UHS, USU partner to build student leaders

UHS, USU Uintah Basin partner to build student leaders
Posted on 03/17/2022
This is the image for the news article titled UHS, USU Uintah Basin partner to build student leadersA partnership between Uintah High School and Utah State University Uintah Basin is helping National Honor Society members further develop their leadership skills.

“The National Honor Society Leadership Luncheon is the realization of a vision I had three years ago to foster networking and leadership development opportunities for our chapter members,” said Machelle Maxwell, who serves as the NHS advisor at Uintah High.

The pandemic prevented the luncheons from taking place for the past few years. But it didn’t deter Maxwell and USU Uintah Basin Director of Programs Vanessa Liesik from creating a program that brings NHS students from the same grade together once a trimester to have lunch and interact with guest presenters.

“The goal was to create opportunities for students to experience a business-type lunch and form relationships with community members who are working to make our area stronger,” Maxwell said.

More than 70 UHS students have participated in the luncheons this school year. NHS chapter member Annabelle Johnson attended the luncheon for sophomores in October.

“I learned a lot about how to initiate service and improvement,” she said. “I also learned ways I can cooperate with others efficiently to bring about good. The luncheon offered me new understandings and perspectives on how I can lead.”

During Wednesday’s luncheon, Uintah High juniors participated in a discussion about different leadership styles. USU Uintah Basin Associate Director/Director of Students Bob Peterson led the discussion, which featured three guest speakers: Vernal City Manager Quinn Bennion; owner/broker of Ashley Valley Realty Inc. and former Vernal Mayor Sonja Norton; and Wes Porter, the director of the state Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Accelerator. Porter also serves as an officer in the Utah Army National Guard.

The students listened as Bennion, Norton, and Porter described the work they do. Following the trio’s presentations, the students worked in small groups, discussing which leadership styles they believed Bennion, Norton and Porter use to lead others. The interactive session allowed students to ask questions and gain a better understanding of how good leadership is interdependent with the other NHS pillars of service, scholarship, and character.

Peterson said the partnership with Uintah High’s NHS chapter brings a welcome “enthusiasm and energy” to the USU Uintah Basin campus.

“It’s been an honor this year to host the National Honor Society members and Mrs. Maxwell as we discussed leadership principles,” he said. “We look forward to watching these students as they exemplify leadership in the future.”
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