Oakwood Register

July 20, 2015

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July 20, 2016 THE OAKWOOD REGISTER Vol. 25, No. 29 July 20, 2016 www.oakwoodregister.com Oakwood welcomes Outremont delegation as diplomacy plays out on a local stage International diplomacy played out on a more personal stage last weekend as a delegation from Outremont, Canada, arrived in Oakwood to mark the 40 th anni- versary of the two communities' Sister City agreement signed in 1976. The delegation of four visi- tors from Outremont, a Montreal suburb, were welcomed by offi- cials from both the city and the Oakwood Sister City Association during a ceremony Friday morn- ing at the municipal building. On hand to greet the Canadians were Oakwood Mayor William Duncan, who officiated, Vice Mayor Steve Byington, Council members Anne Hilton and Rob Stephens, City Manager Norb Klopsch, Assistant City Manager Jay Weiskircher, Law Director Robert Jacques, Finance Director Cindy Stafford, Public Safety Chief Alex Bebris, Leisure Services Director Carol Collins and Oakwood Sister City Association President Lucy Baker. Councilman Chris Epley was unable to attend, but was represented at the ceremony by his mother. Arriving in Oakwood for the weekend were Francine Unterberg, a mother of six and president of Outremont's Sister City organiza- tion since 1993. Unterberg, who also serves as secretary of the Outremont Historical Society, was on her fourth visit to Oakwood. On her second visit to Oakwood, Brigitte Unterberg organizes her Sister City's Lobster and the Oyster Fests, two of the most popular events in Outremont, and she has served on the Outremont Sister City board of directors since 2000. Making her first trip to Oakwood, Jeannine Lussier, a retired elementary school teacher, has served as secretary for the Comité de Jumelage d'Outremont since 2000. Michel Dufour, who is active in sports in Outremont coaching youth soccer and serving as coordinator of a tennis tour- nament, also was returning to Oakwood for a second visit. Before beginning the formalities City officials including Mayor Bill Duncan (right) and Vice Mayor Steve Byington enjoy a reception for the Outremont delegation at Smith Gardens in Oakwood. OHS students battle drug, alcohol abuse as part of six-school South Suburban Coalition Oakwood High School students Maggie Weeda, left, Adam Heyl, center, and Erika Helm, right, volunteered last year with the South Suburban Coalition, a six-school student consortium targeting drug and alcohol abuse in the region. Both Weeda and Heyl graduated from OHS this spring. It's long been Oakwood's dirty, little not-so-secret - underage student drinking. Alongside the city's claim to having the best public school system in the region stands the persistent fact that Oakwood High School regularly ranks at the top of Miami Valley schools for alco- hol abuse, according to the Dayton Area Drug Survey, or DADS, an annual survey of area high school students sponsored by the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. "We have consistently been ranked the highest in the Dayton Area Drug Survey in the Miami Valley, in terms of alcohol use among students, " confirmed Joan Bline, an intervention and preven- tion counselor with Oakwood City Schools. The problem was highlighted even more in recent weeks with the sentencing of a former Oakwood High athlete for assaulting a woman on the Stanford University campus after an underage drinking binge at a fraternity party, and the follow-on revelation that he apparently lied to the court about the extent of his drug and alcohol use while a student at OHS. Maggie Weeda, who will attend the University of Dayton this fall after graduating from OHS in the spring, said that while the percep- tion of alcohol abuse in Oakwood may be exaggerated among students from other districts, the problem is real. "We do have a problem. We have a reputation, and it's pretty valid. Everyone knows it goes on," said Weeda. "It might be exaggerat- ed, but people associate Oakwood schools with alcohol." Not all students are willing to readily accept the stereotype, how- ever, and Weeda and her fellow students on the South Suburban Coalition have been battling the issue of alcohol and drug abuse in the classrooms and hallways in Oakwood schools. The coalition is a consortium of students and faculty from six area high schools – Oakwood, Alter, Centerville, Fairmont, Miamisburg and West Carrolton. A group of approximately 20 students who make up the Oakwood contingent meet weekly when school is in session, while students and staff from all member schools meet on a monthly basis to share ideas, strate- gies and tactics in combating under- age drinking and substance abuse. Anti-drug and alcohol initiatives See Stage on page 5 u See OHS on page 4 u

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