On a cool weekend in mid-October, the place to be is Palisade High School, as they hosted the first of three CHSAA Student Leadership Summits. The Summits are a series of regional student leadership events, designed to create opportunities for high school student leaders to share best practices for event planning, exchange leadership content, hear from guest speakers motivators and to network.
The student leaders at Palisade High School have done an excellent job of putting together a curriculum filled with the above. As we walked into the gymnasium for the opening session, music filled the morning air. Students were on the floor dancing to songs that sounded more like a high school dance than a traditional leadership event. Palisade Senior and current CHSAA State Representative Micah Frahzo did a fantastic job as the main host and moderator for the day. His humor, relaxed attitude and passion for leadership were evident from the moment we entered the building. Frazho was joined in hosting duties by fellow Bulldog Desi Lopez (11and grade), who enjoyed the event because all of their student staff were prepared and ready to tackle all the big issues.
Manitou Springs High School students led the crowd in silly songs, which brought back so many memories of CHSAA leadership events before the pandemic. It was hard not to just burst out laughing watching the students navigate the milk song. Alice Stoneback, CHSAA Student Leadership Advisory Chair and Manitou Springs Leadership Advisor, led the group in team building activities.
The day went very well for both the students and the counsellors. Throughout the day, counselors were able to come together and share some of the great things happening in their schools as well as some of the areas that concern them. At student and counselor meetings, there has been a lot of talk about how things will go after COVID. With much of the discussion centered on how the activities provided students with opportunities to belong, grow and learn, this information was well received by all participants.
Speaking with the Palisade student leader after the Summit, it was clear that they were well prepared for this event and it helped their council come together in a way they might not have had without home. The students shared how relying on each other for a bigger event meant so much and how this was the first fall leadership event for many students in their program.
We also talked about the importance for one of our peaks to be on the western slope. While Palisade students talked about the importance of hosting CHSAA events on their side of the state, they also talked about the fun times they look forward to when they come to the Denver metro area. or anywhere along the Front Range. According to them, there is always something fun about staying at a hotel, eating a meal at a local restaurant and networking with students from other schools.
Overall, the Summit was a great opportunity for us to have student leaders from Colorado in the same building. Thanks to Dave Carlo (Palisade High School’s Student Leadership Advisor) and the Palisade High School administration for hosting the first Summit of the 2021-2022 school year.
If your school is interested in hosting or participating in a student leadership summit, please email Rashaan Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sandra Williamson (email@example.com) for information.