By Denny Morrison

Last Saturday evening I had the good fortune to attend an Honor Flight ceremony at the Dayton Airport for 91 veterans who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and had spent the day in Washington, D.C.

More than 1,000 people were on hand to welcome back our heroes who participated in the Honor Flight. We enjoy the freedoms we do today because of veterans who have sacrificed for us. The veterans appreciated our being there to welcome them home but the feeling those of us in the audience had was truly amazing. What a terrific program. I had goose bumps. Thank you veterans.

Tournament games: When we put in the artificial turf at Doug Adams Stadium the hope was that our students and community would be able to use it and that we might be able to get tournament games played here. Last year we hosted seven games between football and soccer. People came from near and far to visit our city, eat in our restaurants, and shop in our downtown stores. Most importantly they got to visit Xenia. This year the same thing is happening. Outsiders are visiting Xenia and seeing what a wonderful community we have. Thanks to everyone who donated money or worked on this important project so we could have such a nice playing surface at no expense to our taxpayers.

Xenia Preschool: Last week the preschool welcomed community helpers. Police officers, firefighters and nurses came and spoke with the children. Safety tips were offered and healthy habits were encouraged. Thank you community helpers.

Arrowood: A shoutout goes to Jessica Opatrny for doing the first session of Super Science with Kyle Gambill. The kids are having a lot of fun and learning many problem solving skills. Sonya Wallace’s students earned an ice cream party for filling in their attendance chart. Perfect attendance never tasted so good. Many thanks to the staff members and their spouses for volunteering to be running buddies for the Girls on the Run Team. Arrowood students raised $342 by contributing $1 each to wear Halloween costumes to school. The money raised is going to the Xenia Community Schools Foundation. The quarterly PBIS program was held last Monday and students were able to decorate foam pumpkins, have snacks, play bingo, and participate in a scarecrow relay.

Cox: Kindergarten and first grade students were excited to learn about fire safety from the Xenia Fire Department. The children had the chance to see and learn about all the gear a firefighter wears in a fire. Student council is starting a canned food drive to help families in need. Student council representatives will be collecting, sorting, and donating the cans to the American Red Cross so families can have food for Thanksgiving.

McKinley: Brandi Pagett’s homeroom and William Phillips’ homeroom were the big winners of the box top contest. Each of these classrooms will receive $25 to spend in their classrooms. Overall, the school made $500 collecting box tops. The PTO gave every classroom $50 to spend for their classroom.

Shawnee: Shawnee students were excited last week to begin participating in two community service programs. Students are collecting pull tabs from aluminum cans to donate to the Ronald McDonald House. Also, students are collecting pennies for a local animal organization. They are hoping to beat the $400 that they raised last year. This month, students are having flashlight fun in the library. Students choose books, go find an area to sit in the library, and then all the lights are turned off. The students then use flashlights to read for 20 minutes. Student engagement with reading has soared with this exciting activity. This was made possible by library assistant Michelle Rice, who was rewarded with a grant from the Shawnee PTO.

Tecumseh: Students had an opportunity to cast their vote for President last week. The PTO even created voting booths and provided stickers for the students. Each grade level is making construction paper hands for a flag display at their Veterans Day Program. The Character Choir under the direction of Katie Quist will be performing. They are also doing a Wall of Honor as a display to honor veterans. Letters for veterans are also being written.

Warner: A big thank you to all the teachers and support staff for making last Friday a special day for so many students by recognizing them with quarter rewards, perfect attendance, student of the month, and X cards. Those rewards/incentives help shape the climate for our students in a very positive way. Thanks to Mary Black, Michelle Phillips and Impact members for all of their hard work to put together the dance. It was a great atmosphere for students. Thanks also to the staff members who remained after school to chaperone the dance. The seventh grade students really enjoyed the Muse Machine event last Wednesday.

XHS: Last Tuesday night the Xenia High School Music Department presented “A Fall Performance” featuring the concert band and the symphonic band. Both did an exceptional job. Last Thursday, the marching band and color guard presented “The Sounds of the Stadium” in concert. Again, it was an awesome show.

XTAR: Students had banking and bill pay day. They were also given a bonus for their first-quarter grades. Students learned a new game, SET, a card game where each card contains four attributes: color, shape, number, and shading. SET is a speed game. The first to see a SET, calls out SET and picks up the three cards that make a SET. To qualify as a SET the cards’ attributes must all be the same or all be different. After learning the game with Donna Shaw using cards, they played online. There is a new online game each day. The journal entry for the day was to share their thoughts on their recent Pumpkin Math Day. Prizes were also handed out to those students who won Estimation Station.

Barnes and Noble: The Elementary Book Fair at Barnes and Noble in Beavercreek is Saturday, Nov. 19. The XHS Book Fair at Barnes and Noble in Beavercreek is Saturday, Dec. 3.

Denny Morrison is superintendent of Xenia Community Schools.