“If you want to get it done, you should be the leader and get it done.”
Those are the words of Steele High student council vice president Sarah Urbanik, who isn’t just talking the talk. Along with president Denver Voss, treasurer Casey McConihe, and secretary Lydie Leclerc, she is walking the walk.
The four Amherst seniors have their work cut out for them.
Their busiest day of the school year will come Friday, Sept. 25, when the biennial Gallery of Success welcomes new inductees in the morning and homecoming pep rally, parade, game, and dance are held in the evening.
The Gallery honors alumni who have gone on to do great things.
This year’s inductees are Scott Bentz, chairman of emergency medicine at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver, Colo.; Mark Dobrow, stage manager for many Broadway shows (most recently on “Into the Woods”); Matt Kish, author of “Moby Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page,” which has drawn critical praise; Richard Lewis, executive director of the Ohio School Boards Association; Fay Van Nuys Ott, a longtime Amherst Historical Society member and expert on the city’s past; and entrepreneur Christopher Russo, whose restaurant empire includes the Brew Kettle in Strongsville and one soon to open in Amherst.
“I think it’s cool that they went to our school, they were just like us, and they’re getting recognition. They’ve gone on to succeed. It’s inspiring,” Urbanik said.
Student council advisor Russ Marty said the Gallery of Success is meant to show that an Amherst education has wide-reaching effects on the world: “You can do anything as long as you put your mind to it. You have guidance here that can help you,” he said.
“I think it helps that we have students here who want to do what these people have done. They want to be doctors. We have theater students who want to be on Broadway,” said Leclerc.
Homecoming festivities are also planned by student council.
Later in the year, the student group will hold quarterly blood drives, organize spirit weeks, and host the Crazy Games prior to Thanksgiving break. Student council is also in charge of most dances throughout the year with the exception of the prom.
At the first meeting of the year, more than 60 Steele teens showed up to the group’s organizational meeting. Voss said a core group of about 30 makes sure events go off without a hitch.
This year there is a big emphasis on school spirit. Voss said he wants to get as many classmates involved as possible in the effort.
“If you want your opinions to be heard, you have to be there to voice them. Otherwise, nothing you have to say is going to happen,” he said.
Leclerc said she learned that lesson firsthand.
She didn’t get involved in any extracurricular activities her freshman year. Now she is an evangelist for the student council cause, telling fellow students that the group helps the whole community.
“It’s a chance to help, to volunteer,” she said. “My advice is to get involved.”
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Casey McConihe, Lydie Leclerc, Sarah Urbanik, and Denver Voss are the Steele High School student council officers this year.