Lakota Presents, Performs at State Conference

Lakota Students & Staff Present, Perform at State Conference
Posted on 11/19/2018
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Students and staff collage from state conferenceLakota Local Schools was well represented at the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference. The annual event, held in Columbus, includes three days of in-depth learning for school administrators and board members from across the state.

The Student Achievement Fair showcases innovative programs taking place in Ohio’s public schools. Two groups from Lakota were chosen to highlight their achievements at the one-day fair. Four student artists from Lakota West High School impressed attendees as they demonstrated their skills. Visitors to the booth were taken on a journey through the eyes of the artists with a vivid art gallery and the opportunity to talk to the students as they were painting and sketching at the fair.

Students from VanGorden Elementary educated visitors about their prosthetic hand project. Using the Enable the Future website, the students were able to print pieces for prosthetic hands on the school’s 3D printer. Once assembled by the students, the hands are then distributed to children in need around the world.

Conference attendees were also treated to a reunion performance by the original members of Liberty Junior School’s Bucket Drum Club. The group was one of only five groups from around the state chosen to perform a 20-minute set. Click here to learn more about the Student Achievement Fair.

Lakota’s students weren’t the only district representation in Columbus. Visitors were able to choose from over 150 learning sessions, including several that were led by Lakota staff and students. The first spotlight session of the conference featured Superintendent Matthew Miller presenting with Dr. John Marschhausen, superintendent of Hilliard City Schools. Their two-hour session, entitled Design Thinking for Actionable Leaders, engaged the audience in thinking of solutions to overcome obstacles they face in their school districts.

Attendees were also able to hear from Lakota Treasurer and CFO Jenni Logan and how the district turned an antiquated salary schedule for staff into one that creates long-term viability.

With school safety as a top priority, Lakota Chief Operations Officer Chris Passarge and Officer Jeff Newman of the West Chester Police Department, and Lakota West school resource officer, addressed security assessment and planning for districts.

On the the third day of the conference, attendees were able to hear from Lakota high school students during two learning sessions. Landon Meador, a senior at East, presented with Miller and School Board Vice President Brad Lovell about hosting an ed chat on Twitter. The audience learned about the the district’s weekly #LakotaEdChat and how to start one of their own. They also had the opportunity to participate in a special #OSBALakotaEdChat during the session.

"The EdChat has brought so many great ideas to the table and allows for educators, students and community members to brainstorm and discuss ideas, pertaining to the given topic,” said Landon. “This is a simple networking tool that any school can use to further brand their image, get engagement from students and parents and develop ideas they can use in the classroom to better education,” he continued. “Being able to teach the basics to a roomful of people is phenomenal because no one will use it the same way because the ed chat can be molded into what anyone wants it to be."

The conference concluded with a session about Hope Squads and the importance of starting this peer-to-peer suicide prevention program at schools. Dr. Keith Kline, CEO of Cincinnati based Grant Us Hope, presented along with Suzanna Davis, principal of Lakota East. While Kline gave the audience background information about Grant Us Hope and Hope Squads, Davis spoke about bringing the program to schools. Two Hope Squad members, Amitoj Kaur, a senior at West, and Nick Parr, a junior at East, both spoke about the importance of the organization and the difference it is making at their schools. “We’ve seen a lot more positivity in our building,” said Nick. “I just think that the general atmosphere at East has grown on the connectivity theme for the year. I think both the East & West Hope Squads play a big part of that.”

Davis told the audience that students are already talking about friends and classmates who may be in crisis. The training Hope Squad members go through gives them the tools to help their peers. Amitoj agrees, as did the audience. She was treated to a round of applause after stating, “Your students are ready for a change and it’s up to you to empower them.”

Landon was proud that school leaders from around the state were able to hear from Lakota students. "In a district where student voice is encouraged and expected daily, who better to speak on behalf of programs like ed chats and Hope Squad,” he said.