Article Archive

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May Update

Back in 1986 the rock band Europe released their hit song “The Final Countdown”, which is a fitting way to look at the month of May in public schools.  For our seniors, May is a time for reflection regarding the many things they’ve accomplished during their years at LB, as well as a time of looking forward to graduation, summer vacation, and the next chapter in life.

During our Portrait of an Eagle Project, we identified critical thinkers as an essential skillset all students should possess by the time they graduate from LB.  We defined this as:

Critical Thinkers

  • We are able to analyze information, make informed decisions, and sort information to discern truth.
  • We can evaluate evidence, consider different perspectives, and solve problems.  

The world our graduates must be prepared for, is a world that has become more difficult to sift through mainstream media spin, and web-based resources to arrive at truth.  Analyzing information, evaluating evidence, and considering different perspectives, to discern truth is an essential skill for success in life.  

As we look at closing out another school year, It has been a blessing to serve you alongside of our amazing LB teaching staff. I’m looking forward to seeing you at these remaining school events.

May 8   District Wide Arts Festival 6-8 pm

May 14  High School Spring Band/Choir Concert 7:30 pm

May 20  High School Senior Awards Night 7 pm

May 21  Middle School Spring Band/Choir Concert 6:30 pm

May 22 Last Day for Graduating Seniors

May 30  Last Day of School 2 Hour Early Dismissal

June 2   High School Graduation 2 pm


Fly Higher!
Bruce Otley




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Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2024

April Message

The trees are budding with new leaves, the grass has begun to grow, and the tulips and crocuses are
blooming. Spring has sprung, and we are officially in the fourth quarter of the 2023-2024 school year!
When I was a football coach, often times our players would raise their hands in the air with their thumb
bent to make the number 4, as a reminder to persevere, execute the game plan, implement the half
time adjustments, and finish the game strong. With three quarters of school in the rear view, we need
to commit to a strong finish.

In February and March, a committee of students, parents, teachers, board member, and administrators
met with our consultant with The Impact Group for our Portrait of an Eagle project, which is in support
of our Strategic Plan. Our work was to identify and define the character traits we feel every student
should possess by the time they graduate from Liberty-Benton. These character traits help define our
culture, and will be a k-12 point of focus as we nurture, grow, and educate our students. I’ll be sharing
the end result of our “Portrait of an Eagle” project in its entirety with everyone soon, but since we’re
officially in the fourth quarter, I thought I’d share a sneak peak of one of the character traits our
committee felt every eagle should possess before graduating.

Resilience: We are motivated to persevere through challenges with grit and determination.  We are
willing to embrace and overcome setbacks as a necessary step toward growth.  We know that hard work
creates opportunities to adapt, grow and be successful in our changing world.  

I love that our group identified resilience as a point of focus, and used terms like “grit”, “hard work”. and
“determination” as the remedy to overcome setbacks to achieve growth. I love watching our students
pursue excellence by overcoming challenges in the classroom, through musical and theatrical
performances and the arts, on the court, mat, course, and field of athletics. As we enter the fourth
quarter, be resilient and finish the year strong!

Fly Higher!

Bruce Otley

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Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2024

March Madness

March is music in our schools Month, and our students are poised for another successful high school
musical, The Sound of Music, in our beautiful new performing arts center. Opening night will be Friday,
March 1, at 7:30 p.m. Encore performances will be held Saturday March 2, and Sunday March 3, at 2:00

We will again be showcasing the talent of our middle and high school vocal music programs at the Music
in Our Schools (MIOSM) concert on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. and our high school band will be
performing on Thursday March 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the performing arts center. Our second graders will
also be performing on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m.

March is also the month for high school basketball tournaments, and the beginning of our track,
baseball, and softball seasons. Good luck to all of our athletes!

The demolition of our old prek-8 building is well under way and we would like anyone who would like a
keepsake from our beloved old building to have one. Bricks from the original 1921 building can now be
obtained in the front parking lot of the original elementary school.  There will be plenty of bricks, and
our demolition company will continue to make bricks available to our pubic as long as there is a demand
for them so please feel free to preserve a piece of our district’s heritage and “pick a brick”.

Friendly reminder we will be off for Spring Break Friday March 29-Monday April 1.

Bruce A. Otley
Liberty-Benton Local Schools

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Posted Friday, March 1, 2024

February Message

When it is February in Ohio, it can seem like winter will never end.  Fortunately for us, for the first time in two years, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow so hopefully we will have an early spring.  In the meantime, there’s been lots of exciting things happening at school. For example:

The demolition process of our old prek-8 building has begun.  All of the portable classrooms have been removed.  A portion of the far west side of the 1959 has also been partially removed.   As we say goodbye to our old building, we have thoughtfully preserved our proud heritage in a number of ways.

  1. A portion of the 1959 gymnasium floor has been preserved and proudly displayed in our high school gymnasium.
  2. The original dedication plaque to the 1921 and 1976 buildings have been preserved.  The 1921 plaque is mounted next to the new prek-8 dedication plaque.  
  3. The program for the new building dedication that contained a comprehensive summary of our district has been preserved in the new time capsule located behind the prek-8 dedication plaque.
  4. The original badging “Liberty TWP Centralized School 1921" has been carefully removed to be incorporated somewhere into our new campus.
Bricks from our beloved old school will be available for Liberty-Benton families after February 12, 2024.  The bricks will be located in the front parking lot of the 1921 building on Route 12.  

February 5-9, is Counselor Appreciation week.  We are thankful for the care and support our team of counselors provides to our students and staff.  Thank you, Mrs. Gazette, Mrs. Pickett, Mrs. Herr, and Mrs. Rath, for all you do for our students, parents, and teaching staff.

February 15th is also Student Resource Officer Appreciation Day.  Deputy Brandon Kendrick has served as our SRO since the 20-21 school year.   Thank you Deputy Kendrick for your service to the district.

Keep your eyes peeled for the 2022-2023 Liberty-Benton Quality Profile.  The Quality Profile captures the achievements and highlights from the previous school year. These should hit mailboxes later on this month.   The winter newsletter should reach mailboxes in early March.

Friendly reminder that we have used four of our five calamity days for the school year. After our fifth calamity day, we will switch to remote learning.

Fly Higher!
Bruce Otley

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Posted Monday, February 5, 2024

New Year’s Greetings

The new year is a time for reflecting on the accomplishments of 2023, and is also a time of great excitement for what 2024 will bring. The 2023-2024 school year has certainly been special.  As a community we celebrated the opening of our new prek-8, and we will soon be saying goodbye to our old facilities on State Route 12.  To preserve the heritage of our old campus for future generations of eagles, several measures have been taken.  

  • The letters from the old gymnasium floor spelling out Liberty-Benton have been framed and will be displayed in the high school gym
  • The original bronze commemoration plaque from the 1921 building will be mounted on the wall next to the commemoration plaque on the auditorium all for the new prek-8
  • The stone badging on top of the 1921 building “1921 Liberty TWP Centralized School” will be preserved and incorporated somewhere on our new campus
  • Bricks from the old 1921 building will be preserved and made available to our public
I am proud of the accomplishments of our students, staff, performing arts programs, and athletic teams and can’t wait to see what future accomplishments we will achieve together in 2024!  

Happy New Year!  

Bruce Otley

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Posted Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Holiday Greetings

The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year.  It is a time for family and friends to gather together, to slow down, and to enjoy each other’s company.  For me, it brings back childhood memories of sipping hot chocolate, indulging in fresh baked homemade cookies, decorating the tree, and the excitement and anticipation of opening gifts with family and loved ones.

During this holiday season, our students have gotten into the giving spirit though hosting a canned food drive and a Coats for Christmas drive to provide food and warm winter coats, hats, and gloves to the needy in our local community.

We are blessed to host our first holiday concerts in our new auditorium, and to be enjoying the benefits of new and updated facilities.  Our wrestling team has moved into their new facility located in our field house, and we are off to another exciting basketball, wrestling, and bowling season.

As we approach Christmas break, I’d like to encourage everyone to slow down, spend quality time with loved ones, bake (and eat—you can work them off after the new year begins) the cookies, make the memories, and count your blessings.

I’d like to wish all of you a wonderful, restful Christmas break!  
Bruce Otley

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Posted Monday, December 11, 2023

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