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College hosts more than 500 high-school students for leadership event

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Sep 06, 2018

Starting the first day of school with a morning pep rally, as the student body sings rousing songs such as Journey’s classic rock hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.”  Organizing a prom for students with special needs. Allowing graduating seniors to wear their caps and gowns to school and march in a special hallway procession, high-fiving younger students and community members.

Such innovative ideas, designed to create a school culture that encourages success, have been implemented at high schools in Portland, Tenn. and elsewhere, said Phil Campbell, keynote speaker at the College of Lake County’s third annual Northern Lake County Conference Student Leadership Conference, held Aug. 16.  More than 500 students, selected by teachers, coaches or advisors for their leadership potential, attended from eight area high schools: Antioch, Grant, Grayslake Central, Grayslake North, Lakes, North Chicago, Round Lake and Wauconda.Photo of eight high school students displaying their school's logo

Photo: Students display logos from eight area high schools in a rally concluding the Aug. 16 leadership conference at CLC. Sara Flanigan, left, activities coordinator at Wauconda High School, called the students to the stage.

“Building a positive culture in schools rests on three principles: Put relationships first, genuinely love one another and create a sense of family,” said Campbell, a former high school principal, teacher, coach and now a Tennessee-based motivational speaker and consultant.

Recalling his college baseball days, when his own self-confidence as a batter grew after encouraging words from a coach, Campbell said, “Every day, you can serve as hero to others. It’s amazing what you can do when other people believe in you.”

Following the keynote address, breakout sessions explored topics such as characteristics that make a good leader, finding one’s “why” or highest life goal and sharing ideas with peers from other schools. At the closing session in the Mainstage Theatre, the students rose to their feet and sang in unison as a recording of “Don’t Stop Believin’” boomed through the speakers.

In hosting the conference, CLC’s goal is to build partnerships with area high schools, said Nic Scandrett, CLC director of Athletics and Physical Activity and one of the conference’s organizers. “We’re excited to help develop young leaders, whether they are athletes or in other extra-curricular activities,” he said. “It’s great to bring them all to campus for a chance to learn and share ideas.”

One student who found the conference valuable is Ty Sato, a senior at Grayslake Central High School and a runner on the school’s cross-country team. “It’s great to meet students from other schools and exchange ideas, and the keynote speaker was really good," he said. "Today, I learned that a good leader values everyone, including people who are quieter and not easily noticed.”

About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes,

provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.