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High School Students Attend SUNY Cortland Leadership Summit

On September 11th, 2018 six students from Cortland High School attended the “Next Generation Leadership Summit” at SUNY Cortland. This event was put on my program coordinator and Cortland native, Dr. Kevin Mack. Auburn, Homer, Whitney Point, Marathon, Marcellus, and Moravia school Districts also sent student representatives.

Three main questions drove the discussions. Those questions were:

  1. As a student leader, how can you help create a positive culture?
  2. What is the difference between being a leader and holding a position of leadership?
  3. What skills do you need to be a successful student leader?

Amy Johnson, Health teacher and Link Crew leader at Cortland High School, accompanied the students to the Summit. Johnson said, “I choose the link leaders to come because they all have leadership roles in our school. Each of the link leaders are upperclassmen and attend Tiger Time with the Freshman homeroom classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The six students were: Abby Whelan, Gabby Carr, Gabby Fowler, Grace Call, Lyndsie Babcock, and Tyler Hampton Forsyth.” 

At the Summit several keynote speakers addressed the audience. One of the speakers was the current student government president of SUNY Cortland. All of the keynotes have had leadership roles as students and discussed how the changes they implemented lead to positive change in their schools.

Cortland High School student, Abby Whelan said, “The Summit was really fun. I liked hearing everyone else's opinions on what leadership is. My favorite part was getting to know the various  students from the other school districts and sharing ideas with them. Specifically at Cortland, we want to focus on how to make the 9th graders have a successful transition to high school and feel supported emotionally and academically. One of our ideas we came up with is to make sure that we have a way for 9th graders to anonymously communicate with upperclassmen and ask questions. I look forward to trying to implement the ideas into action.”

Amy Johnson and the 6 link leaders will return to SUNY Cortland for a follow up Summitt in January 2019. By then there will be plenty of time to discuss the changes the students made!

To read about the 9th grade transition program, Link Crew, click here.


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