OASC Newsletter

Ohio Association of Student Councils, December 2017

The Ohio Association of Student Councils is an organization dedicated to the teaching of leadership skills, organizational skills, and people skills valuable to the members and officers of all student organizations!

Looking Back.... OASC Fall Retreat 2017

120 Middle Level and Senior High delegates attended OASC's 2017 Fall Retreat on November 4th & 5th at Camp Willson in Bellefontaine, Ohio! This was the largest retreat in OASC's recent history, so thank you to all of our delegates, staff members, advisors and parents who all played a role in making this a special event and weekend for all!

Middle Level focused on the keys of effective communication as a leader. Students learned first hand how to communicate with each other by using verbal and non-verbal communication. Students also had a blast participating in the annual Fall Olympics and competing in the infamous Progressive Puzzling activity. Students are encouraged to take the communication skills they learned back home to help make their schools and communities a better place.

Senior High focused on the theme of "Diversity" for the weekend, and many other aspects that are important to diversity such as awareness, open-mindedness, inclusion, communication & addressing our unconscious biases. Similar to biology & evolution, the more diverse the team or population, the better it is for the population as a whole! If we are more aware of the thoughts our brains have programmed for us, we can manually override our unconscious biases toward or against others. Below are two video links Senior High watched during retreat's Saturday night closing.

Thanks again to all of those who attended retreat! We look forward to seeing you in March at Proctor Center in London, Ohio! (Remember, both the Middle Level and Senior High programs are capped at 40 participants each, so reserve your spot ASAP when registration opens on January 1st!)

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Congratulations, Connie, for 25 years of service as Middle Level Coordinator!

OASC is celebrating Connie for her 25 years of service as Middle Level Coordinator! As announced in our August newsletter, Krysten Bonacci and Anthony Paletta will be taking the reigns of the Middle Level program on January first so that Connie is able to better focus on her full-time job with The iBELIEVE Foundation and in her role as the Executive Director of the Ohio Association of Student Councils. OASC & the Executive Board are thrilled to still have Connie spearheading our organization, as her great history and experience with our organization make her a most valuable asset to all of the schools, students and advisors we serve.

Connie's first OASC event was in 1989 at OASC's State Conference hosted by Elida High School. Three short years later in August of 1992, Connie agreed to serve as Interim Middle Level Coordinator in the fall in order to continue programming after the previous coordinator had stepped down. Connie instantly fell in love with the program and decided to apply for the position. The Executive Board made her appointment official at their January meeting in 1993. In addition to serving Ohio’s middle school students throughout the years, Connie has been an advocate for middle school student leadership development across the country through her work with the National Association of Student Councils (NASC) and the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD).

When asked about the mentors that helped inspire and motivate Connie over the years, Connie shared, "In the beginning, there were a couple of advisors whose confidence in me prompted me to apply for the job. Ginny Derhammer (Revere MS) and Peg Johnston (Roehm MS) were definitely instrumental. Of course, our Executive Director, John Namey, was bigger than life and his trust was also empowering. I credit Joe Donovan (former OASC board member) with literally teaching me how to run our summer workshops and other events. His willingness to work with me during that first year is the reason a difficult transition was successful. Finally, there is Dr. Earl Reum (NAWD Founder). My brief interactions with him, as well as having the privilege of watching him work, provided me with the measuring stick that will always guide me in my work with student leadership development."

Connie's favorite part of the Middle Level program over the years has been the number of students it has positively impacted at an early age. "It's been a double blessing to work with both the middle level participants and the senior high/college students and young adults who serve as staff members," Connie said. "They have been - and are - a major source of inspiration and motivation."

Over the years, Connie and the staff members she has skillfully trained have facilitated Middle Level summer workshops at the following camps, colleges, and universities: Inspiration Hills (1993-1997), Muskingum University (1993-2001), Bluffton College (2002-2003), Wright State University (2004-2017), and Youngstown State University (2017). In addition to training staff members, Connie also developed the majority of the Middle Level programming both for summer workshops and for our year-round events. She created both the Advanced Leadership Training (ALT) and Middle Level Three (ML3) summer workshop programs (the second and third years of programming for ML students), and also built a three-year cycle of programs for both fall and winter retreats.

Connie’s most favorite activity she added into OASC programming was folk dancing during summer workshops. This is one of the most memorable activities for our students, and was designed to help build camaraderie and practice teamwork skills. Folk dancing has now become a combined middle level and senior high summer workshop event.

In addition to folk dancing, there are many other traditions in the Middle Level program that are near and dear to Connie's heart. When asked about her favorite, it was hard to name just one. "Friendly fringies, ‘We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,’ Candle Closings, Now & Forever at Funfest, ‘The House is on Fire,’ and door bears," are some of the things that make Connie smile.

Connie is also excited to see where OASC and the Middle Level program are going to continue to go over the next several years. She states that staff development has continued to become more of a priority, and there is a steady positive culture change in the staff members over the last 8-10 years. Connie also states, "While not a positive change, we have few students from fewer schools participating in our events." As Executive Director, Connie is committed to supporting Krysten and Anthony in continued efforts to recruit new schools and student leaders.

Lastly, Connie has most loved the opportunity to be part of a program that has, over the years, positively impacted so many. She ends with, "I'm thankful for the years. I'm thankful to be able to step away with great confidence in the future. I'm thankful."

Connie, thank you for your dedication, passion, service and mentorship over the years. You've brought light, love, and magic into the hearts of so many young students who have gone on to “spread OASC magic” in their own schools, communities, careers, and families. We are fortunate to have had you in the Middle Level role for 25 years, and are looking forward to the milestones OASC will achieve, the students we will reach, and the positive changes that are still to come under your direction and guidance as you continue as Executive Director.

To the Moon and Back,

OASC, The Executive Board, and all of "your kids"

Buy your "Ohio Leader" shirt today!

OASC's scholarship program serves students in need of financial assistance in order to participate in our valuable programming throughout the year. We thank you for your support!

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Below are two video clips that were used in Senior High's Saturday night closing at retreat. If you weren't able to make it to retreat - check these out to hear more about inclusion & addressing our own unconscious biases.


Looking for a great project? Want to showcase your school and community? We are currently accepting Host School bids for the 2019 OASC State Conference. Interested? Click here to access the information packet. If you have questions, please contact Connie Miley, OASC Executive Director at (937) 751-8530.

Here are the dates for our winter & spring programming! While we will have more complete and updated information in the following months, we want you to mark your calendars now!

If you are new to OASC, you can read more about these events under our "Past Events" tab on our website to get a better idea of what each event can offer the students you send to us! As we move closer to 2018, we will update the descriptions on our website to reflect the details & dates for 2018!

Winter Retreat Registration Opens - January 1

Summer Workshop Registration Opens - March 1

Student Council & NHS Day with the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights- Tuesday, March 6

Winter Retreat 2018 - Proctor Center, London Ohio - March 10, 11

State Conference 2018 - Fort Jennings High School, Fort Jennings Ohio - April 26, 27, 28

Summer Workshop - See the last article in this newsletter for tentative summer workshop dates! Registration will open on March 1st!

Students can nominate their advisor for OASC's Advisor of the Year Award that is presented at State Conference in April. Advisors - you also have the opportunity to nominate an Administrator of the Year if you have tremendous support from an administrator in your school or district!

Applications must be submitted by January 1st to be considered for this award at the 2018 State Conference!

Advisor of the Year Nomination Form

Administrator of the Year Nomination Form

See our 2017 Advisor of the Year Laura Calaiacovo & 2017 Administrator of the Year, Paul Worsencroft from Medina City Schools below!

Thankful for OASC

This past fall, many of our staff and students posted about why they are thankful for OASC, iBELIEVE & the opportunities they've had through our organizations and programming! Check out some of our favorite posts below, and keep posting - you never know when you'll be featured!

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Returning advisors - renew your membership today if you have not done so already! Follow this link to complete the membership form and you will receive an electronic invoice to your email for your treasurer.

For new schools or interested schools - membership in OASC is by school. When your school joins, your student council becomes a member and receives price breaks for all of our events throughout the year. Member schools are also able to attend OASC's annual State Conference which is being hosted by Ft. Jennings High School April 26, 27 & 28th!

Some advisors expressed the desire to "contribute" more to our membership funds in addition to the $50 membership fee. Therefore, the OASC Executive Board adopted a special membership program with four separate tiers for advisors wishing to further support OASC. If your high school or middle school student council is not a member of OASC, join today!

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Save the dates for Summer Workshop 2018!

Sunday, June 10th 2018 at 1pm to Thursday, Aug. 2nd 2018 at 1pm

Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennesee

Save the dates for Summer Workshop now!

OASC partners with the iBELIEVE Foundation to offer 5 different calendar weeks at multiple college campuses of summer workshop programming! Summer workshop is a 5 day, 4 night summer camp opportunity for student leaders in the middle level program (entering grades 7-9) and the senior high program (entering grades 10-12). These summer programs encourage the development of leadership skills, improves understanding of setting and achieving worthy goals, and inspires young leaders to accept challenges and responsibilities, so they may return to their communities with knowledge, convictions and understanding which will empower them to better all they encounter. Our summer programming also facilitates life long connections between student leaders from all over the state of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and most recently, Kentucky.

We hope you will come to workshop with a desire and the spirit to learn, to try new things, and to share your talents, ideas, and feelings with others. If you do that, we promise you will leave with more information than you ever thought you could remember, with more new friends than you thought you could make, and with a feeling that you can make a positive difference in your school, community, and in the lives of the people you know!

The cost of workshop is $300/delegate. This includes the program materials in addition to room & board for the 5 days at workshop. While scholarships are available, we know this can be a large investment of money for many families - so we want you to start planning now so you can join us in the summer of 2018! Most students describe their experience as unforgettable, life changing, inspiring, motivating and "one of the best weeks" of their lives. We hope to see you at one of ELEVEN tentative workshops being offered!

Registration will open March 1, 2018 - stay tuned for updates!

June 10-14, 2018

June 17-21, 2018

June 24-28, 2018

July 8-12, 2018

July 15-19, 2018

July 22-26, 2018

July 29-Aug 2, 2018

Check out this Summer Workshop video made by Max Leu, a member of the iBELIEVE staff!