Leadership class welcomes new students on campus

Juniors Skylar Parks (left) and Makenna Asbury discuss the October Red Ribbon Week project their leadership class is planning in conjunction with the Peer Education Program students.
(Sophia Hale)

It’s tough enough to be the new student on campus, it’s worse to not even know how to find your first period class. The Moanalua High School Leadership class students have made it their mission to ensure that no new student feels unwelcome at the school. 

“We make the ribbon leis, and we take the students around for a campus tour the day before they start classes,” Leadership class teacher Nancy Gouveia said. 

This year, the class of 14 is focusing on taking care of the students here, but in previous years, they assisted the world language department when it hosted the students visiting from Moanalua’s sister school, Kokutaiji, from Japan. They made leis for the students and signs for the teachers, Gouveia said.  The class engages in self-selected projects as well as collaborations and special tasks with other groups or the administration. Students gain leadership and communication skills along the way. 

Despite the restrictions on gatherings because of the COVID pandemic, the leadership students said their mission is to “do outreach,” Gouveia said. The class has in the past met with the military liaison as well as with the school registrar’s office to identify new students and meet with them to help them transition to school, she said.

“[The leadership class students] don’t want the new students to feel alone,” she said. 

This year, the class is partnering with the Peer Education Program to promote Drug-Free Week. The PEP class will handle the drug education portion, and the Leadership class will have activities in Mene Square during the week of October 25-29. Their social media team will publicize their events on the class’  Instagram account (@mohsleadahzz).

In addition to working with PEP, the students also plan to bring back the “Lunch Buddies” program, where leadership students engaged with students in the special education classes. 

“This class is a great way to expand our leadership skills,” junior Skylar Parks said. 

The planning involved for the upcoming special projects required “lots of collaboration,” she said.

Parks said she initially did not think she would find the class as enriching as it has been for her. 

“This class hones and fine-tunes the skills we will need later in life,” she said.

Gouveia said the students take the lead in planning the different events.

“I find them to be leaders; I find them to be enthusiastic,” Gouveia said of her students.