It’s been two years, but the Sun West Student Leadership Program is finally back with live events! It held its Sun West Leadership Seminar in Rosetown on October 5. After two years of online meetings and conferences, the students, in particular the veterans who had weathered pandemic, were happy to see each other in person as were their advisors Vanessa Lewis and Kristin Sampson.
Any interested Sun West student between Grades 8 and 12 can attend the Student Leadership Seminar and 47 students from 14 schools took the opportunity. At the Seminar, the students are introduced to the Sun West Student Leadership Program and participate in leadership skills and team building sessions. If they like what they see, they can then apply to become part of the Student Leadership Program for the 2022-23 school year. Members of the program will organize the annual Sun West Student Leadership Conference or be part of the Youth Consultation Group who brings students views and ideas to the Sun West Board of Education.
Highlights for the day included a presentation from four veteran members of the Student Leadership Program who explained to the students the role and responsibilities of being part of the program. These students were Macy Norrish from Loreburn Central School, Cheyenne Jans from Elrose Composite School, Jill Dobbin of Kindersley Composite School and Emma Torrens of Kindersley Composite School. They were joined by other members of previous years’ teams to demonstrate and lead motivational activities such as “Hot-to-Go” and the “Party is Over Here.”
The students also listened to Farrah Low, a Grade 11 student from Davidson, who talked about her experience creating the student leadership podcast “The Sunny Side.” It is hoped that this will be incorporated into, or become affiliated with, the Sun West Student Leadership Program in the future.
The students also reviewed the Provincial Education Plan in order to provide their feedback that will be provided to the Provincial Education Plan Implementation Team that includes all Saskatchewan school divisions as well as numerous other education stakeholders.
After getting all of this background information, the students then had the chance to show their leadership potential. They were divided up into groups with most students not knowing anyone else in their group. Group members worked together to design and deliver a plan for an exciting youth conference. This included finding speakers, ideas for motivational activities, themes, songs and everything else that makes a great conference. Then each group presented their plan to everyone including leading them in motivational activities and team introductions.
The students blew their advisors away with their creativity and amazing ideas! Their ability to work together with people they had just met and develop powerful ideas that they explained to their peers in fun and engaging ways was truly a sight to behold.
It was a very successful day and it is clear that these students have the potential to make a positive difference for themselves, their schools, their communities and whole school division. We look forward to seeing most of them again very soon as they make 2022-23 an incredible year!