In This Issue of the Ballard Brady Middle School eNewsletter

Iris Pistell Set to Retire

Mrs. Iris Pistell is retiring from the Orange City School District effective Friday, December 17, having served the district and its students for over 18 years.  During her career at Orange, Mrs. Pistell has taught a number of subjects in multiple buildings, but is finishing her career as a sixth grade social studies teacher at Brady Middle School.  Over the years, Iris has built a reputation as a caring, competent, creative teacher with a unique ability to engage her students.  She is also well known for her ability to lead, championing the Orange City Schools and its students with members of the staff, parents, and broader community.  Through the years, Iris has taken a leadership role on several key projects at both the district and school levels, all in the interests of meeting the needs of students. Iris has served as a member of the Teacher Lead Team, the CLSR-Standard Bearer Three committees, the District Key Leaders group, the Best Practices Leadership Team, facilitated Teacher Academics, helped plan Waiver Days, and established protocols for use by Brady Teams, among many others.  Iris is also a resident of Orange and has had two daughters graduate from the District.  We wish Mrs. Pistell all of the best in her retirement.

Mrs. Anne Bing will take over Mrs. Pistell's teaching assignment effective January 3, 2011.  Mrs. Bing is returning from maternity leave and has worked closely with Mrs. Pistell for a number of years as her social studies counterpart from the other sixth grade team.  Miss Danielle Shirilla, who has served as Mrs. Bing's long-term sub since August, will continue to teach social studies to students from team 6A for the remainder of the school year.

Brady Observes Veteran's Day

Brady Middle School 7th grade students, under the direction of Mrs. Carol Kapostasy and a group of dedicated parent volunteers, hosted a very successful Veteran's Day recognition breakfast on Thursday, November 11 in the Brady cafeteria.  Following the VFW post 5799 Presentation of Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, students (Taryn Antrobus, Mackenzie Cappelle, Shelby Ingram, Tara Krantz, Lois Midamba, Kelsey Passov and Mary Ruggieri) led those in attendance in the singing of the National Anthem.  Mrs. Kapostasy made opeining remarks and introduced guest speakers Lt. Russell Galeti, Jr., U.S. Marines, and Harry Guinther, WW11 POW Veteran, who addressed the topic, “does patriotism still matter?”  Student presentations followed as members of the seventh grade class introduced our guests, who provided information about their service to our country or simply thanked those in attendance for the recognition of their service.  Mr. John D'Alessandro, president of VFW Post 5799, came to the podium next to announce the winners from entries in the Patriots Pen essay contest.  Students had been eager to learn who would be recognized for essays written to address the question:  "Does Patriotism Still Matter?"  Winners of the essay contest include:  William Farkas, Elizabeth Jordan, Alex Moore, Mi Row, and Eva Rudow.

Congratulations to these students, and special thanks to Mrs. Kapostasy and all who assisted her in making the Veteran's Day Observance a learning experience for students and an important event for the community.

Sixth Grade Students Declare CVEEC Trip a Success

Here are some student reflections on the 6th grade outdoor educational experience:

“I remember one of the bridges we passed.  It was beautiful.  There was a river underneath.  It was really clear and sparkling.  It also had plants growing all around it.  The coolest thing about the bridge was that on it there were all of these leaves.  The leaves were all different colors.  It just made the site breathtaking.”

“We had an engaging conversation with Mrs. Howe, the character who fell out of the book of history because Emily, a counselor, left it open.  Mrs. Howe told us what life would be like in Boston, Ohio for a person our age in the 1800s.”

“The best part of camp was going to the Ledges and into Icebox Cave.”

“The most important thing I learned is how to be a Junior Ranger and to have more fun with nature.”

“On day two it was pouring.  We saw a watershed in action as water flowed down a hill into a stream.”

“I learned that I don’t need to be in a classroom to learn.  I participated in a scavenger hunt, using a GPS, while learning about what the earth was like over the past 3.9 billion years.  I learned about this, and lots more, outdoors.”

The following article, which can also be found in “The Orange Story” section under the heading “student stories” on the website, provides an in depth description of the sixth grade camp experience:

Even the two-day solid downpour did not dampen the spirits of the Brady Middle School students who participated in the annual sixth grade camp experience.

“It’s been amazing!” said Quinn Stephenson. “Because you learn a lot and it’s really fun to watch the rock formations that have been carved over millions of years. It’s better up close because you have real contact.”

The idea behind the camp is to supplement the sixth grade science curriculum with real-life experience.

“The most engaging part of the experience is being able to use unique areas of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, such as Brandywine Falls and The Ledges to illustrate many of the concepts our students learn about in their sixth grade science classes,” said teacher Dave Tirpak. “This is not a recreational camp, but rather a learning experience… with a curriculum that offers hands-on learning, creativity, exploration and discovery and aligns with Ohio’s academic content standards.”

Student teams were divided into groups categorized by the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls and all participated in an opening ceremony to capture the excitement for the week. Experiences included a “watershed walk” where students had to interpret geologic and cultural changes and a “journey to the river” where the sixth graders participated in scientific water quality testing, observed ecosystem changes and examined causes of pollution.

“It’s fabulous!” said student aide Gail Paradise. “The kids are enjoying it so much and they are answering all of the questions that the rangers are asking; that means they have learned in the classroom what they are applying right now.”

A highlight for students was hiking to Brandywine Falls, exploring “the Ledges” and observing the various rock formations. Students were taught about types of bedrock, chemical and physical erosion and explored vegetation.

“The experience of walking through a crevice created by ice wedging in a 30-foot tall sandstone formation really makes an impact on students,” Mr. Tirpak said. “These natural formations allow students to get a sense of the power and scale of the forces involved in shaping our planet.”

“It’s definitely a good experience because some people learn differently; some like to do things rather than sit in a class and listen to things,” said sixth-grader Jillian Leb. “And it really helps people get a grasp of what we’re learning.”

Students are lead by Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Staff and National Park Rangers. They encourage the students to think outside the box, setting up challenges so the students can discover for themselves how nature evolves.

“We bring the kids out here so they can learn a little bit about this area, the national park,” said Ranger Phil Molnar. “They come out here with some knowledge and actually seeing it firsthand rather than just reading about it in books makes for a great memory for them.”

“By taking advantage of the unique recourses of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the district has created a classroom without walls and nurtured connections between students and the larger world around them,” said Mr. Tirpak.

Students were glad for the sun’s appearance on Day Three of the trip…but say they benefited from the entire experience, rain or shine.

“It’s really fun, kind of like a big field trip,” said Julian Patterson. “You walk around a lot and learn a lot…even in the rain.”

Greetings from the Guidance Department!

Happy holidays to you and your family!  We know that the holiday season can be an especially busy time for families.   Many people are traveling, shopping, and spending time with extended family members.  All these events often lead to later evenings than expected and overwhelming feelings of trying to fit everything in.  The good news is that winter break is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your teen(s).  You do not have to plan a big event.  Doing the little things like baking cookies, going to the gym, or having a family game night can go a long way in keeping the lines of communication open and helping to strengthen the relationship you and your teen(s) have.  Enjoy the time together!

Friday, December 3rd, marked the midpoint of the second quarter.  If you have not already done so, please check ProgressBook for interim reports.  To log onto ProgressBook go to, click on ProgressBook in the left hand column, and then scroll down to the Orange City Schools.  If you need assistance with you user name or password, please fill out the ProgressBook parent Information request form which can be found on the Orange website as well.  Go to the “For Parents” tab on the top of the Orange home page, scroll down to the “District Forms”, look for Brady Middle School and click on “ProgressBook Parent Information Request Form”.  You can fill the form out and turn it in to Mrs. Carter in the office upon returning from break.

On Thursday, December 16th, Mrs. Massey and Mrs. Kellogg went into the sixth grade classrooms to teach a lesson on anti-bullying.   The lesson focused on awareness, types of bullying, behaviors that lead to bullying, knowledge and strategies students can use to help themselves or peers, and to encourage the importance of being a positive influence during their middle school years.  Please look for an opportunity to have a conversation with your son or daughter about this important topic.

As we approach the New Year, it is a perfect time to review goal setting with your child.  You can reevaluate their SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action- Orientated, Realistic, and Timely) goals from the student–led conferences or discuss setting a new goal(s).  Stay tuned, as we will further discuss goal setting in the January Newsletter. 

The Brady Middle School Guidance Counselors:

Mr. Scott Kellogg                           

(216) 831-8600 X3624


Mrs. Cindy Massey

(216) 831-8600 X3623


Upcoming Events

January 3

School Resumes

January 4

Winter Choral Concert – 7:30 pm, OHS Auditorium (rescheduled due to snow)

January 6

8th Grade Cultural Luncheon

January 11

Elementary PTA:  Parent-Principal Dialogue, 10:00 am, MHS Cafeteria

January 13

Candid Group Pictures

January 13

Elementary PTA:  Reflections Program Award Ceremony, 7:00 pm, MHS

January 14

Principal’s Recognition Award Luncheon

January 17

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – No School

January 19

Parent Advisory Council, 8:30 am-OCR

January 20

End of Second Grading Period and First Semester

January 20

8th Grade Dancing Classrooms Culminating Event – 1:00 pm

January 21

Records Day – No School for Students

January 26

Grade 5 Parents - Scheduling Meeting for Brady, 7:00 pm - LGI

January 28

Report Cards Issued

December 20, 2010

Winter Recess Begins

December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

December 26, 2010

First Day of Kwanzaa

January 1, 2011

New Year's Day

January 3, 2011

School Resumes

January 11, 2011

After Prom Committee Meeting

January 13, 2011

Reflections Program Award Ceremony

January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School

Orange Schools, 32000 Chagrin Blvd, Pepper Pike, OH 44124