Provincial Student Leadership Conference 2000
On November 2nd, 2000, over 600 students and 100 teachers from across the province descended upon Ascension Collegiate for the 11th Annual Provincial Student Leadership Conference. Held over three days, this marked the first time that a school from the Bay Roberts area had ever hosted this exciting event and from all accounts it was a huge success for both the school and the community.
The conference, which was first hosted by Leo Burke Academy of Bishops Falls, has grown considerably since its original inception in 1990. The main intent of the conference is to provide students from across the province with the opportunity to share and obtain ideas surrounding the concept of student leadership. Students are exposed to various high profile keynote speakers in addition to a variety of sessional activities which involve speakers and presenters who are perhaps more local to the province but who have been involved in a variety of leadership roles.
This year’s keynote speakers included Andy Thibodeau who hails from Ontario and who is becoming known as one of the best motivational speakers in Canada in dealing with youth issues. Andy’s Dare to Care message was presented with a mixture of humour and enthusiasm which had the students enthralled from start to finish. Next up for the students was Dr. Lauren Woodhouse. Dr. Woodhouse, a humour therapist, spoke with students about bringing humour into their lives and about preparing oneself to actually be a leader. Dr. Woodhouse is known for her help in counselling individuals who have been involved in tragic circumstances such as the Oklahoma City Bombing and the Columbine shootings. The final keynote for the conference was Philly Doucette - aka Philly D. Philly spoke to students about the importance of being able to forget about one’s hate and to concentrate on the positive things in life however big or small they might be.
In addition to the keynote speakers, students were exposed to a wide variety of sessional speakers from Hon. John Efford, who spoke about the significance of being a leader in Newfoundland, to Ms. Mary Tucker who spoke about women in leadership roles, to Mr. David Keefe who spoke about and presented some ideas on utilizing technology in creating fund-raisers for one’s school/student council. A number of students and teachers and other community individuals were also in attendance to offer different perspectives on leadership and students being more involved. In the end, students were exposed to three keynote speakers and a minimum of 6 sessional speakers.
Besides speakers and sessions, students also had an opportunity to take part in some relaxation and "fun" activities ranging from mixer sessions to dances to a closing ceremony which was followed by a MuchMusic Video Dance. At the closing, students received high praise for their efforts and enthusiasm from Education Minister Judy Foote who spoke of the important roles which youth play in the success of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Principal Hayward Blake was extremely pleased with the weekend. "Much time and hard work went into preparing for this weekend and the results are very rewarding. Our students and teachers have shown that when it comes to preparing and putting off an event of this magnitude, Ascension Collegiate comes second to no school. We are extremely proud of what has been accomplished this weekend."
Event co-chairs Ian Crewe and Lisa Doucette were equally pleased. Said Doucette, "Our students put off a real show. From the success we had with billeting to the schedule of events, the weekend has gone without a single hitch!"
Since the November conference, students who took part have been constantly talking about the great time they had and what a wonderful experience they had. It was perhaps best summed up by Ascension student Rebecca Hayes, who acted as a sessional speaker, when she said, "It was so much more than I expected. I learned so much about myself and about leadership skills. This is a week I will never forget!"
For some more pictures/info on our conference, click here!!!
This page was last updated April 11, 2001.