Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kasich Signs Bill Making Adena Pipe Official State Artifact

Gov. John Kasich signed a student-backed bill into law to designate the more than 2,000-year-old Adena Pipe as Ohio's official state artifact.  Joined at the bill signing by fourth, fifth and seventh grade students from the Columbus School for Girls who worked on the legislation, Gov. Kasich praised the girls' tenacious efforts.
"The lesson here is that your classmates were persistent in getting this done. Then you came here and were so knowledgeable and you so impressed the members of the legislature that there was no way they could resist making this the state artifact," the governor said. "Now I want to see if I can include you in helping me pass Ohio's severance tax and my Medicaid expansion."   According to the students, other lessons to take away from the legislative process include: the need to be "very, very, very patient," sometimes things happen at the "last second" and that "some people speak longer than they're supposed to."

Columbus School for Girls teachers Tracy Kessler and Charlotte Stiverson, who spearheaded the effort, said students have been working on a state artifact project over the course of three years and chose the Adena Effigy Pipe to honor Ohio's Native American history.   Found on the Chillicothe estate of former governor Thomas Worthington, the pipe is "one of a kind" for its representation of an entire human form, they said.  According to Ms. Kessler and Ms. Stiverson, the project was originally placed on the "backburner," as the legislature was bogged-down in budget debate when the students first sought to introduce the proposal, before it was brought back and introduced by Reps. Duffey and John Carney (D-Columbus) in legislation in April 2012.  The teachers praised Rep. Carney, whose daughter is a student at the Columbus School for Girls, as well as the parents of other students who are lobbyists for bringing the issue to the attention of the legislature.

According to the Ohio Historical Society, which worked with the students on the project, the Adena Pipe represents one of the state's most famous artifacts and "has become a hallmark of the Adena culture."  More on the story at the Ohio Historical Society website here:

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