‘They Knocked It Out Of The Park’: Jordan Creek’s Student-Led Assemblies Inspire At Leader In Me Symposium
*Snap* *Snap* “Woo!”
When praising special guests and positive messages during its beloved student-led assemblies, that’s the action Jordan Creek Elementary students instructed educational professionals from across Iowa and the Midwest part of this week’s FranklinCovey Leader in Me symposium to make.
And after two days’ worth of hosting shows for hundreds both in the school’s gymnasium and at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines, the experience has come full circle.
“To me, it’s bittersweet because this is how we got started before we were ever a Leader in Me school,” said Aaron Witt, a sixth-grade teacher at Jordan Creek. “We came to a leadership symposium in the past and we were blown away by just how giving people were of not only their knowledge, but anything they had ever made that would help you out and guide you.
“We just wanted to pay it back.”
Jordan Creek, which earned Leader in Me Lighthouse certification last November by FranklinCovey, was offered the opportunity to showcase its student-led assemblies. Many of the sessions at these events provide innovative ideas for professionals to bring back to their schools, learn best practices, and gain inspiration from some of the successes presenters have found.
Jordan Creek’s trio of assemblies did just that Wednesday, Feb. 12, as the stage (and even the red carpet) was set and rolled out within one of the venue’s larger ballrooms.
Sixth-grader Sarah Mouser — co-host of the Kindness Corner bit with fellow classmate Callie Schuster — admitted her nerves were at an all-time high, but is extremely grateful for the occasion.
“All in all, it was really fun,” she said with a joyous smile. “I’m so glad we got this opportunity. It’s not something you typically get. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
A day earlier, nearly 100 guests filled Jordan Creek’s gym, where “The Afternoon Show” made its monthly debut. They were welcomed by the school’s Student Lighthouse Team and Hospitality Leaders, visited classrooms and toured learning spaces, and listened to a panel of students, staff, and parents.
Our Jordan Creek student leaders shined today! They hosted 95 guests from other schools across the state of Iowa and the…
The assembly carried over Wednesday at the symposium to the delight of dozens. Fueled by the complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks, students took to their usual tasks of interviewing, playing an instrument, or handling the overall production of the show — to name just a few of the many responsibilities.
Afterwards, Jordan Creek students and staff interacted with attendees from each of the three sessions and answered their questions.
“It feels really special because it’s like, ‘Oh, adults are looking up to me,’ and that’s amazing,” Schuster said about the conversations she had.
“It’s special to me because when people ask me how we do this,” Mouser added, “it makes me want to go back and do it even harder next time.”
About five years ago, when the concept of Jordan Creek’s student-led assembly was in its infancy and the Leader in Me program was first implemented, Witt remembers leaving that leadership event impressed with what those presenting schools and students were doing. Some day, he said, Jordan Creek will be in a similar position.
“It’s a goal that was set up a long time ago now coming true,” Witt said Wednesday. “It’s always impressive to see kids at their best.”
Did Jordan Creek students take advantage of this moment?
“They knocked it out of the park,” Witt said proudly.
You know what that means…
*Snap* *Snap* “Woo!”