Villa Maria’s 2014-15 Student Council was officially installed in a ceremony in the Marian Center on Friday, September 19. School president Jenna Brignola gave a welcome address and administered the pledge to other members of the council. Sr. Regina and Sr. Danielle gave each girl a pin, and various members of the group recited Villa Maria’s mission statement and goals, the missions statement of the student council, and the pledge of the student body.
A highlight of the ceremony was an address by guest speaker Theresa Shank Grentz, educator, coach and member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007 Grentz won the prestigious Carol Eckman Award, which exemplifies spirit, integrity, and character through sportsmanship, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and commitment to the student athlete. This past summer, she and her Immaculata teammates, 3 of whom are Villa grads, were inducted in to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. She was the basketball coach at Illinois, the 1992 Olympic coach, and most recently she was a volunteer assistant for the Villa Maria Hurricanes basketball team. She has served as a vice president of University Advancement at Immaculata University. Currently, she runs her own business, Grentz Elite Coaching, where she teaches and mentors players and coaches.
In an inspiring speech, Grentz urged the girls to remember that leadership requires them to remember the acronym LEARN: Listen, Experiment, Awareness, Repetition, and Nuggets (of wisdom). She called on them to use critical thinking, learn to solve problems when met with challenges, and express themselves clearly. Using a story from her time as US Olympic coach, she told the girl how the leader of a group is not necessarily the popular person, but the one who will step forward to meet challenges.
Grentz called on the girls to step forward and offer their leadership in school and in the world. “This country needs leaders….It needs women. It needs women who have the values to be able to stand up and say what needs to be done. And that, my friends, is you.”