Excelsior Middle School (EMS) students attended the California Association of Student Leaders (CASL) conference in Costa Mesa last month and came away with not only notebooks full of new ideas for the school’s student body association, but was honored for their spot-on, creative leadership qualities.
“At Excelsior we are proud of our leadership standards,” said Class President Amanda Parlog. “Referring to those standards helped us realize the strength of the standards in Excelsior’s leadership. I feel this is a big reason why we won the Outstanding Activities Award.”
Candidates for the award were judged on a presentation that included, among other factors, the school’s goals for the student body, the school’s activity programs and how they serve the entire school community.
CASL is a statewide organization dedicated to providing an avenue for student expression through a statewide communication network. According to its mission statement, CASL provides assistance in developing leaders with integrity and ethical decision-making skills, so they can be active participants at the local, state and national levels.
This was Excelsior’s sixth year of participation in the event. And according to EMS Leadership teacher Kristin Karr, it was the best year yet. “I took only four students the first year,” wrote Karr in an e-mail to The Press. “And this year we had 37. It just keeps growing.
“The CASL conference has changed Excelsior Middle School with all the ideas that my students bring back to share, but more importantly it has changed all of their lives for the better. Each student comes back filled with love, adventure and dreams. Words cannot explain the complete experience of watching these student leaders grow over a three-day period.”
EMS Vice President Mena Poss agreed. “It was important to go to the CASL conference,” she said. “Because we want to bring ideas back to our classes. You get practice in meeting new people, introducing yourself and carrying on conversations. I wanted to be a part of CASL because I know they are dedicated to supporting people involved in leadership.”