From The Principal’s Desk

by JERRON T. GRAY

What an awesome Centennial Celebration! From the Orange-Out on Fountain Square to the Golf Outing, Alumni Basketball Game vs Woodward, the packed-house Gala at Jack Casino and the elegant Tower Lawn Brunch, what an amazing celebration week! All I can say is WOW!!!

To be a part of history and to have met so many distinguished Alumni from all across the city and country was truly a tremendous honor. Our Centennial Celebration put on display grand Tiger Pride. All of Cincinnati Public Schools and the City of Cincinnati stood watching in awe and shared in our Withrow tradition, culture and pride. This was a celebration to remember and will never be forgotten!

As we embark upon our next 100 years, Withrow is still on the move – continuing to impact the academic, artistic and athletic lives of over 1,300 students. Here are just some of the highlights of our school year, thus far:

Academically, our faculty and staff have been working extremely hard to analyze State testing data and develop strategies to enhance student learning across all academic disciplines. Our School of Business continues to forge ahead with partnerships with companies such as: Western & Southern’s Mentoring Program and Madisono’s Sorbet & Gelato Company, which is working with our 8th grade students to develop feasibility research studies of different gelato flavors that students will eventually vote on, put into production and market based upon their study. Also, through the lens of our Agri-business Program, our Foundations of Economics classes are addressing supply and demand problems related to food scarcity in our city’s urban areas and those around the world.

Our Special Needs Program students recently participated in Cincinnati’s River Reach Program where they cruised up and down the Ohio River learning about the history of the river and collecting scientific data such as pH, bacterial and micro and macro species levels in the Ohio River. Additionally, our students gain hands-on work experiences twice a week, through ViaQuest Day & Employment Services by working at Matthew 25 Ministries and Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in downtown Cincinnati. Our students also participate in the Cincinnati Arts and Technology Studios (CATS) program, where they create pottery, ceramics and digital fine art. Students are then able to put their work up for sale and keep the profits. And finally, through the support of our Alumni Association, our special needs students run our Positive School Culture (PBTS) ROAR Student Incentive Store, as well as prepare Tiger Dinner meals once a month for our faculty and staff as a part of our School of Business Program.

Our English as a Second Language (ESL) Program is helping our international refugee and immigrant students acclimate to our Withrow academic culture, as well as partnering with support institutions such as: Refugee Connect, YMCA Young Achievers, Xavier University, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Community College. Our ESL- Engineering Pathway Program visited the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering in early October in the first of several joint events with UC and Cincinnati State. As a part of our Robotics Club, our students also recently competed together in a “robots soccer game” competition, where student teams programmed robots to compete against each other in a robots soccer game. Great fun, great competition and great academic experience!

Artistically, as a result of the excitement from our Withrow Sounds Again show last spring, we are reviving our Music and Fine Arts Program with the addition of a Drama Course, the hiring of a new Music Teacher and expanding student enrollment in our strings and small-but-mighty marching band programs. On October 31, students in our Drama class performed Frankenstein in the school’s auditorium. On December 12 at 7:30 pm, students in our Music and Fine Arts program will be performing in a return of a Holiday Concert. Please, come out and support our students!

Our global reach saw three of our students and travel with teachers to New Taipei City, Taiwan in June to participate in our Taipei City-Cincinnati Sister City Culture and Education Exchange Program. The high level of care, hospitality and cultural education experienced by our student and staff while in Taipei City was phenomenal, and without question will be remembered for a lifetime! Thank you alumni for your continued support of this program.

In line with Superintendent Laura Mitchell’s District-wide vision for all Cincinnati Public Schools to prepare our students for the 3 E’s: Enrollment into a college or university, Employment in a local, state or national business, and/or Enlistment into any branch of our United States Armed Forces, we held a College, Career and Military Fair in early October at Withrow. There were over 18 Colleges and Universities, six employers, and representatives from each branch of our Armed Forces present at the fair. There was great excitement at the event, which was very well attended by our sophomores, juniors and seniors. Additionally, we hosted HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Day at Withrow on October 30; and we also took 110 juniors to the Cincinnati Career Expo at the Cincinnati Convention Center on October 31.

Athletically, our fall sports teams are competing well and gaining respect our league in football, soccer, volleyball and cross-country. We are growing and building a championship mindset and culture of excellence! Continue to support our athletic program! Finally, our Homecoming parade, game and dance brought such joy
and pride to our Withrow students and alumni! We thank all who participated in the week’s festivities.

As you can see, we have a lot going on at the ’Row. It is our hope that you will continue to join and support us in holistically developing our students academically, artistically and athletically in the next 100 years – enabling them to truly know what it means to be a Withrow Tiger – Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger!!!

All the Best,
Jerron T. Gray, Principal

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