CAYUGA, Ind. — Taylor Turchi probably is best known for her athletic ability at North Vermillion High School, but don’t count out her academics and leadership skills.
The North Vermillion senior combines all of those areas as a member of the Indiana High School Athletic Association student advisory committee.
She is the first western Indiana student chosen for the committee that meets with IHSAA commissioners about issues involving student athletics. They represent schools from throughout the state.
"The committee involves big schools and small schools," Turchi said. "We are required to attend four sessions a year. They are interested in what we say. They are trying to make it an equal playing field."
Among the issues the 18-member committee has discussed are how to include home school students in team sports, whether cheerleading should be a sport and issues with private schools.
"They stress academics first," she said. "They promote academics first. This gave me a new perspective."
A positive step for the committee was raising money for Henryville High School, the small southern Indiana high school that was damaged in March when a tornado hit the school.
Nine students are chosen for the committee prior to their junior year to serve a two-year term. Turchi was one of 65 who applied who attended a state student retreat. Former North Vermillion Principal Allen Hayne suggested she apply. She filled out the necessary application and faced a battery of interviews.
Three days after the interviews she learned she had been chosen.
"We work all of the state championships," Turchi said. "I worked cross country and track."
Turchi has enjoyed the friendships she has gained through the committee, She said one of her best friends attends a large suburban Indianapolis school.
The committee plans the annual student leadership conference.