Having an impact

TC students honor mentors

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Senior Anna Fletcher recognizes her swim coach Susan Howard Thursday during Columbian’s Excellence in Education dinner at Camden Falls Reception and Conference Center.

Nine seniors recognized people who had a significant impact on their lives during the Columbian High School Excellence in Education Dinner Thursday.

Tiffin City School Board of Education member Dean Henry opened the celebration hosted at Camden Falls Reception and Conference Center, by noting that the event was not just about the students, but about those who got them there.

“I remember the guy who got me here and that is my grandfather,” he said.

Henry’s grandfather was an Italian immigrant who came to the U.S. with a sixth-grade education and $10 in his pocket.

“He had tremendous respect for education and the people who took the time to learn and excel,” he said. “This room is full of people like that here today.”

Henry said he remembers mentors from high school and the lessons they taught him.

Students who recognized major contributors were Lydia Arnold, Anna Fletcher, Natalie Gase, Nicholas Grover, Austin Harp, Corey Meisner, Olivia Pauly, Ariana Santos and Emily Yoder.

Meisner recognized his Advanced Placement calculus teacher Paula Pauly.

Meisner said they could not recognize a family member but found a loophole with Pauly. He said the Pauly household was a “home” away from home” as he spent time on college visits, vacations and family game nights.

“She has always been there to listen,” Meisner said. “She is a wonderful addition to my life.”

Fletcher said she met her contributor, her summer swim coach Susan Howard, when she was 11 years old.

“Susan provided me with valuable advice in and out of the pool,” she said. “She helped me reach further than I had ever dreamed I could and I could not reach it without her helping hand.”

“I have been fortunate to know Janine Miller-DeLany, who has been a family friend and life coach to me,” Gase said of her contributor.

Gase said Miller-DeLany helped her look out for herself when the stresses of school and extracurriculars activities began to take a toll.

“I knew I could not get through it on my own,” she said. “She helped me become the best version of myself.”

Through three years of Spanish classes, Harp said he has not found a more caring and dedicated teacher than Mark Ingalls.

Ingalls always took the time to work with students and made learning enjoyable, he said.

Harp said Ingalls is just as caring outside the classroom, having helped him with letters of recommendation.

“He is more a friend than a teacher,” he said.

Arnold’s contributor spent just five months as her soccer coach, but Jesse Urquhart still had an amazing effect on her.

“I would not be here without him,” she said.

Arnold said she learned two important lessons from Urquhart: Arnold has worth as a leader, a player and a friend; and she needs to do her best.

Although soccer did not work out for Arnold, she said Urquhart showed her how to look out for herself and find her passions.

Kathy Miller helped Olivia Pauly grow as a dancer and a person.

Miller has been Olivia Pauly’s ballet teacher since eighth grade and has made an impact on her dancing, academics and life.

Olivia Pauly said Miller taught her life lessons, including trying her absolute best and working to improve, even when she failed.

Yoder said many people have impacted her life, but one stands out — her childhood babysitter Diane Alley.

“Diane shaped who I am today,” she said.

Values Yoder learned from Alley that stuck out most are trust and kindness.

“She has shown me never-ending love and I will forever carry these lessons with me,” Yoder said.

Grover said band director Michael Meadows helped him grow as a student and as an individual.

When Grover was in fifth grade, he joined band and a fire was ignited in him through one-on-one lessons with Meadows.

“He inspired me to learn more,” Grover said.

In high school, Grover joined marching band and learned that even though he didn’t land the chair position he wanted, he could learn and overcome.

“He taught me to be a better person and how to keep going,” he said.

The challenges of Chris Monsour’s AP biology class better prepared Santos for what high school was all about.

“I was never afraid of hard work,” she said. “I want to go to college and find a good job and look up to those who reinforced good habits.”

Santos said Monsour opened doors to the branches of science for her and she applies the lessons he taught.

“He has taught us focus and discipline and has shaped my future for the better,” she said.