Gerez is Scientifically in Love With Bio-Med

By Adam Grabowski, staff writer

JANUARY 2020 — Ashley Gerez, the senior physics and Environmental Science teacher, thought she had lost her faith in teaching, but when she came to Bio-Med Science Academy, her whole view changed.

Gerez grew up in Garrettsville and has lived there for her whole life. She graduated from James A. Garfield High School in 2009 and started college in 2010 at Ohio University. She originally wanted to major in Premedical Studies but eventually changed to Science Education.

The above picture is of Ashley Gerez (left) and her husband (right). Photo provided by Ashley Gerez.

Gerez cited wanting “more of an opportunity to have a career that allowed for more family time” as her primary reason for the change.

Gerez graduated college in 2014 and found her first job at Invictus High School in downtown Cleveland.

Gerez recalled, “For my first job, I applied to everything within a 50-mile radius, and Invictus was the only school that hired me. I did a year there, but the drive was awful — it was an hour and ten minutes — so I didn’t want to do this anymore. I reapplied for jobs and got an offer to work at Rootstown pretty early… so I took it and stopped looking.”

She worked at Rootstown for seven years. However, Gerez really wasn’t happy with her job there. She was disappointed by the school’s focus on sports and the teaching workload, so she was ready for a change. Gerez wanted to remain in education but wanted a position that was more fulfilling.

It just so happened that Madison Cambria, the seventh-grade science teacher at Bio-Med, was a student teacher under Gerez. Therefore, the two teachers had a connection, and Cambria informed Gerez of a job opening in the eighth grade at Bio-Med, though Gerez turned it down. This was because Cambria reached out to Gerez in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Gerez was unsure if she wanted to change her job in the middle of the growing pandemic and worried about job security.

Gerez ultimately waited until the 2022-2023 school year to begin working at Bio-Med. She received word from Cambria again of a position as the senior physics and Environmental Science teacher. This time, Gerez applied for the position and was hired.

“I absolutely love it here,” she said.

Gerez loves the community at Bio-Med and the flexibility she has as a teacher. She enjoys how people are allowed to be their own person. Gerez also explained how her favorite part of Bio-Med so far was accelerated term, a period of time where students take elective courses.

Pictured above is a photo of Gerez conversing about thermal energy to her class. Photo by Adam Grabowski.

“[I liked] having the opportunity to kind of deep-dive into something, or having the opportunity to teach something outside of what my standards say I should teach,” Gerex explained.

Something that perplexed Gerez was how her attitude towards her job changed when she moved schools. She disliked teaching science at Rootstown, but now that she’s working at Bio-Med, she has come to love her job.

The above photo is of Ashley Gerez’s dog Ziggy. Photo provided by Ashley Gerez.

“For the first time in a long time, I do see my future being in education. I was definitely making a plan to get out, and it was kind of scary… kind of midlife crisis type thing — figuring out what can I do in the business world, and I don’t feel that way anymore. I do see myself and my future here and in education.” Gerez exclaimed.

When it comes to Gerez’s hobbies and personal life, she said, “I’m a reader. I try to read 50 books a year, but I did not reach that goal this year. I only read 47 books…. I’m an avid reader…. I [listen to] a lot of audiobooks in my commutes or while I’m cooking.”


Another one of Gerez’s pastimes is playing golf with her husband and spending time with her dog named Ziggy.

Gerez also explained how her parents have been a large part of her life and helped her with all of her life decisions.

“[They] have supported me in everything I’ve attempted to do in my entire life, and I’m lucky to have such supportive parents,” said Gerez.

On a similar note, Gerez described how her husband has always supported her in her goals and decisions, especially with her decision to move to Bio-Med.

Gerez and her newfound love of  teaching through Bio-Med will mean that we will see her at the campus for many years to come.

“I do see myself and my future here, and in education…. All I know is that I’m gonna be here,” Gerez remarked.

Spotlight

Goodwin: She’s a Good One

by Meadow Sandy, staff writer

Pictured is a photo that was given to Goodwin by her students after finishing student teaching. Students signed their names and wrote notes to wish Goodwin luck. Photo provided by Abigayle Goodwin.

JANUARY 2023 — Abigayle Goodwin, Bio-Med Science Academy’s seventh through 12th-grade art teacher, began her first year teaching in August 2022.

Majoring in Art Education, Goodwin attended Kent State University and graduated May 2022. She was also a part of Kent State’s Charter of Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA).

OAEA is an organization for Visual Art Educators in Ohio.

“We met every couple weeks and did art projects and lesson planning together. It was a great way to bond, connect with other art teachers, and get fresh ideas,” Goodwin explained.

While in college, Goodwin worked at Old Navy for three years and at Home Depot for her senior year. Goodwin mixed paints at Home Depot and continued working there throughout student teaching at Nordonia High School.

Goodwins’ schedule consisted of 40-hour weeks of student teaching, homework, and working.

Pictured above is a commission Goodwin did for her friends’ wedding. “I did a commission for my best friends’ wedding as a gift, because I paid so much money for art school, and I gave them the gift of my talent.” Photo provided by Abigayle Goodwin.

“Student teaching was taxing, but the bonds I had with my students there were special. I saw them every day for 14 weeks. We all cried on my last day,” recalled Goodwin.

After Goodwin graduated, she didn’t expect to start teaching right away. She found out about a job opening at Bio-Med through a connection at Home Depot.

“In high school, I always wanted to be an art teacher. When I was in high school, I loved my art teacher. I spent so much time in his room, because I was good at art.” She continued, “It was an environment that I felt comfortable in.”

Though many of Goodwin’s peers discouraged her career choice, she recalled how supportive her art teacher was.

“He told me that there are so many careers in art; if you want to be an art teacher, just do it. A lot of people go to college and change their major a couple of times, but I went in knowing that I wanted to be an art teacher,” she said.

“It’s a different environment [at Bio-Med,] and I miss having students every day, like having my own classes. But when I do get to integrate with classes, students are pretty welcoming,” added Goodwin.

Goodwins’ home life consists of her spending time with her cat, painting, and reading. In her free time, Goodwin does commissions for her art pieces.

When Goodwin was growing up, she moved around frequently. She started in the Pittsburgh area and ended in West Virginia. The frequent moves were due to her dad being in the military. Goodwin has two siblings, an 18-year-old sister and a 14-year-old brother. Photo provided by Goodwin.
Arts & Culture Bio-Med Spotlight

The Unbe-leaf-able Internships at Davey Tree

by Camryn Myrla, staff writer

Another job of Wood’s is erosion control. Davey Tree accomplishes this through matting, a process where one secures a special mat near a body of water to stabilize soil. Photo provided by Tessa Wood.

JANUARY 2023 — Multiple Bio-Med Science Academy seniors are interning at the Davey Tree Expert Company during the 2022–2023 school year. With the year halfway through, these students are well into their independent projects for Apex, which requires seniors to complete either an internship or independent study.

Davey Tree is a multinational company that focuses on sustainability, particularly through tree and lawn care. Headquartered in Kent, it is the largest employee-owned corporation in Ohio, comprising approximately 11,000 workers.

The business was founded in Ohio in 1880 and has since expanded its services across the United States and Canada.

Tessa Wood — one of the Davey Tree interns — works as an environmental technician, which includes both spreadsheeting and hands-on field work. This work involves tasks such as seeding large areas and conducting land inspections to determine plant life.


However, Wood often struggles to find time to work on these sites.

“My schedule has me coming to school every day, so I’m unable to go out on the field unless I have a day off,” she explained. “When I’m not doing field work, I’m doing spreadsheet work.”

As a result, Wood spends a majority of her time entering data from assessing the conditions of wetlands.

“It can be mundane, but the work environment is welcoming and many people are there to support me when I get confused,” she said.

Another intern, Olivia Opritza, works in the diagnostic laboratory, where she runs tests on plant samples that come from clients of Davey Tree.

“The lab looks for insects, fungus, disease, or other factors that could be making the plant sick,” Opritza said.

Wood has helped plant thousands of native seeds while working at sites with Davey Tree. Photo provided by Tessa Wood.

Yet, Opritza’s favorite project at Davey Tree was outside of the laboratory.

“During the summer [of 2022], our research and development team had plots of flowers that we would visit. We would rate them based on what percentage of each square of the plot was [infested with] weeds to see how well different seeding methods worked,” she described. “I really liked seeing the progress they made with that research.”

Aidan Veney’s work is quite different from the others, as they are an instructional design intern; they help with the production of the company’s online training courses. They most often spend their shifts answering employees’ questions about the system.

Veney has also recently started designing course content on their own, which they described as one of their greatest challenges  at Davey Tree.

“I’ve found it challenging to sit down at a desk and just work all day, and to stay productive,” they said. “Some of the research for the content I’m creating has also proved [to be] challenging, like having to research pesticide licensing requirements.”

All interns interviewed had different reasons for working at Davey Tree.

Working for this company helped Wood choose her future career.

“In my junior year, I was deciding between computer science and environmental science. I knew that Davey Tree had great resources for both [options]. This internship was a great way to explore my options to make a decision about my college major,” she said. “I decided to go down the environmental science route.”

Meanwhile, Opritza chose Davey Tree for her interest in biology.

“I want to do lab work in the future. I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in lab work and biology, or environmental science,” she said.

Opritza spends much of her time observing plant samples through microscopes to identify issues with the plant. Photo provided by Olivia Opritza.

Veney’s time at Davey Tree also helped them better understand a possible career path.

“I was interested in a career in education and I happened to have a connection to Davey in my family. They referred me to my current supervisor, who is the manager of the education and training department,” they explained. “The work sounded interesting enough, and if nothing else, [I would] learn a lot.”

While a majority of internships offered to high school students are unpaid, Davey Tree offers interns about $10 to $15 per hour, depending on the job. This makes the company a popular location among Bio-Med students looking for their senior internships.

“I don’t want people to intern [at Davey Tree] just because it’s paid,” Wood warned. “A lot of field work is laboring, and it can be difficult for a teenager… Most of the people on the job tend to be more physically fit.”

“But it’s rewarding to see what you’ve accomplished,” she continued. “For people interested in environmental science, this is a great internship.”

Davey Tree is currently conducting interviews for potential interns for the 2023–2024 school year.

Bio-Med Spotlight

Havann’s New-Found Haven: New York University

By Audrey Fusillo, staff writer

DECEMBER 2022 — Havann Brown, former editor-in-chief of The Hive and a 2022 Bio-Med Science Academy graduate, is once again a freshman — this time, in college.

Brown attends New York University (NYU) in New York City and is taking a two-year liberal science program to explore political science. She hopes to declare a law major at the end of her sophomore year

Pictured above is Brown (front row, second from left) with friends outside of the Brooklyn Museum, known for its arts and cultures. She has visited many museums in New York City, such as the Museum of Modern Art. Photo provided by Havann Brown.

During her first year in the liberal science program of which she is a part of, Brown is required to take three prescribed courses, but she gets to choose her fourth course.

Brown said, “Currently, my classes aren’t that interesting, but these are the general classes I have to go through right now. The next semester will probably be a lot like this semester where I’m not particularly interested in what I’m learning. But next year is where I get freedom and all of the years after that, taking classes in whatever I want.”

Her three prescribed courses are Global Works in Society, Arts and Cultures, and Writing as Exploration.

Brown said, “Besides the [Writing as Exploration] class, we read a lot of ancient texts and compare them to society.”

Brown admitted, “I’ve never read the Bible so much in my life before coming to college, which was definitely a surprise. But it’s good to see how all of these ancient writers’ perspectives on the world still can connect to society today.”

Brown’s creative writing class ended up being one of her favorites. She was surprised by this, as she prefers journalistic and argumentative writing.

“I was never a creative writer,” Brown explained. “In journalistic style, it comes with a certain criteria, and, depending on the article, you have to remove yourself from it. [You have to] be on the outside looking in, trying not to incorporate any bias.”

In addition to her required classes, Brown chose to take Comparative Politics. Initially, Brown planned on being a political analyst. She thought it would be a good choice to gain insight on her original planned career before she knew what it would come with. The class introduced her to what she’d be doing in her everyday life as a job, and she didn’t feel like it worked for her. 

Brown described how her Comparative Politics class operated. Brown described how her Comparative Politics class operated.

Pictured is the Washington Square Arch located in Washington Square Park. This is referred to as the center of NYU. Although NYU doesn’t have a traditional campus, the arch is notable to the area, a monument built to celebrate the centennial (100-year anniversary) of George Washington’s inauguration. Photo provided by Havann Brown.

“It’s more lecture-based, upwards of 100 students in the class, maybe 150, and you just sit there and take notes. The professor talks for 75 minutes,” Brown explained. “Then, sometimes throughout the week, you go to recitation. It’s just a smaller class with a [teaching assistant] going over more in-depth what you learned that week.”

Brown had the realization from the class work that she was doing that law was a better choice for her major this semester. She aspires to get into law school after NYU and hopes to pursue a career as a defense attorney.

Brown was comfortable with the change just as she was comfortable coming into college without any expectations.

“In high school, I didn’t have any top colleges or anything, so I hadn’t even visited [NYU]. I kind’ve went into it blind,” Brown said. “I was just excited to see where I would go. I truly feel like I made the right decision coming here. It was a big change; I moved 500 miles away from my home.”

Brown admitted that there are a few drawbacks to moving so far away.

“Obviously, I’d miss my family. My dog, I really miss him. And I knew that I wouldn’t have that support system as close as I always did through high school.”

Brown especially misses Raising Cane’s.

“There isn’t [a Raising Cane’s] in New York, and I feel that my life would be tremendously better if there was one close,” Brown said.

Brown, mostly on her own in a new city, felt like an outsider to her friends from high school who either didn’t go to college or attended college closer to home.

“That was a big adjustment, but I feel like I’ve really found a community here. I have a good friend group, have joined clubs, and I’ve done all the things you should do when you first go to college [like exploring campus and attending welcome events],” Brown reflected.

Brown offered advice to seek out community.

She advised, “You know, if I didn’t end up at [NYU], wherever [I had] chosen, I would’ve found a home there. You have to put in the effort to find community.”

She said, compared to Ohio, New York has turned out to be much more diverse in practically everything. She’s in the Black, Indigineous, and people of color (BIPOC) legal society, a club referred to as Women of Excellent Strength (WOES) for young women of color, the Queer Union, and the Young Democratic Socialists of America.

Pictured is Brown as well as other fellow members of the Young Socialists of America (YDSA) Club at NYU during a walkout. It was a rally in support of expanding on-campus access to abortion clinics. Photo provided by Havann Brown.

Brown wasn’t always as passionate as she is now towards political activism. She said she was aware of the state of the world in her earlier years, but did not work to make a change.

“When I came to [Bio-Med], I thought, ‘Ooh yeah I want to be a doctor! This is the life for me!’ But then, after my freshman year, I couldn’t confidently say I still wanted to be a doctor,” Brown shared.

After learning that being a doctor was not for her, Brown had to personally reflect throughout her high school years on what exactly it was that she wanted to pursue in the long run.

Brown said, “Maybe I’m not a science-science person. I’m more like a social scientist. I like sociology and political science, and I realized it was more my speed.”

In high school, Brown was given the opportunity to work on local campaigns for the Akron Municipal Court, specifically for David Hamilton, allowing her to see a campaign process. Hamilton won a seat on the bench, becoming one of the first Black men elected to the court in the past few decades.

“[Working with Hamilton] was just a beautiful thing, and I was like, ‘Ooh, I love this! I need more! Politics are it for me.’ I love [politics]. Anyone who knows me knows that,” Brown said.  

Pictured is Brown smiling on a boat ride in central park. Brown has found that despite the rat stereotype found to be true to New York, she still enjoys the nature of the city. Photo provided by Havann Brown.

Brown’s interest in politics increased when she started following the primaries for the 2020 Presidential election, which took place the same year she worked on Hamilton’s campaign.

“I just saw that these were the people who wanted to make a change in the world, so I watched every single one of the Democratic [Party] debates during the primaries,” Brown said.

After looking at the impact Donald Trump had as a president, Brown was truly interested in who would run next. Brown admitted that she tends to see the impact of a political figure’s decisions based on how they would affect her personally.

“[Trump] must’ve been doing something bad. Everyone was being impacted, and it’s hard to not see it,” Brown said.

Brown explained, “I want to see [a candidate] who genuinely cares for people whether that be through health care, education, criminal justice reform — just someone that wants to see genuine change in society the way it needs to be reflected and hasn’t been for so many years.”

Brown hasn’t been able to identify a candidate with those traits.

“Maybe the closest we’ve gotten was Bernie Sanders. But it’s just hard, because voting can only do so much change, but if you don’t vote, where will we get? It’s really a double-edged sword of American electoralism.”

Even though Brown loves politics, she feels most compelled to work in criminal justice after college.

“I just feel like reflecting on all of the faults of the [criminal justice system], it’s the only place I would see myself in the field of law outside of maybe a civil rights attorney or anything in the public atmosphere,” Brown said.

On top of this, Brown shared that there were both benefits and hardships moving into traditional college teaching after being so dependent on project-based learning.

Brown elaborated, “I don’t know if it was me as a person or a Bio-Med thing, but at Bio-Med, we didn’t have any tests. [There were] not a lot of quizzes, no midterms, [and] no finals — just a lot of projects and [project-based learning].”

Brown noted that she has almost no projects in college.

Brown explained, “I’ve had two so far, but if I were in Bio-Med, I would’ve had two a month. Projects are less prevalent here but when we do have them, the skills we learned and attributes we focused on [at Bio-Med] really helped.”

Brown felt that Bio-Med benefited her with skills that were helpful in a new learning environment. But with a lack of adjustment from project based learning back to a traditional sense, she was left to fend for herself.

“I will say that Bio-Med is still great with the skills they [teachers and admin] focus on,” Brown said. “They did a great job instilling those attributes into us, but I don’t know if the way we went about it was necessarily the best.”

Pictured is Brown at the Museum of Modern Art, posing next to Frank Ocean’s album cover from the album, “Blonde,” released in 2016. She shared that her favorite song from the album is “Nights.” Photo provided by Havann Brown.

Brown feels it would be beneficial to Bio-Med to still keep some traditional lectures, tests, and quizzes alongside PBL.

She said, “I know they’re trying to change the model of teaching as a research and development school as they try different things, but we have to be realistic here. They’re preparing students in different ways, so when we all get to college with different backgrounds, most people had a more traditional upbringing than I did. [Bio-Med is] being the right amount of ambitious, but it’s hard when no one else is trying to change.”

Brown said that senior year was the most beneficial in preparation for college, because Bio-Med adapted to the more traditional, lecture-based, teaching style. She still feels that Bio-Med’s values are important and evened out in the end with such a heavy focus on attributes.  

“I wasn’t too sure of, ‘How do you truly study for a midterm?’ because I didn’t have that experience in high school,” Brown said. “But I did figure it out, because I had a sense of personal agency.”

Brown found Bio-Med’s attributes still help her, even in her college life. 

Brown admitted, “I’m probably better at projects than most people as well as a better collaborator.”

Brown is especially good at problem-solving when it comes to finding substitutes for NYU campus food.

“I’m a very picky person,” Brown said. “All of my money is going to getting food, like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and going to places to buy food, because I’m not a huge fan of NYU’s food.”

“Chicken fingers or pizza is what my diet consists of currently. There’s salads and cuisines every week, but I do not partake in that. It’s a little questionable,” she added.

Brown has also found herself spending money attending concerts, museums, and even Broadway shows with her friends.

Brown photographed the St. James Theater marquee of Broadway’s “Into The Woods” written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine.Brown feels that this was probably her favorite Broadway show she’s seen so far in New York. Photo provided by Havann Brown.

Throughout the city’s environment, Brown has also found a number of “nuisances.”

“[There’s] a lot of rats and cyclists,” Brown summed up. “I’m starting to dislike [cyclists]. They have little regard for human life and are zooming past. I just know one day, I will be run over by a cyclist.”

Brown has also fallen in love with the city, despite the rats and cyclists. 

“[The city] has so much to offer, literally so much to do all of the time, and there’s never a true reason to be bored unless you want to be,” Brown said.

Brown is especially not bored as the second and third weeks of December come up, leaving her to anticipate finals.

“With my required classes, we don’t typically have in-person tests. [We have] take-home essays. For all of my midterms, I had to write an essay, but for my Comparative Politics class, I’ll have to do an in-person, sit down final,” Brown explained.

She continued, “The class is graded on a curve which kind of saved me for my midterm. But I feel prepared for them, especially the essays. I wouldn’t say the same for the in-person final.”

Even with finals looming, Brown is excited for the future.

“It is a leap of faith [to go to college], because you don’t really know what you’re getting into,” Brown said. “[But] I would say to stay true to yourself.”


Adviser’s Note: This is the first installment of a continuing series that follows Bio-Med graduates from The Hive on their journeys beyond high school.

Bio-Med Bio-Med Journey Spotlight

C.J. Delaney is Reaching for the Stars

By Ben Lang, staff writer

DECEMBER 2022 — C.J. Delaney is a Bio-Med alumnus and former member of The Hive. He is attending Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) after graduating from Bio-Med last year.

He chose to attend OWU because it was a smaller school, which he felt would benefit him in the long run.

“I knew that if I’d be in a big school like Ohio State or something like that, then I would feel like I was kind of drowning. [There would be] tons of people. It would feel like a mini city. I would never be able to talk to my professor one-on-one. I just wouldn’t like that environment. I would hate it. So I wanted to go to a small school. [OWU] is a small, liberal arts college. There’s like a couple thousand students here.”

Pictured here is Delaney posing next to an Ohio Wesleyan University sign. Photo provided by C.J. Delaney.

Delaney is currently pursuing a major in astrophysics and a minor in computer science.

“Ever since I was able to talk, I’ve been interested in astronomy…. I would just comb through these astronomy booklets, over and over again…. I knew that I wanted to do something in astronomy,” he recalled.

Originally, Delaney wanted to double major in astrophysics and computer science. However, his adviser did not recommend it.

“He was just like, ‘You’re going to have to be taking a lot of computer science at the same time as a lot of physics, and you’re going to end up hating it. You’re gonna have a miserable time,’” Delaney said.

Delaney is currently taking Calculus I, General Physics I, Intro to Computer Science & Programming, and College Writing Seminars Honors this semester.

He admitted, “I’m gonna be real here: computer science is super hard. Physics is super kind of boring right now…. I would say maybe English is my favorite class right now, but it’s an 8:30 [a.m.] class, so I have to wake up relatively early and get over there, which I don’t like…. I would say English and Calculus [are] probably my favorite classes. I think I’m going to enjoy physics more once it gets past this hump, just because it’s the intro stuff.”

Delaney also enjoys the food on campus. He eats at the dining hall about three times a day. They have food such as pizza and enchiladas. He likes the variety of foods they have and says the food isn’t very “destructive” on the stomach, which he appreciates.

Sometimes, he hangs out with friends after classes are over, watching movies and playing games.

He also spends his time reading. Current series include “Game of Thrones” and “Cosmic Queries.”

When it comes to his education, Delany isn’t sure where he wants to go in the future.

“I’m not gonna put myself in a box right now, but if I were to say, I would say I’m going to try to go for my Doctorate just because —I don’t know — science is cool, and I wanna do that, so we’ll see,” he said.


Adviser’s Note: This is the first installment of a continuing series that follows Bio-Med graduates from The Hive on their journeys beyond high school.

Bio-Med Spotlight

Keeping up with our Alumni: Elise Miller

By Adam Grabowski, staff writer

DECEMBER 2022 — Elise Miller is a graduate from the class of 2022 at Bio-Med Science Academy and a former Hive staff writer. She now finds herself learning once again at Kent State University (KSU). Miller strives to use what she’ll learn to find a comfortable yet productive place in society.

During her junior and senior year at Bio-Med, Miller had a variety of interests, starting with engineering, then changing her mind to architecture. This stems from one of Miller’s passions, which is wanting to create.

Pictured above is a photo of Elise Miller the day of her graduation from Bio-Med. Photo provided by Miller.

“I’ve always wanted to do something where I can create, whether that would be something to do with math or art, or both of them. I always like math, so I thought architecture would be a good middle ground for that, because it combines math and creating something,” Miller said.

However, she was bored by architecture after a year of working with it during her senior internship, so upon graduation and going to college, Miller didn’t choose architecture as her major. Instead, she chose digital media production. She picked that as her major, because she liked editing videos, but she was hesitant as she wasn’t sure if she was truly interested in it for a future job.

Miller next decided to investigate fashion design “randomly,” as she put it. She did some work with the design and marketing of clothing before ultimately changing her major back to digital media production, because she enjoyed her previous experiences with the topic.

“I’m just trying things,” said Miller.

Miller’s love of video editing started when she was younger. She loved the action, music, and cinematography in movie trailers. She started actual experimentation with video editing in roughly 2020.

Before entering college, Miller was a little nervous about some things, because to her college was an unknown part of her life. Other than that, she was confident, because she had already visited the campus and felt that Bio-Med classes prepared her for the workload.

Despite this, Miller noticed a number of key differences between Bio-Med education and college education

“I thought college would be a lot easier than Bio-Med, but it’s easy and harder at the same time. It’s weird not advocating for [an exceeds mastery grade], and just doing stuff, and getting it done. You don’t have to do anything extra for it. It’s also a lot more fast-paced. You have to learn new software, and it requires creativity all the time,” Miller explained.

Miller also noted how it’s a lot easier to talk to people and socialize with others, especially compared to her small graduating class of 60 students.

She said, “I think it’s really exciting just being in that environment where there’s all these different paths crossing, and knowing that after this, you’re gonna start your life, and I think it’s cool being in the field that you’ve always wanted to specifically be in.”

Miller claimed that being at Bio-Med has greatly helped prepare her for college. She added how the classes and projects at Bio-Med make people think differently and force them to be flexible in the work, which has helped with her work in college that functions similarly.

“I think that [digital media production] is what I want to do…. I know technology is a good path, because there’s so much technology in our world, and there’s gonna be technology in our world for the next indefinite amount of years. This is the future of a lot of job opportunities,” she remarked.

Pictured above is a photo of one of Miller’s digital designs for a 3D-printed scarf. Photo provided by Miller.


Miller continued, “I was [like], ‘Maybe I’ll just go into the funnest field,’ but then it’s like, ‘How am I going to financially support this field?” I don’t know, but I think it’s important to think about how you’re gonna financially support a family someday if you want to have a family, or even just yourself, but also consider things you are passionate about.”

Miller sees herself editing commercials or videos for a company in the future. Additionally, she expressed interest in possibly making movies one day or working somewhere in that related industry. She would like a more unpredictable job —something that’s different from day to day.

Miller also emphasized the use of digital design and technology as a way of escaping from reality, and how she can use so many different tools to communicate sensory details digitally.

While Miller is no longer working on her fashion design major, she is grateful that she was able to explore the different majors and was also able to learn something different from it. She sums up that she has no regrets with her decisions regarding college.

Furthermore, Miller shared how being at college exposed her to many different types of people and how from being around others she was able to learn more about what qualities she admired in individuals.

“It’ll be 8 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, and someone will show up in a mini skirt with thigh high boots and a beret or something, and it’s like, ‘Yes! Please do that!’” she illustrated.

Miller explained how college and its challenges have become a new normal for her. At first, she wasn’t used to the fast-paced structure, but over time, everything became bearable.

Miller is also interested in learning a new language and joining a choir in the near future as smaller activities she could possibly do to further her education.

Outside of college, Miller’s job brings her back to her roots. She works at the help desk in the Northeast Ohio Medical University library.

“It’s a great first job. I started in my senior year. When I go there, I like quirking out and knitting, because when it’s cold outside, I like to knit. I also do my edits. It’s my biggest hobby,” she said.

Miller is happy with her decision to follow her passion in video editing and looks forward to using her education to move on to bigger projects in life, possibly even working on a movie crew in the future.


Adviser’s Note: This is the first installment of a continuing series that follows Bio-Med graduates from The Hive on their journeys beyond high school.

Bio-Med Journey Spotlight

Maybe Adventure, Maybe Math: Mr. Mabey says, “Definitely!”

By Audrey Fusillo, staff writer

NOVEMBER 2022 — Joel Mabey has begun his first teaching job as the ninth-grade Integrated Mathematics instructor at Bio-Med Science Academy. With a double major in mathematics and programming, Mabey always kept teaching in the back of his mind as a career option. 

Pictured above is Joel Mabey (left) and Emily Mabey (right) on their wedding day. They got married in June 2022. Photo provided by Joel Mabey.

Born in North Carolina, Mabey grew up with his two younger siblings, Clark and Elsa, under the care of a preschool director mother and an MIT graduate father who specialized in math and business analytics.

His father’s career kept his family mobile. The Mabey family moved when he was two years old to Pittsburgh, PA, for a business opportunity. This is where Mabey unearthed his love for nature and adventure.

“Back in our Pittsburgh house, we had a pretty good amount of woods in our backyard. So I spent a lot of that time just exploring our woods,” Mabey shared. “There’s just something very pure and beautiful about nature.”

Around that same time, he also found that he was very reliable when it came to math.

“In grade school, I always excelled at math, and it came naturally to me — maybe just that analytical style of thinking,” he said.

In 2011, when he was a junior in high school, Mabey moved with his family to Solon, Ohio. He joined track and cross country at that time, and he is still running to this day. He graduated high school in 2013.

Mabey received a full-ride scholarship for presidential fellowship during the same year, attending Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA.

He earned his undergraduate degree in both math and computer science in 2017. He then enrolled in a PhD program in 2018, focusing on theoretical computer science. He didn’t realize he wanted to be a teacher until after completing his time in higher education.

“I wasn’t finding a lot of meaning in the work that I was doing. I felt like maybe I wanted to pursue a different option for what I wanted to do with my life — a more meaningful path that I could commit my life to,” Mabey said.

After attending his PhD program for one year, Mabey left without completing the program. He decided to look for something that could allow him to think about what he wanted to do with his life.

As a result, he found a conservation program based in Flagstaff, AZ, and the program drew him in.

“There’s something there, contrasting the PhD computer science program where you’re spending every day inside on a computer. Maybe some desire to have that connection to the outside and nature,” he said.

Through the American Conservation Experience (ACE), Mabey worked on projects all throughout the Southwest, traveling to worksites in backcountry wilderness where they worked in areas, such as the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest.

Above is a photo of the Cottonwood Canyon project Mabey worked on in Arizona. This was the final product in October 2019; the staircase is still up for use today. Picture provided by Joel Mabey.

He explained, “You go out for eight days, and during the [eight day] period, you bring food and everything you need. You camp out close to the work site and hike out every day while bringing out the tools you need. On the off days, they’d just have housing we’d stay at in Flagstaff.”

Mabey participated in activities that allowed the areas to be preserved and protected to let the ecosystem thrive.

“It was really just environmental protection work that benefitted both us and nature,” Mabey said.

All the projects he worked on were different. Mabey worked on thinning projects (cutting down trees for fire prevention), treating invasive species, using herbicide to control what plants grow where, and building trail systems.

His most memorable project was in Cottonwood Canyon. Located on the Arizona National Scenic Trail, Mabey and his peers built a rock staircase in three different project cycles.

Pictured above is an image of Pluto, the Mabeys’ oldest cat at only a year old. A family friend found Pluto under a porch when he was six weeks old. Emily and Joel immediately decidedto take him under their wing. Photo provided by Joel Mabey.

“The idea behind it was to allow people to explore and experience nature with provided access,” Mabey explained. “We wanted to build it so it stands up overtime, withstanding the entire monsoon season in Arizona, needing to withstand floods.”

Building with just rocks, they used a type of pulley system to move thousands of pounds of rock, shaping as necessary, and planning a design to work towards with manual labor and teamwork.

“Being outside so much — experiencing the wilderness, and even camping out for days at a time with no cell service  it was such an interesting experience,” Mabey summarized.

During this time, Mabey was able to think about what he wanted to commit his life to.

“Being outdoors and in that environment allowed me to have a deep reflection that I needed to find what path I’d want to pursue,” he added.

In the conservation program, Mabey met Emily, a tree arborist (meaning that she specialized in the care and maintenance of trees) from Kansas City, MO. They both shared the same love for nature, especially hiking, and soon started dating.

Mabey moved back to Ohio in 2019, with Emily by his side, and he decided to go into teaching for the long term.

“For me, it was always something that had been in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do,” Mabey explained. “The driving force behind why I wanted to be a teacher was just how important and how much value I feel education has as a means to the progression of society as a whole. I hope to have a positive impact on the grander scheme of things.”

In Solon, Mabey started working as a long-term substitute teacher at Louis Elementary School, with his roles ranging from being the media specialist to an instructional aid from 2020 to 2021.

Mabey also tutored through an online math tutoring program, Mathnasium, during this time. He even additionally took on the extra role of helping his mother’s preschoolers get outside.

“I’m a big supporter of outdoor education. We should be getting our kids outside,” Mabey added.

Above is a photo of Mabey’s other cat, Sophie, in a cuddly state. Emily and Joel found her at foster care and took her in, living in their apartment alongside Pluto. Photo provided by Joel Mabey.

He then enrolled in a one-year Master of Arts and Teaching (MAT) program in 2021 at Kent State University. Already having a bachelor’s in math, Mabey just needed the education coursework it took to teach.

Mabey completed his student teaching at Revere High School, teaching geometry, until he graduated with a teaching license in Spring 2022.

While attending Kent State, Mabey was introduced to Bio-Med and eventually interviewed with the Chief of Administrative officer, Stephanie Lammlein, for the ninth-grade programming position. In the end, he decided against taking them up on instructing this subject. For his first year of teaching, he wanted to instruct a math course.

“For me, teaching math is mostly about helping students gain problem solving skills as well as the analytical science of thinking,” Mabey stated.

Not long after, a ninth-grade math teacher opening was advertised, and he was immediately  asked to participate in a quick interview. When the job was offered to him, he accepted.

Mabey’s current challenge is to adjust to the “Bio-Med way” of teaching things.

“Pretty much every math course I’ve ever had has been taught in the same style: a traditional style. I’ve only ever learned it that way. When you’ve only been modeled in one particular way, it can be challenging to branch out and teach it using different methods,” Mabey said.

As a teacher, he’s also created personal expectations for himself.

Mabey said, “My greatest aspiration as a teacher is to help my students have positive outcomes in their future, applying learning skills to reason through problems to succeed in the path of their choosing.”

Aside from teaching, Mabey hasn’t let his love for nature, or other things, die out.

The tree arborist that Mabey met in Arizona became a constant in his life. Joel married Emily earlier this year in June. The Mabeys have two kitten cats, Pluto and Sophie. The newlyweds continue to enjoy hiking and kayaking frequently together, traveling to see the wonders of the world.

“Our favorite national parks we’ve gotten to visit were the ones in Utah, so like Zion, Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, and that whole group,” Mabey said.

Mabey hopes to be able to visit all of the national parks eventually with Emily, aiming to start a family and improve as a teacher with experience.

Spotlight

Education has Always Rung in Bell’s Mind

By Adam Grabowski, staff writer


NOVEMBER 2022
 — Alexis Bell is the Senior Apex instructor at Bio-Med Science Academy and has held this position since the 2021-2022 school year. Education has always been prevalent around Bell and is the reason that she’s where she is today.

Senior Apex is a class where seniors complete internships, independent studies, or research projects, and make goals related to their career pathway.

Pictured above is Bell’s school profile photo. Photo provided by Alexis Bell.

“Both of my parents were in education. My dad was a science teacher and then became a principal. My mom was a special education teacher, and so I grew up around [teaching] for a really long time,” Bell said. “I also had a really good teacher in high school as well. She taught me advanced history, and she did such a good job that I thought, ‘Hey, maybe I can do this one day.’”

Bell has been surrounded by people in the teaching career field, and that has helped mold her into the instructor she is today. Looking back, Bell thanks her parents and her high school history teacher for helping her get into education and teaching. Their backgrounds provided a lot of information and wisdom to her.

Bell grew up in Tallmadge, Ohio, and attended Kent State University (KSU) in 2013, because she believed it was a good school for a career in education. She earned an undergraduate degree in education with a specialization in integrated social studies in 2017.

Bell explained, “When you’re picking a college…, you have to make sure that it feels right. And when I went [to KSU], I immediately knew that this was the school for me.”

After graduating from college, Bell worked a number of different jobs, including as a tutor for Archbishop Hoban High School. The following year, Bell worked at Kenmore Garfield High School.

“The year of 2018-2019 was the year where half of [the year] was long-term substituting, and the other half was where I was helping seniors with graduation requirements,” Bell stated.

Bell then took another position as a long-term substitute teacher, where she taught sixth grade for a whole year as a substitute teacher. Bell sarcastically added that this was “very fun” when the pandemic started.

Bell’s final job before coming to Bio-Med was another tutoring job, this time at Kent State.

“Not that I didn’t like the tutoring job at Kent State, but I wasn’t that fulfilled. The people at Kent State didn’t need as much help, and they were mostly self-sufficient, so I was mostly there just making sure the computers worked, which is fine, but I actually want to go out and help out,” she commented.

Then, Bell found Bio-Med’s job description, and she was immediately intrigued.

“The program I was using for tutoring at Kent was also called Apex. I thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s a similar program,’ or that, ‘I’ll do something similar.’ Then I looked more into it, and I think, ‘Oh wait, this looks way more fun. This looks [like] I would be able to do a lot more. This looks great,’” she said.

She continued, “Then I applied and kept my fingers crossed, and I got lucky. [Stephanie Lammlein, Chief Administrative Officer and superintendent] called me, and here I am.”

Pictured above is a potato cake that was baked by Bell. This photo was provided by Alexis Bell

Bell described the most fun part of her job as visiting all of the internship sites that the seniors go to and getting to meet many different people. She loves being in person with the kids and viewing them do real work and seeing seniors get ready to become adults.

One of the things that Bell enjoys the most about Bio-Med is the staff who work here. She says she knows that the staff at Bio-Med are kind-hearted and passionate people.

One thing that Bell stated that she explicitly enjoys about Bio-Med is that “We have a slide.”

Outside of school, Bell greatly enjoys baking as her number one hobby.

She elaborated, “I’ve made weird stuff…. You can see weird recipes online and wonder if it’s any good. I made a tomato soup cake once, and it was actually pretty good… It didn’t taste tomato-ey though. It tasted closer to chocolate, which was really confusing.”

Bell started baking because of the pandemic keeping her home, and she enjoys making things for other people.

Another hobby that Bell enjoys is historical costuming, which she hopes to do more of when she moves into a home with more room. She plays role-playing video games.

Bell also has some siblings. She has two half sisters, one step sister, and one step brother.

Bell spent most of her early adulthood focused on getting a job and a place to live. She is proud of herself for finding both things. She’s happy with how far she’s come and where she is now, but Bell will always try to better herself.

Bell see’s herself 10 years from now continuing to help students, and she’s looking forward to getting her master’s degree, though she isn’t sure what she wants to study. She is also anticipating possibly owning a house.

Bell is also looking forward to the fun she’ll have in her career and getting to know more about her colleagues. She enjoys helping students find their way in life and is grateful for all of the people that have helped her throughout her life to get where she is now. 

Spotlight

Students Build Sportsmanship Through Gaming: Bio-Med’s eSports Club

by Meadow Sandy, staff writer

NOVEMBER 2022 — This is eSports’s fourth year in operation at Bio-Med Science Academy, and with the new season comes new advisers. Eric Salmen, the senior math teacher and eSports coach, and Alexis Bell, the Senior Apex Coordinator, advise eSports together.

Multiplayer video games that are played for spectators are categorized as eSports. Many high schools, including Bio-Med, offer eSports as a club to compete against other schools in their area.

Pictured above is a forum meeting that is held to ask students in eSports what they think the next step should be. Picture by Meadow Sandy, Staff Writer

“There is actually a competition. This isn’t just a playing around club. There are different leagues that we can also join, and depending on if we join specific leagues, there could be winnings and money involved that the school could get,” said Salmen.

Currently, eSports has about 55 members who meet Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Student numbers vary from week to week. Along with Salmen and Bell, four students help run the club: Seniors Tyler Williard, Aidan Veney, Emmett Bakos, and sophomore Lily Matthews.

“To make it easier, I’ll be here Wednesdays, [and] she’ll be here Thursdays, and we’re both here Fridays.” Salmen stated.

Tyler Williard acts as the community lead and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” team captain. As a community lead, Williard helps organize lessons, put together events, and keep students on track. Williard focuses on teaching students about the toxicity that may come with gaming, like throwing controllers, yelling at other players, and using rude and/or unacceptable language. Williard also teaches students how to properly handle the situation. As a team captain, he participates in competitions and specific gaming topics.

Pictured above is one of Williard’s lessons about toxicity in gaming and how students can deal with that toxicity, as well as control their own anger. Note: The iStock watermark is part of the original image provided by Williard. Photo provided by Tyler Williard.

“Due to my role as the ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ team captain, what I do will be different from what the other team captain may do with their team. For example, when we go over competitive game mechanics, I might focus on frame data and edge guarding, but the ‘Valorant’ captain may choose to look at team positioning and communication,” Williard said.

Captains might create their own lessons aside from the ones already provided to them based on what game they play and their techniques.

Aidan Veney is also a community lead. His job in eSports consists of overseeing club operations, designing activities, creating the rosters for each competitive and non-competitive team, and managing the organizational structure of the club. Veney created the current structure of the club last year and works to refine his design every season.

“I will say, a lot of the field-level operations are beyond my reach; the credit for that belongs to Lily [Matthews] and Emmett [Bakos], and all of our amazing team captains and team leads. There’s a surprising amount of work involved in running the club! I love doing it, and I’m super excited for the spring season,” Veney commented.

In the eSports club, there are two “teams”: competitive and non-competitive. Students are placed into different teams depending on the game they want to play. Currently, competitive students are playing “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and “Valorant.” Non-competitive students also have the option to play “Valorant” and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” but also have a wider range of games to pick from.

Students are sent a survey at the beginning of the season to pick games they’re interested in. Next season, a survey will be sent out again to see if students would like to play different games, such as “Overwatch 2.”

Schools participate in competitions through eSports Ohio, a nonprofit organization and league created by teachers for students.The organization’s goal is to create a world where eSports are embraced as a positive change. It groups teams by region and schools within regions compete against each other in various games.

Vali Epling, a 10th-grader and member of eSports commented, “I like eSports, though I feel like there’s not enough time for practice sometimes, but the people tend to be nice.”

The competitive team has weekly activities, as well as competitions against other schools. The “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” team competes Wednesdays, and the “Valorant” team competes Thursdays.

The non-competitive teams usually have weekly or bi-weekly activities. These teams work to achieve a goal in a game.

Pictured above are some of the games that students are able to choose from for eSports. This list gives students many options to choose from based on different interests and skill sets. Picture obtained from the eSports Ohio website.

Salmen explained how he came to be the adviser.

“Mr. [Aaron] Ettinger asked me if I wanted to help him co-coach the eSports team. I had to decline, since it was my first year at Bio-Med, and I had four different classes to teach. I told him that in my second year, I would help him,” he said.

Ettinger was the Integrated English Language Arts 8 instructor who also advised the eSports club in the 2021-2022 school year. He left Bio-Med in 2022, and Salmen took over the eSports club.

Williard concluded, “As both a community lead and team captain, I like to see this club and my teammates succeed in their goals. The idea of the eSports club is to develop and grow skills such as teamwork, communication, and sportsmanship while bringing everyone together through a common interest. While many people see us as just a gaming club, we want to build off of that and provide students with something they can take outside of school and apply in their daily lives. That’s the principle that I and the other community leads have been running under when we create lessons and interact with the students.” 

Bio-Med Spotlight

Shaheen has a Heart for Science

By Ben Lang, staff writer

NOVEMBER 2022 — Nejla Shaheen is the eighth-grade Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR) instructor at Bio-Med Science Academy. AFNR is a CTE course, so it’s not a traditional science class. It introduces students to the agricultural field and what it’s like. This is Shaheen’s second year of working at Bio-Med.

Shaheen graduated from McKinley Senior High School in Canton in 2015. While in high school, she took college classes through a program at Stark State University called Early College. This allowed her to graduate with her associate degree in arts and sciences right out of high school.

“[Bio-Med] feels like a family, and it feels like an awesome community.”

Neijla Shaheen, the eigth-grade Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources instructor at Bio-Med.

After graduating from high school, Shaheen went to Kent State University (KSU) to earn a bachelor’s degree in Public Health in 2017.

While working on her bachelor’s degree, Shaheen worked at a local health department. She initially set traps for mosquitoes around the Canton area and later took mosquito counts to make sure the population stayed consistent. She would also send samples to the Ohio Department of Health, so they could ensure that the mosquitoes weren’t carrying any harmful diseases.

She later switched to a different position, where she worked in sanitation as a health inspector.

Shaheen’s journey to Bio-Med started during COVID-19. Her job at the health department had taken a turn, and it was not what she wanted to do anymore.

Shaheen also has a Shiba Inu named Mish Mush. Mish Mush means “apricot” in Arabic. Photo provided by Shaheen.

Shaheen said, “COVID sucked for working in the health department. It was not fun. I kind of went from doing my day-to-day job of being a health inspector and going and working with people to kind of being the bad guy.”

She made an appointment with her adviser at KSU, and they discussed what Shaheen might like to do. She gave the advisor ideas of her interests. It just so happened that Shaheen’s advisor had a position on Bio-Med’s board, and she was asked to join Bio-Med because of that. 

Shaheen finally started teaching at Bio-Med about halfway through the 2021-2022 school year. 

Her favorite thing about Bio-Med was that, “It feels like a family, and it feels like an awesome community.”

Shaheen has done a variety of projects at Bio-Med, but her favorite was an assignment where students were given a plant. They then had to research the plant. After that, they had to outline the different parts of the plant and what it did on multiple layers of shower curtain. When they were stacked, it made a full view of the entire plant. 

“I was a little nervous at the beginning, but the way that the final product looked was pretty sweet,” said Shaheen.

In the future, she would like to bring more guest speakers in from the outside and get more people involved in the class.

“I think it’d be really cool to kind of now move more into the community and see if I can get people to come in. Cause I feel like that’s the best way to learn — see people that are actually doing,” Shaheen said. 

Outside of school, she enjoys reading, making crafts with her Cricut, and spending time with her friends and family. 

Some of the people that Shaheen is closest to are her little sister, Eliana, her little brother, Noah, and her grandma. 

She wants to continue teaching in the future, and she doesn’t think that will change. 

“Right now teaching is making me super happy and is super fun, and I hope I don’t lose that happiness or that fun,” she said.

Spotlight