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Fort Bend ISD’s first Elementary Leadership Conference inspires students to be all they can be (4/9/2019)

FORT BEND ISD (April 9, 2019) – Fort Bend ISD students are learning that you are never too young to be a leader. To inspire students to take on leadership roles and learn about the attributes of FBISD’s Profile of a Graduate, Fort Bend ISD hosted its first Elementary Leadership Conference on April 6, with two additional events planned this month. The April 6 event welcomed nearly 120 fourth and fifth-grade students selected by their campus principals and counselors based on their leadership potential. The students represented 12 elementary schools within the Hightower, Ridge Point and Willowridge high school feeder patterns. Participating elementary campuses included Blue Ridge, Briargate, Burton, Goodman, Heritage Rose, Leonetti, Parks, Ridgegate, Ridgemont, Scanlan Oaks, Schiff and Sienna Crossing


The conference was a collaborative effort of FBISD’s Department of Student Leadership, the three high schools, campus-based student leadership liaisons, and the Leadership 101 and 102 cohorts. Funding for the conference was made possible through a portion of the $25,000 cash prize the FBISD Board of Trustees received for the District after winning the 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education School Board award. The conference included an opening ceremony, six 20-minute sessions, lunch and a closing ceremony.


Student Leadership Coordinator Michael Madden welcomed participants to the event. “You are among a select group of students, who have the distinct honor of being the very first participants of Fort Bend ISD’s inaugural Elementary Leadership Conference,” said Madden.


FBISD Leadership 102 students Avery Byrne and Faith Ogbah volunteered to serve as Mistresses of Ceremony. The two led the students in ice-breakers that included a singalong of Baby Shark and other fun activities.


FBISD Board Secretary Dave Rosenthal and Board Member Kristin Tassin also welcomed students and engaged them in discussions about what it means to be a leader and the importance of exhibiting the attributes of FBISD’s Profile of a Graduate.


“When we created Fort Bend ISD’s Profile of a Graduate, we wanted something that would help students be successful,” said Tassin. “I’m so excited to learn that a lot of you have heard of it and know about the attributes. Now that you know about the Profile of a Graduate, don’t keep it to yourselves. Go back to your schools and be examples. Share what you’ve learned with your friends and everyone else. It will make a difference in not only your life, but in the lives of so many others.”


When speaking on what it means to be a leader, Board Secretary Rosenthal recalled his days in elementary school.


“When I was a child in school, I was kind of shy, never a leader, always a follower. I came out of my shell in college, and even then, if you would have told me that I would one day govern one of the largest school districts in Texas, I would have thought you were crazy,” said Rosenthal. “For those of you who feel you aren’t leaders, just know that as you get older, you learn how to lead.”


Following the opening ceremony, the students attended mini sessions with their assigned groups, where they took part in ROPES activities and discussions about each of the attributes of FBISD’s Profile of a Graduate. The purpose was to empower the students to model the attributes in their daily lives and challenge them to create a Profile of a Graduate project on their campus.


Amiyah Lee, a fourth-grader at Parks Elementary School, was happy to be a part of the conference. “I made new friends, and learned all kinds of things, like how to work together as a team and what I have to do to be a great leader. When I told my friends about the conference, they all wished they had gone,” said Amiyah.


FBISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre joined the students during the closing ceremony, commending them on devoting a Saturday to learning about FBISD’s Profile of a Graduate – which is a true sign of their leadership abilities.


This conference was the first of three to be offered this year. Additional conferences will take place this month at Dulles High School and Kempner High School for the remaining elementary schools in the District.