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District kicks off new Student Leadership Summit

Jan. 27, 2023

Sanderlin IB World School students Carma Soud, Lillian Ducey, Josiah Furse & Devyn Williams

Photo: Sanderlin IB World School students - Carma Soud, Lillian Ducey, Josiah Furse & Devyn Williams

This week, hundreds of elementary school students gathered at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg to hone their leadership and advocacy skills. 

Student Leadership Summit activities included a Lego competition, a scavenger hunt and the development of a plan to share what they learned with their school communities.

Devyn Williams, a fourth-grader at Sanderlin IB World School, was thrilled to be at USF.

"I have only been on a college campus once," he said while embarking on a campus-wide scavenger hunt with his school team and chaperones.

As they explored the dorms, the library, the bookstore and other campus sites, Carma Soud, a fifth-grader at Sanderlin, remarked that the scavenger hunt was a fun way to get to know the campus.

Scholars were incredibly engaged in the Lego competition, which helped them build listening and communication skills. They were challenged to build a Lego tower and make specific figurines that only one of their teammates, "a looker," could view. The looker was tasked with describing the figurines, but was not supposed to physically help build them. 

Marisol Tobienne, a fifth grader at Midtown Academy, was quite a fan of the Lego competition.

"It was very challenging, " Marisol said, "It was a good team-building exercise."

Fourth-grader Mia Drummond, agreed.

"I really like working as a team," she said.

In addition to engaging break-out sessions, the event also incorporated a tour of the campus. 

Superintendent Kevin Hendrick kicked off the summit and district leaders were on hand to listen and learn from students, who provided feedback on various topics, such as communicating with teachers, access to adult mentors on campus, anti-bullying advice, and suggestions for additional school enrichment opportunities.

The goal of the Student Leadership Summit is to bring together diverse groups of students, so they can develop leadership skills, share them with their schools and make their schools places of collaboration and success.

The district wrapped up Day 2 of the Elementary Summit on Wednesday. The Middle School Summit will take place in February and the High School Summit will take place in March.

Midtown Academy students Marisol Tobienne and Mia Drummond74th Street Elementary Lego Competition