For visitors coming to Young Elementary School for Leadership Day, it was like a visit to Hollywood. Afterall, that has been the theme throughout the school year.
Visitors were greeted with a "welcome to Young School" and a firm hand shake. When someone would walk into a classroom students would announce "the paparazzi is coming" and the appointed student greeter would welcome the visitor. Throughout the year, students have been nominating each other for OSCARs (Our Students Can Act Responsibly) when they were caught in the act of doing something good.
During Leadership Day, visitors were treated to breakfast, entertainment and were able to attend a Town Hall session led by students. Town Hall, which is student-planned and student-run, is a time when everyone in the school gathers in the gym to hear the news of the week and find out who are the OSCAR winners and many other events.
Principal Jenny Ganzer said the purpose of Leadership Day was to give students an opportunity to practice the leadership skills they have been learning.
"We wanted to allow them to highlight all the great things they are doing to other educators and to some of our community members," she said. "It’s so exciting to watch these students take ownership of their own learning and be able to articulate what they are doing to others."
Through the Leader In Me program, students can apply for part-time and full-time leadership positions at the school. Full-time jobs include flag leaders, masters of the morning and weather crew.
Throughout the event, students demonstrated for the guests what their jobs entail. Flag leaders are responsible for raising and taking down the flag each day. Masters of the morning are responsible for delivering the morning announcements and weather crew members research and report the weather every morning.
Students can also apply for part-time jobs such as math club monitors, lost and found friends and Facebook forum. To get a job, students must fill out an application stating why they would be the best person for the job.
Ganzer said it is amazing to see the kids doing the jobs that the adults used to be responsible for doing.
"They have taken ownership of the building and are so proud of themselves," she said. "The staff is equally excited about the growth that we have seen in the kids leadership habits. We are looking forward to seeing this program continue to develop leaders here at Young."
"Our staff is allowing students to reach their own potential and explore their own passions and use that potential and passion to do great things," added frst grade teacher Paula Murphy. "We have elementary students in leadership roles around the building in charge of things that adults do. It’s their school and they know it so they want it to be awesome."
The guests from the community learned why Young School rocks and school officials and community leaders were pleased to see what the students have accomplished. Through the Leader In Me program, students learn the " 7 Healthy Habits" that help to guide them through each day at school, at home and during play.
"It was a very exciting day seeing every single child at Young School in a leadership role," said Ganzer.
Murphy summarized the essence of the program through a quote by the author of the book.
"The Leader in Me process could be summed up in one simple quote from the late Stephen R. Covey. It reads, "Leadership is communicating others’ worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.' "