Cherry Hills Christian School helps students develop leadership skills through an innovative program specifically aimed at giving them opportunities to have direct and positive impacts on our entire school community.
Called L.E.O.S. — as in Lead, Equip, Organize and Serve – the program launched in time for the 2020-21 academic year with just a handful of Upper School students. CHC is delighted to announce that since its inaugural year, our L.E.O.S. program has grown in terms of student interest and positive impact! Applications from students hoping to serve have increased significantly – an encouraging sign of the program’s success. Applications from students now in grades 4-7 who want to be named a “LEO” for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year nearly have tripled from the current school year.
“Watching the next generation step into leadership, and specifically servant leadership, is incredible,” said Carey Bailey, faculty sponsor of the L.E.O.S. program. “This year, I have observed students as enthusiastic to learn, curious about how to promote and cheerlead new initiatives, and reflective on how they can refine and improve events for future classes.”
The L.E.O.S. program is designed to transcend the popularity contests that so often pervade student council elections. After submitting an application that includes recommendations from a Faculty member and someone outside school and completing in-person interviews, student LEOS are chosen by CHC Administrators and Faculty. Grade 8 LEOS work alongside staff mentors throughout the academic year to learn new skills and stand at the helm of seven committees composed of student representatives in Grades 4-8. Together, student LEOS focus on advancing and assisting CHC in five key areas:
- Student Life
- Prayer and Care
- Publicity and Communications
- and a new committee for 2022-23 called Student Engagement
Grade 8 LEOS meet regularly with a mentor, with each other as a leadership group and with their committee members to guide and implement activities in the area in which they serve. LEOS also function as ambassadors of the student body to plan, promote and support activities designed to encourage the social, physical and spiritual development of all CHC students.
Student LEOS have accomplished much this school year. Just two highlights of our student leaders’ impact are:
The Kindness Matters Store. Our Grade 8 student leaders launched CHC’s first store stocked with items requested by students, who earned “Kindness Coins” to spend from teachers for observed acts of kindness. The store opens monthly during lunch hour. Student LEOS set up and ran the store — and sharpened their skills in hospitality and customer service.
Mentoring. This was the first academic year that all of CHC’s student LEOS had monthly meeting — and it was most rewarding for everyone to see Grade 8 students mentor their younger counterparts. CHC’s oldest LEOS shared leadership tips and tricks, practiced active listening and learned more about professionalism in the process.