This year, it is unfortunate that we are unable to gather in person to celebrate our collective and individual growth and successes as in years past. We usually take this time to acknowledge those among us who are living and breathing embodiments of Oakmont’s Core Values of Authenticity, Commitment, Innovation and Drive. We will not let this temporary pause in gathering stop us from celebrating the following team members for their amazing contributions and growth this year:
The Award for Authenticity - Katrina Scott, East Prep Academy
The Award for Commitment - Ronald Johnson, Marshall HS & Kelven Moss, Marshall HS (TIE)
The Award for Innovation - Amy Kenyon, Frederick Douglass HS
The Marty Erbaugh Driven Award - Randy Smoot, Liberty HS
School of the Year - Liberty HS
Most Improved School - Frederick Douglass HS
Congratulations to our dedicated and amazing staff for their amazing growth and work! We are absolutely certain that next year we will be back in person, celebrating one another and the amazing accomplishments that our students and schools have seen throughout this unprecedented time.
TOWPATH TRAIL EAST HIGH SCHOOL ACHIEVES ‘MODEL SCHOOL’ STATUS
Oakmont Education network schools strive for excellence everyday serving our students and providing them with support and opportunities that are not typically a part of traditional educational opportunities they’ve attempted before. As a result of our constant commitment to excellence, we developed the ‘Model School’ program.
The Model School program is a way to evaluate our network schools and ensure they are going above and beyond offering quality educational offerings, leading to a high school diploma. It is the goal of Oakmont Education to have all of our network schools be Model Schools. Model Schools must meet the following criteria to be considered a Model School within the Oakmont Education network:
- Minimum 3 years existence
- Consistently meets or exceeds standards on report card
- Consistently meets or exceeds budgeted FTEs
- Consistently builds or has built substantial operating surplus allowing for reinvestment into staff, students, programs, & facilities
- Strong (voluntary) staff retention
- High rating for responsiveness and accuracy from support services including coaches, VP DORs, accounting, HR, corporate services, and other staff within Oakmont and the school
- CTE implemented or heavily in process
- Continuous improvement and elite performance in key metrics
- Multiple staff members can be used for training purposes
- Facility presents well; clean, orderly, functioning, & branded
- Strong partnership w/ the board
- Sponsor agrees with “Model School” recognition
- Directors proactively bring issues and concerns at the school level to the exec team along with potential solutions
It is with great excitement and joy that we share the newest addition to the ranks of Model School, Towpath Trail High School, East Campus!
Congratulations to Director Brian Vannest on his leadership and congratulations to the wonderful and dedicated staff at Towpath Trail HS East Campus on reaching such a significant achievement. Keep up the amazing work!
Towpath Trail: A True Community During Uncertain Times
As if the end of March 2020 wasn’t hard enough with the COVID crisis, schools closing, and the economy shutting down, the Crosley family was facing an additional challenge that added much more fear and concern. Fortunately, it was also a time for communities to come together and support each other through tough times.
Isaac Crosley was a construction student in Towpath Trail High School East’s workforce development program. He impressed his teacher Scott Billett as “a fine student and a pleasant young man.” Throughout his first semester, Isaac had something very heavy on his mind: his mother Tina would need emergency surgery.
This news is scary enough, but new hospital regulations during COVID meant she would have to undergo surgery, recovery, and even rehabilitation alone. She also would not be able to return home without expensive upgrades to make her bathroom accessible, a cost the family simply couldn’t afford. This was a lot for an 18-year-old to have on his shoulders. Isaac reached out to Scott for help and together they tackled the situation with a belief that they could get his mother home as soon as she was medically capable. As Scott put the project together though, it seemed daunting, expensive, and almost unattainable.
Scott called on a wide a network of people he had worked with in the past, both professionals and volunteers. “Good relationships last, and they hold meaning,” said Scott. Every person Scott reached out to was eager to help. Together, they installed a wheel chair ramp and completely renovated the bathroom to make the shower, sink, toilet ADA-compliant at no cost to Crosley family. Issac's mom was able to come home and finish her recovery surrounded by her family.
Special thanks to the following people who made Mrs. Crosley’s homecoming possible:
- Eric Beach, Amber Duco and Greg Chaplin with Hasenstab Architects Inc.
- Todd Tober with Tober Building Inc.
- Tim Cozier with Habitat for Humanity
- The Team with Shuman Plumbing
- Al Lesure with Steingass Mechanical
- Brady Rubin with Famous Supply
- John Ballard with The United Way
- Scott Billett with Towpath Trail High School East
- Karen Wachter with Oakmont Education
Welcoming Two New Schools to Our Network!
We are excited to be opening two schools in our network for this school year.
Franklinton Prep High School, located in Columbus's Franklinton neighborhood, opened this month with over 150 students. School director Michael Mintos and his team moved from Central High School into the historic Franklinton building over the summer.
"After working with students in the Franklinton neighborhood for the past few years, its nice to have a building that will allow us to really meet their needs. I'm especially excited to be able to build up our workforce development program so more of our kids have the chance graduate with a diploma and the industry credentials they need to get a good job."
This is the second year of the charter for Cypress High School which relocated to Mansfield, Ohio this summer. Dr. Danielle Kelly joined the Cypress High School team as the director.
"This has definitely been an interesting and challenging year for most people. After moving across the country, living through a pandemic while opening a new school, I feel ready and excited to move onto the next chapter. Being the Director of Cypress High School is a dream come true. I can't think of a better way to pay it forward by taking what I have learned as an educator, world traveler and mother and apply that knowledge toward the success of the school and student body. I hope to share my experience in order to expand educational and career opportunities that support student growth and success through compassion and diligence. 2020-2021 School Year, Here We Come!"
Meet our CEO, John Stack
John Stack started working at Towpath Trail High School as a social studies teacher back in 2001. By 2007, John had been promoted to principal, and he helped guide the school through their transition to a new management company and location in 2012. John then joined Cambridge Education's management team, eventually overseeing all of their schools. In 2018, John launched Oakmont Education with the goal of reimagining what schools could do for their students. "Cambridge focused on opening new schools, but we wanted to focus on quality and student outcomes.”
He also wanted to go beyond helping young people who were at risk of dropping out to earn their high school diploma. He wanted to help them get a career. “Ninety-five percent of our students are living in poverty and a high school diploma wasn’t enough, but helping them earn an industry credential and a $15-$20 an hour job right out of high school is life changing.”
Getting to Know John
Childhood memory: My mom taking my brother and me to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
Food: Pizza, love it all, but favorites include Luigis (Akron) and Siciliano's (Ravenna)
Sport: Football and Baseball...choosing one would be like saying you love one of your kids more than the other
Sports team: Indians and Browns...see above
Vacation destination: Kauai
What is your ‘Why’?
My first job after college was working at a juvenile halfway house in Akron while I was attending graduate school. I didn't choose the job for any reason other than it worked with my school schedule, but it ended up changing my entire career path. I loved the kids I worked with and several of them attended a dropout recovery high school. After touring the school with a few of the kids I worked with, I immediately decided to go back to school to get my teaching license. I've worked in dropout recovery schools ever since.