STUDENT LEADERSHIP SEMINAR
Sponsored by Student Advisory Council
On April 18th at Parrish Medical Center's conference rooms, 50 junior and senior students from Titusville and Astronaut High Schools participated in a student leadership seminar hosted by the Student Advisory Council (SAC). The focus of this year's seminar was to challenge students to develop the skills of collaboration and consensus-building, vital to the success of first-level supervisors and leaders. Divided into groups, roles were assigned that dictated divergent interests and then they were presented with a common problem that required workable solutions. Although the end product was up to the students, it required that all of the parties were in agreement to the solution presented by each group.
LEAD Brevard, Brevard County's leadership and community development organization, worked with SAC members to develop the day's leadership exercise. Established in 1986, LEAD Brevard's mission is to "develop and engage leaders to achieve a preferred future." The exercise was facilitated by Geo Ropert, president of Ropert Communications Group with assistance from LEAD Brevard Program Manager Erica Lemp and Melbourne City Council Member Joanne Corby. "I was very impressed with the students' initiative and enthusiasm and the creative visioning they displayed," said Mr. Ropert. "They took the exercise very seriously, even declining breaks when offered." Councilman Jim Tulley, Titusville City Council's liaison to the Student Advisory Council also praised the students' efforts, admiring the level of consensus they were able to achieve on complex and controversial issues.
The keynote speaker for the seminar was Mr. Phil Archer, Division Chief of the Neighborhood State Attorney Initiative. Mr. Archer spoke to an attentive audience about aspects of successful leadership, citing passion, commitment and a willingness to acknowledge the efforts of others as critical components of successful leaders. Citing State Attorney Norm Wolfinger as his personal leadership role model, he urged the students to observe the positive attributes of good leaders and incorporate those attributes in their professional and personal lives.
At the end of the seminar, Student Advisory Council Co-chairmen Jamie Parrish and Travis Clinger acknowledged their community partners for the event, that included: Parrish Medical Center, the City of Titusville, LEAD Brevard, Ropert Communications Group, Brevard and Seminole Counties State Attorney's Office and Brevard Public Schools and presented them with tokens of their appreciation. They also thanked the other local businesses and organizations that provided goods and services for the seminar: Daytona 500 Experience, Dixie Crossroads, El Leoncito Restaurant, Kelsey's, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Pumpernickel's, Publix Superstores, Inc., The Running Zone, Titusville Ballet/Jazz and WalMart.
BACKGROUND: SAC is a community student group whose members are appointed annually by Titusville City Council. Comprised of students representing each grade level from Astronaut and Titusville High Schools, SAC's mission is 'to encourage involvement of young people in community affairs and create an awareness of their rights and responsibilities as citizens of Titusville'. Since their creation at the urging of former Mayor Larry Bartley in the early 1990's, SAC has led and lobbied on a variety of initiatives. One of their most viable successes was the installation of the traffic light at U.S. Highway 1 and Terrier Trail at Titusville High School. Their persistence in continuing to make it a priority for each succeeding Council to work on provided continuity as they worked with legislators and local city, county and state agencies to help it come to fruition. One of last year's focus items became a reality in February of this year with the opening of a teen center at Tom Statham Park south of Titusville by the North Brevard Parks and Recreation Department who they had . An initiative several years ago with the creation of a video in partnership with the State Attorney's Office and Titusville Police Department concerning the consequences of making bomb threats won the group state recognition.
The last action to be taken by this year's Council members will be to present their annual report before Titusville City Council on May 13th, reporting on their actions through-out their 2007-2008 appointment year and making recommendations for next year's Student Advisory Council.
Current members: Co-chairman Jamie Parrish (THS), Co-chairman Travis Clinger (AHS) Members Brittany Sorensen (THS), Rachel Clinger (AHS), Arianne Alexander (THS), Keegan O'Brien (THS), Matt Steinle (THS), Ryan Doud (AHS), Jessie Phillips (AHS) and Erica Halvorson (THS), along with School Advisors David Kierstead (AHS) and Travis Diesel (THS), City Council SAC Liaison Jim Tulley and Alternate Liaison Paul Secor, and Secretary/Staff Liaison Kathy Mosley.
Even during their lunch break, the students continued their learning experience. Eating box lunches donated by Parrish Medical Center and under canopies and at tables and chairs loaned by the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce, Oaklawn Memorial Gardens and North Brevard Parks and Recreation (respectively), the students were treated to a drug canine demonstration by members of the Titusville Police Department, Officer Lincoln Strom and Corporal Eric DeLoach, along with Canine Doe-B.
Lieutenant Jerry Ford and his crew members of the Titusville Fire Department provided a mini-learning session on the Heimlich Maneuver. They also set up a modified agility course, one of the requirements a firefighter candidate must pass in order to become eligible for hiring as a Titusville Firefighter. Often referred to as the 'toughest two minutes in sports' when attempted as a competition event, several of the students were able to successful handle several aspects of the course.