What do you get when you bring over 600 students from 25 different schools together for a meeting about student government?
Lots of enthusiastic, spirited, uplifting, exciting noise.
As the attendees at the Trails West District meeting for the Missouri Association of Student Councils (MASC) arrived October 27th at the host school, Center High School, they were greeted with loud cheers from over 50 CHS student leaders. All checked in and went to the cafeteria for breakfast treats where schools already in the room spontaneously erupted in cheers.
Students moved to the general session, co-emceed by Center students Kyra Coley and Nicco Giangrosso, where motivational speakers like CHS graduate Jonathan Jackson and Brandon White inspired students to cheer (loudly) and to learn about making an impact, owning their life choices, and chasing relationships rather than “things”.
The “noise” is a wonderful sign of how engaged students were, but the real value of the conference comes in the learning.
As they moved from the General Sessions to “Flock Talks” (MASC name for student-led, small group discussions) the students learned from each other about ways to lead, ways to serve their school and community, and ways to strengthen their own organizations. Examples of Flock Talk topics included Special Olympics, Homecoming Parade, Spring Fling, and No Cost/Low Cost Service Projects.
A special moment during the General Session was the unveiling of a custom-built box to hold the Trails West ceremonial gavel. CHS woodshop teacher, Alec Chambers (SGA President when he was a student at Center) created the box, which was received with lots of (loud) applause and cheers.
At the end of the day, students elected their officers for the next year.
Center High School hosted this year’s meeting as the “President” School for the region (elected last year). Other officer schools have various roles in planning the meeting. Fort Osage was elected as next year’s President and Center will again have a leadership role as District Secretary.
Students come to the conference to become better leaders for their schools and communities. Jeanette Giangrosso, faculty advisor for the Center SGA, often cites this quote from Robin Sharma, “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration.”