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Students learn to lead, serve

Over forty students are in leadership positions in the high school. Leader training retreats were initiated several years ago for residences and were expanded to include Student Council for the first time this semester. Held over the second weekend of the semester at Bethel, a Christian ashram in Rajpur, the retreat was organized by Lisa Schrock, dorm supervisor for the grade 12 girls at Edgehill.

Plenary sessions on the school creed, which is new to many students, and on communication skills, were followed by three workshops. Running a Committee included consensus building, the advisor's role, delegating and setting an agenda. Team Building focused on cooperation; in Role Playing students were given scenarios to act out as student leaders. A discussion followed on what was useful, appropriate or could be changed.

An innovative activity linking leadership and service involved two hours of community service at the Sharp Blind School, Cheshire Home or the Missionaries of Charity Orphanage. Following dinner, students discussed what was the most challenging, what their expectations were, how they felt afterward, and what, if anything, did this have to do with leadership.

Each student and group had to devise one goal and the steps to reach it. Student Council's goal is to be more efficient. Midlands wants to establish good relations with the Edgehill annex. Hostel wants to set up an intercom and message board.

Ginny Strom, Vice Principal for Student Life, notes, "The retreats are instrumental in making student leadership a positive experience. Many responsibilities are borne by student leaders. It's our responsibility to give them the training and skills they need to do a good job."

Most leadership positions change each semester, thus many students have the opportunity to learn how to be a leader--and how to serve.

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