The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 9, 2013

Joel Penton encourages students to reach high

Former OSU football champ shares his story of commitment


Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Joel Penton, a graduate of The Ohio State University, spoke to the students of Conneaut High School on April 30. Penton is known nationally for his athletic ability as well as his motivational speaking. Penton played football as a Buckeye for five years and has been a member of three Big Ten championship teams. Penton also proudly wears his National Championship ring. He has also received an award that is given to only one football player throughout the country, the Wuerffel Trophy for humanitarian work. Penton achieved many things in his lifetime and as a football player at OSU.

During an assembly held in Garcia Gymnasium, Penton shared his story and how he reached his goals. He spoke about how he had made a commitment to football and avoiding alcohol and stuck with it. He overcame obstacles throughout high school and achieved what he had set his mind to. The students had a chance to ask him questions and even win a few prizes. Penton’s story really reached out to multiple students at the high school. Students across the gym loved his energy, his compassion and his helping other people understand how important it is to stand your ground.

“It helped me realize that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and set goals for yourself,” said junior basketball player, Dylan Campbell. “You can’t let anyone impact the decisions that you want to make.”

The students at CHS got more than an inspirational speech at the assembly. Penton brought along a close musical friend, Ryan Holliday. Holliday sang at the assembly and also put on a concert after school at 7 p.m. The concert had an amazing turn out and had many students in awe. Amanda Chadwick, a freshman at CHS and a student who attended the concert, said, “The concert was amazing for me. I loved Ryan and the message he sent out in his own personal songs.”

Chadwick’s sister Alyssa also enjoyed the concert; she said, “The concert was truly amazing; he was great, but it wasn’t only Ryan’s singing that was great; it was also Joel Penton’s speech that kept me entertained, too.”

The National Honor Society recently had the chance travel to New York City and expand their knowledge. Emily Wacker, the NHS adviser, organized the trip. The students had the opportunity to learn about a completely different lifestyle and take tours all over New York City. NBC Studios, Time Square, The Empire State Building and Central Park are only a few of the stops on the NHS trip. Inside the NBC Studios the students were able to tour the set of Saturday Night Live as well as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Lizzy Lane, a senior and first-year member of NHS, even got to participate in a mock weather report with a green screen and teleprompter. NHS members also had the opportunity to see the 9/11 memorial and tour the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

“Going to NYC was an eye opening experience to see such a huge city and the different cultures. My favorite part was definitely Stomp, the show we went to. It was incredible to hear such amazing music being made from everyday items,” said Jillian Heinonen. “I am thankful for being able to visit The Big Apple with a wonderful group of people.”

The education keeps on going; numerous CHS students have taken up to three Advanced Placement tests this past week. Students in AP Calculus, AP Government, AP Spanish, AP English Literature and Composition, and AP English Language and Composition each took a test that consumed their entire mornings. The AP tests can be counted toward the student’s college courses if he or she scores high enough. The students have been working very hard every day in order to prepare for those tests.

Conneaut High School is always up to something trying to prepare their students for anything life could bring them. Motivation, experience, and adventure are three things that Conneaut High School gives to their students.