McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

November 21, 2013

Leadership Conference brings hundreds of Jr. High students to McAlester

By Jeanne LeFlore
Photo Editor

McALESTER — More that 450 junior and middle school students from all over Oklahoma came to McAlester recently, organizers say.

The giant group of students gathered the Southeast Expo Center for the two-day Fall Leadership Conference of the Oklahoma Association of Middle and Junior High Student Councils that runs through Friday.

The O.A.M.J.H.S.C. provides opportunities for student   governments to become more effective in their schools, according to okstuco.com.

This year McAlester’s Puterbaugh Middle School was elected to hold the conference which hosted more than 450 sixth through ninth grade students from 52 districts across the state of Oklahoma.

McAlester School’s  Superintendent Marcia Gore said she was impressed with students that attended.

“I think its wonderful to see these students from all over Oklahoma here today,” said Marcia Gore superintendent of McAlester School District.

“It’s moving to see so many students that take a leadership role in their schools.”

Planning for the huge two day event has been going on for months, according to Brenda Calahan McAlester Student Council  Sponsor.

Calahan is an Puterbaugh School instructor and she is also the coordinator of the event.

“We’ve been working at this since our school was elected,” Calahan said.

The Puterbaugh students were elected to host the conference during the 2012 conference held in Jenks, according to Mary Alice Ingham secretary for the executive board of the organization.

“Those students ran a very spirited campaign,” Ingham said.

Members of McAlester High School student council were also at conference

“ We are here to help them along and to get them energized about the event,” said MHS Student Council Secretary Alexandria Williams.

Meanwhile the conference began on Thursday at 8 a.m. and featured different workshops, skits, speakers and entertainment by the MHS Steel Drum Band and the MHS Pom squad.

Thursday’s events culminated with all the students taking a trip to Great Balls of Fire.

On Friday morning the students are set to take part in an election for the next conference and have one more session including an awards ceremony before taking the trip back home.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.