Sabetha Leadership Team takes second

The Sabetha High School Leadership Team places second in Washburn University Leadership Challenge Event. Pictured are (L-R) Olivia Meyer, Sofia Kuenzi, Henry Glynn, Shayna Strahm and Gracie Robinson.

Submitted by Brian Cole

A team of five Sabetha High School students traveled to Washburn University in Topeka Thursday and Friday, April 5 and 6, to compete in the Washburn Leadership Challenge Event (LCE).

The LCE is focused on giving student teams a chance to put their leadership qualities to the test in real-world situations. This year’s simulation dealt with the response of a college and community to a hazing incident on the fictitious campus of Central Kansas University.

“It was a valuable learning experience, and we got to deal with real world problems,” said Henry Glynn, SHS student participant.

The two-day event has an orientation day on the first day, where the teams have an opportunity to learn about ideas or gain knowledge that can help them in the simulation on day two.

The Sabetha High School Leadership Team gives a presentation at the Washburn University Leadership Challenge Event. Pictured are (L-R) Sofia Kuenzi, Henry Glynn, Shayna Strahm, Gracie Robinson and Olivia Meyer.

Juniors Glynn and Shayna Strahm along with sophomores Sofia Kuenzi, Olivia Meyer and Gracie Robinson formed the team that represented the Bluejays.

This is only the second year Sabetha has taken a team, but the competition has been going on for eight years. Strahm and Kuenzi were both second-year team members.

“I felt more prepared this time and knew what to expect which in turn allowed me to help those who were first time participants and didn’t know what they were doing. I loved how it challenged me to step out of my box and invoked a deeper thinking in the way we lead in our communities and our schools,” Strahm said.

The team members were selected from many volunteers from the SHS student council. Their selection by Advisor Brian Cole was based on demonstrating consistent strengths at being a team member during the various activities the council has throughout the school year. Those activities include but are not limited to Homecoming and King and Queen of Hearts.

Teams are scored based on collaboration, communication, and many other team-based qualities.

All teams go through several rounds of new tasks and issues, and they must find and then share their solution. Some of those rounds could involve role-players walking into their middle of their work with new information or to see how they handle the emotions of others in a crisis situation.

At the end of the day, each team presents their findings and proposed solutions to the problems that remain at the end of the simulation.

When all the scoring was done, the Sabetha team had taken second over 20-plus high schools whose classifications ranged from 1A to 6A.

In addition to taking the second place trophy, the Sabetha team also was awarded the Emerging Leadership Award. This award is given to a team in only its first or second year in the completion that demonstrates strong leadership qualities.

“I credit our team’s success to our willingness to listen to each other and work hard to pull our weight,” Kuenzi said. “We all had strengths and weaknesses on the team, but the key was identifying them and finding a way to use them to our advantage.”

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