Archie Williams High School leadership thrives despite COVID-19

Peer+Resource+works+a+table+at+lunch+on+the+baseball+field+promoting+positive+sex-talk+and+condom+safety+and+knowledge+for+students.

Katie Hausammann

Peer Resource works a table at lunch on the baseball field promoting positive sex-talk and condom safety and knowledge for students.

Student leadership is a pivotal part of Archie Williams High School (AWHS), perhaps now more than ever due to the impact of COVID-19 on the student body.  Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19 and at-home learning, student leadership has found a way to thrive and continue to serve the students of AWHS.  As they reflect upon the chaos and uncertainty of the past year, student leaders shed light on how they adapted to unexpected circumstances, and how they continue to function through challenges beyond their control.

ASB president, Ella Acker, has the responsibility of planning school events during a year where gatherings are limited.  Acker plans school events such as rallies and dances, while also working with other school leadership groups to develop ideas on how best to serve students on campus. 

Acker is also a part of the DLC, where she facilitates meetings concerning the name change, as well as other school topics. Due to her leadership role,  Acker feels that she has been “personally impacted by the school’s name change,” and that this experience has “opened my eyes to the work our school needs to start doing in order to educate and uplift all students, BIPOC and white alike,” Acker said.

Georgia Hooks, AWHS senior and member of Peer Resource (PR), an elective class that educates students in mental and sexual health, says that she has been indirectly impacted by the name change. Hooks says that members of PR have needed to attend meetings concerning the name change, taking time away from other goals.

“Certain members of our team have been roped into many meetings which have taken up a lot of time. Also, many students have been expected to take certain sides. It has occupied up a lot of our work time,” Hooks said.

Hooks also believes that the name change has been an interesting opportunity to communicate with each other, building a further bond amongst the class. Hooks feels that COVID-19 has affected PR, but more in a sense of lost comradery.

“Usually, peer resource is a very active and lively class…we usually are more involved in student life, by doing Condom Availability Training, peer mentoring in person, and many other activities. With COVID-19, it was very difficult to actually reach the students and have students want to participate,” Hooks said.

Like Hooks, Jack Parr, senior and member of Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), feels as though his program has been affected by COVID-19. AVID’s main goal is to help students excel in their classes and help members get into the college they want to attend. 

“COVID-19 prevented our class from going on certain college visits, and we really missed out, because college visits are really important. You can really explore and see what college you would fit in,” Parr said.

COVID-19 has challenged many aspects of our lives throughout the past year. But as student leaders help students get back on track during in-person learning, they model the skills of resilience and determination that every student at AWHS can look up to.

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