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Students building leadership capacity in Livingstone Range schools

Nick Housenga

Students are taking an increasing leadership role in Livingstone Range School Division.
Trustees recently received a report on the activities of the Regional Council of Student Leaders.
“This year we have an amazing group of 35 students,” said Eliza Grose, a teacher at Livingstone school in Lundbreck who works with the regional council.
Grose and F.P. Walshe school student Nick Housenga appeared as a delegation at the school board meeting at the G.R. Davis Administration Building in Fort Macleod.
They talked about recent conferences attended by student leaders, as well as the election of officers for the regional council.
“We’re hoping to develop the capacity in our schools to encourage our student leaders,” Grose told trustees. “We believe the students need a voice.”
Thirty-five students attended a 24-hour retreat at Gladstone where they focused on professional development and setting goals for schools to build leadership capacity.
In November 60 students from Livingstone Range went to a regional student leadership conference at the University of Lethbridge.
Some of the students taught classes related to the book Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven.
“That was a really exciting opportunity,” Housenga said of teaching other students in a university lecture hall.
Housenga in his class dealt with the fact life is not fair, and working through that.
Later, the leadership conference participants organized student-led assemblies where they played games they learned at the university event.
“It was the first time students had taken an active role leading the assembly,” Housenga said.
Grose talked about projects undertaken by students, including the 12 Days of Christmas event at Crowsnest that raised $5,000 for Christmas stockings for vulnerable youths.
The leadership group at J.T. Foster school in Nanton organized sleigh rides and the Willow Creek Composite leaders organized reindeer games in Claresholm.
“Our students are doing such a remarkable job of promoting giving, and promoting school spirit,” Grose said.
The student leaders have more activities planned for January and February.
A meeting is planned for March with the Community Health Champions to develop an action item.
“We believe that action is what moves things forward,” Grose said.
Housenga told trustees one of the goals of the Regional Council of Student Leaders is to attend the Alberta Student Leadership Conference this year at Drumheller and Strathmore.
“Last year students from LRSD went and it was a really awesome experience,” Housenga said.
Grose, who thanked trustees for recognizing student leadership is a priority, said the council plans a division-wide student leadership day.
“This is one of my favourite committees,” school board chair Lori Hodges said. “I just can’t speak enough of how important I feel it is that students have a voice and that we’re teaching them to be leaders in their own school division and in life.”
Trustee Clara Yagos added: “I’m really impressed with the enthusiasm of this group.”

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