Taking the Lead

Students speak about what it means to be a leader and how they’ve taken on their roles this year.


Photo by Toni Elton

Leading the pack. Soonhee Han (12) leads the Cross Country team through a warm up during practice on August 26, 2019. Han explained that an important part of being a leader is “...setting a good example and doing what’s right because the freshman...look up a lot to see what to do…” Han, like many other leaders in the school, aims to add to the community through helping others within their sport or club.

Toni Elton, Editor in Chief

The feeling received after lending a hand to someone else, the reward of accomplishing a big task, the legacy of unbreakable connections that are made- there are many aspects to being a leader that makes the title worthwhile.

Around every corner, within every classroom, and on any field, there is a leader ready to unite the community. Some leaders are recognizable among the herd of students that swarm the hallways, and others tend to work behind the scenes. Despite how they present themselves, the leaders within the school halls play a large part in how the student body acts and feels.

“…Being a leader means seeing the best in people and bringing out their potential and helping them see that they also bring something unique to the school,” Gabby Ello (12), Student Body President, said. Alongside members of leadership, there are students that strive to create an impact this school year.

Deca is a prominent club due to the sheer number of students that are involved with it, as well as its overall impact on the student body. Bailey Elmore (12), co-vice president of Deca, explained that part of the club is about “…keeping the hype up at school…just being able to keep people happy.”

Elmore went on to state that, “I think being a leader is just being there for other people and giving them a chance for their voice to be heard but also helping them with the guidance of becoming who they are…give them that opportunity to kind of try things out and try new experiences…”

President of National Honor Society Will Harmon (12) resonated with Elmore’s comments. “…your role as a leader is to be in service to the people you are leading,” said Harmon. “And that’s something that is obviously really important because to lead and be respected by the people that you’re leading you have to help them understand that you’re there for them and not just for your own best interest.”

Being a leader begins with a group of people in search of guidance, whether that is the entire student body, a sports team, or another member of a club. But what comes of the work a leader puts forth extends beyond the people it directly affects.

“I think that if we’re together as a team then we can help…the school build as a team more so if you see a unified group together that’s going to make you want to be part of that,” Hannah Krafels (12), Editor in Chief of Yearbook, said. Krafels explained that if other students see how the yearbook staff is united then they will strive for a similar connection amongst their peers.

Even outside of the school halls, students are working to set examples of leadership and build the foundation for a welcoming community. When explaining what it means to be a leader, Cross Country Captain Soonhee Han (12) said, “…making sure everyone is included and feel like…they have a safe place…by them feeling like they have a place they belong at school, it’s not such a bad place for them…”

Whether it be through coordinating events for a club, looking out for fellow teammates, or simply lending a hand to a peer during class, student leaders within the community have displayed their ability to cultivate a supportive and impactful community. But the handful of students that hold the title of leaders are not anomalies. Everyone has the potential to take action as a leader. “…you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it, you just may need that little push for someone to come and join you…” Elmore said.

As this year begins to unfold, look towards others for support and step up to lend a hand in order to contribute to the culture of inclusivity that makes the community a welcoming place for all students.