National Bullying Prevention Month

Mark Kowalski.jpgOctober is National Bullying Prevention Month, and at Liberty-Benton Local Schools we make this a focus of the educational experience we provide at all grade levels.

According to, between one in four and one in three U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. Added to that, 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools. These numbers are unacceptable.

We place unwavering emphasis on bullying prevention in our schools and we know that bullying prevention starts with the idea that kindness matters – no matter how big or small the child or the act of kindness.

This is why we start bullying prevention awareness in kindergarten with Second Step, a program that addresses bullying as well as focuses on developing empathy, social problem solving and regulating feelings. In grades 3-5, we use Steps to Respect, a program that not only identifies what bullying is, but how to report it and what bystanders can do. Research shows that when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time. By instilling these values early, the goal is to set a strong foundation and culture of respect in our students and schools.

We continue this steady drumbeat of empowerment and awareness into middle school, where statistics show that most bullying happens. We also focus on relationships by taking a systematic, intentional approach to ensuring every student has at least one adult advocate at school who is helpful and vested in the success of that child. According to one study, only about 20-30% of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying, so ensuring each student has an adult invested in his or her safety and wellbeing is paramount to the child’s success in school. We also partner with Hancock Youth Prevention Education (HYPE) – a countywide club. At Liberty-Benton, our HYPE club is called HAPPY (Healthy Choice, Always Striving for Good Character, Positive Role Model, Proud to be Me, Youth Can Make a Difference) and students participate in activities focused on healthy choices and kindness throughout the year.

And at the high school, all Liberty-Benton students participate in STRIDES – Students Taking Roles In Developing Educational Success. This is a yearlong program where students are teamed up, intermixing grade levels to promote meeting and working with a variety of people. Throughout the year the students accomplish team-building activities as well as service projects.

As educators, we want to ensure that each and every person that walks through the doors of our school buildings feels safe, secure and welcome. Our goal is to provide a place where children not only learn, but grow and thrive. By offering these programs and spaces for our children to show and experience kindness, we hope we are combating bullying in our schools and giving our students the space, opportunities and guidance to be successful in the future, to soar.


Mark Kowalski
Liberty-Benton Local Schools

Our Students Are More Than Just a Number

Mark Kowalski.jpgAt Liberty-Benton Local Schools, our students are more than just a number, ranking or grade. Sure, we are pleased with the recent grade we received on the state report card – B. We were one of only three districts in the county that received this high of a grade. We work hard every day to provide the best experiences for our students, but we could still be – and plan on! – doing more to help our Eagles continue to soar.

The state report card data is a useful tool, but it is just one measure of the work we’re doing in our schools. It does not capture the fact that our district was recently named the #1 district for athletes, the #1 place to teach and the #1 safest school in Hancock County by There is no reference to the six Monarch butterflies our Biology and Environmental Science classes have raised and the two that were recently released to make the journey to Mexico or the incredible growth we’re seeing in our instrumental and vocal music program. In the past year, our band has more than doubled in size and our choir is up 28 students to 172 singers. If we’re going to talk numbers, it is numbers like these that make our district so special.

There truly is something for everyone at Liberty-Benton.

You see, at Liberty-Benton Local Schools, we care about all of our students and support them in reaching their fullest potential. Not only do we want them to achieve in the classroom, but to grow and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the future. So that is where we send the majority of our money – to the classroom. Sixty-seven percent of our district budget is sent to the classroom, where mission-critical work happens every day. In addition, our classroom spending per pupil is the lowest in the area, meaning we make the most with the money we have. We know that student performance is directly affected by the resources and services that are readily available, so we make that a top priority.

So, as we review our results on the state report card – and all data is important so we will definitely take time to process and apply key takeaways – it is important to keep in mind that the idea of providing an excellent educational experience for our children is at the center of every decision we make.

I am proud of everything we have accomplished in our district and am grateful for the support of our parents and community. I look forward to this year’s achievements and the story our students will be able to tell after another successful year at Liberty-Benton!


Mark Kowalski
Liberty-Benton Local Schools

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kindergarten-registration.pngWe are now accepting registration for our upcoming kindergarten class (class of 2031) for fall 2018. In order to begin kindergarten this fall, your child must be age 5 by August 1, 2018. Please click on the link below to register your child and sign up for a 1-hour screening time which will occur on March16th between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. For non-residents, we ask that you complete this registration. However, you will need to complete an open enrollment application and be accepted into the district before you are officially registered. If you have any questions, please contact the elementary office at (419) 422-9161.

Click Here: Register For Kindergarten Now!

Click Here if you need the Liberty-Benton Open Enrollment Application.

PurpleStar.jpgI am pleased to announce that Liberty-Benton High School has received the Purple Star designation from the Ohio Department of Education. We acknowledge the outstanding commitment that military families make in serving our great nation. We are here to applaud and support them in any way we can throughout the educational process. I would like to recognize Mr. Chad Marzec, a Purple Heart recipient in his own right, as being instrumental in helping Liberty-Benton High School receive this designation.

Mark Kowalski

Lyndsey Fox receives Ohio Middle Level Association Regional Award

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Congratulations to Lyndsey Fox on receiving an Ohio Middle Level Association Regional Award November 2 at the annual OMLA conference in Columbus, Ohio. Mrs. Fox teaches Science 8 at Liberty-Benton Middle School.

Lisa Saums and Jill Erickson win Golden Apple Awards

Congratulations to Tim Nichols on his 100th win as LB Football Coach

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Watch the video tribute created by alumni players

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Meet Nicole Spencer RN

Nicole Spencer.jpgHello, my name is Nicole Spencer and I am a part time employee at Hancock Public Health fulfilling the role of a school nurse at Liberty-Benton Local schools. As I will be doing my best to get to know the students though out the year, I would like to share a little bit about myself. I have been a pediatric nurse for four years. I have a passion working with children, and truly enjoy it. I grew up in Arlington Ohio, and am married to my husband Adam. Adam and I have a 9-month baby girl named Jade, and a family cat named Piper. In my spare time, I love spending time with my family, taking my daughter swimming, playing outside and going to the Zoo. I also enjoy crochet, gardening and shopping.

I will primarily be housed in the elementary building Monday- Friday 9-1:00, but will be available to children of all grades at LB. During my time at the school I will keep busy attending to the needs of all the children and making sure that all state required mandates are completed. Most of my time will be spent with ill and injured students, administering daily medications, making sure that all children are up to date on vaccinations or have filled out the appropriate state required paperwork, and performing hearing, vision, and scoliosis screenings on age appropriate students. I am excited to begin my new journey working as your school nurse and look forward to a great school year! If you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to call me @ (419) 422-9161

Yours in health,
Nicole Spencer RN

Updated Over-the-Counter Medications Form

Please see the updated Over-the-Counter Medication form. All medications whether prescribed or over-the-counter, must have a parent/guardian signed approval form on file yearly with the student’s school. No student will be administered this information without approval on file.


A very special thanks to Mr. Otley, Mr. Burkett, and their staffs for a very moving Veteran’s Day Program. I would like to commend our Middle School Band and Choir on their fine performances and our entire student body on their behavior during this solemn event. We would especially like to recognize all of the veterans who took time out of their day to attend our program and help us celebrate this special day in our nation’s history.

Mr. Kowalski

Pictures from the event are posted on the Eagle Update.