LORAIN – A new student-led club, oneLHS, kicked off Friday, September 24 at Lorain High School, with breakfast and brainstorming in addition to a civics lesson from Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley.
Open to all students, but capped at the first 100 interested Titans, oneLHS aims to empower students to be a force that creates a positive, productive, and peaceful culture and atmosphere at Lorain High.
Lorain High teachers and building administrators fully support oneLHS as a means of changing the narrative at Lorain High. The kickoff breakfast served as the first of many events to come this school year with the focus on students dictating the type of high school they want to attend.
The tagline for oneLHS is “One School, One City.” It is a message that Mayor Bradley said he can get behind every day.
“At Lorain City Hall, we care about the students at Lorain High School,” he said Friday. “It is not just the schools or the city. It is the schools and the city working together. We are trying to brainstorm together to do some good things for the city of Lorain.”
oneLHS is the brainchild of high school Principal Pat Coleman. Teachers Christa Lokiec, Computer Science, Regan Onweller, 10th Grade English, and Dave McFarland, Employability Skills, along with Parent Advocate Barbie Washington and Assistant Principal Bryan Hilko will spearhead this work with students.
“Our students will drive things from here,” said Principal Coleman. “This is their home away from home, and they will play a big role in shaping how Lorain High serves and supports them. We are excited to feel their impact!”
It will be students, like sophomore Keylla Santiago, who will be at the forefront of the oneLHS initiative.
In her own words, Keylla had this to say about oneLHS:
“oneLHS will empower students and make them feel like they are part of something. They’re not just coming to school because they have to, but because they want to,” she said. “What stood out to me about oneLHS is how motivated our leaders, our teachers are in seeing a change in our student body. I have always been really drawn to seeing a change in our students and how they carry themselves in our school.”
Students in oneLHS do not want to just figuratively claim Lorain High as theirs. They want their names on the building — literally.
“One of our ideas is going to be having in the C Building each student paint their own cinderblock so they feel like they have something in this school that makes them feel like it belongs to them, like they are part of it,” said Keylla.
Keylla said she would mark oneLHS as being successful this school year in two very important and tangible ways.
“Success to me would mean lowering the number of fights we have in our school and seeing greater attendance in classes,” she said.
And, for any student who is on the fence about what oneLHS means or wondering if they should get involved, Keylla had this to say:
“I would ask them if they feel safe in their school and if they would like there to be a calmer environment around them,” she said. “There is a mutual consensus that we want the fighting to go down and we want to feel safer in our school. So, be motivated to join this club because we all want to feel safer in school. This is our school.”
The next oneLHS meeting will take place Wednesday, September 29 afterschool during 11th Period in Regan Onweller’s classroom, Room B100. Transportation will be provided for those students with a bus pass.