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Sophomore Trio Attend Virtual Leadership Conference

Students leaders are an integral part of a school community, especially at Seaford High School where their thoughts and idea are valued. Each year, a small group of sophomores is invited to the attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth leadership program, commonly known as HOBY.

This year’s leadership conference was held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Evan Block, Chloe DeVito and Owen Wendt were chosen as Seaford’s ambassadors and participated in an online seminar on June 13 and 14. They joined students from across the New York metropolitan region for in team-building activities and leadership discussions, all conducted through videoconference.

Evan said he heard about HOBY’s strong reputation for developing student leaders and was excited to take part in the conference. He said he learned that being a leader in school can be as simple as serving as a good role for others.

“Every single person can be a leader,” he said.

Owen added that it is important for the older students in school to set a good example and be known for “doing the right thing.” He also learned that attributes of a good leader include being creative and communicating well with others.

For Chloe, participating in the HOBY conference gave her more confidence to speak up and have her ideas heard. At the same time, she also learned that good leadership means listening to others and working together. She noted that there were activities during the conference that reinforced the importance of teamwork, including when her group had to solve clues in a virtual escape room.

“It gave me an opportunity to expand on my capabilities,” she said.

Assistant Principal Nicole Schnabel said students are recommended for HOBY by teachers and guidance counselors based on their leadership potential. This year, 11 nominees were interviewed by a panel of high school students and staff, who then selected Evan, Chloe and Owen.

Ms. Schnabel added that students attend the conference at the end of 10th grade, when they still have their junior and senior years ahead. Those are the years when students typically take on greater leadership roles in school and are looked to as models of good citizenship.

“It’s quite an honor to be chosen because it’s a wonderful leadership opportunity,” she said. “Chloe, Evan and Owen certainly have pride in what makes Seaford High School a special place and a desire to meld our traditions with new ideas to improve the experience for all students.”