By Aimee Hancock
PIQUA — The Piqua City Schools Board of Education named Piqua High School junior Nolan Campbell as the BOE’s first-ever “student board representative.”
According to Superintendent Dwayne Thompson, during a November work session, the board brainstormed the idea to create a student board representative position, which would involve the appointment of one student to serve alongside the board as a “voice” for the student body. The student board representative is a non-voting position.
“More than just representing that voice, we had decided that that student would come up with some kind of an idea or concept and they would spend the year working on that and bring an actual item to the board to get a vote on,” Thompson said.
Nolan, whose one-year term will begin in June, chose to focus on mental health issues among students as part of the “student initiative” aspect of the position.
Nolan, originally from Indiana, participates in track and cross country. He and his family moved to the area prior to his start at Piqua High School as a freshman.
“The opportunities have been amazing here (in Piqua) and it really inspired me to apply for the position of student representative,” Nolan said. “I knew that mental health was definitely something that a lot of high schoolers struggle with just because of the stress that not only do they put on themselves, but from their parents and their teachers and their coaches.”
Nolan spoke briefly during the BOE’s regular session on Thursday, April 22, and said he believes all incoming freshmen should be required to take a class focused on education surrounding the warning signs of mental health issues and illnesses and ways to cope.
“(This) fits perfectly with what we’re doing; our district is already working hard on some mental health issues and some social-emotional learning skills,” Thompson said.
During Thursday’s meeting, the board was briefed on the district’s graduation plan for this year.
According to Piqua High School Principal Rob Messick, the high school has worked with the Piqua Health Department to come up with a safe plan for graduation, which will take place May 28 at the football stadium.
Messick said there will be no limits on the number of tickets a student can give out to family, but Messick said if a certain number of attendees is reached, both sides of the stadium will be used for seating, as opposed to using just the home side. This is to ensure proper social distancing.
In accordance with health mandates, the graduation ceremony must be held outdoors, so Messick said rain dates are set for May 29 and 30.
This year, Messick said, students will again be able to invite a teacher or school staff member to meet them at the podium or after receiving their diploma.
For more details about the 2020 commencement ceremony, visit www.piqua.org.