Arcanum students learn servant leadership


By Ryan Berry

ARCANUM — On Friday, May 19, approximately 275 students chose not to be in the classroom but were still receiving a valuable lesson. According to Principal Jason Stephan of Arcanum High School, the students took part in Serve Arcanum and completed 73 projects throughout the community.

From tearing down a shed outside a church or painting a fence in front of a preschool or laying mulch for a homeowner, the students put in a lot of sweat equity into their community.

Stephan, who announced a few weeks ago that he was leaving Arcanum for Brookville, brought Serve Arcanum to the school district 10 years ago. The reason for establishing the program a decade ago is still the reason today – to teach students servant leadership. The school does not require community service in order to graduate, but Stephan wants to students to become leaders in their community. He is hoping they will learn the importance of serving the community, helping others and taking pride in their community.

Even though he is leaving after this year, Stephan is hoping the program will continue when new leadership comes in. “I think it will continue to grow as we move forward,” he said. He believes the staff and students understand the importance of the program.

Matt Huffman, treasurer for the district, said he has been part of the effort for six of the 10 years. “It’s a good outreach,” he said. He looks at Serve Arcanum as a way for students to help the community. He was part of a team that was painting fences at the Little University in Arcanum. Levi Rehmert, a sophomore, said he was proud to help the community. This was his second year participating in the program.

Eric Vanhorn, local homeowner, said he had a handful of students helping him lay mulch. “It’s nice of the school kids to help in the community,” he said. He added that it makes the community look nice.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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