Students and staff have come together at Dallas ISD’s Thomas Jefferson High School to boost school pride and school spirit. Principal Sandi Massey can pinpoint the catalyst.
“One of the things that makes Thomas Jefferson High School really unique is the fact that we have student leadership really promoted on our campus,” Massey said.
In the Master Leadership Class, students earn the right to attend the program by having great attendance, good behavior and maintaining passing grades in their classes.
The Ambassador program requires students to mentor freshmen, and gives them the chance to meet with company and community leaders. Last year, there were 20 student Ambassadors; now there are 75.
John Oberly teaches leadership classes at TJ and coordinates the programs.
“We started out two years ago having Ambassadors run the freshmen orientation,” Oberly said. “My students have several tasks, ranging from mentoring freshmen to helping with Translation Services at parent-teacher conference night. They are largely independent, learning how to set their own schedules, create meeting and agendas and purposefully move their school to a better place.”
For senior Robert, the focus on leadership is working to boost his school pride.
“What I like about Mr. Oberly’s class is the sense of responsibility that I have, knowing that even if he’s not in the room I’m going to do my job and I’m going to help others with their jobs,” he said. “And helping freshmen make this school a better place, kind of just drives me to really, really like this place.”