Thursday, February 19, 2009
Leadership program in place at Byhalia
By SUE WATSON
Students in the fifth through eighth grades at Byhalia Middle School are clamoring to be nominated for a new leadership program started last year at the school.
The group is named T.R.I.B.E. Leadership Council, which stands for Teaching Responsibility and Ingegrity By Example.
The Tribe is a community service group and the Leadership Council is chosen among students in that group who show leadership potential, said Kerry Reid, principal at the middle school.
The group has been supported by the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce since its inception, he said.
Members of The Tribe are getting lots of positive exposure to adult-style leadership in Byhalia. Some of the group has met with chamber of commerce leaders and members and some were introduced at the chamber celebration dinner in November, Reid said.
“The Town of Byhalia has also expressed interest in assisting the group,” Reid said. “Leadership Marshall and chamber executive director Sarah Sawyer are interested in sponsoring a youth leadership conference at the middle school sometime in the future.”
Also sponsoring the community service functions of the group are the teachers at Byhalia Middle School, Reid said. Parents have been very supportive in allowing their children to participate in the few activities the group has been involved in this year.
The group meets on an as-needed basis. Recently the group met at El Nopalito Mexican Restaurant in Byhalia to elect officers and class representatives.
The Tribe is the brain child of Reid, himself, according to Sawyer.
“Kerry joined the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce this year and he has offered many valuable ways the school, the chamber and the community can pull together,” she said. “The Tribe Council is one way that we hope to work with the students in leadership development (as well as for us adults). We invited all Leadership Marshall alumni to come back to work on this youth leadership project. If there are other similar youth leadership groups within the schools, we would like to hear from them.”
Community service projects selected by The Tribe are practical and include roadside clean-up (campus beautification), leadership seminars, visiting local Head Start classes, visiting Trinity Missions Nursing Home and helping establish priorities for the school on committees.
Students who want to join The Tribe must request one of their teachers write them a recommendation to the council for consideration for membership.
Becoming a member of The Tribe is about improving oneself, according to eighth grade student and president of the council LaTonya Norman.
“It seems like everyone wants to better themselves so they can become a leader and get in the leadership program,” she said.
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