Leadership Institutes Changes in Advisors

This year’s Leadership program will be led by English teacher Jessica Variz and Social Studies teacher Tim Morgan. Leadership is a zero period class in change of school events, student elections, rallies and fundraising activities.

Morgan, who is also a varsity basketball coach at Tam, is beginning his first year as a Leadership teacher. “I like helping students learn and create better strengths in their leadership roles,” Morgan said. “I think in our school we need better leaders and more leaders and I feel that with my coaching background I can help with that.”

Previously, Morgan was involved in the Leadership program in a different way. “I’ve been a class advisor for the last two years. So I’ve always been connected to the Leadership program,” Morgan said.

Variz was a Leadership advisor last year, and is continuing to teach this year’s program alongside Morgan. “I definitely wanted to play more of an integral role, not just in what was going on in my classroom,” Variz said. “I think that helping young people to see how much impact they have is a pretty powerful thing, [and] Leadership allows me to do that.”

Both the advisors look forward to working closely with students to improve upon the way the class runs. “I think Leadership helps kids build confidence when they see that they succeed or see that they are able to work in groups and put on an event that is successful,” Morgan said.

Leadership is trying new tactics, such as social media, to get information and announcements to the entire student population. “One of our biggest issues at Tam is the communication issue,” Variz said. “It has to do with geography. At most schools you can put up a few posters and at one point you’re going to walk by them during your day, but here at Tam people are so spread out [that] we just don’t have that central communication system.”

Peer Resource, a class aimed at providing support for students, is now working very closely with the Leadership program. The students enrolled in Peer Resource are attending the same zero period block, as well as tutorial meetings with Leadership students. “We wanted to combine them because a lot of people don’t know what Peer Resource is. We’re hoping that with the resources that Leadership has we will be able to promote it more,” Morgan said.

Another change coming to the Leadership program is an attempt at create a clearer dialogue between students and class representatives. “This year we’re also hoping to be more of a presence on campus as far as all students at Tam feeling like they can come to Leadership with ideas, that we are not the people deciding what happens,” Variz said. “We are just the means of making things happen on campus…students know they are all invited. [We’re] working on a better representation system so that all students are heard.”

All the changes coming to the program are focused primarily on unifying the student body. “We’re continuing our work in progress to get where we want to get, that’s school unity,” Morgan said. “We all want to show that great school culture that I think we haven’t seen lately.”