While most teenagers slept in last Saturday, student leaders at Mount Carmel School got up bright and early to participate in the school’s Student Leadership Retreat. Held every year, the activity helps students grow as leaders and gives them the opportunity to work together to plan all school activities for the school year.
School president Galvin Deleon Guerrero facilitated the retreat on Aug. 31, starting it with a prayer and an energizer, followed by a short talk about leadership.
In his speech, Deleon Guerrero shared what he has learned over the years from various leadership positions, including serving as a member of both the Public School System’s Board of Education and the Northern Marianas College’s Board of Regents.
“The best lesson I’ve learned about leadership is that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, which is why you should care about all the people you lead, not just your friends,” he said, adding that he also “pay attention to the details, but always focus on the bigger picture and inspire your team with a compelling, passionate vision about where your team is heading.”
Taking Deleon Guerrero’s cue, student clubs and organizations each developed vision statements for the school year and took turns sharing their vision with the entire group.
Students then watched a video clip of Nick Selby’s welcome speech at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Selby’s speech has gone viral for its passionate appeal to students, its call for students “to do the impossible,” and its use of music from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey as his soundtrack.
The Mount Carmel students were so inspired by the video that they stood up to applaud when it ended.
After the Selby video and a short break, student leaders and their teacher advisers got down to work, planning out the entire school year. Going through week by week, Student Council officers invited clubs, classes, and organizations to come forward with their activity proposals. Whenever conflicts emerged, students worked out alternatives and solutions. By the end of the retreat, student leaders had successfully planned out the entire year, right up to graduation in June.
Student Council president Ginny Wu was pleased with the results of the retreat.
“It was pretty productive. I can tell it’s going to be a busy year,” she said. She also acknowledged the shift to more community service. “The students seem to be getting more involved with community service.”