When Pendergast School District participants created the new Strategic Plan last year, one of the cornerstones of the plan was the goal of “identifying and mentoring future leaders.”
It was vitally important to the committee members to develop leadership as a foundation for everything we do in our schools and as a District because it truly exemplifies our mission of “Empowering Excellence and Success.” To this end, the committee chose the objectives, which included a “grow our own” leadership model, leadership training through workshops and/or internships and developing a mentorship program for new leaders.
As part of our “bee-liever” culture and philosophy, Pendergast knows that growing leaders is for not only staff, parents and community; it is also for our students.
Last year we formed the Superintendent’s Eighth Grade Student Council comprised of two representatives from each of our twelve campuses to actualize this leadership model.
The purpose of the Eighth Grade Superintendent’s Student Council is to build a strong connection to the schools and the District. The SSC will strive to be influential leaders in the school and play an integral role in spreading positive messages about PESD throughout the community. This is achieved by building relationships with our community partners.
The goals of the group are to prepare for the future and learn more about opportunities available beyond high school. The group also hopes to build leadership, presentation, and teamwork skills.
Participating in this group will involve the students in the political process and help them better understand the flow and structure of a governing body as a part of the group and experiences with the Pendergast School Board.
As a culminating activity, the group is planning to take a field trip to visit Stanford University next May as part of the College Bound Program.
Student leaders in the Council carry weight in important roles as student governing board members, and officers with assigned roles and responsibilities including president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, historian, and photographer and webmaster. Guest speakers discuss leadership skills and help students grow in their future aspirations.
Students take an active role in community events, decision-making and building goals for post-high school experiences. They also plan and execute fundraisers that include an Islands Restaurant Night that raised $377.00 and future fundraisers that include Big Brothers Big Sisters Clothing Bins on every campus and a Peter Piper Pizza Family Fun Night.
Students and their families take an active role in ensuring both fundraising and community service projects. The projects they have chosen for this year are Pillows for Kiddos and Relay for Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
Student members Nathan and Sierra reflect on their experiences as Council members.
“Being part of the Superintendent’s Council has made a positive impact on my family and me. The involvement empowers us to help build a better future for the students in the Pendergast School District by listening and understanding what changes need to be made. The accountability and learning from the mentors will help me be a leader in the future.”
“It is an incredible honor to serve on the Council as a representative of our entire school. It is a way to see the various needs and help in our community. Also, building my leadership skills on the Council is a great way to learn about different opportunities to get into college.”
The Superintendent’s Eighth Grade Council is another way for us to show our students and families Pendergast “Bee-lieves” in YOU!
For more information, please contact Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, superintendent of Pendergast School District at firstname.lastname@example.org.