At the 83rd annual Colorado Association of School Boards Conference Dec. 7-9, five Mancos students learned leadership with other students in the state of Colorado while representing their rural school district. The event took place at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.
The five Mancos students that attended the Student Strand Leadership program at the conference were Teagan Archer, Isaac Barnhurst, Piper Franks, Sarah Knezek and Randi Lewis.
The student portion of the conference began Dec. 8 and ended the next day.
According to CASB, the program is designed to guide students and create an impact that will ripple through districts to bring about renewed student leadership and growth.
In a video made by the five attending Mancos students to present to the Mancos school board at their meeting on Dec. 18, the students spoke about their time at the conference and what they learned while participating in the event.
In the video, the students explained that the conference gave them the “chance to better learn how to represent students in the district.”
“We participated in workshops that allowed us to work with a diverse group of students around the state of Colorado,” one student said.
“We learned in the process just how great Mancos is” and that the district is helping them prepare to be “the best leaders Colorado has to offer,” said another.
The students also spoke of the activities they took part in while at the conference, saying they participated in various workshops and even took part in a scavenger hunt around the Broadmoor with other attending students from different areas of the state.
They also said they had the chance to discuss “tough issues” that students around the state are facing and “used our problem-solving skills and civic-mindedness to show just how wonderful Mancos is.”
Additionally, the students said they were able to identify areas of growth, and hope students from Mancos High School will continue continuing the CASB conference as a way to keep learning and bettering the district.
As a takeaway, Barnhurst said he and the other attending students want to raise awareness for mental health of students in the district, bring Future Farmers of America to the school and create more pathway opportunities after attending the conference.
The CASB conference is largely known for creating a space for superintendents and school boards from across the state to gather, learn from one another, discuss issues and train new school board members how to be effective representatives of their districts.
School boards and superintendents attend the conference each year, including those from Mancos, Dolores and Montezuma-Cortez.
According to the CASB website, the conference is designed to help boards “learn, network and engage with school board members and education experts from across the state and beyond.”