BROADVIEW HEIGHTS -- A focus on class work, character and citizenship: that's what you'll find at Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School. The Home of the Bees is "buzzing" with excitement after being named this week's Fox 8 Cool School.
There are more than one thousand students in grades 6th through 8th. Principal Patrick Farrell said it is a big school that acts more like a family.
"Our district motto really says it best: that fine education is a heritage. Families, the parental involvement, the outstanding teachers that we have and the kids, when it all comes together you are able to achieve great things," Principal Farrell said.
When it comes to education, they have been succeeding. The district has been rated "excellent" for the past 13 years. All types of technology is incorporated in the classroom for interactive learning.
"Laptops, i-pads, their phones, their i-pods -- they bring them to class and we use them. It gets them more involved and they're using the technology that they bring with them anyway," Language Arts Teacher Jenn Llyod added.
But, it's more than what goes on in the classroom. They not only strive to be good students, but good citizens. Here, character counts.
"Teachers have been looking for students showing good character traits. We've been finding students showing responsibility, respect and honesty, to name a few," 7th Grader Michael Graham said.
Inspired by several students with cancer, the school has taken the Kick-It Program to new heights. Girls cut their hair, boys shaved their heads and there was a big kickball game -- these were just some of the ways the school raised more than $25,000 in one month for pediatric cancer research.
7th Grader Lauren Venesile added another way to raise money for the cause. "I donated all my birthday money to Kick It and I did some babysitting around the neighborhood and I donated that money," she said.
Abby Mandalla is in the 7th Grade and is a cancer survivor. She is most appreciative of what her school did for the Kick-It Program."It means a lot to me to see all the people who support it. It gives me hope for others who have cancer," she added.
The Bees are also bursting with school spirit. And, they have much of which to be proud. All the Fall sports teams have winning seasons, some are undefeated.
"On spirit weeks and on any other week, everybody really comes together and dresses in their Bees gear. It's really nice how we support the teams," 6th Grader Alex Gutierrez said. "We're really a big family."