Green students present programs at state conference

By Ryan Ottney

November 27, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

Students from Green High School were chosen to present their school programs during the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) Capital Conference in Columbus this month. Only 100 student achievement programs were chosen from across the state of Ohio, and Green High School brought two.

According to the OSBA, the conference draws 10,000 educational leaders from all around Ohio and beyond to become one of the nation’s top education conferences. This year’s 58th annual conference was Nov. 10-13 in Columbus, and included presentations from 100 student achievement programs throughout the state. Among the programs presented this month was Paw-Mart (with teacher Erika Merrill) and Service Learning (with teacher Megan Large) from Green High School.

“Paw-Mart is basically a school spirit store,” Large said. “They have jewelry, headbands, spirit tattoos for your faces for ballgames, clappers, noise-makers, and they also have a printing press where they can make their own T-shirts. They make their own T-shirt designs and press the shirts all here in the school. I know last month they did drug awareness T-shirts and spirit shirts, I think they pressed over 700 shirts.”

The class, she said, teaches students about business operations, while providing the district a cost-effective way to produce spirit items.

“They literally run their own business. They have a store that is built into a classroom and all of their merchandise is held in there. They setup at basketball games. It is completely student-run,” Large said.

The school also showcased its Service Learning program at the OSBA conference this month.

“It takes curriculum that they’re learning in other classes and we tie them into service projects. For example, we learn about blood transfusions and we learned about Hurricane Katrina and those type of things, and we go and do service projects for them. We do two blood drives with the American Red Cross. We learn about poverty and how to budget money, and we collect money and do fundraiser and do a project called White Christmas where we purchase gifts for students in our school district and give them out at Christmas-time,” Large said.

The conference, she explained, was setup like a science fair exhibit, and students had to present their program to attendees. It was an excellent opportunity, she said, to share their ideas with other school districts. They even got a few good ideas themselves.

“Some things that were fantastic was some schools were doing things with transition from maybe junior high to high school, or from elementary school to middle school, and they started different programs that are student-led. They started different ways of helping those students transition from different buildings that I think would really be beneficial to our district,” Large said.

She also was impressed by another district’s student program to make prom dresses using recycled gift cards.

But nothing impressed her more, she said, than the way Green students presented themselves at the conference.

“They did fantastic. Our students have never really gotten the chance to do anything like this before. I was a little bit nervous for them, just speaking to strangers and explaining their programs. They did a phenomenal job. I think it’s a great experience for their future, as far as going away to college and doing presentations and job interviews. As far as college and career readiness goes, I think this was a fantastic opportunity for them,” Large said.

This was Green’s first time attending the annual conference, and Large said she hopes it won’t be their last.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.