Leadership has always been a part of school for select students through their participation in JROTC, athletics or on student council. In LCSD 55, student leadership is expanding through its Ladies and Gentlemen’s Clubs, Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and other organizations that give students opportunities to develop leadership skills and a voice for advocacy.
Now, prompting is not required for students to take the lead. At Laurens Middle School (LMS), students have formed an organization called the “Dream Team,” which affords students the opportunity to provide input on school climate through daily activities.
Lisa Laird, school guidance counselor, has been working with a core group of student leaders from each grade level to organize, brand, and implement the LMS “Dream Team.”
Eighth grade leader Zion Mills said, “The Dream Team is going to become a great program to help our students become leaders. Our team is here to help people and provide support to our students and teachers.”
Membership is voluntary and open to all students in grades 6-8. There are currently 105 members on the team.
Seventh grader Fayth Raines commented, “The Dream Team gives me a chance to change the school and it is also about how students interact with the school and other people. The Dream Team gives people a chance to make a change.”
The focus of the Dream Team is on four areas that the students recognized as needs within the school:
-Bully Prevention: provide a forum in which bullying can be reported in a safe and caring way while encouraging each other to do the right thing every day. The team will also create a video that they will share with elementary students in LCSD 55.
-CARE: show appreciation, respect and compassion for the LMS family.
-School Store: provide students with the necessary materials to be successful in their classrooms while promoting responsibility and teamwork
-Outdoor Lunch Bunch: work with our administrators to develop a rotation for outdoor lunch. Outdoor lunch will provide a relaxing environment for students to interact with each other during the day.
Bryson Taylor, another seventh grader, expressed that, “The Dream Team can help inspire those who struggle to do the right thing. They want to be successful but they may not be getting the most out of school. This team can make a difference.”
Sixth grader Mylasia Williams echoed his sentiment by saying, “The Dream Team is about taking the right path and focusing on the good things in life.”
LCSD 55 Superintendent, Dr. Stephen Peters, was the keynote speaker at the Dream Team’s kick-off event on February 28. Students coordinated the event and more than 100 team members attended.
Sixth grader Austin Reardon said, “The Dream Team is here to help people around the school and to make the school better. We are the first Dream Team at Laurens Middle School.”
Laurens Middle School principal Anna Brink commented, “I am so proud of students that are taking ownership in leadership opportunities, but particularly in ‘dreaming big’ to make their school and community a better place. We are fortunate to have staff, such as Mrs. Lisa Laird, our guidance counselor, who encourage and foster this growth and responsibility in students as they prepare to become our future leaders.”