School hosts pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship

Stu­dents at John Burke High learn to ‘Find their Fit’

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY CARL ROSE

The pop­u­la­tion of John Burke High School in Grand Bank more than dou­bled on the week­end of Oc­to­ber 19-22.

Ap­prox­i­mately 260 stu­dents and teach­ers from 35 schools in the province con­verged on the school Oct. 19 for the 2017 Pro­vin­cial Stu­dent Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence.

Stu­dents were ea­ger to par­tic­i­pate in the many ses­sions and pre­sen­ta­tions planned for them. Con­fer­ence co-chair Lee Masters stressed the im­por­tance of stu­dents in­ter­act­ing with and learn­ing from one another.

“You will be sur­rounded by your peers over the next few days,” said Masters. “En­gage them in con­ver­sa­tion and mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sion. Eat with them and dance with them. Find out what makes them tick. Share your com­mon­al­i­ties and cel­e­brate your dif­fer­ences.”

Jonah Mc­Grath, a Grade 11 stu­dent at Fa­tima Academy, shared Masters’ sen­ti­ments, adding the con­fer­ence has spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for stu­dents from ru­ral ar­eas.

“What I en­joy most about the lead­er­ship con­fer­ences is meet­ing all kinds of new peo­ple and mak­ing friend­ships,” he said. “Where we come from a ru­ral school, we don’t meet many peo­ple. Get­ting out to meet new peo­ple and see­ing what they are like – that’s what I en­joy most.”

Braedan Mc­Grath, also a stu­dent at Fa­tima Academy in his grad­u­at­ing year, talked about the last­ing im­pact con­fer­ences like this can have on the stu­dents.

“What we learn here we can take fur­ther af­ter we grad­u­ate and use it in the real world,” he said. “We can also share our ex­pe­ri­ences with other stu­dents when we get back to school.”

Find­ing your fit

For some stu­dents, the fo­cus of the con­fer­ence was ac­cep­tance and, as the theme of this year’s con­fer­ence sug­gests, “find­ing your fit.”

“I like to learn how dif­fer­ent peo­ple fit in and to ac­cept peo­ple for who they are and where they are,” ex­plained

James Poole, a Grade 10 stu­dent from St. Lewis Academy in Labrador.

See Stu­dents, A2

CARL ROSE/ SPE­CIAL TO THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

The highly en­er­gized open­ing cer­e­monies set the mood for the con­fer­ence.

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