Hosting a meet the candidate forum is just one way Minerva student council members are trying to bring the town and school closer together. Here, Adam McCall, Tara Galusha, advisor Kathy Feiden and Chris O’Conner check questions for the candidates.
With candidates for Minerva Central's special board election calling for better communication and more school spirit, the school's student council said they're already on it.
The candidates got together in a meet the candidates forum Nov. 1 presented by Minerva's student council.
The seating was mostly filled at the forum, a sign that the community is more interested in the school and efforts by the student council to increase involvement are paying off, said council member Tara Galusha.
The active student council is summoning more school spirit, said council President Chris O'Conner. The atmosphere in the hallways is much more positive than last year's, he said. A recent pep rally for the school's successful soccer squads raised the roof.
“Good things are happening,” said O'Conner.
The credit goes to the student council and the student body at large, said school Superintendent Tim Farrell.
“Change happens because the students want it to happen,” said Farrell.
The change hasn't stopped outside the halls of education in Olmstedville. Kathy Feiden, advisor to the student council, said a new effort toward community service sent students to elderly resident's homes to help with yard cleanup and winter preparation. Students also worked to clean up along area nature trails and a have maintained a community garden.
During the council's recent clean-up community service day, one group collected 15 tires junked along roads and trails.
With about 20 percent of the grades six through 12 participating in the council, Feiden said the community involvement instills a sense of home to Minerva that won't dispel for the students as they graduate or move away for work or college.
It's important that the community's involved because some school programs are dependent on donations of time and money to work, like the music department, said Galusha. Generous donations from town residents have kept cuts in the music program from weakening it, she said.
Galusha said in her time at Minerva Central, there's been a break between students and local citizens. With their new attempts to bring the school to the community and invite the community into the school, residents are seeing the school in a more positive light.
“It's very contagious; it's very exciting,” said Farrell.