Steven Castillo is a born leader. It comes naturally to him even though he is only in elementary school. The House Creek Elementary School fifth-grader has already proven himself as one to follow.
Castillo along with more than 100 other elementary students who are officers in their schools’ student council organizations gathered in Killeen for the Leaders ‘R Us leadership conference to increase their skills.
“Demonstrating courage and your first follower can make a big difference,” Castillo said.
Students were broken into small groups, mainly by school, and discussed how to lead students with different personalities, different ideas and different agendas. Student leaders attended workshops where they received training on their various office responsibilities.
Noah Nelson, who is the president of the Williams/Ledger Elementary Student Council, has attended the conference for two years and found the video about leadership especially useful.
“Don’t follow a person that’s doing a bad decisions or bad things,” he said. “Follow the person that’s doing good and be a good leader to the community.”
Students learned using leadership curriculum from the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. While students were sharpening their leadership skills, their advisors were also engaged in professional development for their roles.
House Creek Elementary Student Council sponsors Andrea Hardin and Kristin Guess attended workshops to learn how to best organize service projects and fund raisers.
“Great ideas were shared, new friendships were created and excitement for the coming year highlighted our leadership day,” Guess said.
The student leaders also learned life skills such as how to conduct an effective and strong handshake. Students were taught that good leaders are also good listeners and are able to share responsibility.
Williams/Ledger Elementary fifth grader Arianna Bennett had fun during the conference.
“I met new friends and learned about being a good leader,” Bennett said. “Always follow a person that’s doing a good job and once you follow, then everybody will do good things.”
Student council leaders also collaborated to create a song to advertise student council participation and enthusiasm.
Williams/Ledger Elementary fifth grader Kristin Pastrano said she learned about how to be a good leader.
“A good leader is when a person does the right things all the time and then we follow and do good things. Then, everybody will do good things and become good leaders too,” Pastrano said. “A good leader is our role model, and when you do good, people will like you because you are good to everyone.”