The goal of the conference, now in its fourth year, “is to enable young students to think about the gifts and talents they can share with their school community and about making positive change happen early in their school careers,” said Gabi Burn ’08. She and fellow science educator and alumna Lauren Gentile ’04 help plan the conference with nearly 60 Gibbons student leaders who put their leadership skills as well as the school’s mission into action.
Being a leader is a valuable skill no matter your age. That's why Cardinal Gibbons High School once again hosted its Middle School Leadership Conference for students in area Catholic schools.
The one-day conference, held on November 13, explored the academic, spiritual, athletic, and communal aspects of leadership in the middle school community. The goal of the conference, now in its fourth year, "is to enable young students to think about the gifts and talents they can share with their school community and about making positive change happen early in their school careers," said Gabi Burn '08. She and fellow science educator and alumna Lauren Gentile '04 helped plan the conference with nearly 60 Gibbons student leaders who put their leadership skills as well as the school's mission into action.
The conference drew some 145 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from 15 area schools. During the event, which ran from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., middle school students attended a welcome and opening activity as well as several information and learning sessions, each led by Gibbons student leaders. The sessions focused on such topics as the meaning of leadership, and building relationships.
And new this year was a parent engagement session, which drew over 75 parents. The session, which took place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. included a social and light breakfast, hosted by the Cardinal Gibbons Family Association (CGFA). At the session, Principal Jason Curtis talked about how Cardinal Gibbons forms a bond with parents and by partnering together, model behavior for students. Seeing parents engaged in the school community is great for the formation of our students, and is also great for parents, he told attendees.
Hunt Stanley from St. Peter's Catholic School in Greenville attended the session while his daughter, Katherine, a seventh grader at St. Peter's participated in the conference. Asked what he learned from the session, Stanley said: "I learned about how Cardinal Gibbons went from being a school to being a community." He said he intends to take what he learned to help strengthen his school community.
His daughter, Katherine, echoed her father's sentiments. She said, to her, being a leader is about helping others before helping yourself. Mindful of that, she said she will bring back to her school what she learned so, "we are a stronger community, more like a family, rather than different cliques." Describing the conference as "fantastic," Katherine said she learned the difference between being a manager and being a leader. "Everyone was super enthusiastic about what they were teaching you and enjoyed being there," she noted.