When Student Lead

When Student Lead
Posted on 11/04/2016
LMS LeadersCyndi Selcho, Lynden Middle School assistant principal, knows it. She says the entire LMS staff knows it. “We are pleasantly surprised that when there are students leading the way how much better it goes,” she says. “Kids get kids. They know best how to reach each other and they are closer to what is going on in the school.”

So don’t underestimate the importance of student leadership, especially at the middle school, where students listen intently to each other and positive influences from within can go far in promoting the qualities the staff wants to encourage.

From an application-based Lion Ambassadors program to a structured ASB student council, as Lynden students move from elementary buildings into the sixth-through-eighth grade structure at the middle school, they do so with the opportunity to get involved in leadership.

“We know that students involved in school do well in school,” Selcho says. “It is one of the reasons why we think it is so important to get students involved in middle school.”

That not only goes for the president, vice president, treasurer, activities chair and representative of each class that makes up the ASB, but for all the students touched by the activities and efforts of that student-elected leadership. 

The mission statement for the ASB student council calls to make the middle school a place where students feel safe, welcome and included while being celebrated in their achievements. “We are really striving to make it a positive environment where students can be involved in lots of different ways,” Selcho says. 

Engaging the entire student body proves paramount for the ASB council. Early in the school year they helped plan the first school spirit assemblies, getting students excited about being back at school. “They had some games and were thinking of how to pick students to make sure it is fair and how to get everyone involved,” she says. “They think about those kinds of things.”

Beyond the ASB, the roughly 20 students who have applied and been chosen as part of the Lion Ambassadors program helps out with schoolwide events and efforts to lead. A retreat before the start of school included both the ambassador and ASB students trying to brainstorm ways to get everyone involved in school. They came up with a slogan: Lead the Pride. 

With a pack of lions a pride, the slogan also plays off the middle school’s behavior-based pride acronym of positivity, respect, involvement, dependability and effort. As part of the student leadership effort, the kids have organized a T-shirt contest that incorporates the new slogan “to show our unity and what we are all striving for.” 

The Lion Ambassadors also hosted a new-student breakfast for all students new to the district with the purpose of welcoming them to the school, connecting them with each other and also with the student leaders. 

Amazing things can happen when students take ownership of their environment. And it takes a group to lead the effort. Lynden Middle School has that group.