Students Advance in Spelling Bee Competition

Congratulations to 6th grader, Calvin Gerard, the Clay Middle School Spelling Bee Champion, and 4th grader, Emily Clausing, the Clay Elementary School Spelling Bee Champion!  Both of these students have advanced to the Regional Spelling Bee, which will be held at Ohio University on March 16, 2013.  Good Luck to Calvin and Emily!

Former Graduate Received Appointment

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Chris Shaffer, a 1999 Clay gradaute, was appointed to the Governor's Office of Appalachia.  He is the son of Bill and Beth Shaffer of Rosemount and the brother of Tim, Sarah, and Mark.

Columbus  Lisa Patt-McDaniel, Director of the Ohio Department of Development, and Fred Deel, Director of Development’s Governor’s Office of Appalachia, today announced the appointment of Chris Shaffer as the office’s assistant director.

"Chris has a strong command of the unique opportunities that exist in Appalachian Ohio," Patt-McDaniel said. "Chris will work closely with local, state, and federal partners in the office’s meaningful effort to promote growth and development in Ohio’s Appalachian communities."

Shaffer, 30, was appointed by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to his prior position as Operations Manager in the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In that capacity, Shaffer assisted the director with budget management, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, project management, outreach, and community engagement. 

“I look forward to working with Chris to support economic, educational, and community prosperity throughout Ohio’s Appalachian region,” Deel said. “Our work with partners, both federal and local, strengthens the quality of life for Ohio’s Appalachian communities.” 

Shaffer, a native of Portsmouth, is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Shaffer is also a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned his Masters of Business Administration in 2009 from Ohio Dominican University. A high resolution photo of Chris Shaffer is available by clicking here.

Shaffer is married to the former Amy Martin of Waverly, Ohio. The couple has one infant daughter, Quinn Maria. 

As an advocate for Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties, the Governor’s Office of Appalachia works on behalf of the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C. to promote the region’s assets and to support local, regional, state, and federal initiatives. 

For information on the Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia, visit:

Working with our partners across business, state and local governments, academia, and the nonprofit sector, the Ohio Department of Development works to attract, create, grow, and retain businesses through competitive incentives and targeted investments. 

Source:  Ohio Governor's Office of Appalachia

2009 Clay's Future Has Arrived

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The Clay Local Board of Education, below left, students of Clay Elementary and Middle School, bottom right, and students and teachers of Clay High School, top right, broke ground on new schools Friday.

Frank Lewis, Portsmouth Daily Times

Students from all three schools, school officials and members of the community, took part in the groundbreaking for the new Clay Local schools Friday morning in front of the current Clay High School.

The students applauded as each guest speaker was announced, and the high school band and chorus entertained those in attendance in the school’s gymnasium.

“This is just an exceptional day for our district,” Clay Local Schools Superintendent Tony Mantell said. “We watched school buildings go up all around us in Scioto County, and we have just yearned for this day for many many years, and it has finally come. We are just appreciative to our citizens here in Clay Township, and all of the support of the trustees, and all of the local authorities. Everybody has been behind us 100 percent. It’s just a great day for children. And that’s really the bottom line.”

Mantell said the goal of the Clay Local school board has always been to “do things right for children.”

Mantell was asked about the time frame involved in completing the project, the excavation of which is well under way.

“We are supposed to take the building over in July of 2011. That’s if things go well,” Mantell said. “You never know what you will run into in construction, but no doubt some time during that school year, we will be in the building — hopefully at the beginning.”

Mantell reflected on his career in education and the importance the new school will play in his life.

“I have been in education a long time, about 33 years, and I have never been through a building project,” Mantell said. “I have worked in a lot of great districts and I have learned a lot from a lot of people. But to finally be a part of building a new facility for children is the highlight of my career.”

One of the people Mantell thanked was Rep. Todd Book, D-McDermott (89th District), currently running for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Book talked to the Times about the importance of the new facilities being constructed.

“Education is the key for a lot of things,” Book said. “It gives people opportunities. It helps the community, because people with opportunities are more likely to have better paying jobs, and all kinds of things. And that starts at this level.”

“The fact that we can have a new school building in the community is just a great thing for us,” Book said. “It’s great for the Clay community. They have been waiting for a while. Now they are there, and I’m just glad to be a part of it. And I know that the results will show in the future as these kids work through a great school and go on to great things.”

At the conclusion of the indoor ceremony, the crowd moved outdoors to the actual groundbreaking ceremony. Three groups, including the dignitaries who had been involved in the presentation, elementary and middle school students and teachers, and high school students and teachers, wearing hard hats, took turns digging a shovel full of dirt and tossing it aside.

Clay Local School Board Vice President Bill Warnock said the cost of the project is in excess of $20 million, and was approved by voters in the March 2008 election.

FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101 Ext. 232

Source:  Lewis, Frank.  "Building for the Future."  Portsmouth Daily Times, 19 September 2009, p. 1A+.  

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2009-2010 Elementary Limo Rides for Sales

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Rosemount Primary and Rubyville Elementary recently concluded its annual sales project.  The student who sold the most items in each homeroom won a limousine ride.  The top sellers from Rosemount were Preslee Lutz, Hailey Arnett, Kayla Fithen, Noah Wright, Noah Downs, and Austin Loper, Alex Kimbler, and Jared Conkel.  Mrs. Rider's homeroom raised the most money.  The top sellers from Rubyville were Jacob Wellman, Hunnter Adams, Abbey Halcomb, Drew Gearheart, Wyatt Large, and Travis Kelley.  Mrs. Zuefle's homeroom raised the most money.  Thanks to all who helped the sales' project.

Source:  Mr. Piguet

2009 Groundbreaking Ceremony

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Architect's conceptual drawing/view of new Clay Schools as seen from US 23.

A ground breaking for the new building will be held at 1 p.m. on September 18 in the gym of the current high school. At the event there will be speakers along with other various activities.

Wayne Allen, Community Common

On March 4, 2008, voters of Clay Township approved a bond issue that would allow the Clay Local School District to construct a new preK-12 school for the district. The district has unveiled the design of the new school to be constructed in front of the current high school.

"We have the design development, (the final step in design) and we are just about to start on the construction documents, (blueprints)," Tony Mantell, Superintendent of the Clay Local School District said.

He said one of the first considerations that comes into play in designing the building is the land its going to be built on.

"Where we are going to build the building is somewhat terraced. They (architects) designed the building with that in mind," Mantell said. "We are in the process now of preparing the site, we are in the midst of our early site package. Our building was designed to take advantage of the contour of the land."

He acknowledged the site is big enough for the new building but also has its limitations.

The district also wanted to make sure they were making the best use of the land available. So the building became two stories.

"The educational wings and the administrative part of the building (will be two stories). The common area of the building, cafetorium and Gym, are by nature two stories high. We believe we have taken advantage of the space by making the building two stories," Mantell said.

He said the building is uniquely designed and will not be like any other school in Scioto County.

The district has plans to save part of the current high school, due to recent investments and improvements to the space, the gym and surrounding area will be saved.

"In saving part of the old building, the gym and surrounding area (of the current high school) they have designed the building to have that (saved portions of the current high school) blend in behind it," he said. The saved gym will become a jr. high gym.

The space the district will save of the current high school will not be counted against them in their allocated space by the Ohio High School Facilities Commission.

Once the new building is complete he said the quality of education will be enhanced with added features unavailable to students currently.

"We have one building that's 80 years old, and other buildings that's between 50 and 60 years old. you just do not have the modern conveniences in these older buildings," Mantell said.

A ground breaking for the new building will be held at 1 p.m. on September 18 in the gym of the current high school. At the event there will be speakers along with other various activities.

For more information about the Clay Local School District, call 354-6645 or visit the school's website (

Allen, Wayne.  "Clay Unveils School Design; Schedules Groundbreaking."  Community Common, 6 September 2009, p. 1+.

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