Thursday, June 5, 2014

Student Summit Inspires Next Generation of Leaders

Recently, students in Spring Branch ISD were invited to participate in a leadership summit hosted by Spring Branch ISD and Texas A&M University. This event, held on a Saturday in May, was the first of its kind in the district. Featuring a range of speakers and educational leaders, the summit's activities were geared to encourage students to think about their college and career planning, develop strategies to achieve their goals, and explore what it means to be a leader.

Click here to view an ANIMOTO from this event.

Student participants were asked to report back about their experience and how the day's activities shaped their thinking or perspective.  Their thoughts are captured below, as well as comments from a district educator leader Samuel Karns, SBISD Intramural Coordinator. 

Sergio  Razo - Student, Spring Woods High School

"I attended the student leadership summit that was given by SBISD and its partners Texas A&M University. This summit was, in my opinion, very helpful to the students overall. I heard from educators from TAMU who suggested creating a network of people you can have in your binder that you know one day can help. This is very important in my opinion, because I believe, like they said, that networking can lead you very far. Having established people tell you to network with people is a huge deal because, if it's repeated more than once, it must be important.

One of the phrases that Dr. Thorton said that stood out to me that day, and that will stand out for the rest of my life ,is the phrase of “practice makes temporary.” What this meant, in his definition, is that whenever you are practicing you can be doing “practice” the wrong way and you may never know. 
You may think you are getting perfection when you're not. People can be practicing the wrong way because they think they're doing perfect, when in reality it's all wrong. So, what I got out of Dr. Thornton speech was that everything you do has to be your best because, if you're not doing “perfect practice makes perfect” then you are doing “ practice makes temporary.”

We also heard from Ms. Paige Hershey, SBISD Athletics Director. Her speech was very helpful. What she said that impacted me the most was that you need to look for opportunities yourself. You need to sell yourself in way to become that leader that you have always wanted to be. Asking for help and looking for opportunities, according to Mrs. Hershey, is the way to become a much better leader, and I believe this.

I had already had the pleasure of hearing Mrs. Hershey talk to students before, so I knew in advance her focus. So, what I did with that knowledge was ask her myself if there were any internship opportunities in her office during this summer, thankfully, she said yes. That is what she was talking about!  Looking for never know what will the end result happened to me!

Her speech was a great help for me and I am sure for the rest of the students as well. We also heard from Mr. Whitney, and his speech was amazing. I learned a lot from his speech. The quote he said that impacted me the most was, “If I don’t do it, then who will?” When he said this he started talking about the number of student that get some type of higher education than high school and those numbers were not good at all.

When he was showing those numbers I was impacted because I do not want to be part of those statistics. I looked at the graphs and I said to myself, “ no matter what, I will not be part of that.”
That's what Mr. Whitney's speech helped me in. It helped me see the actual truth in education and made me have even a stronger opinion of why people should do something with their lives after high school.

Overall this summit was extremely good. I was really happy when I got home and told my parents my exciting news and experiences. This summit helped me establish even more what people have always told me , I can become a great leader one day.

With the advices I got from all the speakers that were there that Saturday, and the tips to becoming a leader , I know for sure I will get far in life. I will definitely recommend many of my friends to attend this summit in the future...and who knows...maybe I will be one of those guest speakers, I don't know. All I know is that I have to look for those opportunities."

April Hernandez - Student, Spring Woods High School

"I was one of the very lucky students that were invited to this first annual seminar. Coach Karns was really the one who told me all about it. He told me because he knows of my career goals of becoming a soccer coach and an athletic trainer.

During our day we learned many different things but it all had to do with one thing and that was leadership. I learned leadership was really involved in athletics. For example, Ms. Paige Hershey was a former coach and she hadn’t seen herself where she is now. That day was really interesting and some of the speakers we had had some interesting facts that surprised me.

When Elliot Witney, SBISD Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Innovations, spoke he showed us the percentage of each school and how many graduates actually step into a college/university/technical school after their senior year. Seeing that Spring Woods only had 25% of their seniors step into another school amazed me. It makes me want to make our school better and have more graduates go into another school and get ready for their dream careers.

Being a leader in high school is very important right now because there are so many people not going into a different school after their senior year. To better our community we need to have leaders to be able to help our other classmates strive to achieve greatness.

SBISD has the ability to have more people go into college. Next year, for sure I am going to try to make those percentages that Mr. Witney showed us better. With the help of other leaders growing in our community we should be able to get 100% of our senior graduates go into a college or a university. The summit was one of the best things that we could have had here in spring branch. I can’t wait until next year's seminar."

Samuel Karns - Educator, Spring Branch ISD

"It was a day to remember for the rest of our lives!  There were so many seeds planted and watered throughout the day which will stay with our kids for a lifetime. The knowledge and exposure that occurred was priceless. I have heard from some of our kids already about their experience, and their appreciation of the support they are receiving through this transitional phase in their life.

As an educators I am glad to know that our kids will be in good hands once they graduate, and that they will get through T-2-4. We are excited to embark on this new journey as we move forward to change live and build the next generation of leaders!  

Experiences like these are giving our students the perspective they need to sharpen their skills and to succeed."

The student leadership summit was a reminder for all involved that student success is a journey and not a destination. Developing the skills and knowledge necessary to find life success is an ongoing process that has no ending. Our job as educators does not end when our students graduate from high school.

Special thanks to April, Sergio and Coach Karns for sharing their voice and thoughts on this exciting experience!

Connect with Coach Karns & Watch Our Students Succeed:


Post a Comment

Do you have feedback? Tell us.