Yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch (9/24/12) had an article written by Worthington’s own Joe Blundo on 2012 WKHS Graduate, Mike Mayberry. The article “Friends suicide compels graduate to find a way to help” details Mike’s efforts to raise awareness of suicide prevention. Mike was a good friend of WKHS student Nick Trebonik who tragically passed last year. This video from 10tv also details Mike’s quest.
Mike has embarked on an ambitious trek across the United States on his bicycle. His journey is a 60 day solo ride to raise awareness and to help prevent future suicide. To contribute to Mike’s quest you access his fundraising website here.
I first met Mike when he was a junior at Worthington Kilbourne. Principal Ed Dunaway had announced his retirement, and as the Human Resources Director for the school district, I was charged with leading the process to find his replacement. I personally interviewed 20 different candidates for the position and then chose four candidates to interview with teams of teachers, administrators, parents and students at WKHS. We had three interview teams, each with 15 members. There were 45 total people scheduled to provide input into the selection process. Mike was one of the 45.
The interviews were held on two separate nights and each candidate had to interview with all three teams. At the end of the second night all 45 interviewers were to meet in the lecture hall at WKHS to process the candidates, and to possibly decide on a new principal. I was terrified. Getting five people to agree on anything is difficult. Leading 45 people to come to consensus is almost impossible. I pictured the room getting out of control, people voicing strong opinions, voices being raised, and potentially chairs being thrown. I was afraid.
When the time came I stood in front of the group and began by asking for strengths of the candidates we had seen. Strong opinion leaders like teachers Scott DiMauro and Vince Trombetti spoke first. Then a young Mike Mayberry stood up. This is a student in a room with teachers, parents, and school district administrators, who had the courage to stand up and voice his opinion. He talked passionately about Angie Adrean, one of our candidates. He discussed how she had connected with the students on the interview team, and how from his perspective, she was the right leader for WKHS. The adults in the room were stunned. Here was a 16 or 17-year-old student with the courage and wisdom to speak… and he was right. A few more people spoke that night but they only spoke to agree with Mike. We were done. There was no shouting, no chair throwing, and we had our next principal at Worthington Kilbourne High School.
And…I was Mike Mayberry’s biggest fan! It doesn’t surprise me to see that Mike is off doing something significant for others. Please consider supporting Mike on his journey.