A lifetime ago I was a high school lacrosse player in Worthington. Because of that, 30 years ago this month, I had the opportunity to play in the first-ever Ohio Lacrosse State Tournament. The tournament was held at Worthington High School on May 27, 1989, and featured 17 teams from across Ohio. Teams played three games in one day and the Worthington team led by the great Tim James and Jon Tyack won the first tournament. (They also won the next two…just sayin’…)
As I understand the story, it was in the fall of 1988 when parents from Worthington met at Tim James’ house in Worthington Hills and created the idea for an Ohio lacrosse tournament. The parents did all the work necessary to make their idea come to life. As a high school student, I was oblivious. It never occurred to me as a self-centered teenager that people were sacrificing time, money and their energy to provide this opportunity for us.
30 years later as Superintendent of Schools, I’m incredibly cognizant that this lacrosse story has been repeated in multiple arenas throughout our school district over time. Our parent and community volunteers make many, many, many of the good things we do for students happen. If your student has fun at Super Fun Day or Field Day this month, our parent volunteers allow that to happen. We have a bike park, school gardens, elementary cross country and archery because parents make it happen. Parents move loads of band equipment so our marching bands can perform. Parents chaperone trips, provide healthy snacks, read with students and mentor our students. The list of things our volunteers do is endless.
As we complete another school year one of the things I will ask our students to do is thank those that make it possible for them to have the amazing opportunities they have. As an adult, I’ll point this out over and over again. I suspect that, like me, it may take them a few years before they really understand the work their parents and other volunteers do to enrich their life.
Public schooling is about being part of a community. I’m thankful that we have a community that has always valued coming together to support the interests and activities of our kids. To the literally thousands of you that volunteer in some way: THANK YOU! You’re making a difference. Perhaps one day 30 years from now someone may pull the t-shirt out of the basement and remember what you’ve done.
- Trent Bowers, Superintendent