Nicki Stager is an artist and a teacher at Nazareth Area High School. She teaches design and photography and advises the Gay Straight Alliance. In the 16 years that the GSA has existed, she’s seen incredible change in the club and even in the school community surrounding sexual and gender diversity issues. Sam Smith, the resilient and remarkable founder of the club, came to Nicki in 2005 with a variety of safety concerns and had very few allies in the school. The club stayed quite small for a few years and, since then, has blossomed into a thriving club with dozens of members and various activities and topics for conversation each week. For many students, it’s a haven where they can talk about the topics and issues they struggle with or need to know more about but don’t know where to go. For Nicki, it’s been a blessing to see the club flourish and the school community change slowly but substantially.
Clubs and extracurricular activities allow students to develop leadership skills and find ways to contribute meaningfully to their community. Club advisors and sponsors often support these clubs with their own funds or through fundraising activities. To support our outstanding educators and the clubs they oversee, NSHSS is giving ten (10) high school educators a $500 grant to help provide additional opportunities to their student clubs.