Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Dixie Leadership Conference
So, I was lucky enough to be a chaperone for the Maple Mountain Student Council to attend the Dixie Leadership Conference in St. George. It was a jam-packed, fun-filled few days. Here are some highlights...
Love the red rock scenery. And the weather was very mild for July.
When we moved to Utah, I worried about where to enroll the kids in school. We lived in Orem, but planned on living in Springville. I tried to enroll them at Sage Creek, but the day before school started, we decided that they should go to school in Orem. It would be for 1 year. Summer had the most amazing teacher and made great friends at Foothill Elementary. She reconnected with some of those same friends who are now on the student council at AF and Orem. Small world.
Less less serious
One of the activities was to attend the Little Mermaid at Tuachan. It was so well executed. I have heard people describe some of the effects but it exceeded all of my expectations. And it was a bonus that it was about 90 degrees rather than the usual 110. Oh, and we also shared a spot in the audience with Mitt and Anne Romney. I think all 483 students tried to get up close and take a selfie of Mitt.
Summer did a pretty good job and was mostly inconspicuous. As were the other 482 selflies. Not.
We did a service project at the Food Bank.
I listened in on most of the of speakers, activities, and discussions. This one was the highlight event of the conference. They listened to motivational speakers, did some hands on (literally) exercises, and the culminating event was breaking a board using martial art skills.
Summer gets herself psyched to break the board...
Last minute instruction…
And she breaks the board. YES!!
Here are all of the MMHS students with their broken boards. It was impressive and emotional.
I thought that the conference was absolutely outstanding. It would do a lot of high school students (and adults) well to attend a conference like this. I can't believe how much I learned from sitting in on so many of the activities. Super inspiring.
When the conference was complete, they joined in a circle of prayer to give thanks for their opportunity to attend the conference and to serve their fellow students.
*one story that I wanted to record…At the beginning of the conference, I walked in with Coach Smith. The man who was giving instructions to the group was a voice and name I recognized: Gary Dunn. He was on the faculty at my high school. I asked Coach Smith about him. Coach said that he knew Gary Dunn well and that Gary started this leadership conference years ago and it just keeps growing and getting better each year. Gary Dunn is currently the student council advisor at Lone Peak High School. They sent 60+ students to the conference from their school alone.
I was so impressed with the conference that I found Gary Dunn at the very end, after the evaluation session with all of the advisors. I briefly told him what an amazing week he had put together and I also told him that I remembered him from OHS, and then I said "you know class of '88--we were State Champions in Football." He reached for my hand and asked if he could tell me a story. Lots of other advisors and DSU people were standing around, but I said yes. First, he asked me my name. I said, "I am Kelli Robison. I was a cheerleader." He said, "I clearly remember you. You were short, with dark hair, and a darling smile--exactly like you have right now." I told him the names of a few of my friends and that I married Rick Herlevi. Rick was a library aid and worked in the library for one of his classes. Mr. Dunn was a library assistant. I don't even think he taught anything or had much interaction with students, but he did remember Rick, too. Gary said to me, as he continued to hold my hand in his, "that is the year that changed my life. That football season changed my life. I started recording that football games and compiling highlight clips. I was just doing what I liked to do. And the football team just kept winning. And I just kept recording games and highlights. At the end of the season, I put together a State Championship Highlight video and we showed it in the auditorium for an assembly. One thing led to another and people started asking for a copy of the video. With the limited technology that we had at the time, I started making copies of the video and selling them. I realized that I was good at this, I liked to do it, and I had talent. It was at that time that I decided to finish my training and become an instructor and eventually a student government advisor. So, that is the year that changed my life. Every time the football team has a reunion, they still invite me to come show the highlight video."
I told Gary, "You a a bit of a hero to them, too. You provided a very valuable gift to those young men and to all of us in recording those memories for us."
And Gary said, "that is kind, but they changed my life forever and helped me become who I was meant to be."
And, of course, I am practically crying. I told him that we still have a copy of the highlight video in our own personal archives. It's such a small world!! I love that he took the time to tell me that story in front of all those other people. What a great week!!