August 20, 2014

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Mini Relay For Life presentation to Paulding school board
Monday, January 20, 2014 8:38 PM

This was the speech given at the Paulding School Board Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.

– Jillene McMichael


Good Evening.

The Relay committee and its community supporters would first like to thank you for allowing us the time to present to you. Tonight … we ask you to reconsider that the decision that was made to no longer allow the Mini Relay at this school. The school administration has voiced concerns in regards to the Mini Relay event. After many meetings and conversations, our Relay representatives met with Mr. Hanak and submitted a proposal addressing these concerns. This proposal was submitted …but Mr. Hanak responded that he did not feel that any of the administration concerns were addressed.

This event, This Mini Relay… is very special to our school. To our community. And most importantly, our students. If you would ask any staff member, any board member, or any community member if they have been personally affected by cancer -whether through family, friends, or neighbors- most would say that they had. Well, the students that walk these halls have experienced this as well. Some have even battled cancer themselves. They have lost loved ones, and even been given the role of a caregiver. This… is personal to them.

In a newsletter that was distributed by our school this year, the Mission Statement was shared. In that Mission Statement it is written that the school proposes to “challenge each student to develop his or her academic, social, creative, and physical abilities; to instill an appreciation for learning as a lifelong process; and to increase awareness of and responsibility to the local and world community problems.

Fighting back in the war against cancer IS a local and world community problem,… and our students have definitely been fighting back!

In the past 3 years.. The students and staff of Paulding Exempted Village School have raised $57,272.10 for the American Cancer Society. Also in these past 3 years, our school has won the a regional award out of the 19 counties in northwest Ohio, for the highest earning in a school Mini Relay. Additionally, for the 2012 event, Paulding County was given an award from the East Central Division which spans all of Ohio and Pennsylvania.. This was the Heart of the Relay Award which was given for Youth Engagement. This award was given based on each school in Paulding County hosting their own Mini Relay and it was the ONLY award for Youth Engagement given in the entire division. Paulding , Wayne Trace and Antwerp Local Schools have been a part of a community effort totaling nearly $350,000 ($349,982.46). Our school Mini Relay has been the envy of many other schools in our local area as well as in our Ohio-Pennsylvania division. We have received positive publicity and notoriety throughout the state of Ohio and in our local newspapers.

The students at this school work very hard throughout the year with their studies…. preparing themselves for their end of year state testing. We encourage rewarding them with the opportunity to have their Mini Relay, something that they truly love…and have passion for.

During the process of determining the outcome of this event, we ask that you consider what is being taught to our students: the importance of a healthy lifestyle , compassion for others, empathy, teamwork, a sense of community, and knowing that by working together we can make a difference.

We ask you to focus on these facts. Focus in the positives that it provides to our school, our students, and our community. As you can see, our community supports this Mini relay and is proud of all that we have and can accomplish. Please don’t be the roadblock that stands in these students way in their fight against cancer.

For complete story, click here.