UNK College of Education Dean, 308.865.8502
Nearly 250 fifth- and sixth-graders were selected based on their leadership skills to attend the Region IV Elementary Principals Regional Leadership Conference Friday, Nov. 16, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The purpose of the conference was for the fifth- and sixth-grade students to learn how they can become more effective leaders in their communities and in their individual schools. The students got a taste of college life at UNK with the idea of planting the seed that college is in their future.
Region IV is a division of the Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals. Each of the five regions is encouraged to host a youth leadership conference annually. According to Barry McFarland, principal of J. Sterling Morton Elementary in Lexington and regional president of the group, Region IV’s conference, with the help of UNK, is always Nebraska’s largest conference.
“We hope the kids saw a positive role model through the speaker and through the UNK students,” McFarland, a UNK graduate, said, adding that the principals want the students to see that, even though they may be 11- and 12-year-olds, they can make a positive difference in their schools.
Region IV encompasses the following counties: Dawson, Buffalo, Hall, Phelps, Kearney, Custer, Adams, Blaine, Franklin, Furnas, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Harlan, Howard, Loup, Merrick, Nance, Sherman, Valley, Webster and Wheeler counties.
Students from several schools in the region will participate, including: Broken Bow, Centura, Clay Center, Cozad, Doniphan/Trumbull, Franklin, Gothenburg, Grand Island, Hastings, Juniata, Kearney, Lexington, North Loup/Scotia, Ravenna, Shelton, St. Libory, St. Paul and Wood River. Each school was asked to bring four to six students
Lexington Public Schools is sponsoring conference speaker Aaron Davis, a member of the 1994 National Championship University of Nebraska-Lincoln football team. His presentation will be “The Truth About Choices,” focusing on how the choices the students make in grade school through high school will impact them for the rest of their lives.
In the afternoon, the students will rotate among eight stations across campus where they will receive instruction from UNK faculty and staff on a wide range of career, university and leadership topics.
The UNK personnel participating are: Eve Scantling, Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies; Shelley Haberlan, College of Education; Mary Rittenhouse, economics; Dr. Jose Mena-Werth, physics; Steve Amundson, industrial technology; Terry Gibbs, industrial technology; Dr. Bill Wozniak, psychology; Brandon Benitz, Student Life; Gary Schaaf, Department of Music and Performing Arts; Mark Wethington, theatre; and Carrie Kracl, teacher education.
The agenda for the event follows:
8:30-9 a.m Registration, Nebraskan Student Union – Ponderosa Room
9-9:30 a.m. UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen, Welcome & Introductions
Dr. Ed Scantling, dean of the College of Education, UNK
9:45-10:45 a.m. Aaron Davis presentation, “The Truth About Choices”
10:45-11:15 a.m. Getting to know each other
11:15-11:45 a.m. Lunch
11:45 a.m.-Noon – Organize into color groups for stations
Noon-2 p.m. Campus stations for students. Different departments around campus had various leadership activities planned.