Mr. A’ric Jackson speaks to Adrian School Students

Story and Pictures Courtesy of The Adrian News Leader

Adrian High School Student Council is responsible for a life-changing presentation given to both middle and high school students on Wednesday, March 2nd. Mr. A’ric Jackson, a motivational speaker, made a huge impact on the students, and they had lots to say about his presentation. In addition, Mr. Jackson offered four hours of leadership training to Student Council (middle and high schools).

Christian Evans, HS STUCO President: A’ric Jackson will go down as one of the best speakers I’ve heard in my time at Adrian as well as in my life. The way A’ric captured the audience and adapted to keep their attention was fantastic. The leadership workshop he put on was next level. Not only did I learn more about how to connect with my peers and become a better leader on their behalf, I also gained a better respect for myself and how to use my failures to my advantage. To sum it up, A’ric’s fluid speaking, and teaching style is genuine and real. His passion for what he does shows through in his work, and his visit here to Adrian will be one I never forget.

Berkleigh Pierce: He was a great speaker. He made you want to listen to what he had to say and made it fun. I learned a lot during the Stuco leadership training. He taught us how to look past our differences and work together, and a lot of other great things.

Owen Underwood:  A’ric was so much fun and interesting. He told his stories with so much emotion that you never got distracted. I learned so much about body language, confidence, and much more. He’s my favorite speaker that’s come to the school so far.

Lexi Evans:  A’ric was one of the best speakers that I’ve ever experienced while being a student at Adrian. I would speak for most by saying that he touched my heart with all the kind energy and words that he had to say. He changed the way that I looked at myself. I would most definitely say that he gave me a confidence boost. He also left me with the fact the failure is not a disappointment, and that nobody is perfect.

Maggie Stark:  A’ric Jackson did a phenomenal job teaching us about leadership! It wasn’t a boring lecture, but rather an interactive yet still informing way to learn more about our leadership styles. We also discussed failure and that it’s not the big bad thing we all view it as. He had us right down what we wanted to get out of this training, and he exceeded my expectations!

Kaden Shannon: He was one of the greatest speakers I’ve ever heard, His words were powerful and life changing. We didn’t only learn how to lead but also how to communicate and not be scared to share the feelings we have. He changed my outlook of how to lead and what it really means to lead in our everyday lives. 

Reagan Belohlavy: I had seen A’ric at MASC in October, so when I heard that we won a visit I was ecstatic. In general, A’ric was amazing. He was motivating, informative, truthful, and most importantly relatable. He really opened everybody’s eyes on how to be a confident leader and how to lead with your style. I’m glad that the MS and HS got to expy A’ric as a speaker.

Mason Talley: He was really inspiring, and he gave really good tips on how to be a leader. One of the best speakers we’ve had at Adrian!

Elyse Evans: A’ric Jackson was a great speaker and by far the best Adrian has ever had. Throughout the day, A’ric made me branch further out of my shell, if that is even possible. He made me view myself in such a different way and helped me gain confidence. The most important message he left me with was about failure. Failure is not meant to be looked at with a negative outlook. Instead, it’s meant to inspire you to keep trying. Failure doesn’t mean you’re done; it means you’ve just started. I really needed to hear A’ric’s words. He is an inspiration everyone needs to hear.

Caila McVey: A’ric Jackson is without a doubt, the most memorable speaker I have ever listened to. He was able to relate to everyone on such a level that I don’t think most speakers could. When he spoke, it was powerful and so full of emotion that it made everyone want to listen. He wasn’t afraid of calling people out and he interacted with everyone in a fun way. For me, the most powerful part of A’ric’s speech was when he started talking about his childhood and those struggles. His childhood is what caused him to first build his “box” which has made him the person he is today. Someone who is willing to help anyone and who has a way of making someone a better and improved person. During the leadership training I was a part of, A’ric made so many good points that will hang with me forever. The things that hung with me the most is that you do not need to explain yourself to people, and failure is the first step to success. I also learned that you do not need to do things like needing to stop overthinking or needing to be more confident, you should want those things instead. The entire day as a whole was such a game-changer for me. I learned things about myself that I never thought was possible to learn. A’ric Jackson opened my eyes so that I can understand the people around me more and so that I can understand who I am as a person and a leader.

Stacey Evans, HS Student Council Advisor: A’ric Jackson was phenomenal! He kept High School and Junior High students engaged and brought his amazing, upbeat, and tangible Leadership training to our Student Council members. In a time where our students are reaching to make connections A’ric provided some useful and easily applied techniques. He presented in a ‘real’ way and shared his ‘real’ experiences and challenges in a way that our students felt and understood. Our students needed this, and he delivered!

Aric Jackson began by delivering passionate poetry to his audience’s, designed to effect attitudes and change conventional thought.

After realizing how his poetry effected his audiences, A’ric began to move to the next level with his words to teach, inspire and encourage.

Aric Jackson served as the Keynote Speaker for such organizations as Future Business Leaders of America, Health Occupation Students Association, DECA formerly known as Distributive Education Clubs of America, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, National Association of Secondary School Principals LEAD Conferences, and many Statewide Student Council Conferences across the country, plus his message has been televised in over 65 countries.

If you are interested in having Aric Jackson speak at your next youth event, contact Brandon Spinazzalo at 1-800-7991460 extention 1 or email him at

Calcium Score was the First Critical Step for Ron Steuck and Tim Enos

For Bates County residents Ron Steuck and Tim Enos, taking a simple test called a calcium score was a critical step to preventing a cardiac event.

A coronary calcium score is a non-invasive test using a CT, or special x-ray, that helps reveal blocked or narrowed arteries in the heart from calcified plaque. A score is given for the patient’s risk based on the level of plaque buildup. For people at moderate risk, this inexpensive test can predict heart disease before symptoms begin. For those who have significant buildup without many other signs or symptoms of heart disease, a heart CT scan can potentially save a life. Such was the case for Ron and Tim.  

Ronald Steuck

Ron, a 70-year-old resident of Rich Hill, says he thought he was fine. He was watching his diet, exercising daily, and taking medication for high cholesterol. He had occasional fatigue and shortness of breath, but he felt that came with the territory of aging. His daughter, however, was concerned about his family history of heart disease. Andrea Davis, who works in the cardiac rehabilitation department at Bates County Memorial Hospital knew a calcium score could reveal a lot more about her dad’s risk.

“She was the one who pushed me to get it,” Ron said. Any score over 400 is considered extensive evidence of coronary artery disease, or CAD, and Ron’s score was 1800.

Ron also took his daughter’s advice to see Dr. James Wirkkula, a family physician at Adrian Family Care Clinic.

“He took one look at the test scores and the family history, and he said, ‘You’re going to see a cardiologist tomorrow.’” Ron had additional testing including a heart catheterization which showed over 90 percent blockage in several arteries. The following day, he had six bypasses placed in open heart surgery at St. Joseph’s Medical Center on June 30, 2021.

Ron’s diagnosis took him by surprise. “I didn’t feel that bad before,” he said. “I know now what I was feeling before was my limitations. I did what I wanted to do, I just wasn’t able to do it as long as you normally would.”

Tim Enos

Tim Enos of Adrian was 67 when his family doctor retired, and he decided to establish his care with Dr. Wirkkula. During their first visit, Dr. Wirkkula discovered Tim’s father had suffered a heart attack at the age of 55.

“So, you’ve been to a cardiologist, right?” Dr. Wirkkula asked. Tim admitted he had not. Except for family history, he did not have any other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette smoking, or being overweight. Dr. Wirkkula referred Tim to see a cardiologist, and in the meantime, Tim scheduled a calcium score test.

“Dr. Wirkkula was the one who got the ball rolling. Otherwise, I never would have known anything,” Tim said.

Tim had two coronary CT scans performed 18 months apart. His first calcium score put him in the high-risk category, but the follow-up score showed an alarming increase. His cardiologist, Dr. Gerald Mancuso, looked at the results of the second scan and asked him if he was having chest pains. Tim said he was not; he was feeling good and exercising every morning. His doctor felt a heart catheterization procedure was warranted, which showed his heart had a 70% calcium blockage in the left anterior descending artery; what some refer to as the widow maker. He was scheduled for bypass surgery soon after that on May 25, 2021.

Recovery with Cardiac Rehabilitation

Ron and Tim both completed cardiac rehabilitation at Bates County Memorial Hospital. Their three-month supervised exercise program overlapped, and afterward, they each decided to continue with the maintenance program offered by the department.

Tim said there are definite perks to the maintenance program for the recovering heart patient. “They take your blood pressure and heart rate before you start and when you’re done, and if it’s high they don’t let you leave right away. They watch after you, they clean the machines, and you know it’s not just a job to them, they really care about you.” Even though he didn’t have symptoms prior to his surgery, Tim feels he is in better shape now than he has ever been.

Ron says his daughter Andrea kept checking up on him after surgery, as some cardiac patients suffer from depression and anxiety after surgery or a cardiac event. “I feel lucky, is how I felt.,” he said. “I felt lucky that she kept after me to get something done, because I think the alternative would not have been good.”

A physician’s order is not required to have a calcium score, now available at Bates County Memorial Hospital. The greatest benefit is for people at moderate risk for heart disease. For some, a heart scan does not offer any additional benefit. Ask your doctor if calcium scoring is advisable for you. Learn more about a calcium score test at

Pictured with Ron Steuck (left) and Tim Enos (right) is Ron’s daughter Andrea Davis, RN in the Cardiac Rehabilitation clinic at Bates County Memorial Hospital.