The Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) will welcome popular youth speaker Monte Stiles to the district April 7, and local community members are invited to attend.
The event is part of the Merrill Great Speaker Forum, a 39-year-old program that brings in high-quality speakers to present to MAPS middle school and high school students on a yearly basis.
The Great Speaker Forum Committee consists of community members, school district personnel and students. This year, the following students participated on the committee: Aimee Black, Evelyn Blennert, Dawson Dengel, Adam Detert, Ben Freyer and Ahna Meyer. The students research potential speakers and ultimately make the decision based on the relevancy of the message the speaker brings to the students. Students serve on the committee beginning in sixth grade and remain active through their senior year.
“We are pleased to welcome Monte as this year’s Great Speaker Forum presenter,” said Dr. John Sample, Superintendent of MAPS. “We encourage members of the community to attend and witness the value our outstanding guest speakers bring to our students.”
Monte’s keynote presentation takes a positive approach. A former state and federal drug prosecutor, Stiles is a nationally recognized speaker on drug policy, law enforcement, youth leadership and maintaining safe communities. By combining almost three decades of experience, Monte will provide valuable insights about everything that is wonderful about life. The end result is a powerful and unique message of hope, inspiration, community and resiliency.
Since 1978, the Merrill Great Speaker Forum has attracted numerous engaging speakers to the school district, focusing on subjects like self-esteem, self-worth, dignity of person, pride in self, goals and achievement, patriotism and coping with societal problems like drug abuse and teen pregnancy. The series is completely funded by donations from throughout the Merrill business community, with individual contributions, ranging from $25 to $1,000.
The following individuals and businesses donated funds to pay for this year’s speaker: Prairie River Middle School Student Council, $1,000; Church Mutual Insurance Company, $500; MAPS Administrators, $200; Kiwanis Club of Greater Merrill, $100; Eagles Aerie 584, $100; Weinbrenner Shoe Co., $100; Eagles Ladies Auxiliary 585, $100; Reindl Printing, Inc., $100; Merrill Teachers Association, $100; Lincoln Community Bank, $100; Park City Realty, $50; Tomahawk Community Bank, $50; Social Topics Club, $35; Riverside Athletic Club, $25; Waid Funeral Home, $25; Gleason Lions Club, $25; and, VFW Auxiliary, $25.
“We continue to appreciate the support the Great Speaker Forum has received from local businesses and members of the community,” said Dr. Sample. “Our partnership with the community is vital and we thank you for supporting our students!”
This year’s Great Speaker Forum will take place Friday, April 7, at the Prairie River Middle School Auditorium at 8:30 a.m., with another presentation at the Merrill High School Fieldhouse at 1:30 p.m.