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Principal's Message

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Profile picture of Ben McMurray

Principal's Message
Welcome to Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School!

Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School is a wonderful place for students to grow academically, to participate in a variety of activities, and to become caring members of their community.

I truly enjoy interacting with students in all grade levels, getting to know our parent community, and working with an amazing faculty and staff. Together, we strive to create an environment in which each student is given the tools needed to achieve his or her individual success.

Ottawa Hills has an exceptional faculty and staff with a passion for teaching and learning. They are creative and focused, putting students at the center of the learning process. Together, they nurture an environment that provides our students with a firm understanding of the knowledge and skills in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. We offer a rigorous curriculum that is internationally competitive and has a long tradition of excellence.  Our school guidance counselors work closely with students and their families to match each individual student’s interests and abilities with the advanced educational opportunities of his or her choice.  Faculty, staff, and administrators partner with students and their parents to develop career and college plans beginning in the seventh grade.

As a school and community, we strongly value the visual and performing arts and regard them as part of the core curriculum. The arts offer a unique opportunity to explore creativity, develop self-expression, and examine the human condition. Students may select from a variety of courses in which they can learn a foundation of knowledge and skills in the arts including: Digital Photography, Ceramics, Jewelry, Fashion Design, AP Studio Art, Band, AP Music Theory, Music Technology, and Choir. Outside the classroom, students can perform in our award-winning Choraliers, Marching and Concert Bands, Dance Team, Jazz Band, and several theatrical productions. Students’ artwork is showcased during the smART show, an annual art fair with visual arts, poetry, writing, music, and fashion.

We encourage our students to be active, creative, and responsible citizens through a number of opportunities beyond academics that are designed to help shape them into well-rounded individuals with the capacity to think critically. Students can participate in exceptional athletic programs and a variety of extracurricular activities. The athletic activities include football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, golf, and field hockey. Ottawa Hills teams are recent state champions in golf, field hockey, and soccer. Other activities include Quiz Bowl, Volunteer Focus, Eclipse Club, French Club, Spanish Club, Model United Nations, Chess Club, Challenge Crew, Science Olympiad, Youth-to-Youth, MathCounts, Science Fair, National History Day, OH Breathe, and Power of the Pen.

Looking beyond their junior high and senior high school years, we help prepare our students by keeping them up-to-date with the latest online learning and technology tools that will easily transfer into university and career settings.  Students in grades 7-12 are given a school issued laptop each year through our OH Global program.  We continue to seek ways to effectively integrate technology into the teaching and learning process.  In conjunction with the national organization Project Lead the Way, all seventh and eighth grade students will have the opportunity to take a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) class.  Faculty will engage students in problem-based learning and will encourage students to create, design, build, discover, collaborate, and solve problems while applying what they learn in math and science.  High school STEM opportunities include: AP Computer Principles, Robotics I and II, Modeling and Simulation I and II, AP Statistics, Honors Scientific Research, and Computer Programming I and II.   

All of this is made possible by strong partnerships with parents and the Ottawa Hills community. We focus on building positive relationships with parents through frequent and effective communication. Parent-driven organizations like the Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association, Athletic Boosters, Ottawa Hills Music and Theater Association, Ottawa Hills Foundation, Ottawa Hills Schools Foundation, and OH21 play an important and active role in the schools. Our campus is truly in the center of our community.

I hope you find our website helpful.  If you would like a tour of our school, please contact the school office. If I can be of any assistance, please give me a call at 419-534-5376 or e-mail me at bmcmurray@ohschools.org.


Sincerely,
Benjamin S. McMurray
Principal, Ottawa Hills Jr./Sr. High School

 

© 2018 Ottawa Hills Local School District