The Grapevine

by Martin McConnell

The Independence High School JustWrite team won third place at the state writing tournament, taking the bronze medal among more than 40 Ohio high schools. The Blue Devils competed against schools much larger than Independence, making the third-place accomplishment even more impressive.

IHS student Callia Shumay finished with a perfect 700 score, the first in Independence school history. Casey Adams placed seventh in the state overall as an individual writer.

“These writers are a positive voice in our community and school district,” IHS JustWrite coach Jill Wagner said. “Hopefully next year, we’ll be able to have a JV and varsity team.”

The IHS Drama Club’s production of “The Addams Family” received two nominations for the 2022 Dazzle Awards from Playhouse Square. The club was nominated for “Best Scenic Design” and “Best Costume Design” awards.

IHS junior and CVCC Sports Medicine Exercise Science student Kate Coljohn received CVCC’s student spotlight for Independence this month.

“Outside of academics, Kate is involved in golf and track at Independence High School,” CVCC wrote in a release. “Looking ahead, Kate hopes to go on to college after high school and plans on pursuing an area in the medical or sports medicine field. Her dream is to ultimately have a thriving career she loves.”

On May 1, Independence Vice Mayor David Grendel presented proclamations to Independence residents Easton Strychasz and Wyatt Snyder in recognition of their successful attainment of the rank of Eagle Scout. 

The Strychasz and Snyder families said they are grateful for the city of Independence and the entire community’s unending support of their children and the Scouting program. “It makes an enormous difference in watching these boys grow into young men and contributing members of the community and society,” said Cristie Snyder.

Easton and Wyatt are members of BSA Troop 652 at St. Basil the Great Catholic Church in Brecksville.

Independence native Morgan Martin was inducted into Baldwin Wallace University’s chapter of the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society for the spring 2022 semester. The criteria for selection includes a 3.4 minimum cumulative GPA, junior academic standing by the fifth semester, earned athletic letter winner, and excellent character and citizenship.

Josh Belitz and Sam Belitz, of Independence, were named to Grove City College’s Dean’s List for the 2022 spring semester.

Kirsten Taras made the Deans List at The Ohio State University for the 2022 spring semester. She is majoring in international studies.

Nolan Michaels from Independence, a senior exercise science major, was named to Bloomsburg University’s spring 2022 Dean’s List. ∞