As the campaign season winds into a frenzy for the nation, elected leaders at Patricia Kay Beaver Elementary are settling into their desks. But they took time to hear from a member of the state’s leadership team as he took a campaign swing through Ceres.
“It’s good to see other people who come from little cities like Ceres and became really important people in the world,” said sixth-grader Delia Vidal after hearing Adam Gray speak Thursday.
“It was cool seeing someone who works in Congress – I think Congress, at least. He’s got a really important job,” said classmate Samantha Hill as they left the afternoon assembly.
Gray, actually a candidate for re-election to the California Assembly, got more questions about his favorite sports teams than about the different levels of bicameral legislative bodies.
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Surrounded by the orange-and-black school colors, he chose the San Francisco Giants to thunderous applause.
It’s good to see other people who come from little cities like Ceres and became really important people in the world.
Delia Vidal, sixth-grader
“I want you to work hard to be good leader and set an example for everyone else,” Gray told the youngsters before heading out for three more events in his territory and four meetings at his Merced office that day.
The campus is a leadership magnet school. Its motto: “Beavers build character one leader at a time.” Student Council is a big deal.
“Our Student Council is a group of students who build fellowship and teamwork through school wide activities and projects,” Student Council adviser Liz Pannell explained via email. Student officers and representatives speak for their classmates in schoolwide decisions.
We bring guest speakers in when we have the opportunity to reinforce the concept of serving the community.
Libby Holmes, principal
“Each member stands as a role model to others by participating in Spirit Days, reporting to students through video announcements, conducting whole school assemblies, and practicing the seven habits in their actions and decisions,” she said.
The seven habits are basic Beaver principles, adapted from “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” They cover planning ahead, good sportsmanship, being a good listener, self-improvement and working together.
“By being in Student Council, students learn the value of leadership and being a productive and contributing member of the community,” Pannell said.
Getting elected leaders to stop by reinforces that message, said Principal Libby Holmes.
“We want to show students how leaders in the community impact others. We bring guest speakers in when we have the opportunity to reinforce the concept of serving the community,” Holmes said.