Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Area students learn important life-long lessons in the OU-C Successmakers Plus Leadership Skills program

Area middle- and high-school students are learning lessons that will last a lifetime during the OU-C Successmakers Plus Leadership Skills program on campus.

The leadership program, which began in 1996, promotes the importance of sound decision-making and other skills with prospective college students from throughout Ross County. The program is a partnership between Ohio University-Chillicothe and Ross County middle and high schools. Students are selected for the program by each school’s guidance counselor and/or principal.

It involves two components, one for seventh- and eighth-grade students, and the other for high school sophomores and juniors.

This year, 17  Ross County students are participating in the program, with nine students in the 7th and 8th grade portion as well as eight students in the 9th and 10th grade portion. Districts represented in the program are Adena, Chillicothe City, Paint Valley, South Eastern, Union Scioto and Zane Trace.  

The students come to campus four times from February through May and explore the importance of leadership, character-building and responsible decision-making, in addition to other skills that will help them in college.

Moe Pfeifer leads the discussions, which are both practical and applicable for the students. An emphasis is placed on the importance of treating others with respect and understanding differences between people as well as what motivates various individuals.

Pfeifer has spent more than 30 years in the field of education as a teacher, coach, guidance counselor and high school administrator. He provides leadership and motivational seminars for business, industry and educational systems.

Under Pfeifer’s leadership, the program connects with the participating students.

“I am learning about life skills and how to deal with people,” said Taylor Pepin, an eighth grade student at Zane Trace Middle School. “For example, we are learning how to address it if we have an issue with people and how to talk it out. We are also talking about the importance of planting positive thoughts. If you think positively, you will go further in life. I am also learning that, although some things are out of your control, you can control your behavior most of the time.”

Mikey Crum, a seventh-grade student at Paint Valley Middle School, said, “I am learning about how to communicate and that, if you have conflicts with people, how to sort it out. These are things that we can use every day. This program is helping me to be able to talk with people and help them if they have problems.”

The students are engaged in a graduation program on May 9 at the OU-C Technology and Business Development Center.  Jeff Shaw, former professional baseball player; Scott Johnson, ESPN Remote Director; Dale Lynch, Safety Services Director of Washington Court House; and John Creamer, former school administrator, will participate in the program.  Dean Martin Tuck will present certificates to the participants.

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