Learning to be a leader

Students of various grade levels came together today to work on their leadership skills at Kennedy’s annual fall leadership retreat. The retreat took place at Kennedy in the black box theater during school today.

At the retreat, students participated in a variety of activities that challenged them to use traits that make a good leader.

“There is a group playing twister to demonstrate flexibility in leadership positions,” MC of the retreat Michael Ciabatti said. “There is another group putting an Oreo on their forehead and trying to get it in their mouth without touching it to demonstrate dedication. And just a bunch of other little activities like that to demonstrate what leadership was all about.”

Ciabatti was one of many upperclassmen that got involved in helping lead the retreat. Some other upperclassmen that got involved were Seniors Halle and Hadley Rittgers.

“It’s [the retreat] a fun way that they can learn leadership qualities and put them into practice,” Hadley said. Hadley helped lead a rotational section dedicated to flexibility.

“I think this retreat is for both people who are already leaders that can improve their leadership skills and for people who aren’t leaders to know how to become leaders and how to use the qualities they learn about today,” Halle said.

Along with participating in different activities like twister and obstacle courses today, students got to listen to speaker Doug Kopp. Kopp is the president of Alliant Energy.

“I hope the students get the sense that they can come out of their shell in front of other kids because that is an important skill as a leader,” Senior volunteer Reece Linder said. “I think a lot of kids have been doing that today and just that there aren’t any boundaries of how they can lead.”

The retreat was directed towards freshmen and sophomore students in order to encourage them to be leaders both in and out of the classroom.

“The main goal of today is to get kids comfortable with the idea of leadership because a lot of these kids are freshmen and sophomores that aren’t aware of what being a leader is and what a leadership role can do,” Ciabatti said. “It is really just about making kids aware about leadership.”