Reporter’s Notebook: State of the Schools 2015 Edition

Random moments and observations from the 2015 State of the Schools


Andrew Boyle

Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. gives his State of the Schools presentation.

Observations from Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr,’s second State of the Schools address:

1. As audience members filled the Large Auditorium, Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” played through the audio system. Last year began with Kool and the Gang’s “Celebrate.”

2. A small group of the Shaker Heights Wind Ensemble performed the National Anthem.

3. Three Shaker parents opened the event with testimonies about their love for Shaker and the interracial community.

4. Hutchings wore non-Shaker colors: a brown suit and a blue-striped bow tie.

5. The audience applauded enthusiastically when Hutchings mentioned his “field hockey ladies.” The field hockey team and coaches were present and stood at Hutchings’ request for recognition of their 2014 state championship. Hutchings invited the team to attend the speech with their medals.

6. Hutchings talked about using the STEM— science, technology, engineering and math—to refashion the middle school’s Design course. Last year, he used the acronym STEAM—science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

7. Moderator Dan Moulthrop, CEO of the Cleveland City Club and a Shaker resident, asked Hutchings questions from the audience during the question and answer segment.

8.Throughout the event Johnine Byrne, a graphic designer and graphic recorder, stood at stage right and drew a visual representation of the speech on a piece of poster-board displayed on an easel. Her markers were very squeaky. Neither she nor her recording were introduced or addressed during the evening.

9. Asked about how much money the IB program costs, Hutchings avoided the question, saying that he “wasn’t sure.”

10. Hutchings spent significant time assuring community members that the music and arts programs at the middle school would not suffer because of SHMS reorganization.

11. As the event closed, “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child played. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” closed the event last year.

Applause Tracker

Hutchings received applause when:

he mentioned TEDxSHHS.

he stated “arts are not going away—I want you to count on that, middle school parents.”

he said, “There’s no reason why 100 percent of our kids can’t graduate in four years.”

he thanked his wife, “because she lends me to the whole city every day.”

he prompted the state championship field hockey team to stand.

he asked all students in the audience stand up.


Altogether: seven moments of applause; 15 last year.





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