Communication and organization are essential qualities leaders must utilize. Marian’s Freshman Leadership Workshops are working to instill these critical skills in the freshmen.
For the last seven years, leadership workshops have evolved from one workshop for all grades to an individualized workshop for the freshmen and another for sophomores, juniors and seniors.
English teachers Ms. Susie Sisson and Ms. Megan Piernicky are leadership enthusiasts and come together to plan both freshmen and upperclassmen workshops.
“Ms. Sisson and I sit down at the end of every year and ask, ‘What do we like, what do we not like, and what do we need to make adjustments to?’ We really geek out together,” Piernicky said. The two work side-by-side to plan fun activities for students to complete, which are individualized to their specific age group’s needs. One activity the freshmen have fun with is planning out a Marian girl’s crazy schedule and figuring out different ways to manage her time. Some girls found it to be nearly impossible to cram all the required activities into her schedule and had to teach this Marian girl how to say no to some activities.
“I really liked planning out the schedule for the girl who had a ton of stuff going on,” freshman Chrissy Gulseth said.
“I liked that, too, because it was really realistic, except I don’t have a job at Burger World like she did,” freshman Olivia Sullivan added.
Just when the freshmen thought they had it all planned out, each group was given another list of commitments they needed to pencil into a hectic schedule.
“I learned I can’t overcommit to activities, and I’m actually going to get a planner and start writing everything down,” Sullivan said.
Each small group was lead by a senior who had participated in the leadership workshops as freshman and has utilized her leadership skills while at Marian. Courtney O’Brien, Lauren Kirke and Meredith Zielie were the three senior leaders, and they all agreed that organization and communication are two valuable skills each leader needs.
“I think helping little freshmen figure out that you need good leadership skills is super important and fun,” O’Brien said.
“I want each freshman to really learn and understand the importance of staying organized. If you don’t have everything in one spot or on one schedule, it’s really hard to stay committed to all of your responsibilities,” Kirke said. Sophomores, juniors and seniors have the opportunity to participate in leadership workshops second semester. The first session will be held on Jan. 11 and will focus on leaders “knowing your strengths and weaknesses.” Feb. 8 is the final leadership workshop in the spring semester and will focus on “understanding your values.” Both sessions will be after school in the cafeteria, and cost is free. More information will be coming out via email. Online registration opened on Dec. 5.