Expanding leadership qualities in the Continental League

Over 380 students gathered at the Denver East Church on August 29 for the 2014 Shakin’ Up Leadership Conference hosted by Heritage High School. All 13 high schools in the Continental League attended with hopes of learning how to improve their school’s leadership.

Planning started in April of 2014 in the Student Government leadership class at Heritage High School. Students in Student Government prepared to plan and execute a leadership conference that would both help and benefit students from all aspects of the 13 high schools, from sports to Student Government.

Students spent the day listening to speakers, attending workshops and learning how to beneficially lead different groups in their school. Attendees were nominated and selected from sports coaches, teachers, administrators and student government sponsors that are highly involved in athletics and activities.

“Heritage wanted to make the conference more leadership based than just Student Government activity based. We wanted to make it a whole school thing versus a student government thing,” says Mrs. Kristen Brethauer, social studies teacher and Student Government sponsor at Heritage.

The speakers’ organizations included Dan Dietz from the Danny Dietz foundation, Charlene Moser from Lynda’s Legacy and Dr. James Jackson and Dr. Anna Marie Jackson from Project Cure. Other speakers included Amanda Hurley about leaving a positive digital media, Senator Linda Newell about the fact that a title doesn’t guarantee a successful leadership and Steve Spangler with how science relates to leadership.

The keynote at the Continental League Conference was national speaker Phil Boyte. Traveling all over the United States, Boyte speaks about students making an impact in every activity and on every person they talk to.

“I want people to realize that they do make a difference. In whatever way that is, people do make a difference,” says Boyte.

In the afternoon, students were able to split up from their schools and visit different speakers, including Boyte. In Boyte’s mini workshop, he spoke about how to manage a crazy life through high school. By avoiding six-second decisions, thinking ahead and taking a second to compose yourself and breathe, Boyte believes students in high school can survive.

Phil Boyte speaks to a variety of students that are involved in sports and activities from the 13 high schools . Boyte speaks about managing a crazy life in high school.

Phil Boyte speaks to a variety of students that are involved in sports and activities from the 13 high schools . Boyte speaks about managing a crazy life in high school.

“If I take care of myself, I can take care of other people,” says Boyte during his workshop.

After the conference students were excited to bring back Boyte’s message to their school sports and activities.

“I think it was very inspiring and I think Heritage can use what Phil said to impact our school in a positive way,” says Celeste Borg ’16.

Borg is involved in Community Relations and Link at Heritage. She was nominated by a link sponsor to attend the conference and bring back ideas to help Link in future years.

In 1997, The Boomerang Project started a support group for incoming freshmen called Link. Founders of this project included Phil Boyte, Carolyn Hill, Mary Campbell and Micah Jackson. Boyte used principals from his Link in his speech at the conference.

“I enjoyed Phil’s message. It was good because it’s applicable to what Legend is specifically working on. It speaks to Legend because we talk about being a family and his message motivated us to make that happen,” says Auggie Mostillo ’15 from Legend High School.

Heritage Student Government smiles for a picture to celebrate their successful day of running a leadership conference. The conference has been in planning  sense April 2014.

Heritage Student Government celebrates a successful day of running a leadership conference. The conference has been in planning sense April 2014.

The 2014 Continental League Leadership Conference branched its wings out by adding in other students who weren’t just involved in student governments. In high hopes of helping the leadership roles in the 13 schools, students took back ideas and information to their schools to improve the leadership roles in different areas.

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