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Student Government Association (SGA), senior planning, newspaper, production and performance… all four of these classes are led entirely by students, with minimal intervention from their sponsors. In a school where taking as many AP classes as possible is the norm, student led classes are beneficial to take before going off to college.
For two of the classes, Splanning and SGA, there is an interview screening process to be accepted into the class. Both applications ask about student’s resume in school and extracurriculars. The interview process will also give students the necessary skills that will help with future job interviews.
In order to have a leadership position in the classes, students have to apply and “run” against their peers for the position. In-class leadership opportunities “give students the opportunity to be independent for the first time in a school environment, which is something they will need to be able to be in college. They will be an adult and come into their own for the first time and these classes help students to learn to develop leadership skills that are vital,” senior newspaper managing editor James Barberis said.
Zack Cassidy, vice president of the senior class, has run for the position every year. Now in Splanning he can tell that “student-led classes teach students not only how to lead, plan and spend money, but also how to work well with others,” Cassidy said.
Student leadership classes give students an opportunity to have their voice heard and to learn how to work with others who may have different opinions then their own. “I think student-led classes are important because they give students a chance to collaborate and communicate with each other and to utilize the skills learned later in life. I think being in a class of 32 students, who are all unique in a different way, allows me to empathize with different perspectives and has let me be more open to trying new ideas in the school,” senior SGA member Amanda Merkin said.
Production and performance is a theater class lead by committees dedicated to the different aspects of running a theater production. There are seven different committees with each student serving on two committees. “Student led classes gives hands on experience that you can make mistakes in but you learn a significant amount from. It allows students to work together in a way that builds teamwork and communication skills,” senior sound committee chair Janel Berlinger said.
The transition to college can be an eye-opening process due to the amount of leadership each student must take on to be independent. “Going into college can be a big shock, especially since people may not be used to doing things on their own and taking initiative. Taking a student-led class allows you to gain leadership skills that are very beneficial and necessary to be successful in college,” senior SGA member Aaron Lazar said.