PASC News Inside This Issue News & Notes...................... 2 • Membership Coordinator and Treasurer Positions Available on PASC Executive Board • North Penn Earns 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award • PASC Wants to Know... PASC Alumnus Wins Big on “The Price Is Right” Show....................................... 2 Deadline Extended for Technology Task Force................. 3 Imagine the Ways to Appreciate............................. 4 Mark Your Calendar for a 2012 Summer Camp Experience with PASC ................... 5 View Summer Workshop Videos Online....................... 5 Present a Student-Led Workshop at the State Conference This Fall ................................. 6 Scott Backovich to Be Friday Morning Speaker at Boyertown........................................ 6 Terri Johnson to Be Featured Presenter for 2013 PAL Conferences in September........ 7 Positive Attitudes, Strong Climate: School Teams Ready to Organize, Network, and Grow....................................... 7 Chicago LEAD Conference Report.................................... 8
Volume 37 Issue 8 April 2013
PASC Selects New Student Rep for PA Board of Education On Saturday, April 6, 2013, the PASC Selection Committee consisting of SBE Member Dr. Frances Michelini, student SBE reps Erin Agnew and Emily Clark, and PASC Board members Danielle Croner, Kathy Coll, Nancy Brady, and Kyle Kauffman, interviewed the six finalists for the Junior Member on the State Board of Education. These students demonstrated a great desire to serve the public school students of Pennsylvania and pre-
sented excellent resumes, letters of recommendations, and essays. Finalists for the position of junior student member of the Pennsylvania Board of Education will serve as an advisory board to Each student the student members in 2013–14. who was interions of Pennsylvania students. viewed expressed the need for SBE Student The interview process inMembers to find active ways cluded presentations by each to communicate with student finalist regarding what steps council leaders and with other should be taken to effectively Pennsylvania students about implement the new Keythe actions of the State Board stone Exams. Finalists also of Education. They also sugparticipated in a roundtable gested ways to gather the opin- discussion lead by present SBE continued on page 3
NASC Region 2 Conference Hosted by PASC It’s that time of year again… time for the annual Region 2 Conference! On April 26–28, PASC student leaders and advisors will be traveling to Boyertown Area Senior HS (BASH) where PASC will host a three-day conference with leaders from Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland. These states together with Pennsylvania make up NASC Region 2, a collaborative organization dedicated to bringing together student leaders to exchange ideas and to build leadership skills. Your PASC Regional Representatives and student leaders from
around the Commonwealth will be tasked with making new friends and gaining innovative ideas to bring back to schools in Pennsylvania. The conference features numerous opportunities for delegates to network, share leadership experiences, and exchange project ideas. Each state’s leaders will present a workshop on a topic that reflects their state organization’s strengths and facilitate two roundtables to discuss various issues in student leadership. Delegates will participate in team-building activities to get to know their
fellow leaders and practice the art of communication. Energizers throughout the day allow students to show their enthusiasm for leadership and display their best motivational tactics. All of these activities provide delegates with new ideas and tools to take back to their schools, regions, and PASC as a whole. Saturday evening will provide time for dinner and a night of fun for all delegates at First Energy Stadium in Reading where the Reading Phillies AA Baseball team will take on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA team of the Toronto Blue Jays) continued on page 4
News & Notes Membership Coordinator and Treasurer Positions Available on PASC Executive Board There are two ex officio positions on the PASC Executive Board that are vital to the success of the organization. Each position has a three year term. In 2013, the terms of Membership Coordinator and Treasurer expire and the positions will be open. The Job Descriptions for these positions can be found at www.pasc.net or a copy can be obtained by contacting email@example.com. In each case, an application and resume will be due from a candidate by Friday, June 14. Interviews will be conducted on Friday, August 2, as a part of the PASC Executive Board meeting at Halifax HS.
North Penn Earns 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award As a follow-up to the February PASC News article entitled, “North Penn High School’s Hidden “Joule”: The Energy Troopers”, PASC News has recently received the following information from North Penn HS. On March 28, the North Penn School District was recognized, along with three other school districts in the nation and several major corporations including PepsiCo, JC Penney, and Toyota, with the Energy Star Partner of the Year Award. Accepting the award for North Penn was NPHS senior Matt Najako, president of the NPHS Energy Troopers. Matt was the focus of the February PASC News article on how high school students are helping to improve energy efficiency at their school, saving more than $150,000 in the process. We salute the initiative of these North Penn High School student leaders and urge student council leaders to find ways to improve energy savings at their own schools.
PASC Alumnus Wins Big on “The Price Is Right” Show Dylan Van Arsdale’s face reacting to his win on the March 29 airing of “The Price Is Right” is, well priceless. Dylan, a 2010 graduate of Pennridge High School and the co-chair of the 2009 PASC State Conference, guessed $23,000 on a showcase priced at $23,620. In the process, Dylan won a car (2013 Scion TC), a laptop, a printer, a camcorder, and a camera, plus a check for $2,500. Dylan, a junior at Ithaca College, was spurred to try out for the show because he and a couple of friends were studying in Los Angles for a semester and saw TV producers were looking for college students. During the short audition, Dylan made a good impression but did not know that he would be called from the audience until the moment it happened. “It is just a whirlwind,” Dylan said of his experience. One of his biggest highlights of the show was seeing Drew Carey, who Dylan says is as funny offscreen as he is on-camera. “Being able to see him was almost as exciting as winning,” Dylan, an improvisational actor himself, said. Dylan’s college major is TV and radio business administration. His goal is to work with TV production in Philadelphia or New York. With more luck, he will be just as successful behind the scenes on TV as he was actually on TV. As a senior at Pennridge High School, Dylan and his friend, Zach Costa, created and produced a video promoting PASC Summer Workshops in the summer of 2010. Check it out at http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A-kX8vGGoU and see his early accomplishments as a PASC leader.
PASC Wants to Know... An upcoming issue of PASC News will feature ideas for things to do before this year is over, or things to do over the summer, that will get your council off to a good start next fall. Please take a minute to answer one or more of the following questions and send your answers to PASCInfo@aol.com along with your name and school name. You could see yourself featured in an upcoming issue! The questions are: • What will your council do at the end of this year to make sure you get off to a good start next year? • What does your council do to facilitate the transition between this year’s officers and next year’s officers? • What will your council do over the summer to get ready for next year? 2
PASC News • April 2013 • www.pasc.net
Plan Now to Make Hotel Reservations for Boyertown State Conference Go to www.PASC2013.org for detailed information on the 2013 State Conference. Check the website and the February issue of PASC News for hotel information.
Deadline Extended for Technology Task Force Applications PASC is seeking four educators and four students who have expertise with communications technology to form a task force to explore a variety of technology options. The goals of the task force are: • To expand the use of technology for communication with advisors and student leaders. • To create technology resources to share with advisors and student leaders that will help councils: • Be better organized • Communicate better with their members and with the student body • Increase the use of media for in school and community access • To create presentations for conferences and summer workshops on technology related topics • To create resources to placed on the PASC website or linked to the website • To consider webinars for use with students and advisors who find it difficult to leave their schools.
the expressed goal of the PASC Executive Board to reach out to involve non-board members in this volunteer opportunity.
Task Force Membership
How to Volunteer
The task force will be made up of four advisors or teachers who may or may not be student council advisors but who have expertise and interest in the use of communications technology. In addition, PASC the task force will include four underclassmen students who have expertise with communications and technology who would provide a student voice to the task force’s efforts. It is
Please send an email expressing interest in serving on the Task Force to PASCInfo@aol.com by May 1, 2013. In that email, provide your name, school, and contact information. Write 250 words or less sharing your interest in serving and providing specifics regarding your experience and/or expertise that you would bring to this PASC Task Force.
Expectations The Task Force will be chaired by Kyle Kauffman, advisor South Western HS in York County. Kyle teaches a unit on the use of technology at the PASC Advanced Gold Workshop and wrote a series of articles for PASC News in 2010. These articles are found on the PASC website under Resources. Under Kyle’s leadership, the Task Force will be formed by mid-April. The members will communicate electronically. The members will be asked to meet one time at Halifax HS (20 miles north of Harrisburg) on Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3. (PASC will pay for travel and lodging for this meeting.) Additional work of the Task Force will again be done electronically after that meeting. It is the goal for the Task Force to report to the PASC Board on August 3 and to complete their recommendations prior to the PASC Board meeting in January 2014.
Student Rep for PA Board of Education Selected (Cont’d from pg 1) student representatives on the potential use of advertising on school buses as a new funding source for school. The selection committee observed this activity after which each finalist had a personal interview with the committee. Justin Reynolds, a sophomore at Pennridge HS (Bucks County-District 12), was named as the Junior Student Member on the State Board of Education for the 2013–2014 school year. Justin will join junior Emily Clark (Seneca Valley HS) on the State Board of Education. Emily is completing the first year of her two-year term. Erin Agnew (Springfield Township HS), Senior Member of the SBE, will conclude her term at
the SBE meeting in Harrisburg on May 8–9, 2013. Justin will join Erin and Emily at this meeting, representing the 1.8 million public school students of the Commonwealth.
leaders will also be contacted and asked to remain active in PASC programs and to share their opinions on educational issues facing students in the Commonwealth.
We thank and congratulate the following finalists who will serve as an advisory board to the student members of the State Board of Education: Nicholas Kalams (Pennridge HS), Lauren Mellott (Chambersburg HS), Kevin Myers (Governor Mifflin HS), Omobolanie Odusoga (Penn Wood HS), and Danielle Somerville (North Penn HS). Twenty-one additional sophomores across Pennsylvania applied for the Student SBE position. These student
The June issue of PASC News will feature a final report from Erin. In September 2013, Emily and Justin will begin writing a series of articles for PASC News . Student SBE Members also report to the PASC Executive Board, and will develop surveys and other communication links as they participate in this unique opportunity of civic engagement. For additional information on Erin, Emily, and Justin, the selection process, and the role that the State Board of Educa-
Justin Reynolds, a sophomore at Pennridge HS, was named as the Junior Student Member on the State Board of Education for the 2013–2014 school year.
tion plays in the long-term improvement of education in Pennsylvania, go to www.pasc. net/board_of_educ/board_of_ ed.html.
PASC News • April 2013 • www.pasc.net
Imagine the Ways to Appreciate Spring is a great time to renew your council’s efforts to appreciate faculty and staff members. The following ideas were shared by Kristin Grimm (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada at a round table for advisors at the 2013 CADA (California Association of Directors of Activities) Conference. n Bus Driver “sticky” buns—“Thanks for haul-
ing our buns around!” Recognize bus drivers with sticky buns and a note.
n Room Service—Bring a “room” service cart
to each classroom; offer teachers water, coffee, juice, pastries, fruit, etc. n Vacation Count Down—Create a small desk
calendar and count down until the last day of school starting at 29 days. Add a quote to inspire for each day! n Water Bottle with Crystal Light—Attach
a Crystal Light packet to a bottle of water. “Learning from you is refreshing!”
custodians! Provide them with lunch and have your group clean up the cafeteria n M & Ms—You’re a Magical & Marvelous
teacher, thank you for all you do. Or: Much & Many thanks for all you do! n Gum or mints—Thank you for your com-
mit- “mint”, encourage- “mint” and involve“mint” in our future! Or: You always go the extra mile. We appreciate all you do! n Lounge decorating—Decorate the teacher’s
lounge according to a destination theme for May. Hawaii Here We Come! on kids’ lives that can’t easily be erased.
Show your appreciation for your school’s Magical & Marvelous teachers with one of these gestures.
PASC to Host NASC Region 2 Conference (cont’d from pg 1) followed by a fireworks display. While there is an educational component to the conference, it is clear that bringing together dozens of passionate student leaders results in a lot of fun and lifelong friendships. Conference delegates will hear reports from Christian Hodges, NASC Advisory Council member from Maryland who represents Region 2 nationally, and Lou Miller, executive director of the New Jersey Association of Student Councils, who serves as the NASC Region 2 adult liaison. Christian was 4
also recently named to the Maryland State Board of Education to represent all students in his state on educational issues. Another crucial business topic is our region’s vision for the future. As schools of Region 2 explore the possibility of a Northeastern Association of Student Councils, we are looking to formalize the region’s affairs to prepare for the organization’s growth in the future. Student leaders and advisors from each state will participate in a session designed to
PASC News • April 2013 • www.pasc.net
is published monthly during the school year. To submit announcements, articles, or corrections for newsletters, please email the Executive Director or Assistant Executive Director. Articles or information from PASC NEWS may be reproduced for use, with appropriate credit. Executive Director Jim Finnemeyer North Penn HS 1340 Valley Forge Road Lansdale, PA 19446 215-280-9299 215-855-0632 (Fax) Finnemeyer@aol.com PASCInfo@aol.com
n Custodian’s Lunch Break—Switch with the
n Dry Erase Markers—Teachers leave a mark
contemplate the future of our region and to identify potential areas of growth. It is clear that PASC student leaders and advisors will be very busy during their time at BASH. They will gain new ideas, share PASC points of pride, and develop friendships with the leaders of Region 2. More importantly, they will play a pivotal role in deciding the future of our region for the next generation of student leaders.
Assistant Executive Director Kathy Ann Coll 174 Link Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412-366-5744 Kcoll1@comcast.net PASC President Danielle Croner Boyertown High School 120 N. Monroe Street Boyertown, PA 19512 PASC President-Elect Courtney Detwiler Altoona Area High School 1415 6th Street Altoona, PA 16602 PASC News Editor Lyn Fiscus Leadership Logistics PASC Email: PASCInfo@aol.com PASC Website: www.pasc.net
Underclassmen: Mark Your Calendar for a 2013 Summer Camp Experience with PASC The 2013 Summer Leadership Workshop brochures and applications were mailed by March 9 to all student council advisors. Please email PASCInfo@aol.com if you did not receive that mailing. The application, frequently asked question sheet, sample daily schedule, and curriculum benchmarks can also be found on the PASC website. The Blue and Gold brochures are also posted at www.pasc.net. Also found at the PASC website are: • Summer Leadership Workshop Application • Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Leadership Workshop • Sample One-Day Schedules for Blue, Gold, Advanced Gold Workshops • Curriculum Benchmarks for Blue, Gold, Advanced Gold Workshops Blue workshops are for middle level students in grades 7–9 while Gold workshops are for high school students in grades 9–12 (2013–2014 school year). Costs listed below include registration, room, and meals. Please note the following dates and locations and begin planning now for students to attend a PASC Summer Leadership Workshop in July. Costs & Deadlines: Blue (Grades 7–9) Grove City College July 14–18 Alvernia University July 28–Aug 1 Gold (Grades 9–12) Grove City College July 7–12 Susquehanna University July 28–Aug 2 Advanced Gold (Grades 11–12) University of Pittsburgh/Johnstown July 14–20
Early Bird (May 10th)
Regular ( June 7th)
Workshop Scholarships Available Many of the PASC District Associations have scholarships available to attend a Blue or Gold PASC Summer Leadership Workshop. Now is the time to contact YOUR District Director to see what is available in your area or go to www.pasc.net and check out scholarship information on your District Association’s page. Don’t delay, deadlines are fast approaching in many districts.
View Summer Workshop Videos Online Visit the PASC Summer Workshops video, which you can see on You Tube by going to http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A-kX8vGGoU. Please share this video at an upcoming Student Council meeting, or provide it to your student leaders and parents to give them a sense of what our leadership workshops programs offer. In 2012 other videos were created. They include one showcasing the Blue Workshops found on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9xsu-dsUN8. In addition Susquehanna Gold delegate Kara Piscarek of Souderton HS created two videos for her Senior Graduation Project that showcase her experience and that of other PASC delegates at the Gold Workshops. They are found on You Tube through the following links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzyzwjoFCJU and http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0Dj8cN18F8k These videos can also be found on the PASC website at www.pasc.net by clicking on summer workshops. PASC News • April 2013 • www.pasc.net
Present a Student-Led Workshop at the State Conference This Fall By: Courtney Black and Julie Gehret, Workshops Committee Chairs Feel the Rhythm of Leadership! Boyertown is buzzing with excitement about the 2013 State Conference! In preparation for the conference, the workshops committee has been working to improve the efficiency and organization of the sign-up process. In the past, workshops were graded by hand. In order to decrease the time it takes to grade each workshop, the committee created an online process. Student delegates can find the link to the workshop application upload under the workshop tab at http:// pasc2013.org/. This new process is not only less of a hassle for you, but it is much more environmentally friendly as well! By going online, packets no longer need to be mailed. Instead, they can be uploaded directly to the 2013 State Conference website. When applying, make sure that you have your personal information (school, cell phone number, and email address), your partner’s information, and your advisor’s email handy. From there, applicants will upload a sample of the packet (the information to be distributed to the delegates at the conference), the justification/reasons for doing the workshop, and a list of the items needed to perform the workshop. For more detailed information on the guidelines and requirements for the workshops and justifications, make sure to check out the rubric on the conference website: www.pasc2013.org. Both the samples of the packet and the justification must be uploaded to the website. Make sure to upload each item as two different documents! Workshop committee personnel will then download this information and score it. The opening date for uploading workshops applications is Wednesday, May 1. Anyone interested in submitting a workshop must do so online between then and no later than Friday, August 9. Once your workshop is submitted, your advisor will receive an advisor sign-off email. Advisors are still required to sign off on workshops, however instead of sending the sign-off sheet in by mail advisors now sign off via email. Make sure that your advisor is aware of your application so he or she can respond promptly. Workshops without advisor sign-offs WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. By August 19, all applications will be scored and the workshops will be chosen. Delegates and their advisors will be notified with a confirmation email on the 19. Boyertown is thrilled to host the 2013 PASC State Conference! We cannot wait to see you there! 6
PASC News • April 2013 • www.pasc.net
Scott Backovich to Be Friday Morning Speaker at Boyertown Scott Backovich turns the typical boring seminar into an unbelievable party in your seats! Scott’s amazing talents will allow him to personally reach out to every one of our delegates at the 77th PASC State Conference at Boyertown on Friday, November 15.. Scott helps students realize their calling in this world in an entertaining, fun, and inspiring manner. From the thrilling moments of his speech to his deep, meaningful message, Scott Backovich will teach students what it means to be a “student leader.” In addition to his keynote speech, Scott will also present a workshop for advisors on Friday afternoon. For additional information on Scott Backovich, please visit http://scottbackovich.com/ and explore his homepage. Also, check out his AWESOME YouTube videos about being a student leader! You can find them at http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=X5F6gmnT2&feature=related Scott Backovich: Engage–Capitivate–Inspire Scott has produced the following workshop, which can be used at a Student Council meeting, with a leadership class, at an InterClub Council meeting, at a spring workshop for new officers and representatives of Student Council or class governments. Help One, Help All Purpose: To address specific issues on campus while shedding light on larger problems Focus: Specific campus groups Results in: Students feel more welcome/issues addressed openly Materials: One piece of paper and pen/pencil per student Process: • Give each student a small piece of paper and pen/pencil • Ask students to privately begin reflecting on various campus issues they see. Their focus should not simply be on finding out “what’s wrong,” but, more importantly, “who needs help” • Ask your students to write a single sentence on the paper. The sentence structure should be “______ needs help __________.” • After everyone has finished, instruct students to place all folded paper into a basket. • After going through each paper yourself, select three of them that you feel can be solved using your students and activities. • Split your class or council into groups of three, Hand each group a paper, telling them that they have one week to help address the issue in a positive or caring way. Questions: • Why don’t we feel comfortable saying some of these things out loud? • How can we be more active about helping students on campus? • What group(s) in particular was singled out more than once? What are we doing to help them? • How can we enable other students on campus to help reach invisible students? • How can we continue this trend past this activity?
Terri Johnson to Be Featured Presenter for 2013 PAL Conferences in September Missouri Association of Student Councils Executive Director, Terri Johnson, will bring a wealth of experiences and ideas to the 2013 Principal-AdvisorLeaders (PAL) Conferences in September. Terri has been a guidance counselor and high school student council advisor for twenty-four years working with students at Lafayette HS, recognized as a National Gold Council of Excellence. As the Executive Director of MASC, she has directed summer leadership workshops and one-day leadership programs that are recognized as some of the very best programs in the nation. In 2010, the Missouri Association was awarded the Ardith Kyker Award by NASC for having the outstanding state charity/ service project, championing
work with Special Olympics by both their member schools and as an association.
Apps, (Practical ideas, lessons, and forms for advisors and leadership teachers).
member schools along with an invoice for PASC dues by April 15.
Terri is a speaker in high demand, presenting to principal organizations, activity advisors at state conferences, state advisor programs, and at national conferences for advisors. Terri’s husband has been a principal and is presently a superintendent of schools and she thus understands the demands placed on administrators as well as the great opportunities and challenges afforded to activity advisors and student leaders.
Terri’s expertise and the resources of the Missouri Association of Student Councils will allow PASC to add to our traditional PAL program format a resource center filled with unique materials that student leaders, advisors, and administrators can purchase during the conference or order when the program concludes.
Dates and Locations • Tuesday, September 24— Crowne Plaza Hotel in Reading • Wednesday, September 25—Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove • Thursday, September 26— Pluma Conference Center in Irwin
Terri has co-authored, with Ann Bolzenius, two monographs entitled Igniting Your Leadership, (50 Lessons for STUCO Advisors and Leadership Teachers) and Leadership
For a complete bio on Terri Johnson and her outstanding resume of experiences and accomplishments in the field of student activities go to www. pasc.net and click on conferences/PAL 2013. The registration form for the 2013 PAL Conferences will be mailed to all advisors of PASC
Cost: Includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch, and conference materials. Register early and save $5 per person. • Early Bird postmark deadline (with or without names) is August 9—$45 per person • Regular deadline is September 15—$50 per person Registration materials also will be posted on www.pasc.net.
Positive Attitudes, Strong Climate:
School Teams Ready to Organize, Network, and Grow Description: Attendees will be introduced to the FINISH STRONG program and its components. FS will assist your school team in creating a positive school climate, motivate students to get more involved in activities, increase attendance rates, and ultimately raise test scores. FS also provides inspiration for staff members and appreciation for a job well done! FS incorporates a theme at each grade level, and provides ideas for projects, handouts, and examples of “how to” do this at your own school. Pictures, video, and handouts will be used in all sessions. You will see Points of Pride flyers, student-produced commercials, apparel, and other examples of how FS schools have created their action plan.
include: books filled with icebreakers, training manuals, leadership guides, inspiration items, and resources for students and staff members. A special section will include Resource Kits—each kit contains everything you need to lead a hands-on activity, complete with the directions, processing questions, and props. All items are individually priced. Participants can pay with cash, credit card, or check on the day of the event, and take the materials with them. Orders mailed later are subject to shipping charges.
It’s all about building school pride, giving staff and students a reason to be in school, and motivating your building toward excellence. During the sessions, school teams will organize their team goals and develop a plan to take home to put into action! Resources: If you are looking for resources to teach leadership, provide training to mentors, leadership students, and staff members, or to have at your fingertips for classroom use, you’ve come to the right place. The PAL Leadership Resource Extravaganza will PASC News • April 2013 • www.pasc.net
Chicago LEAD Conference Report By Noah Pollio, Middle Level Rep This past February, I was given the honor to travel with a few other members of my council to Chicago to attend LEAD, a national leadership conference held for NASC and National Honor Society members. It was truly an amazing experience. I was able to see famous Chicago landmarks, listen to first class speakers, and network with leaders from all corners of America—and even from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Honduras. The event was wonderful, and I left it energized and full of new ideas to better my council. Please, allow me to give you a few more details about my fantastic trip, and think about whether this conference is one you would like to attend. LEAD truly was an adventure for me. It began with an early rise at 4:30 a.m. to catch a flight to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport at 6:30 a.m. I hadn’t been on a plane since infancy, so it was very exciting. As the plane took off, I and another first-timer gazed at the sky with awe, while our world-traveling advisor was snoring in the seat behind us. It was a short flight, and before I knew it, we had landed in the Windy City, and I saw the Sears Tower looming over me. We took a tour of the Skydeck, which is an observation tower near the top of the building. There were little enclosed balconies there, entirely made of glass, where you could see a beautiful and somewhat terrifying view of the city in its full glory. It was breathtaking. We then went to Navy Pier for a lovely ferris wheel ride, and lunch with my brother Jack, who goes to college in Chicago. Afterwards, our tour of the city was over, but the journey had only just begun. Our arrival at the Westin Hotel was where the true magic began to happen, and it was where I had one of the most fun and intriguing leadership experiences of my life. The opening general session was fantastic, with amazing video displays, wonderful welcomes by the conference co-chairs and NASC officers, and a wonderful keynote presentation by Ed Gerety. I then went to a fun workshop that introduced me to many of the other middle level students in attendance. After that was finished, we headed back to our room for a much-needed night of sleep. 8
PASC News • April 2013 • www.pasc.net
Bright and early the next morning, we woke up and were greeted by a fantastic catered breakfast and another fabulous general session. In fact, I think this one was my favorite because we were shown a movie, Teen Truth, which revolved around bullying and the Columbine tragedy. Its ending, which calls us to make a stand against bullying, really resonated with me, and I still think about it to this day. We then went to excellent workshops on everything from priorities to photography. Some were student led, whilst others were professionally developed, giving us a broad spectrum of viewpoints to look at. Once we had completed a hard day of leadership training, we were given a three-hour break for dinner and recreation. I went swimming with the rest of the delegates from Union and Laurel, and we had real Chicago deep dish pizza. We then went back to the general sessions ballroom, where a squad from the Bulls led an energizing game with funny basketball contraptions and a lot of noise. We ended the evening with a film about determination and self control that I found very motivational. Finally, we retired once more to our hotel rooms for one last night in a beautiful hotel, at a spectacular conference, in a majestic city. Needless to say I was exhausted, and morning came much too soon. We ended the conference with a bang, as the final speaker, Mr. Mojo, reminded us to take everything we learned back to our schools and communities. So, in conclusion, LEAD was an experience that has truly changed my life. The environment of love and support that filled the air invigorated me, and gave me a newfound spring in my step, one which can never truly go away. And the people—they were some of the most amazing ones I had ever met in my life! I can understand if you may not find this conference that interesting, but I implore you to seek it out. For what I have described is only the tip of the iceberg, and there are many moments which, alas, are to lengthy to share. But I can share with you this: if you go to a LEAD conference, whether it be in Chicago, or Arizona, or Washington, D.C., you will be forever changed by it. That I can guarantee you.