Leadership at its finest or better left unsaid?
It’s a common phrase that dominates students’ perceptions: leadership is easy; all they do is make posters. Although this statement is partially true, leadership students do more than just make posters. Students in this class work hours in preparing for school talent shows, promoting activities, arranging assemblies and putting on one of the biggest dances of the school year: Homecoming.
More likely than the general stereotypes that have defined leadership, is the reaction that students’ voice after an assembly or the tired groans that echo during lunches when students attempt to pump up the crowd for spirit days. Whatever it may be, the students of leadership feel the impounding pressure to please the students’ and staff of OHHS.
“Sometimes, I feel like a lot of what we do for the school gets disregarded and it can be a little frustrating, but at the same time, there are a lot of people who do appreciate the things we do and support us as well,” said senior Inter-High Representative Regina Carter.
The critiques during assemblies are often filled with students who, “hope this assembly isn’t as horrible as last years.” But little do people of the student population know how much work it actually takes to coordinate such events.
“ASB (Associated Student Body) and the leadership students put a lot of time and effort into all of the school assemblies, fundraisers and fun activities for the school and community,” Carter said.
With so many events that students of leadership put on, they are required to participate actively for several hours a week.
“The class itself usually consists of one to three hours per week of participation outside of class. If you hold [a position] in ASB office, it can increase by quite a bit, depending on the position and your role,” said senior ASB Vice President Corey Houck. “I estimate that I spend about five to 10 hours per week in out of class activity, but that often varies based on the time of the year.”
Students were also required to come in during the summer to work on the annual Back to School Assembly. Taking time out of their own summer to host a much anticipated event is one that many may not acknowledge.
“The welcome back assembly has to be one [of the most challenging events] just because we had to come to leadership class in August before school started because the assembly was the second day of school,” Carter said.
On top of meeting the mandatory amount of hours to pass leadership, the class also includes the stress in planning one of the most hectic events at OHHS.
“Homecoming week is by far the busiest time of the year, [though] I’m sure there are multiple events that could be labeled [as] most challenging,” Houck said. “Hosting OHH’s first annual Homecoming Parade was quite a challenge. From communicating to sports and clubs, setting up floats, keeping in line with the staffs vision, and doing it all without someone ahead of us to learn from, it was quite a ride.”
With the hard work that leadership does for the school, how do leadership students react to the popular label of being the “poster making class?”
“That statement is one of my pet peeves. Leadership being the class that only makes posters is a complete misconception,” Carter said. “We make a lot of posters, yes, but as advertisements to the whole school or just for school spirit.”
Houck further dismissed the common label.
“To be real, I’ve probably only made a total of two posters all semester. We put work into a lot of things,” Houck said. “Until you really get involved in the class or hold an office in ASB, you never really understand exactly how much the class really does for the school.”
Despite the constant critiques or praises that leadership students receive, the class itself proves to not only benefit the school, but the students and society as a whole.
“Aside from activity planning and poster making, leadership is still a real class; we are taught how to be better leaders, build healthy working relationships with colleagues and be good examples to the rest of the student body and the world,” Carter said.
Perhaps the stereotype will never officially die out, but its quite certain that the students of leadership demonstrate the dedication it takes to build a strong and united community among the students and staff of OHHS.