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WMRHS athlete to represent state at national conference

Patrick Church. (click for larger version)
May 28, 2009
WHITEFIELD — A little initiative was all it took for one Spartan to earn a trip to Indiana this summer, all expenses paid, as one of six New Hampshire representatives at a national athletic leadership conference. Patrick Church, a high school sophomore from Lancaster, was one of a group of students from White Mountains Regional High School and other high schools across the state who attended the NHIAA Athletic Leadership Conference in Concord in March. He was the only one from his school, however, who took an application form to attend the national event in July hosted by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Patrick said he grabbed an application and answered the short essay questions and sent it in for consideration. "When I found out I was the first one that handed it in I figured I'd have a pretty good shot," he said. That good shot turned out to be a great one as he was chosen as one of six New Hampshire delegates, to travel to Indianapolis, Ind., for three days in July to participate in the National Student Leadership Conference.

What made the teen reach for paperwork? "I figured it would be good exposure, a good experience," Patrick said. Not only that, he'd get to see a completely different area and meet new people, he said.

Patrick wrote two 100 word essays to submit his name for consideration after attending the leadership conference. The first asked why he should be selected to represent the state and the second asked him to outline the meaning of leadership. He used what he learned at the March session in Concord and his own life experiences to come up with the answers and the selection committee was convinced.

Patrick said it was a pretty big surprise when he found out. WMRHS Principal Erik Anderson made the announcement at a recent achievement assembly and presented the 16-year-old with a Principal's Certificate to celebrate. "I had no idea," Patrick said of his shock at being chosen, despite thinking early on that he had a decent chance of making the cut.

Patrick said he is excited to visit Indianapolis on the all-expenses paid trip. He will travel with the rest of the New Hampshire delegation, including two advisors from Souhegan High School. The National Student Leadership Conference will be held from July 16 to 19 and the Spartan athlete said he hopes to continue to learn about ways sports leadership can be brought out into the community.

Patrick is the son of Donna and Ed Church of Lancaster.

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