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EHS/EMS students learn positive thinking
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Ellinwood High School juniors participated in team building exercises last week with Joe Coles, motivational speaker. They are following the leader in this exercise. - photo by KAREN LA PIERRE

ELLINWOOD — Motivational speaker Joe Coles spent the day Wednesday at Ellinwood Middle and High School teaching the students life skills, positive changes, and including everyone.
He encouraged perseverance, relationships, courage and empathy for each other. “Put first things first,” said Coles. “Relationships are the most important.”
He also inspired the students to study and not succumb to peer pressure.
 Laughing, one exercise the students practiced was the V-formation that geese fly in, which makes them seven times more effective, Coles said. “Synergy-the whole is greater than its parts.”
Those that weren’t at the apex of the V practiced honking to encourage the leader. Also, the students learned that when one is the geese is ill, two geese stay with the sick one.
He asked, “Don’t you do better when people encourage you?” He also spoke about taking turns being the leader and to lead and follow.
Step-up and stay with people,” Coles told EHS students.
Stepping outside of personal comfort zones is also important. Coles told the students that he is not a good reader, but he reads in church to practice a new skill.
“As a senior class, this is the last time you’ll get to hang out with group,” said the speaker.
“Make it great while we’re here,” added EHS/EMS Principal Shawn Henderson.
The students separated into small groups to set personal goals to make a difference in school and ask others to hold them accountable.
Coles worked with the 7th graders and juniors on leadership and the whole high school on making a positive environment.
“It’s good for students to have an outside perspective and gain from others experiences,” said Henderson. “He has a lot of neat experiences he shares with the kids.
“We bring him to build relationships with students and staff,” said the principal.
Coles is a former teacher, coach and administrator.