OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - Osceola High School students took a break from summer to come back to school.
More than 30 students learned how to become better leaders and gave their input on ways to improve their school with the help of the Arkansas Leadership Academy.
The leadership program usually works with teachers and administrators throughout Arkansas to create better learning environments. However, Osceola High School is the first school in the state to bring the leadership program back to campus at the student level.
"Changing the culture of our school," junior Kyra Guy said. "Osceola High School really is a great place to be. We just want to get the word out that this is a learning environment and we're just trying to better ourselves to become better leaders."
The Arkansas Leadership Academy worked with the students to find what their ideal school would be and many had the same answers.
"Stop all the bullying and fighting and tell them this isn't the place for that," junior Tavion Bass said. "This is a learning institute. We don't need to do that here. Go some where else and do it. That's for animals."
"The violence," Guy said. "We can cut out a lot of that by just telling them they don't do that here. Go somewhere else with that. That's not Osceola High School."
"It's all about this is where we are, this is where we want to be and this is what we need to do to get there," Principal Tiffany Morgan said.
Principal Morgan said this isn't just talk, but a chance for students to really make a difference.
"Seeing what the students really expect and how they want it to be, instead of it being the way it's always been in the past," Morgan said.
Principal Morgan said she heard many student ideas Tuesday that teachers and the administration never thought of.
"One thing a group came up with today was better mentoring for new students and for upcoming freshman," Morgan said. "They already came to me at lunch and said, 'Can we start this? Can we formalize some kind of plan?' Those are the kind of end results we want."
"After awhile, I think you'll have more students involved in positive actions and that encourages other students to be involved," Superintendent Michael Cox said. "I feel good about today. It's a day well spent."
These students said they are ready to set an example for the rest of the school.
"If I can be a better leader, it'll help me do more advanced things in my life," Bass said.
"If you have an idea that's empowering and uplifting that can better your school, you should really roll with it," Guy said. "It starts with you."