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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It's Spring at Ginn!

A common sight in the Ginn Academy hallways: Officer Albert helps one of our juniors with his tie.

Hello Ginn Academy supporters! We have one more post before all of the end of the year graduation festivities begin. As always, there are a lot of great things going on at Ginn.

Many of you know of our school because of the attention heaped on the mighty Glenville Tarblooders football team each year. But we are not only about football! We have students involved in pretty much every other sport, too, and a newer addition to the list is rowing. Four of our boys are part of the CMSD Rows youth rowing organization. There is room for more.

Coach Russ Eckles talks with the group of rowers that includes our Ginn boys

Coach Russ Eckles dedicates his free time to this integrative group of area teens from all over the city because of the teamwork, healthy lifestyles, and discipline that the sport promotes. "Rowing is not a high profile sport and it is very demanding of their time, mind and bodies," he explains.

CMSD Rows is currently in the running for a large matching grant offered by Dicks Sporting Goods. If they can raise their goal of $38,000 by 5/23/14, Dicks will match that amount. See this link for details and to donate to this fantastic program.

Our four boys are picked up every day after school by a taxi that takes them to Rivergate Park downtown. Practices and workouts are rigorous but look like so much fun. Mr. James Fisher, Ginn Academy Life Coach, and I spent a few hours on the Cuyahoga with this great group of young men and their coxswain. What a blast!

A few months ago, Mrs. Peterson our instructional coach, organized Ginn Academy's first Shaespeare Competition to highlight our young men gifted in the area of drama and speech. It was held in our media center and featured Stephen Brody, Suantai Burgess, Keshawn Callahan, Donte Levert, Marquise Lewis, Dominique Okafor, and Shawndell Young. Each of the boys performed a dramatic reading of a Shakespearean monologue. Pictured below are two of the winners, Keshawn Callahan and Sauntai Burgess, with Ms. Mrs. Peterson.

Our College Now advisor, Colleen Damerell, continues to help the students with test prep and college admissions. We are so grateful to have this program in our school!

Some of our enterprising seniors have put together a snack cart to help them raise money for senior activities. They sell to other students after school and have had a nice boost in sales from the generously donated items from our faculty.

Ginn Academy seniors, Davon, Quan, Aaron, Jabrae, Jimond, and Christian
We were all very excited to learn that one of our Ginn family members would be returning to Cleveland from San Francisco. Donte Whitner played football for Coach Ginn at Glenville and is executive assistant Hazel Parker's nephew. He will play for the Browns this year. Welcome home, Donte!

Everyone loves these vases made by art teacher, Judy Rickel, to be used as centerpieces for the traditional senior class Dining-In. Each one shows three of the four Ginn Academy ties: solid black for 9th graders, solid red for 10th, and striped for juniors.

Last week, senior Jimond Ivey had a signing ceremony during one of our morning sessions to sign his full scholarship from the University of Akron. Jimond, who is a basketball player, was accompanied by his mother and two brothers and we are all so proud of him!!

Jimond Ivey, in white shirt, with his mother and two brothers

Mrs. Parker brought these cute basketball tissues especially for Jimond's mother, knowing how emotional these big events can be

GA Dean of Students, Darrell Bolden, spoke to all of the students about Jimond's journey and everyone who helped him along the way

Hazel Parker, Darrell, Bolden, Jimond Ivey, Ted Ginn, Sr., and Jimond's life coach, Charles Williams

Jimond (center, bow tie), and members of the JV and varsity basketball teams
You may remember hearing about our vivarium and Media Specialist, Adrienne Khan's grant from State Farm back in the fall. Good things are happening with all of that and progress is being made. Ms. Khan has written up a nice summary.

From Ms. Khan:

We are growing greens in the vivarium and some beets and carrots, too. We are planning to have our second annual Salad Day on May 22, using the crops we grew.  I will bring fresh baked dinner rolls from Breadsmith--to have with the salads. Last year (HealthCorps coordinator) Ms. Jackson brought healthy toppings for the salads--sunflower seeds, craisins, nuts, grape tomatoes, etc.  Victor Freeman made a healthy low-cal dressing for us.  It was super healthy and super good!

We are also moving forward with renovating the vivarium. We have the funds now from the Youth Advisory Board State Farm grant

The Summer Sprout program is a community garden program run by a partnership between the city of Cleveland and the Ohio State University Extension Office. There are 170 gardens all over the city. Click on the link above to learn more.

The plan is for this vacant lot next to our school to one day be a large community garden

We'll leave you with a few photos from around the school and of our seniors (identified by their crested ties) who are beyond ready to move on to their next adventures. Our next post will be all about the year-end celebrations and recognitions.

Life coaches, staff, and freshmen at morning session

Theo Washington, Sr., long-time Ginn Academy friend, checks in with two of our students. We have a good group of supporters who stop in regularly to check on the boys and offer advice.

Ginn Academy students with one of our super volunteers, Dr. Ernest Smoot

Life coach, Tony Fox, talks with one of his students
Happy spring, everyone! Thank you for your interest in our school!

Kind regards from everyone at Ginn Academy

PS -- Coach Ginn will be honored this coming Saturday evening, 5/10/14, at the Lake County Captains game. He will be inducted into their Crow's Nest Hall of Fame. The game starts at 6:30. Please come and cheer him on! Here's the info:

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...