Pratt High School students attend leadership workshop in Emporia

By Michelle Popovich
Pratt Tribune
Quinn Thibault, incoming freshman, is the freshman class president; Libby Schaffer, second-year class representative, is the sophomore class secretary; Grace May, second-year class representative, is this year's sophomore class vice-president.

The 58th annual Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) Student Council Leadership Workshop was held at Emporia State University from July 18 to July 23 with the theme, “Leadership: Just Bring It.”

Pratt High students participated in activities that kept them busy, learning, interacting, and practicing leadership skills from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Each student belonged to a "council" made up of students from other schools across the state. They were not with any other members from their own school.

In these councils, the students shared successful activities their schools have done, heard from inspirational speakers, and participated in activities including elections, competitions, a dance, and a banquet on the final night of the conference. They organized their councils and did presentations at various times throughout the week.

Additionally, each council made a quilt block, representative of this year's theme, that was then incorporated into this year's quilt to be displayed along with many others in future years.

Grace May, second-year class representative and this year's sophomore class vice-president, said that she really enjoyed the camp overall.

“I think I learned a lot about myself, and about leadership,” May said. “It was really beneficial to trade ideas with other schools, and I have a lot of ideas to bring back to our school. I met a lot of great people and made many new friends.”

Quinn Thibault, an incoming freshman and this year’s freshman class president, said that her favorite part of camp involved stepping outside of her comfort zone and making new friends.

“We didn’t have anyone from our school in our councils, so we had to open up and meet new people, and it was totally worth it,” Thibault said. “I’m still in contact with everyone in my council, so I'd say splitting the school was a success.”

Thibault said that she recommends for everyone on student council to attend in the future because it is a unique learning experience.

“I think the camp has shown me how everyone leads in a different way, and [it] has shown me how I lead,” Thibault said. “So, when I go back to my high school council, I can be confident with my ideas and help us grow towards a goal and work together while doing so.”

StuCo sponsor and Pratt High School teacher, Michelle Popovich, said she is excited that the summer workshop was held in person once again.

“It is wonderful to be a part of the larger picture and see the students' enthusiasm and the fun that they have together and all that they are able to accomplish,” Popovich said. “It truly helps my StuCo representatives realize how much we can accomplish and how we can impact our school when we work together and are attentive to the needs around us.”