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Leadership Rocks!

Featured Photo from Leadership Rocks!

Students in Rock Lake Middle School’s dynamic Leadership Program are showing their peers how to make a positive impact at school and beyond

Students in Rock Lake Middle School’s dynamic Leadership Program are showing their peers how to make a positive impact at school and beyond 

Student-led and award-winning, the Rock Lake Middle School Leadership Program represents a combination of three different entities on campus: the Beta Club, the student council, and the new leadership class, an entire course seventh- and eighth-grade students can elect to hone their leadership skills. The class currently includes 110 students, the bulk of whom volunteer their time to run the school-wide Leadership Program.

Sherri Hyde and Liz Singer, who serve as instructors in the leadership class, are beyond impressed at what they’ve seen happen with the program this year.

Though the school’s student council and Beta Club students have always focused on volunteerism and giving back to our community, the leadership class, which was created by Principal Pamela Shellman, now gives interested students more time to plan initiatives and develop skills to make an even bigger difference.

“We were so excited about the class allowing us the opportunity for more consistency and time to teach students these valuable leadership skills,” says Liz.

In class, Sherri and Liz provide their students with topics that parallel the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. After a new topic is introduced, students collaborate, prepare, and present it to all the kids in the larger Leadership Program, which meets on Wednesday mornings in the gym during homeroom and is open to any Rock Lake student. The group has grown to more than 300 students through word-of-mouth.

During this school year, kids in the Leadership Program have organized presentations on Veteran’s Day and Black History Month, and they have helped educate fellow students about important topics like bullying, values, and domestic violence.
“It’s kids leading kids,” says Liz. “When my students know they have more freedom to help plan and present a topic, they are more bought into the whole process and respond more actively.”

“Some of my students want to carry around forms that might help encourage others to speak up about a possible bullying situation,” says Sherri. “The more outgoing students are learning to be more inclusive, and some of my quiet students have gained a tremendous amount of confidence and self-esteem through different speaking activities.”

Liz and Sherri both agree that their class and the Leadership Program is a stepping stone to a future of positive leadership.
“In addition to using these leadership experiences to further their academic careers, I hope our students take what they learn and pass it along to the school to better their environment and make Rock Lake a healthy and nurturing place,” says Liz.

“Students often struggle with how they can utilize these skills in school and in their own community,” says Sherri, “and this type of program gives them the tools, ideas, and inspiration to get out and make a difference.”

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