What is leadership? What does it mean to be a great leader? These questions and more were discussed by 100 Foss High School students at the school’s first leadership lock-in on March 20.
“You are all here for a reason. You were nominated because we believe in you and your leadership potential,” Thu Ament, Foss High School principal, told students. “Your purpose is to build on that leadership. You can help spread what you learn from the lock-in to other students throughout the school.”
The purpose of the lock-in was to bring together students from all over Foss and provide them with training to develop their leadership skills so they can help cultivate community spirit at Foss.
Student leaders planned the event with the help of administrators. Each teacher, club advisor and coach nominated a person who they thought had leadership potential or would benefit from the leadership lock in. It was an opportunity to bring students together who do not normally hang out. “Students thought it was pretty cool that they were nominated,” said teacher Carlene Herd.
Ilona Trofimovich, a junior, had a leadership role in coordinating the event. “It gives students an opportunity to get acquainted with each other and know better who are there for them,” Trofimovich said. “The goal of the event was to develop stronger leadership and morale.”
The lock-in—which went from 8 p.m.–8 a.m.— was jam-packed full of workshops, inspirational speakers, activities and team building. Student leaders facilitated each workshop for participants. The workshops and activities focused on the following themes: character, teamwork and leadership.
Sarah Fonoimoana, a junior at Foss, believes that leadership means being a role model to others so that people will want to follow in your footsteps. She said her parents don’t want her to settle down yet and they want her to have a better life than what they have. She was most impressed with everyone’s spirit. “People were enthusiastic through the entire lock-in,” she said.
Austin Dobbins, a sophomore who optionally enrolled to attend Foss, said he was impressed with the turnout. He is a sophomore class senator and helped coordinate a workshop, movie room and game room. He agrees that leadership means being an example and leading by example. His favorite part of the evening was swimming (he’s on the swim team).
Maya Washington, a senior at Foss who is also president of the gospel choir and an Achiever’s scholar, said that leadership is a responsibility that should be valued. She tries to remember that people are watching so she tries not to carry herself in a way that would hinder anybody else’s growth. She enjoyed talking to people that she doesn’t normally talk to and changed ideas about them. “The event was positive and I wish they would have done it before now,” she said.
She gets upset if people say negative things about Foss because she knows it is a great school. “Foss staff members are striving to create a sense of community and try to pull students in. It’s a great school…Foss is a place of learning.” The leader she admires most is her mom who puts her family first.
Overall, the event went well and students plan on making it an annual event. “Students got to know kids they haven’t met before. By the end of the lock-in, they were one group versus small pockets,” said Steven Lee, ASB vice president and a lead event coordinator. “I hope it helps spread Falcon Pride and improves school spirit and community.”