Leading the leaders


Hingham’s 2017 Leadership Conference Photo credits: Deb Hult

Kaylee Hill, Managing-editor

This past week, Hingham High School hosted its now annual Leadership Conference hosted for selected Senior and Junior leaders and led by Deb and Dana Hult of Core Training. The event is always met with high enthusiasm and excitement. It is an all-day conference starting at eight and incorporates many themes of how leadership is influence, communicative, and more. Students, depending on which day they attend, Thursday or Friday, miss a whole day of classes to participate in such a special conference.

It truly speaks to the High School’s investment in the older students, especially as Ms. Conaty explained, the younger students really do look up to the seniors. By teaching seniors and giving them the skills to use their voice and improve their environment only benefits the other students as well.

One of the starting activities Deb initiated tested students’ social skills. Students wrote their names on name tags and then stood up in front of the stage to play a game that involved greeting each other and really trying to pay attention to what the other person was saying instead of listening to listen, but understand. Students also walked in front of each other to learn about the power of influence. Senior Sophie Paven said “I really enjoyed the Possibility Walk activity. Everyone was nervous and awkward about basically being silly in front of all your peers, but as time went on, we got more and more comfortable. By the end, everyone was so positive and supportive. The feeling of unity among us was truly unbelievable. It was a great exercise in getting out of your comfort zone, and it really brought us all together.”

The next activity Dana handed note-taking sheets and asked students to form little groups. These groups allowed students to slow down and take a step back from the constant go-go-go and step out of their comfort zones. Senior Alexandra Colby said that “this conference was very fun and inspiring. It helped me believe that it’s okay to step out of my comfort zone and try new things”. Students engaged in conversations, taking the time to learn something new from their fellow classmates they had not known before. Next, students took notes on various topics of influence that draw people’s attention. The phrase TAMs, There’s Always More, was really pushed. Everybody clapped and cheered for the student writer, which made it all the more special.

After a delicious lunch of pizza, students then engaged in a number game that demonstrated how student’s actions and perceptions influence the way others perceive themselves and self-worth. Each student was given a note card with a number they were not allowed to look at and had to, based on their interactions with others, guess their number group. It was concluded that people feel invincible because sometimes they are treated like they are invisible. Senior Elli Ruggiero said that “I learned that you never know what someone is going through so be kind and genuine always.”

The activity segwayed students to reflect about the positive things they liked about themselves. The coordinator, Deb, then shared her inspiring story of tragedy and loss and how statistically speaking she should be aggressive, depressed, and an alcoholic, but none of these descriptions fit her at all. Deb demonstrated her resilience and optimism in the face of tragedy that allows her to lead a fulfilling life, despite all the obstacles and loss she ensued.

The story ended the day on such a powerful and inspiring note. Students left with hopes of potential and compassion.