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School safety close to Isaac’s heart


River Days candidate’s experiences drive need to inform


By Bill Shope

Scioto Voice Writer


For Notre Dame’s River Days candidate, Madison Isaac, the topic of school safety hits pretty close to home-“In 2008, there was an act of school violence at Notre Dame Elementary. I was in the first grade at that time, but the memories of that day for me and the Notre Dame community are still pretty vivid. It was a very difficult day and as we see an escalation in school shootings and acts of violence across our country, the topic of keeping students safe while they earn an education, seems to be a very timely and necessary point of dialogue and information,” she told The Voice. Her preparation and dedication to her event showed in the evening’s success. “Right now things are going very well-I’ve already had my event, but I’m working hard on keeping my platform in the public eye throughout my River Days journey,” stated the incoming Titan senior. Her platform event, held several weeks ago, featured Portsmouth Chief of Police Rob Ware and former Portsmouth High School Principal Doug Poage as speakers. “They were excellent, as they spoke about what students at home and family members could do to help prevent violence at school,” she said. Isaac was also creative with her activities at the event-“I wanted it to be informative and fun, so we created a carnival-like atmosphere; for example, at my fire safety booth, I had pool noodles which attendees had to crawl under, to demonstrate how to stay low to the ground in case of a fire. I think everyone’s favorite, though, was the police dog demonstration. The dog was amazing and I believe those in attendance really appreciated its’ intelligence and abilities.”

Isaac recognizes her efforts have received a tremendous amount of support from her school community, lauding the efforts of her fellow Titans. “I’ve really been blessed to have received a great deal of help from our local Catholic churches, especially Holy Redeemer who allowed me the use of their activity center, paying only the cost of liability insurance. The staff and students at Notre Dame Elementary were tremendous, because my event was geared towards younger students. They did a great job of advertising my event and keeping it in the ears and eyes of the Notre Dame community.” Isaac also credited those at the high school with assisting her in her quest. Our Principal, Mr. Walker has been amazing. He has made sure that I have had everything I need to be successful. Aubrey Boland, last year’s candidate, is a great source of inspiration and has been there for me with great advice and help. My parents have been tremendous-I know this puts a great deal on them, but they have never complained or failed to provide me with everything I have needed.”

“I had some students come out and work the front register and the concession stand. My fellow River Days contestants were great, too. I wanted them to work the booths so they could also take in what we were trying to impart, which is school safety and take it back to their own schools and help keep them safe, too. For me, it’s not just about Notre Dame; I’m concerned about the safety and well-being of all the students in our area.” Even though she hoped for a large turnout, Isaac did not need to count heads-“I feel it didn’t matter if three or thirty kids showed up, as long as I made appositive difference in their lives, it would be worth it-and, it was. It was on time, the weather was great, and it was definitely a good event.”

Isaac has been surprised at some of the twists and turns of being a River Days candidate, but they have been positive surprises. “I think the great thing about being a River Days candidate is that no matter how much you think you know going in, you’re always going to get a few surprises. One of the best surprises came when we went to the Reds game in Cincinnati for Portsmouth Day. We were allowed to be recognized on the field of Great American Ball Park, which was a first for the candidates of the festival. There have been some great surprises and opportunities, so it’s been pretty wonderful.”

The work load, Isaac knows, will soon be intensifying, with increased appearance mandates and, of course, overseeing the construction and design of her parade float. “I was so focused on making my event successful, it obviously came first. I’m ready to get our float ready. We are currently beginning to get it assembled and I’m pretty excited.” The theme of her float is a source of excitement for the incoming senior as well. “The theme this year is Rockin’ on the River and my float is going to be Disco, which is great. I’ve got a little soft spot for disco music-I really like the overall theme this year, it’s something really new. People think disco will be easy to do, but when you are committed to representing an entire genre, you have to cover a lot of ground.”

As is usually the case, solid and fast friendships have been borne during the rigors of preparation. “At first, I was a little worried-everyone talked about how talented all the candidates were this year and that the level of competitiveness would be greater, but every one of my new friends have been supportive of each other. We carpool; we go places together-it has become like a sisterhood!”

The opportunity to represent Notre Dame is undeniably important to Isaac as her emotional response showed.” It’s been, honestly, more that I can describe. This is something that I’ve have wanted to be a part of since I was a little girl. After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, it at times, seemed unlikely. But, now, I am here and


proud to represent what it means to be part of such a great school community. The ability that we have, as candidates to learn and share each other’s platforms, to take that knowledge back to ours-makes me proud to be the Notre Dame candidate and I’m giving it all I have to make my community proud.”

1 Comment

  1. Eloise on July 18, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    A wonderful write up, Madison is a beautiful young lady, has a big heart,She has fought Crohns since she was diagnosed at an early age, but she doesn’t let that stop her, she is very active in most school activities, swim team, Cheerleader, volennteers and so much more, anything she does, she gives it her all,

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