Skip Navigation

Voices Ringing

Carroll High School Blog

Easing the Mental Transition from 8th Grade to High School for the Freshman Class

September 30, 2020
By Mr. Greg Derus, Assistant Principal
Mental Health for the Freshman Class at Carroll High School

In our September blog regarding the Health and Wellness initiatives, I detailed Carroll’s commitment to expanding our prevention and safety programs, including a screening of all freshmen called SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral Services). As I mentioned, “SBIRT has been used with tremendous success during the protocols for those students that entered our positive testing matrix. I found the screening provided a valuable tool for identifying students needing assistance with major anxiety and mental health struggles. Often, these issues related to mental health have direct correlation to possible addictive tendencies and drug use.  I believe the earlier we can provide possible intervention and identify triggers with our student body, we can be proactive in preventing possible drug and alcohol use.”  

The Montgomery County Educational Service Center prevention educators met with me and our counselors to review the results of the screenings. These results have provided necessary indicators for directing future educational programming as well as expanding and continuing to support current initiatives. One anecdotal piece of information reported by a vast number of students was the value of our Study Skills curriculum instituted by Mr. Chris Ochs.  Most freshmen are in a study hall where Mr. Ochs conducts a specific curriculum in order to aid students in the transition to high school.  The number one issue found in the screenings was anxiety and stress related to school work.  Our prevention educators found that most of our students mentioned the transition from 8th grade to high school, or it was found that they have need for assistance with the added responsibilities of life as a high school student.  Time management, homework loads, balancing after school activities, and general expectations created stressors in their life. If not addressed, these stressors have the potential to lead to further mental health related problems and possible addictive behaviors/negative coping skills. The majority of our students are handling these stressors well and taking advantage of the assistance from the Study Skills class.  However, there are a few students that need additional support in coping with these stressors. Other topics found needing coping skills and assistance were general depression, body image issues, and bullying. 

Students found needing further assistance were offered “brief intervention”, a voluntary series of follow-up meetings with the prevention educators to check in and provide additional support and coping skills.  These “briefs” are not formal counseling or professional therapy sessions. The prevention educators provide fact based research materials and strategies in dealing with stressors.  Students taking advantage of the brief intervention will meet with prevention educators through October on campus during school hours.  Those students needing more in depth support were referred to counselors for professional therapy through the school.  Students requiring professional assistance will continue to work with our counselors on finding the appropriate resources.  19% of our freshmen class will participate in these “briefs”, and 3% of the class has been referred out for professional assistance.  The majority of those referrals were for dual depression/anxiety related issues.  

If any parent would like to discuss these findings in more depth, or want further information on the SBIRT program, please reach out to me at  

Posted in Voices of Learning

Student of the Week: Kya Kopans '21

September 29, 2020
By Carroll High School
Student of the Week Kya Kopans '21: September 29, 2020

Kya Kopans' 21, Gonzaga House, with Mr. Franz

Kya has excelled as the Gonzaga House Communication Captain by finding creative ways to share information on the House’s social media accounts.  She also volunteered to design the Spirit Week flyers and is one of the students who has taken a major leadership role in planning the Homecoming movie night.

-Mr. Michael Franz

What activities do you participate in?

I am part of Soccer Cheer, Spanish Honor Society, Spanish Club, and I am the Communications Captain for Gonzaga.

What is your favorite part of being a student at Carroll?

My favorite part about going to Carroll is how much spirit and love everyone has for the school.

What should school “do” for you?

School should be a place where you prepare for the real world and learn things that you will take with you for the rest of your life.

What’s a lesson you learned when you overcame a difficult obstacle?

As long as you keep a positive attitude, you can get through everything.  Eventually, things get better no matter how long it takes.

What’s your biggest dream in life?

My biggest dream in life is to have a job I love and to travel the world.

How do you like spending your free time?

I like spending my free time painting or hanging out with my friends.

Posted in Voices of Tomorrow

Navigating College Admissions in the Age of COVID-19

September 25, 2020
By Carroll High School Guidance Counselors
College Admissions during the coronavirus pandemic

The landscape of college exploration and admissions has changed due to the pandemic.  From testing requirements to college visits, we are highlighting some of the biggest changes.

ACT/SAT Testing

Colleges are moving to four variations of testing requirements for the current senior class:

  1. Testing Required: Students are required to send their ACT or SAT scores to the college.  Some colleges require the scores to be sent directly from the testing agencies.  Please check with specific colleges to determine their requirements.
  2. Test Waiver: Students are required to send their ACT or SAT scores to the college unless they are able to show that they were unable to take standardized testing due to the pandemic.  Those students may request a Test Waiver by calling the admissions office.  Bowling Green State University, Cleveland State University, and Shawnee State University are examples of Test Waiver colleges.  In these examples, they want to see test scores, if possible, for class placement (not for admissions).
  3. Test Optional: Many colleges have moved to asking students whether the students want their test scores to be included as part of their admissions review.  Students will make their choice known on the college application and cannot change their mind after submitting the application.  Examples of Test Optional schools include University of Dayton, Miami University, and The Ohio State University.
  4. Test Blind: Test scores will not be reviewed during the admissions process.  Wright State University is using a Test Blind policy this year.

ACT and SAT are currently offering test dates this fall.  Be mindful of the last testing dates available before college deadlines.

ACT Registration

SAT Registration

College Visits

Carroll High School typically hosts between 50-60 colleges on our campus yearly to provide information sessions to our interested juniors and seniors.  Most colleges are not making in-person high school visits this year, but we are hoping to schedule some virtual visits.  Also, some colleges are not currently offering on campus college visits for prospective students.  Those colleges who are (which, actually, is many) have had to reduce the number of visits they can allow.  If you were planning to make some visits this fall or winter, still attempt to set those up through the universities!  Juniors and seniors each get three excused absences for college visits (bring the College Visit Checklist and get it signed for an excused absence).  Because of less in-person options, colleges have REALLY upped their virtual marketing.  Check out their websites for virtual visit options take a look at Ohio’s Virtual College Exploration Program.

Talk with your Counselor

Carroll’s school counselors are happy to help you with any of your college exploration and admissions questions.  Send your counselor an email to start planning your future!

Students last names A-G: Mrs. Courtney Graham

Students last names H-O: Ms. Jennifer Urbaniak

Students last names P-Z: Mr. Chris Pennington


Posted in Voices of Learning

Student of the Week: Pamela '22 and Andrea '22 Olivas

September 23, 2020
By Carroll High School
Student of the Week: Andrea '22 and Pamela '22 Olivas, September 23, 2020

Andrea '22 and Pamela '22 Olivas, Charity House, with Mr. Soucek and Mr. West


Andrea Olivas is a skilled and dedicated student who inspires others with her kindness.  She comes to class and Family Room prepared every single day and is the embodiment of Patriot

-Mr. Carl Soucek



What activities do you participate in?

I am involved in Marching Band, Yearbook Club, Harry Potter Club, Cooking Club, ASL Club, Balloon Club, and Drama Club.

What is your favorite part of being a student at Carroll?

My favorite part of being a student at Carroll is seeing how close and connected everyone is. It’s like being a part of a big family.

What should school “do” for you?

School should teach us all that we need to know about the world before we become adults. It should prepare us but also be fun.

What’s a lesson you learned when you overcame a difficult obstacle?

It never hurts to be confident and to always stay positive. It’s better to be confident and make friends than to go through high school alone.

What’s your biggest dream in life?

My biggest dream in life is to be a better person and help my community.

How do you like spending your free time?

I like to spend my free time reading and practicing the cello and piano.

Pamela has become a pivotal player in the music department, being heavily involved in many ensembles.  Her leadership and work ethic are contagious among her peers, and she never turns down added challenges.  Even operating at less than 100% with an injury, she continues to seek out ways to help others and brighten their day.  She is a major leader by example and a great Patriot!

-Mr. Aaron West


What activities do you participate in?

I am involved in the marching band, yearbook club, Drama, and many other clubs.  

What is your favorite part of being a student at Carroll?

My favorite part about being a student at Carroll is the community. Carroll has welcoming and friendly students and staff, and it's nice to know you can always have a friend at Carroll.

What should school “do” for you?

School should open opportunities for its students.

What’s a lesson you learned when you overcame a difficult obstacle?

I learned that even when you face a difficult obstacle, you can always get through it. All your hard work will pay off in the end, even if you can't see it now.

What’s your biggest dream in life?

My biggest dream in life is to make the world a better place.


How do you like spending your free time?

I like spending my free time playing viola and helping out around the house. 

Posted in Voices of Tomorrow

Five Virtual Tours to Enjoy During Coronavirus

September 17, 2020
By World Languages Department
Carroll High School's World Languages Faculty

International travel remains largely prohibited during the coronavirus pandemic, but you can take virtual trips to some of the world's most popular destinations.  Our World Languages faculty has five suggestions for your next virtual tour.

World Languages Dept. Chair Mrs. Beth Branum

Mrs. Beth Branum: Barcelona, Spain

Why Barcelona?  I have traveled to Spain with students since 1996.  Over the years I have enjoyed watching the progress of La Sagrada Familia.  It is absolutely breathtaking inside and out!  Every detail has meaning, from the colors of the stained glass to the influences of Saint Joseph on the Nativity façade. The Basilica is set to be completed in 2026.  Enjoy four must see sites in Barcelona, Spain!

Click here for the tour!



Latin Teacher Mrs. Katie Baker

Mrs. Katie Baker: Greece

Mine is the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi, Greece. The sketch I had for my picture is a reconstruction of what the sanctuary complex looked like in ancient times. This place is important to me because it is one of the first ancient sites I visited and the majesty of the place in its mountain setting had a significant impact on me and my desire to study ancient history. It remains one of my favorite places to visit, and I was so excited to share it with students in 2019.

Click here for the tour!


Spanish Teacher Mrs. Tara Ashworth

Mrs. Tara Ashworth: Costa Rica

I have chosen to present a virtual tour to my favorite place in the world, Costa Rica. Specifically, this tour takes you to Manuel Antonio, a public beach. I love to inspire students to travel here where the coasts there are full of culture and beauty. I traveled, worked, and lived as a student in Costa Rica before becoming a teacher.

Click here for the tour!




French Teacher Anita Mischuk

Mrs. Anita Mischuk: The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is a monument that is known worldwide and receives about 7 million visitors each year. It is not only a symbol for Paris, but for all of France. 

It was built in 1889 for the world exhibition in Paris and was considered by many to be ugly at the time. 

Today, most visitors find it beautiful whether they admire it from the ground or enjoy the view from the top while looking over Paris. To get to the top you have a choice of climbing up 1665 steps or taking the elevator. 

I have taken many students from Germany to see the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris, and I can't wait to take my Carroll students to see this beauty and explore this one of a kind city.

Click here for the tour!


Spanish Teacher Mrs. Katie Nielsen

Mrs. Katie Nielsen: Madrid, Spain

My students know that I love to facilitate activities in class related to traveling and expanding our cultural awareness. In the culture class during our Spain unit, we study Spanish art to become familiar with several famous artists and discuss various styles of art to unveil the hidden secrets in paintings. At the end of the unit, the students paint their own canvases to try out their own creative talents. Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez is always a class favorite. During our trips to Spain, the students take a tour of the Prado Museum in Madrid and get to see these paintings for themselves.

Click here to learn about Las Meninas, the painting I'm holding in the photo.

Click here for a virtual tour of the Prado.

Posted in Voices of Learning

Recent Posts

9/30/20 - By Mr. Greg Derus, Assistant Principal
9/29/20 - By Carroll High School
9/25/20 - By Carroll High School Guidance Counselors
9/23/20 - By Carroll High School
9/17/20 - By World Languages Department


Open House