Getting ready to lead the way
Though classes started Aug. 17, one group of Marysville High School students spent the weekend of Aug. 7 and 8 on campus. The leadership class, consisting of class and ASB officers, attended a summer retreat to help better prepare them to be successful in planning events and doing their jobs throughout the school year.
At the retreat, students rotated to several different workshops. Each workshop focused on a skill crucial for leadership students, including time management, advertising and running the computers in the student store.
The students also participated in team-building exercises to stress the importance of communication, perseverance and follow-through. The retreat provided a great opportunity for new leadership students to become acquainted with the group and served as a reminder of what is expected for returning students.
Freshman class president Millie Givens and publicity director Mikayla Shields both said that joining leadership made their transition to high school much easier.
"I'm looking forward to getting involved," Mikayla said.
Millie claimed, "It will be a challenge to stay organized while getting used to all of these new things, but leadership (class) has helped me feel more comfortable at school."
MHS is currently under construction; a parking lot was recently thrown together, and a new math and science building is soon to come. With construction in mind, the leadership class coined this year's theme: "Building a better future."
Leadership adviser, activities director and anatomy teacher Michelle Hendrix — always a fan of metaphor — used a house to describe the school. "The people are the foundation," she said, "and our school activities — dances, rallies, sports, clubs — are the roof. For the roof to stay intact, we need support beams.
"The community, the administration, the parents and the teachers are our support. If we don't want our house to fall apart, we need to build a roof that is worth supporting," Mrs. Hendrix said.
Reinforcing the roof will not be an easy task. The leadership class has shrunk this year from its typical count of 50 students to 35. Mrs. Hendrix acknowledged the potential difficulties of relying on such a small group, but remained optimistic: "Having fewer kids will obviously mean more work for those who are here. But this is a dedicated group of students, and the class has changed for the better in the last few years. It isn't just students meeting in the morning to discuss putting on dances. There's a curriculum now. We take kids to leadership conferences like CASL, so they can hear what other schools are doing and improve our system."
Junior class rally commissioner Dannielle Perrin agreed. "The class is much more organized than it was when I was a freshman," she said.
Despite the challenges, MHS's leadership students plan to succeed. Hayden Baker, both senior class and ASB sergeant-at-arms, summed up our feelings: "I look forward to helping the students have a great year."
Karah Kemmerly is a senior at Marysville High School. Her column appears about every sixth week in Education.