Wilhelm said the setup is designed to be “a way for our students to work in a non-athletic realm, but with athletics in mind. So we decided to get our student leaders in the building, primarily those students who lead cheering sections.”
Nick Jackson, a motivational speaker representing Speak Love, will be the event facilitator. Wilhelm said he’s brought in Jackson to speak to Hamilton students in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
“He’s real powerful,” Wilhelm said. “He’s about being real, but staying positive. He knows how to talk to kids.”
Tyler Bradshaw, a Fairfield graduate and mental health blogger, will also be a guest speaker.
Students will come together for some games to start the day. Breakout sessions with the Speak Love team will follow, along with a cookout lunch and the organization of service projects.
Lakota East football fans make the night brighter Sept. 29, 2017, at Lakota West. East posted a 35-0 victory in the matchup of district rivals. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Each group will pair with a rival school — Hamilton/Middletown, Lakota East/West, Sycamore/Mason, Oak Hills/Princeton and Fairfield/Colerain — in the service-project phase.
Each team will create a project/culminating event that brings both communities together and assists those in need in both areas. Each project idea will be announced by the teams at the end of the summit, and the schools will hold each other accountable for following through.
Wilhelm is happy to have the participation and support of every GMC school.
“It wouldn’t work if we didn’t,” he added.
Lakota West’s Elgin Card is taking over for Wilhelm as president of the GMC principals, while Middletown’s Aaron Zupka is president of the conference athletic directors. Steve Shuck and Stu Eversole are the commissioner and assistant commissioner, respectively.
Wilhelm is grateful for the support of Mercy Health in creating the summit, adding, “I think they want to have a greater footprint on local high schools.”
The summit will not be open to the public. Wilhelm said having an audience might lead to less frank discussions among students.
Wilhelm said he doesn’t see a lot of bad behavior at GMC sporting events, but he realizes that kids will be kids.
“They’re going to do silly things sometimes,” said Wilhelm, who hopes to make the summit an annual event. “We have to help them learn and grow, and this is part of it. We’re trying to get ahead of the game, I guess. It’s not just about eliminating negative behavior, but accentuating positive behavior too.”