Students Gain Experience At Leadership Day

Students Gain Experience at CTSO Leadership Day
Posted on 10/24/2022
CTSO Leadership Day Group Picture

High school students from Weakley County Schools came together to engage in leadership development, career exploration, and networking on October 6th for Career and Technical Student Organization [CTSO] Leadership Day. 

The annual event educates students on local career availability, introduces students to business and industry leaders, provides real-world application of skills through activities, and encourages students to be responsible and contributing citizens. Hosted at UT Martin’s Boling University Center, over 100 students were represented from CTSOs at every high school. 

Regularly scheduled to be held each school year, this was the first CTSO Leadership Day to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Students participated in breakout sessions with local business leaders, attended interactive workshops, and listened to informative guest speakers. The Arrive Alive Tour provided a hands-on presentation designed to heighten awareness to the dangers of drunk driving, distracted driving, and texting while driving. Representatives of the First Community Bank of the Heartland spoke on the importance of budgeting and students engaged in a real-world simulation that focused on responsible money management. The Weakley County Prevention Coalition team provided drug-free pledge cards. Martin Police Department Investigator Sarah Turner provided in-depth information about online criminal activity and cyber dangers. Students worked together to keep the beat with various instruments in a drum learning circle led by the UT Martin Department of Music. In small groups, leaders from various local businesses and industries shared their experiences, offered guidance, and answered questions about their field of work. 

Dresden High FCCLA Advisor Pat Phillips and Westview High FBLA Advisor Kim Elliott, the event coordinators, both agreed that the day offers applied learning opportunities for students. 

“We were thrilled to have the event after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. CTSO Leadership Day is a unique kind of learning experience that provides students with the chance for practical application of skills,” said Phillips.  

“The event also gives them the space for peer networking in a professional environment. They gave us great feedback on what they learned and highlights from the day,” commented Elliott. 

Preparing students is always the goal according to District CTE Director Lindsey Parham. 

“CTE programming helps equip students with technical skills, but there is also a focus career opportunity exploration and preparation. CTSO organizations in each school emphasize the importance of taking ownership of each student’s role in the community. This event is a great way for these young leaders to come together. Thanks to Mrs. Pat Phillips and Mrs. Kimberly Elliott for their hard work coordinating the event,” said Parham.  

Assistant Director of Schools Betsi Foster expressed appreciation for the community support of CTE programming and events. 

“We are fortunate to live in a community where so many business and industry leaders are willing to give of their time, experience, and advice so generously. A big thank you to our amazing partner in education, UT Martin, for hosting. When the community is involved in student learning, students feel supported and more empowered to excel,” said Foster. 

students on leadership day

students on leadership day

students on leadership day

students on leadership day

students on leadership day

students on leadership day

students on leadership day