Just as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is sweeping the country, it is full of momentum at the Lima City Schools too.
The challenge began here with Heritage teachers Erica Marshall, Cary Fell-Wenning, Tracy Wehner and Annette Zell. Standing beneath the school playground set, fellow staff members doused the four teachers with a bucket of water.
Zell said the four had all been challenged by other people and after researching the initiative, they were moved by the stories they read and compelled to keep it going.
“It was Cary’s idea to do it together at school – a misery loves company thing – and we all decided to begin challenging our fellow staff and students to take part,” Zell said. “It’s a great cause and a fun way to help out and we hope everyone will not only accept the challenge, but will take the time to donate as well.
The four teachers didn’t hold back when it came to challenging others. While they challenged the district’s entire staff and student body, the four also called several out by name: Superintendent Jill Ackerman, football Coach Mike Fell and his team, Athletic Director John Zell, Heritage Principal Stacy Barker, the entire Spartan volleyball team, all of the high school principals and others.
By that evening, Ackerman had already taken them up on the challenge and called out Lima School Board members and Treasurer Ryan Stechschulte.
Over the next several days, the icy water kept coming. Lima Senior principals took their showers from enthusiastic Spartan athletes and challenged a bunch of others, including area high school principals.
Football coaches got wet at a recent football scrimmage and challenged local sports reporters. A group of staff at Unity Elementary School challenged several community agencies they work with. Heritage Principal Stacy Barker and others in her office accepted their challenge and North Middle School staff and the Spartan girls tennis team will do so soon.
Several individual students and staff members have been challenging each other and making donations to the ALS Association.
Superintendent Jill Ackerman said the effort isn’t a surprise.
“We have so many staff members who are always giving back and finding ways to help,” she said. “It is no surprise that their compassion and commitment trickles down to our students, who then are quick to respond too.”