Mid-Nebraska Youth Leadership Conference set for UNK on Friday, Nov. 19

Dr. Ed Scantling
UNK College of Education Dean, 308.865.8502

UNK-  Elementary students will travel through space to view the stars, dance, fly a plane and go behind the scenes at a university theatre production, all as a part of the activities for the Mid-Nebraska Youth Leadership Conference taking place on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus Friday, Nov. 19.

More than 200 area fifth and sixth grade students, who have been identified as leaders in their schools, will be taking part in the conference. The event, co-hosted by the Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals – Region IV and UNK, will open at 9 a.m. with a welcome from Jim Widdifield of Gothenburg, chair of the Region IV principals and principal of Dudley Elementary School, and Dr. Charles Bicak, UNK senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. The keynote speaker will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Keynote speaker for the event is Aaron Davis, who holds a psychology degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and was a member of the 1994 National Championship football team. The title of his presentation is “Leadership is SIMPLE, but it’s not always EASY!”

“It’s no wonder today’s young people are so confused about what makes a good leader,” Davis said. “This presentation gives simple, yet timeless truths on what makes an effective leader. Although the principles may be simple, carrying them out can be difficult.”

“Usually, the students selected for this event are positive leaders in their building–individuals who show respect, responsibility, empathy towards others and the ability to influence other students in a positive way,” Widdifield said. “We are hoping that these individuals gain a better understanding of why it is important to continue to be a positive leader, and to make appropriate choices, even when the choice may not be the one that is easiest to make.”

From 12:20 – 2:20 p.m., Region IV principals will meet. During that time, the elementary school students will be divided into groups and will rotate through a series of enriching experiences developed by UNK faculty members in departments across campus. In addition to flying an airplane and traveling through space, the students will also learn basics of economics and take part in several leadership activities.

The elementary schools with participating youth are listed alphabetically by town: Broken Bow; Centura Elementary;Cozad Elementary; Doniphan-Trumbull; Gibbon Elementary; Gothenburg Elementary; Grand Island –Knickrehm Elementary, Gates Elementary, Howard Elementary, Shoemaker Elementary, Westridge Middle School, Walnut Middle School, Northwest Public Schools (1-R), Cedar Hollow Elementary and Barr Middle School; St. Libory Elementary;Chapman Elementary; Hastings — Alcott Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Morton Elementary, Watson Elementary, Adams Central #15 and Adams Central – Wallace  #16; Adams Central – Juniata Elementary; Kearney — Bryant Elementary, Emerson Elementary, Glenwood Elementary, Kenwood Elementary, Meadowlark Elementary, Northeast Elementary, Park Elementary and Windy Hills Elementary; Lexington — Morton Elementary, Bryan Elementary, Pershing Elementary and Sandoz Elementary; Ord Elementary; RavennaElementary; Shelton Elementary; and St. Paul Elementary.