Dr. Rene Sommers - Principal
Green Trails Crews: Past, Present and Future Nearly a year ago, staff at Green Trails realized something very important. As a team, we annually review data on the culture of our school. During this process, as we were reviewing student survey data, we noticed that not all students at school viewed themselves as leaders or felt as though adults in the school viewed them as leaders.
This data surprised the team; we felt that we were working very hard to help students realize their role as leaders in our school. Still, somehow the message was not getting through to all students. We began to talk about how we could take steps to address this need among our students, taking note of what other parkway schools were doing to teach leadership.
We noticed along the way that students seemed to view only certain tasks as being those of a leader. To them, a leader spoke at morning assembly, or called the bus order, or raised the flag outside the building. A leader turned the lights off in the classroom, passed out papers, or took notes to the office. While these were valuable services, and certainly required elements of leadership, what if a child was not comfortable speaking in front of others? What if they didn't care for the classroom tasks that were offered? What if their personal passions did not coincide with the tasks that we had assigned to our school and classroom "leaders?" Did that mean that they had to change who they were to be leaders?
We knew we could do more to help students realize their leadership potential. Eventually, we settled on the model of crews. The mission of Green Trails Crews is simple; "Use what you love to lead and serve others." We surveyed students and staff and created crews based on interest. Every month, students and staff met together. Each time they walked into their crew, they were greeted by students and staff who shared a personal passion. Each crew worked during the year to learn how to lead with their passion, but also to learn to use what they loved to help someone else.
Days ago, Green Trails was awarded a Promising Practice from Character.org for our implementation of GT Crews. This honor comes from the same organization that recognizes schools as State and National Schools of Character. We are so proud of our staff and students!