Zionsville student named Riley Champion

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By Desiree Williams

During the Sept. 10 Zionsville school board meeting, Zionsville West Middle School student Aiden Hunter was announced as a 2019 Riley Champion. The Riley Champion program honors inspirational Riley Children’s Hospital patients who help others and make a difference in the community.

In March 2017, Hunter suffered septic shock and multi-organ system failure after being diagnosed with the flu and pneumonia. He spent 32 days in the hospital and another 30 days recovering at home.

While going through treatment, he finished seventh grade at ZWMS. He participated in the Riley Critical Care Walkathon this year to raise money for critical care research.

As a Riley Champion, Hunter will be honored as a Coin Toss Kid during the Indianapolis Colts Sept. 30 home game and at the Riley Children’s Foundation Be the Hope Now luncheon in November.

Other meeting highlights:

  • Amy Conrad, Zionsville Community High School teacher and global engagement coordinator, brought five students (Sophia Congdon, Jessie Reid, Nick Bakaysa, Charlie Montgomery and Alex Nelson) to speak to the board about their overseas studies experiences. The students traveled to Spain, Chile, France and Morocco. They said studying abroad opened their eyes to different cultures and taught them how to adapt to new situations. Each student recommended the experience for those studying a foreign language.
  • In an answer to question from the audience, Chief Operations Officer Rebecca Coffman explained the district’s voluntary registration for water quality testing in each school last year through 120WaterAudit. The Indiana Finance Authority offered the testing at no charge for corporations that qualified, and Zionsville was selected. Out of 876 fixtures that were tested, 30 were slightly elevated. Coffman said the fixtures have been remediated to meet EPA standards.
  • The board approved a textbook rental fee outline for grades 5-12. Chief Academic Officer Kris Devereaux said the majority of course fees decreased this year. Parents will receive a first semester fee statement at the end of September.
  • ZCHS student Whitaker McKenzie asked the board to support another Drug Takeback Day Oct. 3. He said he and partner Claire Nieshalla, Miss Fall Festival 2018, are working to get other schools to host a similar event.

The next scheduled meeting is 6 p.m. Oct 8, which also will include the annual budget hearing.

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