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By Nannette Johnston
Our students are simply amazing. They are growing, learning, participating and leading more and more each day. I feel confident that the students who walk across our graduation platforms each spring will go into the world and become their generation’s leaders. Their Hardin County Schools education will play a huge role in that.
The development of leadership skills begins when students arrive in our schools. We encourage students to become leaders on class projects and extracurricular activities. These skills really blossom when our students reach the middle and high school levels.
Each of our three high schools place four students, one per grade, on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. We meet monthly at one of the schools. The last several meetings have been highlighted by some of the council members sharing different leadership experiences they have gone through recently.
One student attended the McConnell Center Young Leader’s Academy this summer. This is a prestigious event that only accepts the highest quality potential leaders. Another member of our council took part in a leadership event with the officers of the YUM Brands Corporation. Another student on the council holds a state office with DECA and is traveling to national conference soon.
Each of our students who take the initiative to look for these leadership opportunities have excelled and go on to become leaders in their professions and community and civic organizations. It is wonderful to hear from our alumni about their successes because they took the initiative to become a leader.
Our faculty and staff leaders serve the district in various roles across our district. They earn various local, region, state and national recognitions each school year because of their drive and determination. You can find them in classrooms, offices, cubicles, fields, buses, kitchens and media centers everywhere.
A leader doesn’t let a position guide their ideals. He or she leads by the heart, the mind and the soul. A strong leader has morals, character and spirit. That is what you see from those in Hardin County Schools.
We know members of our leadership team will someday retire or possibly move to other places. That is why we also develop leaders in our district. We have an Administrative Leadership Academy for instructors who wish to be principals or administrators. We meet often and go through scenarios, have deep discussions and sharpen the tremendous leadership skills each of those involved already have in place.
Our community partners also pave the way for our stakeholders. They make financial, in-kind and personal contributions every day that help us help children succeed. Thousands of parents and volunteers also give unselfishly.
There is not enough space in this newspaper for me to discuss all the leaders involved with Hardin County Schools. We wouldn’t be where we are without them. They all roll up their sleeves and give to our students — the leaders of tomorrow. We believe in growing our own, whether student leaders or members of the Administrative Leadership Academy, our leaders develop through lifelong learning. We are proud of them all.
Nannette Johnston is superintendent of the Hardin County Schools.