West Pilots New Leadership Elective


Riley Grissett, Assistant Broadcast Director

Decisions are almost impossible for some: never knowing what they want, or how to take action–they need someone to make the first move. It’s why we have leaders: to take the initiative to find the answer or create one. Leaders can be anyone, age and gender do not define what leaders can do.

This semester, West is piloting an Honors Leadership class. The class focuses on building leadership, and character, setting goals, and developing community. Teacher Anna Saunders proposed the class last year and has worked to recruit weekly guest speakers and opportunities for students to go out into the school community and lead. 

“Leadership is more than a position: it’s something you do,” said Saunders. “I think it’s an invaluable experience, so they can make these connections and talk to people and understand them better, as leaders and as people, and it ultimately helps us understand ourselves better”.

So far, guest speakers have worked in education, music engineering, entrepreneurship, the veterinary field, and coaching. Almost all of the speakers lined up are the product of a Brunswick County Schools education.

“I like being able to see that some people have been successful,” said junior Noah Farris.“It helps me want to do more, hearing these successful people talk about all their accomplishments and how they got there.”

This class could be what our school desperately needed, with it teaching the students communication and viable skills for future use. It’s bringing a group together that is diverse, which leads to ideas others wouldn’t even have considered.

“Leadership class is an exciting, fun, and interesting way to get involved in the school,” said senior Morgan Bellamy. “It’s a group of students from every club, sport, or group that you see in high school, come together and put ideas together to create a fun experience for the high school community.”

Overall, this is a great program for students who want to learn more communication skills when it comes to taking the lead and never giving up. It also gives students the chance to take initiative around school, like giving a helping hand in the office or library or leading a club. It’s an experience that Saunders hopes to be offered to students both semesters eventually.

“I think it’s important to see how these skills translate into the real world and how these lessons and these things we are doing might seem small, like school spirit or student section, but it’s building soft skills that are so helpful for your future,” said Saunders.