Looking to sharpen their leadership skills and better serve their student bodies and communities, Azusa Unified School District high school student leaders attended two separate symposiums on Sept. 23, sharing ideas, collaborating with peers and acclimating themselves to the challenges and expectations of serving as student board members and leaders on campus.

One AUSD Board of Education student representative each from Azusa High, Gladstone High and Sierra High participated in the California Association of Student Councils (CASC) Student Board Member Symposium in Costa Mesa, while over 70 ASB student leaders from AHS and GHS attended the Montview League Leadership Symposium, held at Duarte High School.

“Serving your school and community brings with it formidable responsibilities and opportunities to excel,” AUSD Superintendent Dr. Linda Kaminski said. “It can be a lot of hard work, but also a tremendous amount of fun. The rewards reverberate over the course of a student’s lifetime. We greatly encourage our students to become involved with government and civic policy.”

2015 CASC Student Board Member Symposium

Student Board Members are the voices representing their student bodies, offering input to the AUSD Board of Education and learning about the process of policy-making. On Sept. 23, the CASC held a Student Board Member Symposium at the Orange County Office of Education in Costa Mesa. Student board members Noah Acosta of Gladstone High, Elizabeth Cornejo of Azusa High and Allison Hobbs of Sierra High, attended the symposium, which was designed to help students understand their roles on the school board.

“Azusa, Gladstone and Sierra High Schools have done an excellent job of choosing Student Board Members that are eager to share their voices and concerns with the District,” AUSD Board of Education President Yolanda Rodriguez-Pena said.

“We look forward to working with our campus leaders throughout the year and hope to inspire them to continue in leadership positions after they graduate.”

The daylong conference consisted of lectures and workshops related to student board representation – roles and responsibilities, levels of boardsmanship, challenges facing student members, laws relating to students, presentation skills and surveying student opinion. Acosta, Cornejo and Hobbs – who will divide the student board duties throughout the school year – returned to their campuses with a better awareness on balancing the needs of students and the community with the proper procedure for bringing matters to the school board.

“This experience has taught me to critically think in order to figure out solutions to the many issues that revolve around school, including communication with elementary and middle schools, reaching out to the community, and programs in our schools,” Acosta, ASB President at Gladstone High, said. “The most important idea I took from the conference was to step up as a student member in order to effectively be the voice that the students in my district need.”

2015 Montview League Leadership Symposium

“Unleash the Super Leader in You!” was the theme of the 2015 Montview League Leadership Symposium attended by 73 ASB representatives – 38 from Gladstone High and 25 from Azusa High – held at Duarte High School gymnasium on Sept. 23.

The annual symposium aims to bring together students in a positive pep rally atmosphere, using breakout sessions and rally games to exchange ideas and strategies on how to best engage their student bodies and increase student spirit and participation.

During the breakout sessions, two students are selected to represent their schools, while the rest of the students race around the gym learning about the different approaches the high schools utilize for a wide range of student activities – hospitality, publicity, technology, social media, fundraising, lunchtime activities, student store, homecoming, prom, staff appreciation and academic achievement.

“The Leadership Symposium is a positive, sharing environment,” Azusa High Assistant Principal Linda McNary said. “The students try their best to impress their peers. Every year, our student leaders come back with wonderful new ideas for campus activities and participation.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Noah Acosta, Azusa Unified’s Student Board Representatives, was among the students who attended a leadership training conference on Sept. 23.