Teaching leadership skills

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 10/25/16

SUMITON — Students at Sumiton Middle School have been doing service projects to give back to their community and their own bus drivers.

On Oct. 19, members of law enforcement were invited to have lunch with students. Teachers Alison Dunaway and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Teaching leadership skills

Posted

SUMITON — Students at Sumiton Middle School have been doing service projects to give back to their community and their own bus drivers.

On Oct. 19, members of law enforcement were invited to have lunch with students. Teachers Alison Dunaway and Amy Hall led the service project that encouraged students to develop a respectful relationship with law enforcement.

“At Sumiton Middle School, we strive to teach our students leadership skills. What better way to highlight leadership than by recognizing the men and women who are putting their lives on the line to protect our communities,” Dunaway and Hall said in a statement to the Eagle. “We want our students to have a chance to get to know the real men and women who work to keep our communities safe, and we want our students to do so in an environment where they feel comfortable.”

Principal Chris Stephenson added, “They just got to hang out with the kids, and the kids got to see them in a different light.”

Dora Police Chief Jared Hall, Dora Officer Ronnie Phillips, Alabama State Trooper Adam Aaron, Sumiton Officer Glover, Investigator Nail and Assistant Chief Kris Price and Jasper Police Chief J.C. Poe and Assistant Chief Paul Tucker attended the luncheon.

One of the school’s largest service days was Oct. 21, when the 7th grade cleaned the inside of school buses and helped with upkeep of their nature trail.

While bus drivers drank hot chocolate or coffee and enjoyed snacks, students cleaned the inside of buses by sweeping, mopping and cleaning windows.

Stephenson said having the students clean buses is a small way for them to give back to the drivers who are critical to all school operations.

“By far, that is one of the most important jobs that anyone has, because they have a huge responsibility, and it’s a difficult job too,” he said.

Students assigned to the nature trail removed trash, pulled up weeds and painted benches on the trail.

Serving others is encouraged as part of the school’s Leader in Me program, and aside from service projects, the students recently held student led conferences for Parent Visitation Day. Instead of each child’s teacher leading the conference, the student facilitated their individual sessions.

“They had a script of five main things they needed to hit on. ... We gave questions that the parent could ask the kid, and the teacher just stood there and the kid had to determine what their goal was going to be for the next nine weeks with their parent,” Stephenson said.

Assistant Principal Trish Key added, “Our faculty has always done a tremendous job with academics in the classroom. We are extremely proud of our academic achievements, but our greatest pride is a faculty and staff that invests in our students beyond the academics in the classroom.”

Students have also been excelling during their enrichment periods at the school, where they focus on improving their reading skills, studying and receiving intervention in difficult subject areas. Stephenson said since the school has implemented their Drop Everything and Read program, accelerated reader points have increased by 4,763 points.