Cactus Shadows High School student council hosts “Wild for Leadership”

CHSH conference

Cactus Shadows High School, located in the Cave Creek Unified School District, hosted its 6th Annual District Leadership Day Conference “Wild for Leadership” in April.

The Falcons welcomed approximately 175 students from Black Mountain, Desert Willow, Horseshoe Trails and Lone Mountain elementary schools and from Desert Sun Academy. Sonoran Trails Middle School sent approximately 35 middle school students to the conference.

The CSHS Leadership Class spring semester project is to plan and implement a workshop session at the conference. The first phase is a marketing pitch to present a theme. Ten themes were pitched this year. Once a theme is chosen, three workshop topics are picked, and the class is broken into nine groups. Each group plans a workshop in accordance with one of the three themes. The 3 workshop topics this year are: (1) the potential harm in pre-judging others, (2) overcoming personal challenges and set-backs, and (3) finding your individual passion for service and exploring ways to pursue that passion.

The students attending the conference were broken into 3 cohorts: 1st – 3rd graders, 4th – 6th graders, and 7th – 8th graders. Each of the three workshops had three learning objectives and are age-specific. The CSHS Leadership Class students learn how to write a lesson plan with engaging activities that support their learning objectives; budget and shop for materials; set up their classroom for their workshop; make a technical presentation; and, teach the workshop without adult assistance.

The students attending the Leadership Conference had a group photo and went to the first general assembly together. The general assembly kicks off the conference with various leadership messages and an introduction to the theme and workshops.

The students then broke into their groups for the 3 workshop rotations, ate lunch together on the lawn and came back together for the closing ceremony, which is another general assembly that wrapped up the conference, reviewed leadership messages, and had a candle lighting ceremony.

Cameron Bender and Allison Zilka are CSHS Student Council Advisors. Cameron said, “Facilitating the planning and implementation of the District Leadership Conference is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my teaching career. Watching the CSHS Student Council evolve into teachers and motivate young leaders to step up and make a difference in their school and community is remarkable!”