Leadership fair at Mansfield

Mansfield preschool and kindergarten students at their “barn” during the school’s leadership fair April 24. In back, from left, are Cailyn Moore, Alex Martinez, teacher Stacy Lillquist, Haylee Scott-Salcido and Arabella Hall; in front, Lola Lester, Emma Ward, Finn Zahn and Chase Wittig. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)


By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

The Mansfield School held its first leadership fair April 24.

The event was spearheaded by the current sixth and seventh grade classes last spring and everyone in the community was invited to attend. The leadership fair was designed to showcase student projects, musical and theatrical performances, and arts and crafts.

Teachers involved in organizing the event included preschool and kindergarten teacher Stacy Lillquist, first and second grade teacher Mikia Schmidt, third and fourth grade teacher Mason Jaeger, and fifth and sixth grade teacher Kelly Gilpin.

The purpose of the leadership fair was to give students the opportunity to share their projects and activities they are proud and passionate about.

All students were encouraged to enter projects, or participate by helping to promote the event, greet those attending, help in the kitchen, or to assist with set-up and clean-up duties. Students could even contribute by being a supportive audience for their friends’ presentations.

The leadership fair kicked off with a community lunch beginning at 11:15 a.m. A brief welcome ceremony took place at 12:30 p.m. Afterward, students and community members were free to visit the various projects and exhibits, and attend performances.

Mansfield’s FFA school barns were open for viewing various animals.

First grader Hunter Schmidt gave a presentation about how to prepare a place for baby chicks. Schmidt said, “I learned not to be scared to present.”

In the gymnasium, seventh-grader Aspen Farrington sang “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran.  “I was so scared and nervous to perform in front of a bunch of people, but I’m glad I did,” said Farrington of her performance. “I got a lot of love and support from everyone, and I thank them for that. I’m excited to sing again.”

The leadership fair focused on showing students how best to present their exhibits and projects, and prepare for their performances; and also how to be good audience members.

Students learned about rehearsing and preparation; how to introduce themselves and explain their project or performance; how to engage visitors, solicit questions and respond knowledgeably, and show appreciation for their interest; and to be supportive of the projects and performances of other students.

Co-organizer Mikia Schmidt said, “This is our first year putting on the leadership fair. It gave our students a chance to show off their leadership skills. We hope to grow and expand in the coming years.”

“The leadership fair was a great way for our students to demonstrate a variety of their skills and talents for an audience,” said Principal Shane Bird as the event concluded. “We are encouraged by their participation. I also want to thank our teachers, staff and students for putting on this successful event.”