CHS Students Attended OASC’s Annual Leadership Conference


Leadership students pose in front of a sign in Seaside, OR. Image provided by Kira Chan.

By Hannah Madans, Reporter

Students of Cleveland joined a multitude of Oregon schools the weekend of Nov. 5 as a part of the Oregon Association Student Council’s annual leadership conference, held in Seaside, Oregon.

The OASC, (a group of adults and students executive council members) holds the conference every year in hopes of discussing and sharing new tactics and goals surrounding leadership and building communities within Oregon’s high schools. Over 1500 students, representing each region of the state, attended the conference.

Of those 1500, 19 Cleveland students attended the conference, accompanied by staff members Eric Mirsepassi, Kendra Wisely, and Susie Brighouse. Some students attended the event on behalf of Cleveland’s leadership class, while others simply attended due to their previous positive experience with the conference.

Students who attended the conference applied to be there in order to secure their spot, and voted for representatives who spoke on behalf of their school during the conference. The event itself, held in the Seaside Convention Center, hosted a multitude of student representatives that gave heartfelt, funny, honest speeches – both about real life experiences and their ideas and opinions surrounding the leadership theme.

“There’s a student executive council, and students running for a position in the council fill out an application and then the top three applicants per region are chosen by the OASC.  The candidates are all expected to give a speech at the conference,” added Kira Chan, a sophomore leadership member.

The event lasted two days in total, Saturday night to Sunday. Saturday was used as the “pre-conference,” wherein the attendees got to listen to guest speaker Phil Boyte as well as spend the evening meeting and bonding with other students.

“You really get to know people from other schools,” commented Chan. “It’s really cool.”

The official conference began Sunday morning. Students met in the the convention center, and spent the morning listening to keynote speakers and other OASC representatives.

Before arriving, the attendees had the opportunity to sign up for workshops presented by schools or regional representatives. The workshops were formed with the intention of bringing a wide array of student ideas regarding leadership and community building within school systems to the table. OASC members organized these intensives with the hopes that these ideas would then be brought back to each individual school.

Because of this, leadership representatives from each region would have the ability to return to their schools with a whole new set of tools in their pockets – tools they had heard, agreed with, and adapted from their time at the conference. “We had people from Roosevelt, Wilson, and Benson all in one circle of eight students,” said Chan.

Workshop themes ranged widely, and included seemingly simple (but still important) things such as fundraising for school events, and also incorporated topics on a broader scope, such as how to address racism at school, or how to create a safe environment in the classroom.

When asked her about her experience at the conference, Cleveland junior Jayne Frost only had one thing to say. “I learned so much about how to be a better leader and what I can do to improve Cleveland and the community at large.”