Honors geometry students apply principles to life

The students in Mr. Ken Wolford’s honors geometry class took the skills they learned in class about scale, properties, areas and volumes and used them to propose a land development project.

“I wanted to see the creativity and how much the students can apply the skills they learned in class to a real-life situation,” says Wolford. “I wanted them to learn how much work goes into a project like this.”

The assignment was to come up with a development plan for any vacant piece of land. Several students chose to use the land next to VASJ which is owned by the Hospice of the Western Reserve.

The students were given five weeks to come up with a formal written proposal, including drawings and a scale model of the developed land. The final portion of the assignment was to present their plan to a panel of judges.

The final presentation took place on Tuesday, May 21. Judges included Gary Minadeo, VASJ Mathematics Department Chair, Kathy Gatto of the Hospice of the Western Reserve, interior designer Kathy Vislosky, retired Cleveland City Planner Ned Reich, and Tom Veider, Peg Brown, and Carol Poh from the Cleveland Design Review Committee.

The students were judged on appearance, greeting, scale models, drawings, and the presentation itself. Wolford didn’t envy the judges, as each of the students did a wonderful job preparing for the presentation. “Out of all the years I’ve done this type of project, this was the best,” says Wolford. “The students were very well prepared.”

Coming in first place was the group of Nicole Cramer, Valerie Koch and Jeff Grudzinski. Wolford presented each member of the winning group with a $10 gift card to Chipotle, where the group planned to celebrate their hard work and victory together.

The group of Jessica Deveney, Forest Bertosa, Taylor Sawicki and Kirsten Pagendarm-Winter came in second place.

The following groups tied for third place:

Olivia Vidmar, Katie Raddell, Maggie Boru and Cara Faddoul.

Rachel Smith, Morgan Adrine and Anthony Turk.

The students are less than thrilled when the assignment is first given, but there is no denying the sense of accomplishment and pride they feel when it’s over.

“They hate me before when they see the project, but they love me after it’s over,” says Wolford.

The students weren’t the only ones who found the projects rewarding, though. The feedback from the judges was overwhelmingly positive.

Plans are already under way for next year’s project.


The winning group of Nicole Cramer, Valerie Koch and Jeff Grudzinski present their project to the panel of judges.

The winning honors geometry scale model of the land development project.