Students file into a dim room lit with strings of white lights and bathed in a pink glow. Their mouths drop when they see a table stretching the length of one wall piled high with chocolates, pastries, and every other kind of treat they might imagine. A couple of seniors take selfies underneath a fifteen foot tall replica of the Eiffel Tower, and two freshmen sit for their portrait by a professional caricature artist. It’s incredible. It’s Homecoming… 2019.
The fall semester is typically crammed with projects, events, and activities that keep student government leaders hopping through the Christmas break. All School Retreat, new student orientation, Homecoming – they all happen almost immediately as a new school year starts each August. Not this year.
This year, students have to practice social distancing – pretty much the opposite of what most high school students look forward to doing after the summer break. But the strange reality that we are all living through has not brought Berean’s student leaders down according to Kathy Smith, the school’s Student Leadership Advisor.
“They haven’t been down about this at all,” says Mrs. Smith. “They have a really positive outlook. They are trusting God. I’m so proud of these students.”
Mrs. Smith has taken full advantage of the opportunities that a unique school experience is providing. Instead of guiding students through lists of tasks that have to be completed to keep the gears of student life running in a normal year, she has been able to take a step back, ask her students about their leadership goals, and focus on developing each of them into strong Christian leaders.
One would expect students to be disappointed about not getting to set up the student store, or hand deliver encouragement notes, or plan homecoming festivities. But they’re not.
“I feel like this has been a great time to reflect as a group,” says Lauren Watt, ASB Secretary. She says they have talked about how they can become better leaders, better servants of God and to the student body.
To be clear, student leadership has not given up hope of directing student life in some fun and exciting ways this fall. They are brainstorming and developing new concepts of how to celebrate homecoming, how to encourage their peers, and how to foster community and friendship among the student body. COVID is giving these young leaders a brilliant lesson on how to work within limitations and innovate to make something surprisingly great.
Ryann Grimes, ASB Vice President says that the student body should know that their leaders are working. They pray for their classmates every day, sometimes individually. “Even though it’s different,” Grimes says, “we are working really hard to make the high school experience fun. It’s going to be a great year.”
“One of the things that makes Berean super special is how we connect as a community through times like these,” says Natalie Neypes, ASB President. Her sentiment is reminiscent of that old mid-century hymn They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.
At Berean, there is no doubt.
|Berean High School Student Leadership|