team with faith and conviction.

Whether you're from near or far, many of you might wonder, what is a Tarblooder? This flyer is posted in Family Sports in Euclid and explains where the name came from. Our Tarblooders are young men of faith, perseverance, and fierce hard work. One loss will never stop them.

The team started off the 2013 season with a bang when they were invited to spend a day at the Cleveland Browns' training camp and meet some of the players.

Soon after our day in Berea, it was time to start the season against St. Edward in Lakewood. It was a tough loss, but even after a slow start to the game, the true nature of this team came shining through.

Next up was Solon. We won in the very last seconds as #2 Marshon Lattimore jumped seemingly 10 feet into the air to block a field goal that would've given Solon the victory. That was a big one. It was Coach Ginn's first victory after missing the previous two seasons because of some serious health issues, and, of course, everyone was really emotional and grateful.

The last home game of the regular season was Parent Day, where the seniors' families joined them for one last game at Bump Taylor Field behind Glenville High School. Thank you, families, for supporting your players all season. It's not an easy job!

The seniors banded together for their last game at home.

On the 8th of November, we played our first playoff game versus Brush High School at Bedford Stadium.

Here's where some very good things outside of the game of football, really important things started happening. Our alumni began to show up! They came from near and mostly far to stand beside their little brothers and their coaches in solidarity as Ginn Men and Tarblooders.

Next we played the Bedford HS Bearcats at Byers Field, and those Bearcats gave us quite a fight. But at the end of the game, both teams came together on the field, not in a line to shake hands, but together in a circle with their coaches to say a prayer and some encouraging words together.

Marshon Lattimore speaks with the media after the game

More Ginn Academy alumni waiting to shake hands with the team after the game

Coach Thee (Theopolis Washington II), leading the prayer in the above photo, has been a Glenville fan "since the band was huge and the stadium had lights!" he says. His father was the Tarblooders quarterback in 1964 and has known Coach Ginn since then. Below, see the two of them together. Coach Thee has been with Glenville since 2007 and is our team chaplain.

Jontrell Crockett with Coach Thee
Next up was Madison HS and we won that game to move on to the state semi-final game versus Medina Highland HS.

The State Final Game

After we won the semi-final game against Medina, it was time for some fun. We had interviews all week long, along with pep rallies and a tour of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Most importantly, we had a large community and our Ginn Academy/Glenville family behind us, with more alumni heading home to be with us at the big game. 

On Friday, December 6th, our cohorts from Glenville HS joined us with their drumline and cheerleaders for a big pep rally before we boarded the buses to Canton for the game.

Ginn Academy teachers at the pep rally for the big game

A spirited cheering section came over from Glenville HS

Jackie Bell, Glenville HS Principal

One of Ginn Academy's life coaches, Rob J, leads the Glenville Pop Warner football teams, the Glenville Titans. He's coached a number of our current players and has done so since they were 5 years old. We'll see if we can round up some very cute photos from him of these guys when they were little and we'll share them for Signing Day.

Rob J, one of the Ginn Academy life coaches, with the Glenville football players that he coached in Pop Warner

Ginn Academy life coach, Rob J, with the senior Tarblooders that he coached in Pop Warner

QB Quan Robinson with coach, Damion Creel

Seniors, Jontrell Crocket and Davon Anderson on the bus to Canton
 Sometime in the late afternoon, the snow started pouring from the sky and did not stop for the entire game.

Coach Ginn and the team ready to enter the field, honoring God and love

This is Ace, Glenville's equipment manager since Coach Ginn started 17 years ago.

The game wasn't going so well on the field, but soon our alumni arrived, having braved the storm, from Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington, Ann Arbor, and more. There they were standing beside their brothers and helping to hold them up as the scoreboard brought them down. Always a family. Hazel Parker, Mr. Ginn's assistant, said it best: "You know, we didn't win the state championship but we win every time one of our boys shows up and we see that they're doing well."

V'Angelo Bentley, Shane Wynn, and Justin Hardee, in from the University of Illinois and Indiana University

Ginn Academy life coach and Glenville JV coach, James Fisher, greets Justin Hardee, Ginn alumnus
Coaches Robert Andrews and Matt Chinchar make changes at halftime

Shane Wynn, Theopolis Washington I, Frank Clark, and Justin Hardee

Faithful Tarblooder fans cheer for the team as they head back onto the field after halftime

We started to come back, made some good plays, scored some points... but in the end, it just wasn't enough

After a tough loss, Willie Henry, Ginn Academy alumnus and University of Michigan defensive tackle, supports an emotional Marcelys Jones as the teams shake hands

In the end, the Tarblooders did not win the championship game, but Coach Ginn is confident that the stage was set from the beginning and that this was God's plan all along. "No matter how you think you can design something, you're not that great. It's all about Him, what He wants to happen," he said. "He can put someone into a situation that seems hopeless and then He can deliver him out and give him all the hope in the world."

Every sports fan knows that there are always lessons in losing. Coach Ginn isn't bothered by the score of the final game. "I'm very proud of this group; they have a different identity that I've ever had with a team. All the low expectations for these players were overcome by them having faith. They're not you're regular type football players. They have different abilities and traits and they were able to bring that all together as one, as a team," he explained.

Coach Ted Ginn, Sr. watches his Tarblooders in the state championship game in Canton, Ohio

You can watch three of our players, Marcelys Jones, Marshon Lattimore, and Erik Smith, in the U.S. Army All American Bowl on January 4th. Soon after that, February 5th, is NLI Signing Day, and we will have photos of the boys and their families then.

Thank you for following us for the past 15 weeks! Until next year... GO VILLE!!!