Middle grades students at Northport K-8 School have been working diligently on learning how to build strong leadership skills. Through a series of guest community leaders, students are learning to generate and pose deeper level questions about a variety of topics and to dig deeper and get into a more provocative atmosphere of questioning. Students have asked extended, well thought out questions of each guest and then have been learning to respond to those questions with follow up questions. The platform allows students to get out of their comfort zone, stand up and pose questions on serious issues and to have those questions answered with a well thought out and respectful response.

The series of guests for the Leadership Summits have included Florida State Representative Gayle Harrell, Deputy City Manager of Ft. Pierce, Nick Mimms, a host of local veterans, SLC school board member, Deborah Hawley and most recently, Ashley Mock, Communications Coordinator of our local Children’s Services Council. Ms. Mock answered many hardball questions about the large variety of programs offered through Children’s Services Council, about her opinions on issues such as domestic abuse cases, programs offered for children of substance abusers, common core and education questions and went into great lengths talking to the students about career paths and how it is imperative to find a passion, not just a job and sometimes that search can take a meandering path. The list of leadership traits that Northport students, collaborating with Northport Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka and classroom teachers, have compiled include: a leader must love the people they lead, be flexible, be organized, respect the people you lead, be capable of seeing the “big picture,” give lots of positive feedback, be able to delegate, use humor, be a constant learner, have integrity and be a great listener.

Eighth grade student, Finn Carey presented Ms. Mock with a gift card and flowers in appreciation for her efforts to help build leadership skills at Northport and for her willingness to share her own life stories to encourage students to make better choices in life. Special thanks to Northstar, teacher, Nick Carey for facilitating the summit and for working with his students to help formulate deep and intriguing questions. The next Leadership summit will be held in February in the Northport Media Center. Pictured is Ashley Mock with Northstar students.