Talawanda’s health and welfare coordinator receives national award – Oxford Observer

A graduate of the University of Miami and Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Talawanda School District, Amy Macechko won a national award for her leadership of the Builder’s Club at Talawanda Middle School.

Sponsored by Kiwanis International, Builders Clubs aim to help children ages 11-14 develop leadership skills and incorporate them into service projects. The Oxford club has 23 members and is slowly growing after a recent drop in membership due to the lull in the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the nine years as an advisor for the Builders Club at Talawanda Middle School, Macechko helped students with projects that included making homemade blankets that were donated to the Family Resource Center for the use of people staying at local cold shelter. Another project, titled “Planting the Promise,” combined gardening with an anti-drug message.

Macechko said she tries to empower middle school club members by helping them see project ideas through to completion.

“We try to ask the students what do you think are the problems of the community? What do you want to do to solve the problems or make a difference in our school and our community? said Macechko. “I love that it’s the students who really do their brilliant brainstorming and take on the leadership role.”

She was one of 12 advisors to be recognized by Kiwanis International as a Distinguished Advisor of the National Builders Club 2021-2022. Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global service club organization dedicated to improving the lives of children. The Oxford Branch has been meeting for 96 years.

Amy Macechko first came to Oxford as a student at the University of Miami, where she graduated in 2001 with a degree in psychology. She then returned to her native region to teach.

In 2006, Macechko returned to Oxford with her husband, who started a job at the University of Miami.

Soon after, Macechko found her current job as the Talawanda School District Health and Welfare Coordinator. Macechko said it was “the perfect job” because of his love of psychology and working with young people.

Macechko became a Builders Club advisor in 2013 at the request of two fellow Oxford Kiwanis members.

“They were both great people,” Macechko said. “And I thought if they were in that group, then that must be a good thing.”

Macechko was nominated for the award by John Curry, another Builders Club of Talawanda adviser, who said he had “no choice” after seeing her in action.

“If you ever meet Amy, the only thing you’ll leave is a sense of her enthusiasm and energy,” Curry said. “And she really gives that energy and enthusiasm to the kids.”