New class promotes the importance of leadership

Leadership service and action class works on developing leadership skills and applying them throughout the school


By Jordan Robinson

Addressing the class, consumer science teacher Emily Schmidt informs her students of their daily agenda.

Jakob Twigg, JagWire sports editor

Leadership Service in Action, a new class taught by family and consumer science teacher Emily Schmidt and band director Deb Steiner; focuses on bettering students leadership skills to promote growth in themselves as well as the school community.

Nicknamed Jag Leadership Core by the students, JLC is built around the concept that students have a voice in their school and communities. Schmidt aims to teach the students how to use that voice to lead others.

By Jordan Robinson
Participating in the daily routine of “good things,” junior Payton Totzke tells her classmates about her day.

“In Student Leadership Team we say ‘hey you’re student leaders’, but [we don’t] do a good job and explain [what that means],” Schmidt said. “Students need those opportunities to learn [what it takes to lead] in a safe space and in an environment giving them an opportunity to fail and not to fail publicly or fail with their team.”

Students in the class went through an extensive application process last year that included a spoken presentation in front of Steiner, Schmidt and counselor Erin Hayes.

“It is quite a bit of effort on [the student’s] behalf, especially when it comes to presenting something to a group of strangers on a whim.” Schmidt said. “It kind of helps see who is actually serious and who might not be.”

The long process was worth it for junior Henry Lopez, who feels the class “seems like a family.”

“All of us that applied in the class have big personalities,” Lopez said. “When we put our minds together, we can come up with some pretty great things.”

Effects from the class can already be seen throughout Mill Valley, specifically during SLT meetings, according to junior Veronica Dervin.

“We go to the SLT meetings [and] decide activities of the week and community service projects,” Dervin said. “We [organized] the diaper competition with Blue Valley.”

As the class continues to learn, Schmidt believes students will remember the class for years to come.

“When those students look back at their high school experience, they’re going to realize that they got to impact the school,” Schmidt said. “All the cool things they got to do because of the time and effort they put into applying for the class. And that they are going to have this huge impact that’s everlasting in this building just by taking a class.”

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