Josh Reynolds, who had the tough task of replacing legendary Whetstone High School band director Rick Burkart, is gratified that in only his fourth year he has been named the school PTA's Educator of the Year for 2017.
Reynolds will ride in the 11th annual Whetstone High School homecoming parade Friday, Oct. 13, prior to the football game against Beechcroft High School.
"It was very cool," he said of being chosen by the PTA. "It's always a big honor to be recognized that way.
"It kind of blew my mind that I was able to be named with that honor."
Since taking over from Burkart, a Whetstone grad who ran the music program for 35 years before stepping down in 2014, Reynolds said he has tried to increase the number of students in the band and give it a higher profile.
"Our expectation levels have gone higher and things are progressing well," he said.
The parade will form at 4:30 p.m. at the high school and get underway at 5 p.m. Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center Executive Director Bill Owens will serve as grand marshal.
"I am honored to celebrate with the Whetstone Braves at homecoming this year," Owens said in an announcement. "CRC really appreciates the many decades of support the Whetstone High School students and faculty have given to our agency."
The parade route winds through areas adjacent to the school, heading south on Scenic Drive, east on Deland Avenue, south on Olentangy Boulevard, east on Croswell Road, north on Zeller Road, west on West Cooke Road, north on Olentangy Boulevard, west on Overbrook Drive and ending in the stadium parking lot.
For a second consecutive year, the pregame homecoming festival will have live music from local band Funky Brewster. There will be hot dogs, chips and carnival games for children.
The PTA will add a live auction to the homecoming festival.
Popular local auctioneer Mike Albert has donated his services for the event, which will begin at 6 p.m., PTA President Tiffany Grinstead said.
It will feature several large prizes, including four single-day Park Hopper passes to the Walt Disney World Resort, a week at a cabin near Yellowstone National Park and a catered dinner for 20 people from Bleu & Fig, she said.
Raffle tickets also will be sold for $5 to win two tickets to the Ohio State-Penn State football game Oct. 28, and festival-goers can win goods and services from local businesses in a silent auction, Grinstead said
"This is the PTA's biggest fundraising event of the year, and all proceeds raised during the festival are reinvested in the school," said Grinstead, who is also festival chairwoman.
"The PTA is thrilled to be able to provide grants for students and teachers to support field trips and other special projects, to invest in technology upgrades and new academic materials and supplies, and to support facility enhancements and beautification projects that help to improve the quality of education and student life for the entire Whetstone community."