Published by Laurie Pender on August 8, 2017
On June 9, 2017, school ended for most of the students and teachers across the Cape Fear Region, but not for the faculty and staff at E. E. Smith High School. Teachers, administrators, students, and community volunteers have been hard at work sharpening their leadership skills and preparing to make the transition from middle school to high school as smooth as possible for rising 9th graders. This summer kicked off the 1st Dr. W. T. Brown Student Leadership Academy specifically designed for student leaders of clubs, organizations, and teams at E. E. Smith High School. The program was named after Dr. W. T. Brown, a former principal and community leader who died earlier this year. The weeklong program was coordinated by Julian Brown, Community Outreach Coordinator, Jill Minogue, former Military Family Life Counselor, the Fayetteville Police Department Interim Chief, Anthony Kelly, Wayne Smalls and Genise Barber, local community activists, and Dre’Shawn Spearman, Naviyea Adams, and Sahmon Goodman, 2017 graduates of E. E. Smith High School.
Over 40 student leaders gathered in the Media Center on the first day of the leadership camp to hear from Mitch Colvin, Fayetteville City Council Member, on the importance of leadership and the challenges leaders face daily. The camp continued throughout the week with presentations on mental and physical wellness, anger and stress management, relationship building, peer mentoring, cyber bullying, and conflict resolution. Each workshop session was facilitated by a community volunteer, and in most cases, and E. E. Smith alumnus, who committed to continue to mentor and mold the student leaders during the school year. At the conclusion, of the student leadership program, Glen Adams, chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, challenged the students to maintain their enthusiasm into the new school year to inspire and guide their peers to make positive life decisions to be successful. Participants received a certificate of participation and a personalized leather embossed portfolio for their personal use. The positive feedback from the students was overwhelming, as they requested to continue this work of leadership development during the upcoming school year.
For most of the students, the Student Leadership Camp was not the end of their summer learning. The knowledge from the week was immediately applied during the next week as the Student Government Association members led the 9th Grade Transitional Summer Academy for all rising 9th graders attending E. E. Smith High School. Over 110 students were in attendance from Albritton, Pine Forest, Spring Lake, and Nick Jeralds middle schools. The transitional summer program is designed to acclimate 9th graders to high school expectations, culture, staff, and students prior to the 1st day of school. The new Freshmen learned about the rich history and traditions of the school, met with the school counselor to understand graduation requirements, attended classes in Math, Science, and History, and completed a learning styles inventory. To wrap up the week, students were inspired to remain focused during their high school years by guest speakers, John Smith, retired principal and John E McMillan and Rangel McLaurin, E. E. Smith graduates. The Freshmen also received diplomas for participation, t-shirts, book bags, and school supplies, all compliments of the school. Their focus for the 2017 – 2018 school year, “28 to Graduate”.
E. E. Smith Student Leaders Prepare for Success