On Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center (ESC) held its fourth annual Community STARs Service Award program. This program was developed by the staff of the ESC for the purpose of recognizing students in both counties who best exemplify servant leaders. These students know what it means to serve the needs of others. The very essence of servant leadership is a deliberate attitude of a person looking outside of him or herself and focusing on the needs of those around them.
Recognized STAR students excel in the areas of Service, Teamwork, Attitude and Reliability.
These students are the first to serve the needs of others, sacrificing time, effort and material resources. They are great team members focusing on the goals of the team and ignoring their own goals for the greater good. These students exhibit a positive attitude even in the face of adversity –all while being reliable day-in and day-out and being consistently servant-minded.
Servant leadership as a philosophy holds the key to advancing the greater good of a school, an organization and a nation. If we adopt this philosophy, personally and professionally, we will take our eyes off ourselves, look at what others around us really need and take action to meet those needs.
The following students were honored for exemplifying this philosophy: Brezlyn Reneer (Graham), Megan Krummrey (Jonathan Alder), Patrick Cooney and David Stukey (London), Kasey England-Widas and Hannah Geyer (Madison-Plains), Avaley Bostick (Mechanicsburg), Luke Ford (Triad), Shayln Smiles (Triad and Ohio Hi-Point), Jonathan Hildebrand and Xavier Snyder (Urbana), and Owen Harrison (West Liberty-Salem).
Along with the student recognition, each student was asked to invite and honor a Person of Impact as strong leaders are developed through the influence of others. Awardees honored individuals who have had a positive impact on their character and leadership development, which included parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, youth leaders, and pastors.
The adoption of this philosophy started with retired superintendent, Dr. Daniel Kaffenbarger. In his 13 ½ years at the agency, servant leadership became a priority. Each year, one of the students being honored is selected to receive what has been referred to as our “Super STAR” award. With his hand in creating the servant leadership culture in the agency the “Super STAR” award has been renamed in his honor – “The Dr. Daniel Kaffenbarger Community STAR Award.”
This year’s recipient of the Dr. Daniel Kaffenbarger Community STAR Award was Kasey England-Widas of Madison-Plains. Kasey serves as an example for underclassmen as they are learning how to navigate high school – demonstrating reliability through work completion and attendance, as well as kindness and respect of multiple perspectives during class debates. He participates in martial arts and national and international mission trips.
This year’s event was made possible by numerous financial sponsors: Bundy Baking Solutions, EBY, KTH Parts Industries Inc., Park National Bank, the Peoples Savings Bank, and State Farm Insurance Agent, Erin Patton. Refreshment donations were provided by the Der Dutchman, Farmer’s Daughter, Let’s Eat Cake, and Vallery Farmhouse Bakery. Student recognition gifts were provided by Burger King, Marie’s Candies, and Subway.
Info from ESC