Award of Excellence Given to High School Teacher Lance Stevens

IMG_5672On September 9, 2015, Liberty-Benton High School teacher Lance Stevens was given the Award of Excellence from the United States Navy. The Navy Recruiting District of Ohio, bestowed this award to Stevens for his support of the Findlay Navy Recruiting Station during 2015. The award is one of only two given in Northwest Ohio.

“[Stevens’] efforts directly contributed to manning the fleet with the best and brightest individuals,” stated Ryan R. Patrick, AE1(AW), USN, Navy Representative. He continued, “His service and dedication to military and the United States Navy is greatly appreciated.”

Being a liaison for the military not only in Liberty-Benton schools, but also the Findlay community, Stevens has provided options for students that don’t have a plan for the future by recommending them to talk with the Armed Forces. Through the Armed Forces these students have been mentored and given further guidance.

For college bound students, Stevens has been a great supporter in assisting and recommending students apply for scholarships their senior year. The U.S. Navy proudly supports these students by providing a $180,000 NROTC scholarship.

As a mentor for Veterans in the community, supporter for Armed Service and an advocate for helping his students beyond the classroom, Stevens became a top candidate for the excellence award. His efforts brought great credit upon himself and the United States Navy Service.

2015-2016 FFA Members Hitting Their Groove!

“‘Amplify’ – Boost your impact….” This is the FFA Theme for the 2015-2016 school year focusing on the enhancement and promotion of leadership and citizenship. The opportunities are limitless within the FFA and improving how members impact our world is a primary focus for this year.

IMG_20150730_143153_014The school year is off to a booming start with activities taking place, meetings to attend, practices for contests and learning to be made. One of these opportunities right away is participating in the Hancock County Fair. Students have prepared projects, whether they are animal or shop, spent time practicing walking their animals around, and stressed over feed input into animals to make sure that they are just the proper weight for the fair to begin. The time has come, the preparations have been made. Lets pump up the volume on this year’s Fair Season. Stay tuned to next month’s addition for FFA member updates on fair accomplishments.

IMG_20150730_160658_222In addition to the students taking individual projects the Liberty-Benton FFA members will work collaboratively at many different locations during the fair. FFA Members helped with fair set-up, working in the lamb tent, Pork Producers tent, and Farm Bureau tent. Members went to the fairgrounds the Saturday before the fair and set-up an area with pictures and projects from the previous year. They ran the lamb and pork tents where food was served to customers. They also made a demonstration about corn and water quality that was presented in the Farm Bureau tent. The Liberty-Benton FFA had six members representing our chapter by showing livestock projects at the fair this year.
This summer FFA supporters and former FFA members have started the Liberty-Benton FFA Alumni and are welcoming anyone that would like to participate. We look forward to and already want to thank all of the FFA Alumni members for what they have done and have planned for supporting, growing and enhancing the Liberty-Benton FFA Chapter.

Coming up soon is the Farm Science Review, which is an interactive experience for all students. Soil judging will be following the Fair Science Review, where students will go and judge land based on slope, texture of the soil, and geography of the land in order to determine if the ground is good for farming or for building structures. Thanks to a local supporter, this year, students have any opportunity to practice in a field before going to the contest to familiarize themselves with how to properly judge the soil.

Fruit Sales start October 15th, so mark your calendars!! We want to make this an exceptional year!

Eagle Pride Exemplified During Friday’s Difficult Day

At approximately 11:30 am, our district, along with several others in Ohio, received a bomb threat on Friday. We immediately contacted authorities and utilized our internal alert system to activate our emergency response procedures. At just after noon, once all students and staff were safe, we sent our first alert to parents via our Honeywell system.

I am very thankful that we were prepared and ready for emergencies of this type. We have practiced for this type of event with the hope we would never have to use such measures. More importantly, I am thankful that no one was injured.

I am so very proud of the Principals, staff and students for following procedures, staying calm, and working as a team….

It is also vital to thank our local first responders who place their lives at risk on a daily basis to insure we stay safe. They are to be commended for helping direct traffic and answer questions as concerned parents entered the Gateway Church parking lot, our reunification site.

Lastly, thanks to the parents for remaining calm, following directions and patience during this situation. We understand it was quite the traffic jam to retrieve your children, but necessary to insure children were released to authorized individuals.

For children who seem upset about returning to school or having lingering fear about Friday’s events, please alert your teacher who can make sure your child is able to talk with one of our guidance counselors. We are able and ready to call in additional help if necessary.

Finally, we are aware that some families felt out of touch with the events. I would urge you to sign up for Honeywell alerts – if you aren’t signed up, please do so here to receive text, call and/or email alerts. You can choose your method of communication. This is the quickest and best way for us to push out information to a large number of families.

As a follow-up, we will have internal meetings today as a review of Friday’s actions. We will use this event to evaluate our plan. We will then sit down with the Sheriff’s staff to further study our plan with a larger lens. If changes occur they will be implemented. Please understand that not all parts of our plan are shared with the public for security reasons.

Again, thank you to everyone for working together for the safety of our children.

– Jim Kanable, Superintendent Liberty-Benton Schools



Elementary Students Earn AR Achievements

Congratulations to the following students for earning Accelerated Reader (AR) points. These students name were placed on the AR bulletin board for the month of September. Your hard work is OUT OF THIS WORLD! – Rhonda Smith, Literacy Coach, LB Elementary

Gray Latta
Exie Arps-Paris
Natalia Cooper
Andrew Montgomery
Elizabeth Niese
Brianna Williams

First Grade
Caleb Hochstettler
James Buddelmeyer
Colten Buttermore
Claire Johnsom
Asher Norman

Second Grade
Ryan Maas
Isaiah Todd
Major Stevens
Rachel Peterson
Andrew Tomlinson

Third Grade
Reagan Knapke
William Niese
Benjamin Leichty
Gabriella Tuttle
Grant Myers

Fourth Grade
Nicole Susko
Noah Davis
Jacob Elchert
Emma Schroeder
Gabriel St. Amour

Fifth Grade
Ian Rath
Bethany Todd
Kaylen Niese
Robert Coldren
Jenna Green

LBHS Cheerleading Competition Team Earns First Place

2015 LBHS Cheerleading Competition Team! After a rain delay and change of venue, these girls pushed through and earned  first place in the Small Varsity Division at the Hancock County Fair Cheer Expo.  Coach Miller is very proud of these girls, for their hard work, positive attitude and amazing performance! Congratulations!

Members of this team include Maranda Blanchard, Ashlee Eley, Abby Clouse, Carrigan Gray, Allena Heidlebaugh, Maddy Miller, Sydni Colchagoff, Ellory Schroeder, Kaylee Puthoff, Chloe Jones

LB Sophomores Participate in “Rise Above”

On Tuesday, September 22, Liberty-Benton High School sophomores traveled to the Findlay Airport to participate in the “Rise Above” traveling exhibit that tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. The goal of the Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron is to share with everyone the inspiring history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots. LB students were able to see a rare red-tailed P-51C Mustang fighter such as the Tuskegee-trained pilots flew in battle from 1943-1945. On a 160-degree panoramic screen, students were also able to watch the inspiring movie, “Rise Above,” which featured the history of the Tuskegee Airmen.





3rd-6th Grade Girls Basketball

We are trying to organize 3rd-6th grade girls Liberty-Benton basketball teams for the Fall 2015 YMCA league which runs from late October to early December. We have a couple of options for January-February but we’ll cross that bridge once we see numbers & interest.

I know many of you have just started volleyball or soccer for the fall but the YMCA basketball season is very early so I wanted to get this out to you so you have time to register.

Here are some general details for the YMCA league:

Registration Deadline is October 4th.
Games start on Saturday, October 24 and run until Saturday, December 12. They don’t play on the weekend of Thanksgiving. All games take place on Saturdays.
Cost: $60 for non-YMCA members – $5 for YMCA members.
Practices will take place at Liberty-Benton High School and/or Liberty-Benton Middle School. Practice nights will depend on gym availability.
Parental involvement is KEY to a successful youth program! If you are interested in volunteering to help please let me know when filling out the form below.
If your daughter has an interest in playing please fill out the form below (if you have more than 1 daughter in Grades 3-6, complete a form for each). After completing this form, you will receive instructions on how to register with the YMCA.

Register Here

– Nate Irwin, Co-Athletic Director

3rd-6th Grade Boys Basketball

TO: Parents of boys in grades 3-6 interested in playing basketball
FROM: Ben Gerken – Head Boys Basketball Coach at Liberty-Benton HS

We are organizing Liberty-Benton 3rd, 4th. 5th, & 6th grade basketball teams for the Fall 2015 YMCA league.

Here are some general details:

  • Registration Deadline is October 4.
  • Games start on Saturday, October 24 and run until Saturday, December 12.
  • Cost: $60 for non-YMCA member | $30 for youth YMCA members $5 for YMCA members
  • We plan to hold practices at Liberty-Benton High School or Liberty-Benton Middle School
  • Most likely, we will have one weeknight practice and one Sunday afternoon practice (after 1:00pm) per week. Practice times and dates are still TBA.
  • We will practice all the boys in the different age ranges at the same time (3rd & 4th Together | 5th Grade | 6th Grade), utilizing fundamental drills that are stressed throughout the Liberty-Benton Basketball Program.
  • Teams will be split based on numbers of players.
  • Parental involvement is KEY to a successful youth program! Please consider volunteering to coach your son’s team.

If you are interested in having your son play for the L-B teams, here is what I need you to do:

Click Here to Register

Once registered, you will receive an email giving you instruction on how to complete the registration through the YMCA.

Thanks for getting your son opportunities to get better at the game of basketball!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Ben Gerken –

Superintendent Update 9/15

jkanable.jpg.JPGWelcome to the 2015-16 school year. This time of year brings great excitement with the energy our children and staff bring to our schools. The summer has allowed us to re-energize, train, and repair as we welcome back our students. We had 169 employees greet our 1,375 students on the first day of school.

As I begin my sixth year as Liberty-Benton Local School’s superintendent, I continue to be pleased with the overall direction of the school district. I feel fortunate to be part of a team that continues to oversee the operations of the school district. As we enter the 2015-2016 school year the district’s financial condition is in excellent shape and we continue to add curriculum offerings in a prudent fashion, giving our students a wide variety of pathways towards success.

The senior class of 2015 ACT results have been received and they produced the highest average composite score in our history. In addition to this, new record highs were set in all subject areas.  The chart below is a summary of past results dating back to 1991-92. It was the 2001-02 school year that L-B’s scores started to outpace the State of Ohio’s average (orange on the chart).

L-B ACT Results 1991-2015.jpg

Liberty-Benton has expanded the number of College Credit Plus (formerly Dual Enrollment) courses offered, making ours one of the most comprehensive post-secondary programs in the area. We have also added vocal music programs and expanded options through Millstream.

This past summer we were able to negotiate employment contracts with unions that represent our non-teaching staffs. All this was accomplished within a few hours of negotiations and enables the district to continue living within our means. My job as superintendent is to make sure we stay on this path of improvement, which I am committed to do, and to live within our budget.

The last time the district passed new money for the school district was in 2009. This levy, along with concessions from the unions, allowed us to weather a difficult financial time.  Since then, we have operated every year with a balanced budget and did not spend more than we received. Today, we have a balance of just over $6 million. The Board is considering using some of that money to address inadequate space for learning and safety conditions on the Elementary/Middle School building.

I would like to wish all of our students and staff the best as we start back to school. Let’s work together to make every day a great day to be a Liberty-Benton Eagle!

Jim Kanable, Superintendent Liberty-Benton Local Schools