When Memorial High School senior Savannah Dent sat down at her table at the inaugural Frisco ISD Student-Athlete Leadership Summit, she didn’t know what to expect. The volleyball player didn’t know any of the other students around her, either.
By six hours later, that had all changed.
“It’s so fun to get to know all these people who have challenges that are the same and different and learn from each other,” she said.
Dent was one of more than 200 FISD high school student-athletes, selected by campus coaches and administrators, who were part of the Student-Athlete Leadership Summit on Wednesday (July 27). The event at Ford Center included fun competitions, inspirational guest speakers and sharing of ideas as a prelude to the 2022-23 school year. The emcee was Stephen Mackey, a keynote speaker and player development coach whose 2Words Character Development program is being used in FISD athletics programs and is endorsed by the Texas High School Coaches Association.
The event featured student-athletes from all 12 FISD high schools.
“Our purpose as coaches is really to invest in all of you,” FISD Athletic Director Grace McDowell told the student-athletes as the event began in the morning, “so that all of you can be champions in life.”
Working toward the goal to “lead like a champion,” the FISD students learned about character, positivity, relationships, the different forms leadership can take and the many ways they can make an impact. Each table -- which typically had eight students from different high schools along with one FISD coach -- discussed topics, shared ideas and worked together in competitions such as a social media challenge in which students moved around the Ford Center finding ways to show their enthusiasm for leading like a champion.
The students learned from each other and from guest speakers who talked about the power of positivity and shared their personal stories of overcoming obstacles. The students also wrote down ideas for expanding their leadership skills.
“The importance of empathy is something I’m really taking from this,” said Kaden Groom, a senior basketball player at Liberty. “To be a good leader, you have to be able to feel for what other people are going through. A good leader is someone who is willing to put someone else in front of themselves for the sake of a goal.”
The students left with tools for improving and expanding their leadership, as well as practical plans for how to do it. That was part of the final message that Mackey offered to students before they left.
“Now it’s time for you to take this to your campuses,” he said.
- Find photos and videos from the Student-Athlete Leadership Summit at the FriscoISDSports Twitter feed (@friscoisdsports).