This post was published on The Columbus Telegram on September 29, 2020 by Carolyn Komatsoulis
Lakeview business teacher Tara Dlouhy and her students are racking up the awards.…
“We’re trying,” Dlouhy said, laughing.
Dlouhy recently won the Mountain Plains Business Education Association Rookie of the Year Award. She has been the Future Business Leaders of America adviser her entire career at Lakeview and recently had three teams of students win $500 for their Lead4Change projects for a cause.
“For that award (Rookie of the Year), it was a regional award and so I was very surprised,” she said. “However, (I’m) very honored to represent Lakeview and the education community.”
Dlouhy is heading into her fourth year teaching and her second year being involved with Lead4Change projects.
“I was just looking for leadership activities that let the students take control and help them figure out what kind of leader they are,” she said. “So I came upon the Lead4Change program and thought it would be a great opportunity for us to do.”
One of the groups that won did a March of Dimes project called Dance4Change. They did a junior high dance and all the proceeds from concessions and the dance went to March of Dimes, a nonprofit that works to improve the health of mothers and babies
For Alison Loseke, a junior last year, it was a great experience.
“I loved being in projects and leading them. It really helps my teamwork skills and I was able to get together with my group and plan and run a dance, (which) was our project, successfully. And we were able to raise money to help,” Loseke said.
Loseke said the venture helped her learn how to run and organize a nonprofit.
“My teamwork skills were enhanced by working through this and overcoming the obstacles that we had come across through this,” Loseke said.
Dlouhy said those challenges included not knowing how many people to expect.
The dance far exceeded expectations, which made them run out of snacks and change, she wrote in an email. She said they also had to work around school schedules, dance policies, and figuring out prices in order to make money.
Another group did a project called Poverty Pals.
“They did a clothing drive and a food drive here at the elementary schools and high school and then the items they raised went to the Lakeview food pantry,” Dlouhy said. “So it helped benefit our students and they also received $500 from the Lead4Change that went to the Lakeview food pantry.”
The third group worked on a project called Peek-a-boo, where they held a baby shower by having a bake sale, and they made wish lists. Utilizing money raised, students put assembled baby bags, which included diapers, a diaper bag and wipes.
Dlouhy said she is proud.
“It was so rewarding to watch them develop the projects and then execute them and raise the money,” Dlouhy said. “They took great ownership in everything that they did. And so it was extremely rewarding to watch them.”
It’s not just a one-way street. Dlouhy said one of her former students just texted her last week to tell her about college.
“He said, ‘I’m currently in a leadership class at Purdue University and I wish everyone there could have taken your business leadership class. I feel like they are missing out,’” she said. “So I think that was a huge tribute to the business leadership program here at Lakeview.”
The class was held fall semester last year and it is going on right now, during the fall semester once again.
“We are just getting started with our Lead4Change projects this week, so I look forward to seeing what kind of ideas they come up with,” Dlouhy said.
Carolyn Komatsoulis is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.