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Scott Grunder   @   Walnut Hills       Site Masthead - Image

Sursum ad Summum!
me dec112003
Scott K. Grunder
Two years ago, Cincinnati Public Schools rolled out Blackboard for student web access. I am pleased and surprised to find that Home Link is still accessible! This page is my farewell. I happily entered the world of retirement on June 1, 2013.
Professional Experiences and Background
All at Walnut Hills High School are challenged to strive for the highest. For those of you who accepted the challenges I provided, I thank you for accepting those challenges. For those who challenged me, I salute you as you motivated me to examine my practices and helped me to improve. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people and students over my career. For me, teaching was personal and grew from the rapport established in the first weeks of classes. For those of you that understood that, who accepted it, and furthered it, I am forever grateful as you turned the class into a unique setting within the Walnut Hills community.

I sent out the following update two weeks ago (edited to fit this space). Please send me an email if you would like to be included in future distributions.

I began this on December 23, 2015 but got side-tracked by the holidays. We had a great holiday season again this year at the farm. Mom’s traditions were continued with “cookie day” on the day after Thanksgiving, 15-20 assorted varieties of candies and cookies made between then and Dec 22, and a family get together at the farm for Christmas. I even put up her old miniature white lights this year (had to repair one strand) and brought out a lot of her old-time favorite decorations. All of the goodies except a few caramels and some fudge are gone and most of the decorations are stowed-away for another year. I left out some pine; the kitty likes to hide behind it and there is a wreath in the living room she curls up in for naps………you can take the cat out of the jungle, but you cannot take the jungle out of the cat!

A lot of time has passed since my last real update. The biggest news in May 2014 was the upcoming completion of the Rex Energy wells across from the house. We saw our first royalty check in October, 2014. It was very nice and one could barely keep from believing that cash would flow like a river. It did flow, but these days it is more like a drought-stricken river rather than the rain forest river the first check represented. Oil prices had been dropping since June of 2014…..and after holding steady for a bit in the spring, have slid again. We are receiving less than half of what we first received for a barrel of oil and there is little hope it will get better for at least a year from now. Compounding the problem is that Rex is making deductions on the checks for items specifically exempt. After months of meetings, I have joined with a group of over 70 in Carroll County that has hired a law firm to hold the company accountable. We have a 50-50 chance of recovering cash in my opinion (the law firms thinks we have a better shot), but at least we are doing something about it. As for the checks, they are very small now, but fortunately, I have a pretty darn good retirement from STRS and the oil money is all “extra”.

So, dreams of investing in breweries (or at least the Grundermeister brand), jetting around the country, or even buying a Tesla…….have all been put off indefinitely. There may be a “bump” this year, as they just finished drilling a northern leg…..our seventh well. A flatbed trailer went up the road today with the wellhead on it, a new temporary waterline is nearing completion, and I am sure they will be fracking sometime in January. They drilled the northern well just to tie down the unit as Rex won a forced unitization order from ODNR last December and they had a year to get a bit in the ground. The wells are shut-in right now and that is fine by me; am hopeful that oil prices will climb in a year or two and would be thrilled if he wells were shut-in until it gets back up.

In the meantime, I am basically investing in the farm and property around it. I purchased two properties up the road, creating even more of a “grunderville” on Gallo Road last winter. One is a mostly wooded 15 acre parcel with a pond. It has a well and an approved septic system, but no house. Unfortunately, the land is not really farmable either, but I love the pond and I am for now, holding development at bay! I also bought a house on a two acre lot across the road from the 15 acre property. Currently, my niece is renting the house and the oversized garage is being used for storage.

We have purchased more used tractors (JD 3020, JD 4010, MF 285), a skid steer (Case 95xt), a self-loading bale wagon, and some odds and ends, but have not gone completely overboard on purchases. We have also divided up the royalties five ways even though the farm was transferred to my brother and I. We have no regrets over this, as we are sure that is what mom and dad would have wanted.

The farm essentially breaks even these days. We had a great oats crop in June, but increasingly heavier rains with wind eventually flattened the crop again. We blew a bearing on e combine running it hard and to the ground to get the grain…..a nice $1500 repair bill there….so the oats was a bust this year. Good news is that at least for now, the winter wheat we planted on the oats ground looks fabulous. The mild fall/winter have made it very healthy. Now that winter has arrived (7 last week one night; 10 last night….and 1” of snow), it will go dormant.

I haven’t done a lot of travelling; the last big trip was Vegas in March. Saw Olivia Newton John (damn, she got old) one night and Penn & Teller another night. Both shows were great fun.

I went back to Cincy in May for the Walnut graduation. It was a surreal experience for me. That Walnut world that was at least 50% of my lie had ended for me, yet that world continued. I hung-out at the gym entrance at Cintas pre line-up and then stayed for the student speeches, but left before they finished. The entire event went pretty much as it had since back in 1996 when Jerry Houghton and I began our work to bring some dignity back to graduation. It was re-assuring that what we created has continued and I guess I developed some closure. I did go hang out with the walnut teacher crowd at Gordos afterward…..and had a great time, reminiscing.

I guess that is about it for now. Given the infrequency of these updates and the increasing number of “mailer daemons” I receive after each is sent, I have to wonder if they will continue. If you don’t hear from me for a while, you can probably find me at 111 Gallo Road NE, Carrollton Ohio 44615 or do a search and see if I ever updated that darn Facebook page!

I can be reached via email ( or via snail mail: 111 Gallo Road NE, Carrollton, Ohio 44615. I wish all of you the very best. Sursum ad Summum.
January 22, 2016
front of walnut
Walnut Hills High School