Learning about leadership
TROY - Student council representatives in Troy know that it isn't easy to host something as ambitious as the District 7 Spring Conference of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC).
But on Friday, they were enjoying the fruits of their labors as the PASC conference kicked off at Troy Area Junior-Senior High School.
Bev Anderson, student council advisor at Troy, said she and the students in Troy began preparing for the conference a year ago.
"I think that says a lot about them," she commented of the students' hard work in planning the event.
The two-day conference continues today.
Student council representatives from all over District 7 showed up for the conference. In the high school, they were welcomed by a large banner with the greeting, "Welcome PASC."
"It was a lot to organize, but it's definitely paid off," said Grace Monroe, who was one of the students on hand at the conference to welcome the out-of-town visitors. "A lot of hours have been put into this."
The students who came to Troy for the conference stayed with host families in the area. A total of 25 schools from Tioga, Potter, Bradford, Columbia, and Lycoming counties sent student council representatives and advisors to the conference, according to Anderson.
The theme for this year's conference is "All Aboard the Crazy Train of Leadership."
Anderson said it's meant to show the students that not everything - even for leaders - always goes according to plan.
For example, there can be last-minutes changes in time schedules or changes in attendance. Dealing with such things can be a juggling act, Anderson said.
"You need to improvise, think quickly, and react and sometimes you need to keep your fingers crossed," she commented.
In Memorial Auditorium, there was a large "Crazy Train" set piece on stage to back up the theme.
Beth Ward, a high school English teacher who also helped out with the event, said the students were also being taught about what leadership involves after high school.
Workshops during the conference were meant to educate the students about public speaking, motivation, "getting to know yourself," and team-building activities, among other topics.
In addition, Joy Mack, who graduated from Troy last year and now attends Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., where she majors in business administration with a minor in communications, came back to Troy to help out with the conference. She noted that the conference was last held in Troy in 2010, when she was involved with student council.
Mack was excited that her sister, Claudia, who is a junior and is involved with student council, was getting a chance to participate in the conference, which she said is "a great program." She said it gives the students a lot of opportunities and contacts and the chance to meet those from other schools.
Claudia said her sister helped out a lot and was always there if she had questions.
Lots of activities were planned for the conference. In addition to the workshops, general sessions were scheduled. Also, Matt Harold, a chemistry teacher at Troy High School, was scheduled to speak and a dance was on the itinerary.
In the high school and the auditorium, the hallways were decorated with crepe paper and banners.
Quotes from famous people were printed on the banners. One quote was from Abraham Lincoln: "Everybody likes a compliment."
Anderson thanked all the host families who provided lodging for the visiting students. In addition, she commended Joy Mack for coming back to help with the conference.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.