BEF Programs Shine in 2020

BEF grant and endowment funded programs impacted hundreds of Bexley students this past year. The year began with the community-wide conversation about mental health, Bexley Be Well. BEF grant funding supported school-based initiatives that included the screening of the film Angst and the presentation by Kate Fagan, the ESPN columnist who wrote the book What Made Maddy Run.   

Starting in October, Bexley students across all grade levels benefitted from visiting authors, artists and scholars. Alumna Ellen Klages, ‘72, who was in town to receive an Ohioana Book Award, spoke to BMS students on October 21 about her writing process and where her inspiration comes from. Renowned children’s author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney spent the day visiting with first and second grade students on October 28. Science took center stage on October 25 when Dr. Joel Politi live streamed a knee replacement surgery and orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Michael Williard, ‘78 ‘Dr. Alexis Matrka, ‘06 and Dr. Curtis Henn, ‘01 spent the day in BHS science classrooms for the Judah Folkman, MD Scientist in Residence program. October came to a dramatic end with the OSU Theatre Department presenting a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet to BHS freshman English students.

Winter programs included a three-week residency by acclaimed album cover artist, Alex Haldi, ‘02 who shared his digital art skills with high school art students. The residency culminated in AP Art Studio students creating a poster or album cover. Their artwork remains on display in the Schottenstein Theatre lobby. By sharing her own journey, Middle Grade Author Elly Swatrz inspired fifth grade students at all Bexley elementary schools to be courageous in their creative writing during her three-day residency in December.   

Just prior to the school shut down in March, Dr. Jay Geller, Samuel Rosenthal Professor of Judaic Studies at Case Western Reserve University served as the 2020 Holocust Scholar in Residence. Dr. Geller spent the day at BHS exploring the and the roots of modern anti-semitism with World Studies students.