When Edison senior Barbara Dussinger graduates in June, students and staff at the school at Front and Luzerne will have trouble filling the void.

The culinary arts student has been a center on the successful Owls basketball team for four years, has played defensive tackle and nose guard on the football team for two years, played volleyball, and found time to run in a cross-country meet. She also played third base for the softball team in the spring.

On the academic side, Dussinger finds time to mentor other students through the Peer Group Connection. And if that wasn't enough, she is also the student body president.

So what keeps her on the go?

“I don’t know,” she said. “I just don’t want to be bored. I’d rather have fun and do something than stay at home and do nothing.”

Dussinger, who has all A's along with one B on her report card, is pushing her fellow students to get to class and get good grades as president of student council.

“We’re showing them that you get good things out of coming to school on time, going to class, doing all of your work to get good grades,” Dussinger said.

“We like to do activities, so we reward them. If you’re doing good, you get to participate in activities. Even the kids that don’t like to go to class and have low grades, we say, ‘This could be you. Try to do better. Try to go to class.’”

Dussinger has gladly extended a helping hand in whatever activity she is involved. When a member of the Edison staff was trying to get student government off the ground, she was there to sign up students and then won a three-way election for president.

When Edison football coach Bill Hughes approached her about playing for the Owls, Dussinger jumped into the fire two years ago even though she had never played a down of football in her life.

When cross-country coach Sarah Rooney needed someone to run a meet at Belmont Plateau so that her team’s points would count, Dussinger jumped into the breach. It’s not easy for a 6-foot, 1-inch football lineman to run up Parachute Hill, but she did it.

And now, as a three-year captain on the basketball team, she found her leadership called on by Rooney to help show her younger teammates the way things are done.

“It’s like having an assistant coach out on the court,” Rooney said. “We’re successful because I have that kind of leadership out there. I have someone who can teach the younger girls to develop skills while I'm working on fundamentals with the others. She’s an extra mentor and coach every single practice.

“They listen to her. She’s been captain for three years. She’s been the leader on the team for three years. She’s always been my second voice and my voice of reason.”

Dussinger helped Edison finish the basketball season with a 14-5 record. The Owls reached the third round of the Public League playoffs but lost to playoff finalist Imhotep.

Dussinger is looking to continue her education at Community College of Philadelphia or possibly Kutztown University. And before the school shutdown because of the coronavirus, she was looking forward to softball season.

Whether she plays softball doesn’t matter to Rooney. Dussinger’s legacy is already set for him.

“I’m so lucky and blessed,” the coach said, “to have her as a part of my program.”