Wylie’s newest campus, Wylie East Intermediate, did not wait long to start equipping its students with an opportunity to build leaders and service-minded students, starting their very first student leadership group this year.
“Mrs. McKnight [our music teacher] came to me at the beginning of the year with an idea for a student council-like group, and we ran with it,” says fifth grade teacher Julia Olmsted. “As a newer campus, we didn’t have any sort of group to fill that role…so we thought it was important to start one. After reaching out to Ms. Roberts in fourth grade to co-sponsor with me, we had our game plan and were ready to go!”
The fourth and fifth grade group, known as the Bulldog Brigade, seeks to provide campus-wide service opportunities so students across campus can participate in making their school and
community a better place as well as allow the student representative in Bulldog Brigade to build their leadership skills, something they are very proud and excited about.
Fourth graders, Annabelle Neese and Kase Longhofer said being able to lead projects on campus like the canned food drive and maintaining a bulletin board in the cafeteria are tasks in which they
place immense pride in doing. Longhofer says he felt the canned drive was the most impactful. “It feels good helping others…helping others get food,” he said.
Neese enjoys the creative side of serving in this capacity working on the bulletin board for others and helping select prize options for their school fundraiser. “My favorite was helping come up with prize ideas for us,” said Neese. “Since we are kids, we have an eye for what kids would want to earn.”
The students also shared how they felt special to be selected by their homeroom teacher to be in the Bulldog Brigade, especially since it is the first year. “It’s great because you are nominated to help your school based on your actions and decision-making,” said Longhofer.
Fellow fourth grader Rylee Thompson, who is a new Wylie bulldog, says she and her parents are really excited about her having an opportunity such as this at her new school. “Doing this group is the best thing,” said Thompson. She said an opportunity like this was not available before.
Olmsted says while the group is new and just beginning, she has already seen the students grow in confidence with sharing ideas and working together. Fifth grader Winter Payne says through the cookie sale and food drive she has learned “teamwork and how to cooperate with others” and is looking forward to future projects.
“We are in charge of the Veteran’s Day wall, and it will be really fun to see how it turns out.”
By Kristen Johnson