Student leaders talk school improvement

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2014

Student leaders in Rowan County are working hard to find ways to improve their schools. On Thursday, West Rowan High School’s Student Leadership Team hosted the first-ever Student Leadership Conference. This conference was a collaborative meeting with students from each high school in Rowan County to find ways to promote school enhancement.
Wendy Fontenot, West Rowan’s Student Leadership advisor, wants to promote the success of every high school in the county.
The conference focused on four key topics: marketing, student morale, tradition and pride, and becoming a student leader. Each session was led by a member of the West Rowan team. The goal was to share and solicit ideas from all the students who attended.
“We’re getting ideas from everybody and collaborating in order to better our schools, said Tarik Woods, one of Salisbury High School’s student leaders.
The Rowan student leaders were not afraid to reach out to each other and interact; students joked with each other and introduced themselves with ease. This is a trait they would like more students to acquire.
Many students said they wish more people at their schools would get involved in activities, get excited at pep rallies and strive to make their school a more fun, interesting place to be.
“We student leaders want to enhance and improve our schools, but it all starts with the students,” said Jake Kennedy, student body president at West Rowan.
West Rowan Principal Dr. Jamie Durant encouraged the student leaders.
“You are all role models in your schools,” he said. “There may be students in your school who you may never have the chance to speak to that look up to you as an idol.”
This is what the Student Leadership Team is trying to continue to do. They want more students to become leaders and to have their school’s best interest in mind. Morale and a good atmosphere are important qualities for a school to have according to Parker Williams, leader of the Student Morale Session.
“Start a conversation with someone you don’t know,” because that is how a school’s atmosphere gets brighter, she said.
At the end of the sessions, each school’s team got the chance to present a new idea they would like to implement at their schools.
Salisbury High School wants to market academics more because they think that too many people believe Salisbury High’s only important feature is their sports teams, when their academics are top 10 in the state.
School spirit is what East Rowan High School and South Rowan High School want to improve. They intend to get more students involved with pep rallies, encourage them to attend sports events and increase student morale.
West Rowan came up with the idea to make a calender with school events and important dates and post it outside the office. This is to be sure students can hear announcements and to give everyone a way to get important dates.
Students were excited to interact with other student leaders glad to find ways to improve their schools.
“The feedback we got from everyone was very important at this conference,” said Austin Taylor, a West Rowan student leader. “This will benefit all of our leadership teams in many ways.”
Fontenot believes that each team will take the information they received at the Student Leadership Conference and implement it at their schools.
“I’m truly excited to see the fruits of their efforts as a result of their time together,” she said.
Sydney Sides is a senior at West Rowan High School and a Salisbury Post intern.