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Student Leadership Johns Creek program teaches teens tools of leaders
Students give time, talents to community

March 20, 2013

Members of the Johns Creek Student Leadership program share impromptu profiles of themselves using collages of magazine cutouts to describe their interests. It is all part of team-building and leadership skill development in a two-year program in which they volunteered to participate.HATCHER HURD.
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Thirty-two students from four local high schools gathered Friday, March 15, at City Hall when their classmates had the day off from school. But these particular students belong to the inaugural Student Leadership Johns Creek program, so they didn't mind putting in the extra hours to learn how business and government act as components of a community.

It was instructive to note that when one businesswoman asked the class how many knew what kind of career they wanted that nearly every hand flew up immediately.

These sophomore and junior students from Centennial, Johns Creek, Chattahoochee and Northview high schools have agreed to do a lot of extracurricular work as part of a two-year program in which they will learn how their community is a structure of its core organizations – business, government, homeowners, civic groups, religious institutions and nonprofit organizations.

The program is an outgrowth of Leadership Johns Creek in which members of the Johns Creek Chamber of Commerce commit to a year of leadership team-building and agree to take on community projects as well.

Student Leadership JC was founded by Ron Jones and Cindy Eade to identify emerging leaders who live here to help them reach their full potential.

"The students are introduced to a core of instruction designed to develop their leadership skills," said Eade. "Then, they are given opportunities to meet with business leaders, state and local government officials and nonprofit organizations."

The students who apply are nominated by their principals and then go through a winnowing process by local business leaders. They have a one-day retreat and meet variously throughout the year for facilitated training.

"Their first year, they learn the basics of community structure and are exposed to leaders in various fields. They learn principles of leadership and how to apply them," said Jones.

"The second year, they become mentors to the leadership class behind them," he said.

Each year, the teams from the four high schools also must come up with a community project and execute it in that year.

"The idea is to create leaders who will come back to Johns Creek to make their homes and lift up the community," Jones said.

Laura Dobbs, the Student Leadership director, said it is a hands-on program where there are lots of opportunities to develop the ancillary skills of leadership such as communication, project management, team-building and goal setting.

"These young people were selected in part because they grasped the value of the leadership program," said Dobbs. "To agree to a two-year program that requires them to meet on off days and out of school shows the degree of dedication they have."
Centennial High School

Millie Bhatia Junior

Jesse Couch Junior

Juan Fonseca Junior

Madalen Moresi Junior

Emma Smith Junior

COMMUNITY PROJECT: Create an environmentally safe recycling program at the school cafeteria.

Chattahoochee High School

Daniel Caplan Sophomore

Parker Heissenbuttel Sophomore

Carrington Hill Sophomore

Shariq Mohammad Sophomore

Gabby Marteilli Sophomore

Neeraja Sarda Junior

Andrew Bock Junior

Suhana Elamsenthil Junior

Nora Hansen Junior

Rachel Smith Junior

COMMUNITY PROJECT: Begin a reclamation project for a polluted detention pond on campus.

Johns Creek High School

Claire Gaddis Sophomore

Anna Tuggle Sophomore

Joshua Tam Junior

Carina Manitius Junior

Ashley Lee Junior

Sara Beagle Junior

Malcolm Barnard Junior

COMMUNITY PROJECT: Organize a Powder-Puff football game to raise money for school needs.

Northview High School

Brittany Bruck Sophomore

Justin Lee Sophomore

Chirag Manyapu Sophomore

Harsha Sridhar Sophomore

Rachel Zhu Sophomore

Peter Chung Junior

Hayden Cox Junior

Connie Huang Junior

Shubham Kadam Junior

Apurva Kasam Junior

COMMUNITY PROJECT: Teach a Shakerag Elementary fourth-grade class the elements of Stephen R. Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”