Students from all over central Ohio learned a great deal about history from Clarence Jones and Leslie Wexner on April 20 during the Leslie H. Wexner Leadership Academy.

Students from all over central Ohio learned a great deal about history from Clarence Jones and Leslie Wexner on April 20 during the Leslie H. Wexner Leadership Academy.

Jones, a speechwriter for and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil-rights movement, described King and the type of man he was.

"I've learned that we have gone through a lot of changes, but we've not totally gotten better," said Lauren Omlor, a sophomore from DeSales High School.

Both men talked about prejudices against them. Jones is African-American and Wexner is Jewish.

Jones spoke about some of his work with King, including his defense against a tax-evasion claim and helping King write speeches.

New Albany High School senior Jessica Horner said hearing that firsthand account helped bring the history to life, rather than just reading about it in a textbook. Katie Washington, an NAHS junior, said it was interesting to hear a behind-the-scenes account of Jones' life and work.

After the presentation, seven students from the New Albany High School drama department presented their interpretation of Jones' book "Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed the Nation."

Senior Brody Howell said each drama student had to pull the most important pieces from one of the seven chapters in the book and bring those together in the performance. Each student's piece was initially a half hour and Howell said they were challenged to cut the entire presentation to nine minutes.

Howell said they had to cut many of the scenes of Jones working with King. Instead, they consolidated ideas to get across the message of the book.

Senior Garrett White said the drama students only had two to three weeks to practice and get the piece together.