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5th grade student council, Mikkelsen, Miles honored at Hillsboro City Schools board meeting

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Members of Hillsboro Elementary's student council gave a presentation to the Hillsboro City Schools Board of Education at their May 20 meeting. Pictured (l-r) are council members Nolan W., Walker S., Teagan D., Katie F., Brie H., Audrey G., Myla J., Eevee F., Jase M. and Blaine G. More photos are included in the gallery below the article. (HCP Photos/Caitlin Forsha)
By
Caitlin Forsha, The Highland County Press

The focus of the Monday, May 20 Hillsboro City Schools board meeting was recognizing the district’s students and staff for their accomplishments, as the meeting included honoring outgoing student representative Maddisen Mikkelsen and Hillsboro Intermediate principal Darci Miles, hearing a presentation from the elementary school’s student council and listing other recent achievements.

Members of the Hillsboro Elementary student council, all of whom are in the fifth grade, gave their annual report to the board to start the meeting. The student council president, Teagan Davis, encouraged each member to introduce themselves, as those presenting included Audrey G., Blaine G., Brie H., Eevee F., Katie F., Jase M., Myla J., Nolan W. and Walker S., according to Miles. Their advisers, Jennifer Chaney and Mark Koller, were also in attendance.

“They are one of the most active and studious groups of kids,” Miles said. “They want to volunteer for everything, and I can't say enough about how much we appreciate that. They help in our K-1 pod, they help in our 2-3 pod as well as with our fourth and fifth grade students.

“I do want to recognize our student council advisers, Mr. Koller as well as Mrs. Chaney. They do a great job with our students.”

Miles then turned it over to the fifth graders, who presented a slideshow and took turns recapping their  activities during the 2023-24 school year. According to their report, there was a primary election, then a general election, for the student council representatives at the beginning of the year.

According to their report, the students started out the school year by applying for council, then campaigning for office, with only fifth graders eligible to run and to vote.

Jase reported that some of the council’s daily tasks include volunteering with kindergarten and first-grade students, as council members welcome the students and help with serving breakfast; assist teachers, collect pop tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House, and inflate balls in each pod. According to Audrey, they collected 337 pounds of pop tabs to donate this year.

The council also delivers the morning announcements each day and leads the students in the Pledge of Allegiance, Audrey reported. The announcements include telling a joke, sharing the lunch menu, reminding students of their PBIS expectations and delivering any other announcements.

According to Walker, the group also regularly helped keep the school clean by working to pick up trash on school grounds.

As discussed by Teagan, the student council wrote, cast, directed, rehearsed, filmed and edited videos on bullying, training awareness on examples of rudeness, meanness and bullying. Blaine said the council also promoted school spirit by encouraging students to wear the school colors on Fridays, adding more Spirit Day and Spirit Week activities and inspiring students with “positive posters.”

Myla and Brie said that after a 10-year hiatus, the student council brought back a talent show. Council members emceed the program, encouraged students to participate, took photos of them, provided props and announced them as they were on stage. 

Walker discussed helping the PTO as well during their events, as they volunteered at the carnival and glow party and also sorted candy grams.
 
The council also gave back to the community with various service projects. Katie spoke about making and distributing cards to veterans during their Veterans Day program, while they also conducted a food drive to benefit Area 937 Ministries. Eevee said that they also made 350 cards and collected 1,600 items for area nursing home residents at Christmas.

In addition, the elementary raised $862 for the Highland County Society for Children and Adults through various fundraisers, such as sliming the principal, while the council also kept track of donation totals daily. The donation was presented at the Society’s annual telethon, Myla said.
 
Blaine said that during their time on council, they became effective communicators, as they sent emails, generated proposals, conducted meetings and met with teachers, principals and custodians regularly. They also attended a leadership conference at Wright State University, followed by attending a women’s basketball game.

“Thank you guys for all the hard work you put in, and I’d like to encourage you to continue when you get into junior high and high school,” board president Bill Myers told the group. “Everything you do will count toward tomorrow. Congratulations, guys, and good job this year.”

Later in the meeting, a report by superintendent Tim Davis was full of student recognitions, with numerous academic, athletic and extracurricular achievements made over the past month. 

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Hillsboro CIty Schools superintendent Tim Davis shakes hands with outgoing student board representative Maddisen Mikkelsen, as board members look on.

As mentioned, among those honored was outgoing student board representative Maddisen Mikkelsen, who served on the board for the 2023-24 school year. Davis thanked her for a “great year” and gave her a card from the board and administration, along with gift cards and her board nameplate.

“Each and every Monday of the month, she takes time out of her busy schedule with all the things that she is in,” Davis said. “Our student reps the last couple years have just been outstanding with the way they come prepared with their committee reports. They represent themselves well for the board. 

“Maddisen, we are very thrilled that you'd had a great year, and we wish you nothing but the best. We will see you on Sunday at graduation.”

The board and those in attendance gave Mikkelsen a round of applause.

“I would also like to thank Maddisen for a wonderful year,” Myers said. “You've been so pleasant, so accommodating, and we just thank you for the time you put into this.”

Mikkelsen’s name was also brought up as Davis noted that she is among 11 “valedictorians who are all over a 4.3 GPA” for the class of 2024. The valedictorians are Reagan Eastes, McKenzie Gaines, Ramsey Haines, Hannah Holland, Maddisen Mikkelsen, Addyson Miles, Halle Reveal, Garen Ryan, Rylie Scott, Samantha Smith and Scarlett Studebaker. 

“Great job for our kids, families and our staff, to have that many students that are above the 4.3 to challenge themselves with college classes, honors classes and AP,” Davis said. “It's awesome to see that many kids that are excelling not only in our classes, but college classes as well.” 

In other recent news, the robotics team of Kainen Allen, Gaige Greer, Sam Hunt, Jayce Newton and Connnor Yochum competed in the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas, held April 27-May 1. The eighth graders placed 22nd overall out of 80 teams, Davis said.

“They ended up going 7-3 overall in the three days and finished 22nd out of 80 teams,” Davis said. “We got put out in the Round of 16 by the world champions, so if you're going to lose, you might as well lose to the champs.

“The kids did an unbelievable job communicating and working with other teams. Their world ranking put them at the top 1.5 percent of teams in the world, so again, congratulations to those team members and Mrs. [Tracey] Staggs for a great season. Robotics has gone through the roof, and it's a great testament to them and all the hard work that they're putting in, so that is awesome.”

As previously reported, Hillsboro junior Carter Boyd was slated as Ohio FFA State Vice President for 2024-25 during the 2024 State Convention. (Read more at: https://highlandcountypress.com/news/hillsboros-carter-boyd-forging-own….)

“That is an unbelievable honor for not only him, but our chapter,” Davis said. “He put in a lot of hard work, so I want to congratulate him.”

Principal Miles and Hillsboro Intermediate School were also recognized during the Southern Ohio ESC’s four-county meeting May 9, and Davis honored Miles at Monday night’s board meeting as well. 

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Hillsboro Intermediate Principal Darci Miles poses with the building's 5-Star Award.

“Mrs. Miles’ is the only building to receive a five-star overall rating,” Davis said. “That is just outstanding, so congratulations to Mrs. Miles on all your hard work and all the work that our teachers and students have done. Great job.”

Davis presented the 2023 Overall 5-Star Building Award to Miles, who credited the building staff for the accomplishment.

Board member Jerry Walker noted the award in his report later.

“Mrs. Miles, congratulations,” Walker said. “That's kind of a rare honor, and I can see how you achieve it by those students [the fifth grade council] that were in front of us this evening. They are a wonderful reflection on our student body.”

Early indications also show positive trends in the preliminary state test scores, Davis reported.

“I’m very pleased to announce that out of the 20 tests or assessments that were given, we had 10 out of 20 that were above 70 percent,” he said. “We’ve still got some numbers that need to come back as far as the state average but right now almost all of those tests were at or above the state average, give or take one or two percent.

“Our middle school algebra was 98 percent, fourth grade math was 86, fifth grade ELA was 83, fifth grade science was 82, fourth grade ELA is 81, American history 79, biology 76, American government 74, fifth grade math 74 and seventh grade ELA 70 percent. So, again, that is an awesome job by not only our administrators, but our teachers and our students.” 

Davis also recapped a “huge month in athletics,” including the following accomplishments: 

• Softball won their fourth straight undefeated Frontier Athletic Conference title; Camryn Spruell and Mylea Fridley were named All-FAC; and Spruell was selected FAC Player of the Year.

• The boys track and field team won the FAC championship; new FAC meet records were set by the 4x800 relay team of Corbin Winkle, Ryan Howland, Chris Sowders and Tate Davis and by Winkle in the 3200m run; the 4x800 relay team also won the FAC and Southeast District titles; individual FAC titles were won by Winkle (1600m run, 3200m run), Collin Swackhammer (110m hurdles), Ayden Clemons (shot put) and Jahari Pitts (discus); and Austin Bledsoe, Rason Brunck, Clemons, Davis, Howland, Swackhammer, Cooper Swope and Winkle all qualified for regionals. 

• In girls track and field, Kobie Miles set the FAC meet and school record in the 100-meter hurdles and in April broke the school record in the 300-meter hurdles, plus was FAC champion in the 100-meter hurdles; Jailyn Williams won the FAC and Southeast District 800-meter title; the 4x200 relay team of Alizeh Hudson, Chanel Captain, Miles and Olivia Covault won the FAC championship and district title; and Bree Bailey, Allison Browning, Captain, Covault, Meredith Dietrick, Kelsey Gilkison, Ramsey Haines, Hudson, Miles, Taylor Thoroman and Williams and all qualified for regionals.

Board member Larry Lyons continued to highlight student accomplishments and activities in his report, as he recapped several events he has attended.

Lyons said he attended grand march ahead of the HHS prom; baseball and softball games and track meets; a military recognition ceremony for two HHS seniors enlisting; the FFA chapter’s Food for America Day at Starlite Dairy and Grain for Hillsboro kindergartners; the Science Showcase; the senior recognition awards ceremony; and the baccalaureate ceremony, as he had positive feedback on all of these activities. 

Walker spoke about the accomplishments of the district’s students, staff and administrators in his report, as he also thanked the community for its support.

“I really like to say that we're blessed with a wonderful community that supports us, supports the school, the students, and that's something that doesn't get mentioned enough,” Walker said. “Tim, you really have done a great job this year, you and your team. It's not been you alone. From the staff here in the central office to the building principals, it's been a great year. 

“We hear of all the successes of our students, and it's a reflection upon everybody. And I speak for myself, and I daresay I also speak for the board, that we're all happy to be part of this process. 

“Our community, Hillsboro, I think is stronger because of our schools,” Walker continued. “Our schools are only as good as the people we have, and it's a people business. We have good people, from parents and students and staff.”

Myers said he would “echo those sentiments” as he closed out the committee reports.

“We're very blessed to live in the community and to have the staff and the administration that we have here,” he said. “I’d like to thank my fellow board members as we wrap up another school year. It’s not always fun, but we make the best of everything that comes our way. We're just all very blessed and very happy to be a part of this.”

(Editor's note: Thank you to Darci Miles for her assistance with this article.)

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