• Mary Harrison

CHS student leaders attend first-ever Leadership Conference

Class and Student Council officers from Cairo High School attended a Herff Jones' Leadership Conference during the school day on Monday, November 12. Hosted by Gordon Heights Baptist Church, 15 CHS student leaders participated in workshops stressing moral excellence, work ethic, and reputation and discussed ways to improve their school.

Herff Jones is a company that helps schools recognize educational achievement and sells class rings, yearbooks, caps, and gowns. Its representative for Cairo High, Mr. Spud Bowen, organized and led the Leadership Conference.

Most of those invited were able to attend, and are pictured above, l-r: front row - Amaya Gordon, junior class vice-president; Cedrick Brown, freshman class president; Iris Brimm, senior class vice-president; Mary Harrison, sophomore class vice-president; Amaiah Young (senior), Student Council secretary; Jalyn Ross (senior), Student Council president; Brianna Smith, junior class secretary; and Chaney Johnson, freshman class treasurer; back row - Loreal Young, freshman class secretary; Kaitlynn Bywaters (senior), Student Council treasurer; Taylor Maige, senior class treasurer; Kaitlyn Donalson (sophomore), Student Council vice-president; Hailey Jones, sophomore class secretary; Alli Hester, sophomore class treasurer. Nikiyah Brown, freshman class vice-president, is not pictured, but also participated.

When student officers arrived at Gordon Heights at 10 in the morning, Mr. Bowen explained the goal of conference: brainstorming “changes [they] would like to see at CHS,” with the plan of presenting student input to the school’s administration at a later date.

After an ice-breaker activity, the young leaders listened to talks on “The Secret of Life – Your Standards” and “Decision Making – its reflection on your reputation", and participated in illustrating activities. Mr. Bowen then led the students in a brainstorming session, which lasted until their return to CHS at 2 p.m.

Student body president Jalyn Ross, a senior, says she believes the conference “got the ball rolling for us as student leaders to come up with ideas for ways we can improve the school realistically, and ways [we can] implement those policies.”

Mrs. Tammy Donalson, CHS assistant principal and Student Council co-sponsor, shared that Herff Jones reached out to the CHS administration about the leadership conference opportunity. They have held such retreats for schools for 18 years, but this was first of its kind held for Cairo High School.

According to Mr. Bowen, Herff Jones began sponsoring events for students because it “wanted to be known as a company that did more than just take orders and leave...

We wanted to elevate the students’ experience within their school and help make it better.”

After all, he said, “[they] are the ones walking the hallways every day.”