by Kim and Dan Colletto
Loveland Schools are worth fighting for! Keeping our school district strong in turn will keep our beloved Loveland community thriving, protect our home values and make our neighborhoods enticing to outside buyers. We, as proud Lovelanders, will stand behind the #yesforloveland movement. This is our family’s story and why we are so passionate about supporting the Loveland School District.
Our family relocated from Orlando, Florida to Cincinnati in the summer of 2016. This change was met with a lot of resistance by myself and our girls, who were 12 and 8 at the time. We were faced with leaving the community we loved and the only home our girls had ever known. Getting the move right was essential, to set our family unit up for success in our new home. Where did we start? The area school districts.
In Orlando, our girls had grown into a young school district and a developing area, with one elementary and middle school to choose from. After 10 years in the area, our school district had grown to encompass three elementary schools, two middle schools, and a new high school. My husband and I sat on community growth committees, held school PTA board positions, and volunteered countless hours in the classroom, at fundraisers and community events. We assisted in the effort to make our neighborhood one of the best in the Orange County School District. We knew what a successful educational community looked like and we felt it was essential to make the right choice for the future of our girls in our relocation.
In researching the Cincinnati area, we toured every surrounding school district. The final school on our list was Loveland. We feared that the opportunities and programs would be lacking, as it was a smaller school district. Boy, were we wrong.
In Loveland, we were greeted by enthusiastic administration and teachers who took the time to talk directly to our girls and answer their questions. We had top-notch tours and even had a sit-down meeting with the superintendent, assistant superintendent, and the person who would be our daughter’s high school counselor. The girls instantly felt like they would feel safe and welcomed in the Loveland schools. The district’s forward thinking mindset, focus on growth, and developing a well rounded, competitive student was supremely impressive.
We knew Loveland was the right choice when we left that meeting. Not only were there educational opportunities here, including a thriving gifted program and course options such as foreign language and college prep courses, but the district had top-notch music and arts programs which were of very high importance to both our girls. Loveland was providing music programs from the elementary level up. The high school arts programs were known as some of the best in the Cincinnati area. These opportunities solidified our decision.
We wanted to get a sense of the Loveland community as well. We explored the quaint downtown, enjoyed the local restaurants, and toured a dozen homes before we ended up buying in a beautiful, homey neighborhood where we were instantly greeted by welcoming neighbors. We had found our home and a place where we felt confident our girls would thrive and above all, be happy. And they have flourished here. Each of our girls had different needs in the classroom and they were both met with phenomenal teachers and support. They each threw themselves into drama, music, and show choir. They were exposed to and tried new things including runners club, intramural sports, student government, and volunteerism.
Our oldest has now graduated and was set up to enter college with 32 hours of college credit classes allowing her to easily double major in two rigorous programs. The Loveland High School experience gave her the tools to enter into the world confident and prepared. Anna was exposed to a broad range of activities, including music, art, student media, Showchoir, and student leadership groups in addition to a multitude of course options from financial planning to AP and College Credit Plus opportunities. And she took advantage of it all. She had a remarkable high school experience and was set up to get into highly competitive college programs.
Our youngest is now a junior and is in the college preparation stage. While her high school experience began during the COVID-19 pandemic, she continues to have a wonderful high school life in her classes and extracurriculars including athletics, music, and show choir. We are so thankful for her dedicated school counselors and teachers and for the arts programs that have given her hope and comfort in spite of the challenges of these last couple of years due to the pandemic and unfortunate cuts in the Loveland schools. She has grown immensely into a hard-working student, performer, athlete, and a Tiger through and through. At Loveland, Avery has learned resilience through compassionate district leaders, teachers and mentors.
Even while navigating the challenges of failed levies, Loveland has kept excellence and the dedication to their students at the forefront. No matter what challenges the district may face, the foundation of community and excellence prevails. The opportunity for students to experience a vast, well-rounded education is there. But the reality is that many of those beloved, winning programs our children have been blessed with are now on the chopping block.
We have hope that the community will step up and value the importance of a strong school district and how important it is to set our children up for future success.
Our children in the younger grades should have the same opportunities to enter their years after high school prepared, motivated, and competitive. It’s up to each of us to fight for our schools and to keep Loveland thriving.
We are Lovelanders now and we won’t give up on our schools or this community. I hope you will join in the fight to keep Loveland strong and get out and vote #yesforloveland.
Kim and Dan Colletto live in the Miami Trails Neighborhood
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