Rising Student Leaders Attend First-Ever Student Leadership Conference

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Just ahead of the start of a brand new school year, area high school students participated in a first of its kind conference over the weekend focused on developing early leadership skills.

Student leaders from across Henderson County Public Schools were selected to attend the event, which was held at East Henderson High School.

The vision for the conference came from Katie Rogers, Media Specialist at EHHS. Her winning grant application from the Rotary Club of Hendersonville got the project off the ground. Additional donations from Pardee UNC Health, Jeter Mountain Farm, and Chick-fil-A also made the event possible.

Student participants came from the high school Student Government Associations as well as other students interested in learning more about leadership. “Even students who simply need a ‘shoulder tap’ to realize their leadership potential were welcomed,” said Rogers, who facilitated the event.

As the advisor at EHHS’s Student Government Association, Rogers said that she wanted to build real leaders who could go out into the world after graduation with a set of skills that aren’t necessarily taught in a traditional classroom.

In her grant application to the Hendersonville Rotary Club, Rogers said, “This conference idea will allow my small goal to become much bigger, reaching the entire county.” Rogers said she hopes to expand the conference into a yearly event held at different HCPS high schools.

“My dream is that this conference sparks new ideas and mindsets that will help students lead within their schools and in an interconnected community of student leaders in HCPS,” she said.

In much the same way adult leaders’ conferences take shape, the student conference itinerary consisted of breakfast, opening, and closing keynote speakers, and several breakout sessions that the students attended.

In organizing the conference, Rogers was quick to say that although she wrote the grant and developed the concept, she had a fantastic team of student leaders who carried out much of the behind the scenes planning. They are EHHS students Heather W. (lead), Kylie T., Caleb M. & Destiny S.

Written by Henderson County Public Schools.