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Fifth-Graders Prepare for Leadership Opportunities

For the past four years, Meramec Elementary fifth-graders have taken a day at the beginning of the school year to focus on how they can become stronger leaders in their building. This year’s retreat took place on Thursday, Sept. 5. Along with their teachers, counselor and other Meramec staff, the students walked to Clayton High School, where they worked in groups to discuss a variety of topics and take part in fun team building activities.


“The beauty of the retreat is we gain insight into how the students think and what the students value. It allows us to create an environment that allows the teachers and the students to be vulnerable as we discuss difficult topics,” said Fifth-Grade Teacher Scott Osborne.


At this year’s retreat, the students traveled in groups to different stations, where they focused on a series of goals:

  • Leadership roles in their building
  • Technology awareness
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Identity and avoiding stereotypes

“Each year we add a new leadership element that we continue to work on at the school,” added Osborne. “This year we are looking at fifth-graders as teachers of skills that they can share with the younger grade levels. How can we learn from your experiences?”

Based on feedback from the fifth-graders, the annual retreat is always one of their favorite days of the school year. It’s a time to get to know themselves and their classmates better, while gaining the skills they need to be effective leaders for younger Meramec students.

"This event puts things in perspective because we talked about things we don't always discuss at school,” said fifth-grader Abby Hardy. Fellow fifth-grader Grace Brinkley added, "I like how people were working together. Teamwork makes the dream work."