Battlefield teachers recognized for empowering students
Posted on 08/20/2018
Mary Beth Starkey and Lauren Maula display Leadership Development Award

Congratulations to Battlefield High School’s Mary Beth Starkey, teacher on special assignment, and Lauren Maula, math teacher, on receiving the 2018 Four Diamonds Mini-THON® Leadership Development Award.

This past spring, Battlefield High School joined nearly 300 high schools across the country in hosting a Four Diamonds Mini-THON®, an overnight event modeled after Penn State’s well-known Dance Marathon or THON. The impressive debut event raised more than $41,000 to fight pediatric cancer. Starkey and Maula were instrumental in helping make this student-initiated project a success.

The Leadership Development Award recognizes Mini-THON® advisors for providing an environment that encourages leadership development, empowers students and supports individuals’ visions and goals.

“The desire to serve as advisor was very personal for me,” said Starkey. “The student who brought the idea to us is my former English student, so I wanted to see success for her sake. Aside from that, my cousin Joshua passed away from a brain tumor when he was only 3 years old. With the help of Four Diamonds, perhaps one day, no child will suffer from cancer, and no family will lose their child to cancer. This project is an avenue for me to help that happen and to join my students in that cause.”

Starkey and Maula attended this year’s Mini-THON® Leadership Summit in Hershey, PA where they were presented with the award. Maula is a Penn State graduate and was involved in the student-led philanthropic Dance Marathons on which Mini-Thons® are modeled.

“There were a lot of moving parts that went into planning our first Mini-THON®,” commented Maula. “Along the way, we definitely hit some bumps in the road, and our students were able to work together to quickly find solutions. It truly has been rewarding watching our students develop their leadership, problem-solving and communication skills throughout the year.”

Planning for Battlefield Mini-Thon® 2019 is already underway. Starkey and Maula will continue as advisors. They are confident the outstanding student leaders involved with this project will grow this successful community service project.