GALION — Galion Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade girls had the opportunity to learn about the keys to success from individuals with a strong personal connection to Galion during the annual Champions Day on May 18.
The daylong activities, organized by GMS teacher Troy Yunker and GMS Librarian Tracie Wittibslager, with the help of the entire Middle School staff, centered around the things the students can start doing to lay the foundation to become a champion. Individuals with ties to Galion, along with several former athletes and coaches, led breakout sessions with students.
Former Lady Tigers head volleyball coach Jill Wilt opened the morning by focusing on the choices and decisions the young ladies at GMS can make to help them become champions in life.
“It’s important for the young women to understand that they not only focus on being part of a championship team, but more importantly to be a champion of their own life,” said Wilt. “These ladies will be faced with many decisions in life, especially these years when learning to be independent, and it’s the choices that are made that determine the future. They are free to choose from these decisions, but not free from the consequences.”
Wilt led the Lady Tigers to state volleyball championships in 1999 and 2000. She taught and coached in Galion from 1996-2006, and has since retired from education is now focused on mission work with Feeding America.
“Every teaching position I held I was surrounded by dedicated, caring professionals and an incredibly supportive administration,” said Wilt. “The strong community support was especially felt at tournament time, and certainly helped our winning ways.”
Galion alumnae Kelli Dyer, who graduated from Galion in 1999, closed out the day’s activities by talking about personal Power. She challenged each student to start their journey in becoming a champion by focusing on two areas: committing to setting goals and nurturing and building relationships in an effort to develop a positive support system.
“I was a two-sport athlete, which came fairly natural to me, but I had to work extra hard to get my name on the academic honor roll,” said Dyer. “I was a natural competitor and wanted to be great at whatever I did, which meant I had to ask others for help and assistance sometimes in areas where I struggled.”