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  • Alpine students celebrate leadership program

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    Even though she’s small, third-grader Julia Ziemkowski thinks big.
    She and two friends have formed the “Bully Busters” at Alpine Elementary School in Alpine.  
    “We help other people being bullied . . . resolve conflicts,” Julia said after the school’s 3rd Annual Leadership Day program on June 7.  “You have to be brave. We don’t have to do it (bully busting) a lot.”
    That’s because the slightly more than 200 students at the school at 1850 Alpine Boulevard are all in the Leader in Me program, which emphasizes leadership and personal responsibility.
    “The most important thing about everyday leaders is they do the right thing, even when no one is looking,” one boy said during the celebration in the school’s auditorium.
    The event started with the Pledge of Allegiance and a little leadership reminder.
    “Please speak slowly so the first-graders can keep up,” a student emcee advised.   
    After school Principal Travis Wall received a plaque for his “unyielding commitment to education, student success and academic achievement” from the office of State Senator Joel Anderson, students took over.   
    Confident, paying attention and using a step stool when necessary to be heard from the adult-size podium, children from every grade explained the seven habits required for being an effective leader every day at home and school.
    Be proactive and in charge, have a plan and “put first things first,” students said.
    “What is most important about being proactive is you don’t blame stuff on others,” said one speaker.
    The children explained to their well-behaved peers and relatives that it’s also important to understand others ---- “listen before you talk,” to work together as a team and to take care of your body.
    “Think win-win,” one speaker said.  “You are making compromises so everyone wins.”
    Students also demonstrated leadership abilities through poetry, song and a ballroom waltz complete with twirls, bows and curtsies.
    The event ended with students and guests visiting classrooms at the school in the Alpine Union School District, a member of the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce. 
    Donna Moore of Alpine said her granddaughters Ashley and Jazmine are definitely demonstrating leadership qualities. They’re giving with people, watching out for other children and looking toward the future, Moore said.
    As a playground supervisor Flo Haisdh has seen Leader in Me in action.  
    “Our children are just amazing here,” Haisdh said. “You watch them grow, problem solve, help each other.”
    (photos provided by Alpine Elementary School and Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce)