Students selected to represent Granite City High School at the IHSA Leadership Conference were (front row) Mona Zubi, Claire Ames, Maya Ware, Jaxon Connolly, Megan Jones and Lexi Clutts; (back row) Caitlyn Puhse, Sam Shelton, Payton Reeves, Brian Ames, Isaiah Mizell, Jack Blomme, Jacob Kahn and David Keel.
GRANITE CITY — Students from Granite City High School were selected to attend the IHSA Leadership Conference Sept. 28 at the Peoria Civic Center.
Available to freshmen, sophomores and juniors, 14 GCHS students were selected to represent the school at the conference based on high academic standards and overall school participation.
“Several teachers and principals met to determine the students who were asked to attend,” GCHS educator Linda Ames said. “We attempted to choose a cross-section of students. The IHSA leadership conference was a great event to attend. It allowed some of our best students to interact with other student leaders from around the state. The students attended breakout sessions that addressed leadership ideas, making good choices and participated in open discussion about being a leader in their schools.”
The one-day conference consisted of 40- to 60-minute sessions and speakers. Award-winning motivational speaker Harvey Alston held a seminar with the students and spoke of personal responsibility, solitary achievement, shared accomplishment and the dignity of human beings.
“It was an honor to be selected to go,” GCHS sophomore Isaiah Mizell said.
“Communication is a huge training tool and something that I’ll take back from this conference. Learning how to be a leader at a young age could allow me to help or encourage other students to make good decisions throughout high school. The most surprising part of the leadership conference for me is that it wasn’t only adults leading the conference; there were times when other students led a portion and adults would be guest speakers.”
Sophomore Jack Blomme thought courage was one major quality demonstrated at the IHSA conference.
“Having the courage to be your own person is one thing that really struck a chord with me,” Blomme said. “Believing in yourself and following what you know is right may help encourage other people to follow on the same path. Some people may be shy or nervous being a leader, but if others see you do the right things and be successful, they may want to follow on their own. I know I would like to go to a conference like this again if I had the opportunity.”
Benefits of the IHSA leadership conference offers students more than one day of motivational speaking; it can open doors of opportunities in future endeavors.
“Attending conferences such as these shows colleges and employers that these students are working to be the best they can be,” Ames said. “It’s important to aim high to meet high standards they have set for themselves.”
Mizell and Blomme both participate in cross country, baseball, scholar bowl, FCA and the Madison County youth board.