Local youth who took on the task of learning all about leadership opportunities celebrated the completion of the program for the 2018-19 school year at a breakfast to wrap up the week ahead of the start of Spring Break.

A dozen sophomores each from Cedartown and Rockmart High Schools made up the graduating class of 24 for the year, which took on the task of learning all about leadership and what it entails, like communicating effectively with people and building and maintaining teams of people to accomplish a task.

“They learned all about how to communicate with each other, and to operate together as a team,” Polk County Extension Coordinator Ricky Ensley said. He’s also the head of the program for Polk Youth Leadership, which is organized with the help of the Polk County Chamber of Commerce.

Ensley said the curriculum for the class also saw students gaining a better appreciation for the difference between people, but to use them as strengths toward a team effort to accomplish a goal.

“Superintendent Laurie Atkins taught a session on the Polk School District’s Report Card, and encouraged these school leaders to get their classmates to come to school every day and graduate, to do their best in class,” he said.

Graduates this year included Lauren Allred, Micah Arbuthnot, Trudi Baines-Floyd, Sara Carlton, Parker Crawford, Daisy Cruz-Rangel, Cade Dingler, Mehiji Floyd, Tayte Fuqua, Isaac Gober, Emy Gomez-Vasquez, Emily Haney, Evan Holder, Ethan Lester, Kendy Lopez, Andrew Lumpkin, Suzanna McElwee, Tyler Paschal, Sid Patel, Anna Claire Sides, Gracie Tan, Michael Walker, Cody Williams and Kearston Winston.

During the March 29 ceremony to honor the 24 who participated in this year’s program, Cedartown Performing Arts Center Director Oscar Guzman provided inspiration for those sophomores in the audience looking toward the future.

A Cedartown High graduate less than a decade out from earning his diploma, he said he never foresaw right out of college he’d be running a non-profit, or be hired on full time with the city to run the Performing Arts Center as part of the newly formed Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

He told students that so long as they continue to work hard and ask for current leaders to help them achieve their own goals, they can do as much and more than him in the future.

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