The first of two new initiatives by Northland Community Council president Emmanuel V. Remy is under way, and the second one should be operational by the end of April.

The first of two new initiatives by Northland Community Council president Emmanuel V. Remy is under way, and the second one should be operational by the end of April.

With a first meeting of the new education committee completed and a second one set for Thursday, April 5, Remy said last week he believes strides have been made toward his goal of finding some common ground among the public, private and parochial elements of education in the Northland area.

On hand for the first meeting earlier this month were the principals or their assistants from Northland, Brookhaven and Beechcroft high schools; St. Francis DeSales High School's principal; a Northland resident who is a teacher with Reynoldsburg City Schools; a Clinton Estates resident interested in the subject; Remy's wife, Elizabeth, a teacher at Starling Middle School; and the director of community outreach for Horizon Science Academy Columbus.

"It was very productive," Remy said of the gathering. "We laid the preliminary groundwork for a Northland Community Council student council and preliminarily, we talked about them meeting prior to our meetings and then having the opportunity to stay on after their meeting is completed."

The student group would be under the direction of members of the new education committee. As part of the educational benefit for students, speakers scheduled to address the full community council at its meetings on the first Tuesday of the month would be encouraged to come early to speak to the young people, Remy said.

"I was real encouraged," he said. "It's going to bridge the gap we felt with the school system in the past. During the conversation, we talked about internship programs."

Students attending Columbus City Schools, for example, need 120 hours of community service in order to graduate, Remy said. The NCC's major activities, such as the annual awards banquet coming up Friday, March 23, the Independence Day Parade and participation in meet-the-candidates forums, as well as other activities, might serve to provide students with some of their needed community service time, he indicated.

"We have lots of opportunities for them to be involved," Remy said.

Officials with New Albany-Plain Local Schools, the Westerville City School District and even National College on Cleveland Avenue have expressed interest in participating in the community council's new education panel.

"I really think we're on the verge of growing something that can be very beneficial for the community," Remy said. "I'm real excited about it. I'm pleased with the direction already."

Remy, who ironically first became extensively involved with the NCC in July 2010 when he volunteered to head a committee to streamline its committee system, has plans for another new committee, one aimed at arts and beautification efforts in the Northland area. This group's area of responsibility, he said March 6, would include signs identifying entry points to the community.

Remy said last week he is putting together the objectives for the arts and beautification panel and hopes to have a first meeting scheduled by the end of next month.