One of my initiatives during my first year in Dublin was to begin the Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee, which consists of 24 students (two from each grade level) from our three high schools.

One of my initiatives during my first year in Dublin was to begin the Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee, which consists of 24 students (two from each grade level) from our three high schools.

This school year, we picked up right where we left off as a group, as all underclassmen from last year voluntarily returned to serve on this year's committee. One of our goals has been to put together an end of the year fundraiser and this year's event is set.

The second annual district-wide dodgeball tournament will take place at 7 p.m. May 14 at Dublin Scioto. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $5, but we will certainly accept any additional donations for our two worthy causes: the Dublin Education Foundation (DEF) and the Dublin Food Pantry.

Last year's event raised more than $6,000 for the family of Jerome student Tyler Alfriend, who continues to battle cancer. About a dozen staff teams participated last year, with an even greater number of teams already committed to participate this year.

The entry fee of $20 per team is only a portion of the money staff teams raised last year. A fundraising challenge was issued by the Bailey team and the rest of the teams followed suit, bringing in hundreds of extra dollars. We hope to duplicate those fundraising efforts this year to support our two causes.

The Dublin Food Pantry is experiencing unprecedented demand these days because of the state of the economy. For example, in March 2008, the pantry served 190 families, while this past March, 269 families were provided food. These family statistics include 425-450 children each month.

Half of the proceeds from the dodgeball fundraiser will go to the food pantry, while the other half is earmarked for the DEF.

Founded in 1999, the DEF supports educational endeavors that strengthen and enrich the educational community of Dublin City Schools. Staff, students and parent groups are encouraged to submit innovative project proposals in categories that include educational programs/projects, curricular activities and extracurricular activities.

One of the most positive aspects of our fundraiser this year is that all of the money raised will stay in Dublin to feed needy families and help our teachers fund special projects in their classrooms.

After nearly two full years of meeting with the students, I am proud to say this committee has been a success story. It is all too easy for those of us in administration to get bogged down by e-mails and meetings and forget we became educators to help students achieve.

This committee helps keep us grounded in our mission to provide students with the best possible education.

With this mindset as a backdrop, the committee members discussed several issues where perhaps they could provide the impetus for change.

Scheduling of exams, not enough time to eat lunch, the start time of school and the eight-period day were all items of discussion during our meetings this year. As a result, we will be taking a look at each of these areas to determine whether we can improve as a district.

David Axner is superintendent of Dublin City Schools.

David

Axner