ELLINWOOD — Sixteen student leaders from Ellinwood, along with 16 students each from Sterling and Lyons, all completed a series of three leadership classes, ending last week in Ellinwood.
"We’re trying to develop leaders in school," said Ellinwood High School Principal Shawn Henderson. "We want to foster opportunities for kids."
In Ellinwood, the students were nominated by the teachers to attend the classes for being strong leaders.
Joe Coles of Joe Coles Consulting Services taught the series of classes. He teaches leadership throughout Kansas.
"We are going to train and then expect these kids to go back to their school and make a difference," Cole said.
The leadership series is called Cooperative Leadership and Sharing Strategies. Coles said that the idea behind the class was to teach leadership and give the students opportunities to lead.
The CLASS Leadership training teaches such qualities such as:
•Leadership-never ask someone to do something you would not do yourself.
•Accountability for their actions
•Being a positive role model
•Be a mentor
•Maintain a positive outlook
•Earn respect and trust
•Stop bullying behavior
•Be a productive team member
Coles uses the book by Coach John Wooden called "7 Principles". The principles include being true to yourself, helping others, making each a masterpiece, read good books, make friendship a fine art, build a shelter against a rainy day by the life you live and ask for guidance and counsel.
Ellinwood High School students Kyle Blakeslee and Jenna Snell both liked the leadership class. "It helps you realize a positive attitude can impact each day," Snell said.
"You learn a lot about yourself and interests," said Blakeslee.
EHS has implemented a "Put Up" program where the students can write positive notes about another student. The notes can be anonymous, but they have to be nice, positive things.
One student said she would send them to kids who weren’t so popular because they are the ones that needed them.
The students participated in learning games, personality tests and, at the end of the day, watched a movie about being positive and upbeat, and how it helps the body and mind.
"We want them to step out of their comfort zone," said Coles. "We want them to do the extra. Reach out to others. Connect with kids in their school that don’t have a lot of connections."