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Student summit on leadership

  • Elsie Allen students cranked up the volume of their cheers at the end of the conference. Over 300 students from leadership classes in nine high schools converged on Windsor High School on Monday for an annual conference on raising spirit on campuses.

An awkward silence broke the din that marked much of an all-day leadership conference for high school students Monday.

A pair of presenters from Montgomery High School were giving a tutorial on how they jack up spirit on campus by hosting Santa Rosa Nerd Day and putting on a funeral for their crosstown rival's mascot, Pandy.

In the 15-student audience were two orange-and-black clad Santa Rosa High students. Eyeing a pair of Panthers, the Montgomery presenter asked how Santa Rosa's student government class typically runs spirit week.

Spirit Conference


It was like parting the velvet curtain to see how a rival's show is staged.

"I think it's interesting to see how they interpret us," said Libby Paternoster, sophomore class secretary/treasurer at Santa Rosa High School. "At Santa Rosa, we go all out, so we like to see if they go as far as we do."

"It's a big part of both of our schools," Panther Gabrielle Lasher said.

The discussion, one of about 20 small tutorials conducted by students on campus activities ranging from blood drives to toga dances, was part of the annual Making Connections leadership day attended by about 300 elected officers and leadership students from nine high schools in Sonoma County.

"The leadership kids are the ones that plan every dance, plan fundraising, run spirit crew," said Jeff Lefebvre, leadership teacher at Windsor High School, where Monday's event was held. "It's really important for kids to be highly motivated and take on a leadership role and make the campus a fun place to be."

But Monday's event wasn't all fun and games.

Students were urged by keynote speaker Scott Backovich to "be a catalyst" for caring for their fellow students.

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