I have to be honest and admit that coming up as a reporter, covering school board meetings was one of my least favorite things to do. After all, when I was freelancing I took on mostly the fun assignments, hot air balloon rides, NASCAR events, various football events from photographing Friday night football to covering events for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, and other cool events.
Of course working for a community paper there was always a percentage of the job that sent me to municipal meetings, school board meetings and because I was either working a full-time job or being a full-time student, I had limited school functions outside of sports I could cover due to my schedule. Once in a while, I photographed prom, graduation and homecoming. It was rare I visited a school outside of a sporting event.
However, things have changed since then; now I try to cover as many school-related accomplishments as I can, given time constraints. It never ceases to amaze me how many state qualifiers or champs or regional bests, I learn about within the Nordonia Hills School District.
While a meeting is still a meeting, and there is no question the district has had its fair share of controversy, I have learned a lot about Nordonia communities and the school district during these meetings.
I have really come to enjoy covering the school board meetings, but not for the reasons one might think. It's not the obvious news about board members coming and going. It's not the so-called drama. It's not about the politics of it or even the business of it.
The reasons I have come to enjoy the meetings because of the students. During most meetings the Nordonia Hills School Board recognizes student achievements. During the April 24 meeting several students were recognized including middle school and high school Science Olympiad teams, the Future Problem Solvers and a third-grade class journalism project which resulted in an online magazine.
This wasn't the first time I noted my enjoyment watching the recognition; a couple of months ago the new engineering classes at Nordonia Middle School presented and I noticed then how impressed I was. These kids were using terms I have never even heard before, and I recall thinking to myself at the time, "a middle school student knows this terminology, and I have a college degree and do not." Granted my degree was not in engineering so why would I, but impressive nevertheless.
It is enjoyable to learn from these kids about new things that would never have been an opportunity when I was growing up. I don't know if it's technology advancements, great teachers or strong leadership but I have a feeling it's a combination of things. What an awesome thing to witness.
I also have to say that it is truly a wonderful thing to have watched how this district and community has rallied around a little girl who in a rare circumstance lost her lower left leg to an infection. The entire district, not just her school, wore pink to honor her. I know surrounding schools and even some in other areas participated as well, but it's this community's response that I am in awe of. This isn't the first time the district has had to pull together in the face of tragedy and it's inspiring to see it in action.
Keep up the good work Knights! Thank you for letting me be a part of it.