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Stevensville High School celebrated National Student Leadership Week, April 15–21, with a proclamation by Mayor Brandon Dewey, a clean-up project in Lewis and Clark Park and recognition from Principal Brian Gum.

Thousands of schools throughout the United States, Canada and around the world celebrated the week that recognizes the important role of student leaders.

Dewey read his proclamation acknowledging the vital experience of leadership with an emphasis on positively influencing peers, modeling good character in and out of the classroom, and improving the overall climate and academic performance levels at school.

“National Student Leadership Week serves as an ideal time to bring attention to the important and integral contributions that student leaders and all student activities make in our nation’s schools,” Dewey said.

He also praised the dedicated faculty advisors for providing the positive experiences, skills and mentoring needed to build effective leaders.

Dewey said the theme for this year’s event is “Make Your Mark on the World: Dream. Lead. Serve.”

“There are three stations to that,” he said. “Dream - we want you to come up with a vision or idea, leading means you’ve gathered people to make that dream a reality and serving would be implementing that. Today we have a dream as a community of a clean park, you’re going to lead the community in cleaning it and serving in the process.”

Dewey thanked the students, on behalf of the town and citizens, for the work they would provide. The project at Lewis and Clark Park included litter clean-up and leaf removal.

“It is feel-good work so when you down there with you friends you go ‘yeah, I took care of this,’” Dewey said. “I hope it gives you ownership of that park and that you’ll help us take care of it in the future.”

Gum recognized the selected student leaders in front of the student body during his Jacket Friday Assembly.

Gum said the student leadership recognition is part of a great partnership with the Stevensville community.

“It is always nice to partner with the mayor and the kids enjoy connecting with the community,” Gum said.

The SHS student leadership group is the largest in school history and were selected to be representatives by coaches, advisors and sponsors of clubs and sports.

Gum said the leadership lessons are sometimes challenging.

“It is a good opportunity to be involve and learn that with leadership you are asked to do things that are difficult at times or hard,” he said. “We ask them ‘What does it look like to make the right call even when others may doubt you?’ Taking the high road is difficult to do sometimes. They are great kids and have done a lot with our proactive coaching model.”

The proactive coaching model began with coaches from Washington then expanding student leadership roles in athletic programs and academic clubs including Key Club, student council, band, speech and debate and choir.

“Whether that is training or going to camps in the off-season to students taking a vested interest in keeping their grades up and how they network within the community,” Gum said. “We are trying to have our kids reach higher and succeed more in all that they do.”

Gum said the school is adapting the proactive coaching model for all the coaches and advisors.

“We are hoping to grow that down in to our youth coaches in the town so we are all on the same page with the same philosophy with what it takes to be successful,” he said.