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Leadership Workshop at Commonwealth High School

by Evelyn Collazo, Director of Middle and High School
CPS Scene Newsletter, Commonwealth-Parkville School, October 2009, p. 10.

For the second year, a group of thirty of our students from grades 8-12 had the experience of exploring and developing their leadership potential during an intense workshop directed by Peter Ferrito, MACSC, a psychologist specialized in presenting teambuilding and leadership workshops to high school students.

For two days these students retreated to our own auditorium from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and worked on building individual confidence by identifying their strengths and their understanding their individual roles in developing a team concept. During the process of refining a mission statement for the Student Council, they established expectations for the school community during this academic year and in the process practiced communication skills and problem-solving techniques through lectures, games, role-playing, public speaking opportunities, and interviews that helped them see the positive qualities in each other.

Accompanied by the Student Council advisors, Albert Muñiz and Tere Durán, the students practiced arriving at a consensus under time pressure and four student leaders, Frances López, Neftalí Boyer, Karen Miranda, and Ricardo Muñoz, had the experience of practicing these leadership skills by actually leading the group during certain assigned tasks.

The official mission statement refined by these student leaders expresses their desire to impact CHS in a positive way:

  • Promoting cooperation and teamwork among the members of the community,
  • Respecting similarities and differences,
  • Encouraging students to excel academically, athletically, and socially, and
  • Helping to increase school spirit.

Their task now is to formulate an action plan which will help them develop this mission, which is sure to leave a lasting legacy that will inspire future COMETS. "Commonwealth-Parkville students are bright, energetic, caring and conscientious. In the workshop they demonstrated a tremendous passion for learning about leadership and teambuilding as it is their sincere intention to use this information to make their school a better place to learn and grow as a community. It was a pleasure to work with them and I look forward to working with them in the future," said Peter Ferrito, MACSC.

Read Evelyn Collazo's letter of reference for Peter Ferrito and Teens2Teams.

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