On Dec. 22, Redbank Valley High School hosted its first ever “Student EdCamp.” A team of teachers and I took the lead on organizing a student-centered and student-focused event, the day before Christmas break. We are proud to say that it was a rousing success and there are numerous individuals, groups and organizations to thank.

First, we applaud the community members and businesses that stepped up, took time out of their schedules, and volunteered to lead learning sessions for our students. Thank you to Scott Gourley for showcasing the different types of coffee beans and ways to press and brew. Thank you to Ann Kopnitsky for providing students with the basics of car maintenance. We appreciate Kelly Reichard for teaching our students to be aspiring artists as they painted holiday canvases. Thank you Dr. Sally Sherman for sharing your knowledge of strength and conditioning, and meditation. We are grateful for Ryan Moore for bringing his knowledge of college back to his alma mater and for his website design prowess. We are appreciative of Dani Emings for sharing her knowledge of social media and we owe gratitude to Lynde Edmonds for teaching students how to creatively journal in their Bibles.

Next, there are numerous organizations and businesses that we’d like to show appreciation. Many thank you’s to Clarion MMA and the LeFay family for taking time out of their morning to teach self-defense basics; New Bethlehem Fire Company and Ed Goth for their session on volunteer firefighting; Clarion Hospital EMS for their session; and last, but definitely not least, Tech-Ready Professionals and it’s CEO Gordon Barrows for his Drone Piloting session.

Each one of these individuals and groups used their own supplies and money to bring their talents, knowledge and passions to share with our students. Further, we extend gratitude to New Bethlehem Subway and its CEO Tim Murray for providing these session leaders with a free Subway platter lunch. Also thank you to Redbank Valley High School Student Council for providing lunch for the entire staff and faculty.

The centerpiece of the day was an all school assembly, which included fifth and sixth grade students from Redbank Valley Intermediate School. The speaker was former WWE Champion Marc Mero; his message was uplifting and inspiring and challenged our students to be kinder, to dream big, and to never take their friends and families for granted. This could not have occurred without the generosity of Redbank Valley Bible Club, who provided the funding to bring Marc to our school. We also thank Redbank Valley PTO for providing the money to bus the intermediate students to the high school.

Lastly, thank you to Mrs. Rupp for trusting the teachers to take over the school day and plan such an event for the students. We hope that this day can continue and grow to be more student led and stay student-focused.

DR. JOE HARMON

Redbank Valley

High School

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