For three Argyle Middle School students, summer vacation consisted of traveling across the country to gain leadership skills and meet new peers.
Jacob Bitter, Judson Burns and John Krysiak, all 13-year-old students, were nominated by their school’s staff to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.
From July 12 to 18, the boys flew to Washington to attend classes on leadership.
According to Principal Scott Gibson, the middle school staff looks for students who receive good grades and have displayed good character throughout the year.
Gibson says this was first time three students were able to attend to the conference at once.
“I’m proud of these guys because they took a chance on this,” Gibson said. “We’ve nominated (students) in the past, but few have gone. To be able to go to Washington D.C. away from their families at this age requires a lot of leadership qualities.”
Three times a day, the boys attended classes where they interacted with other students their age and learned about the importance of leadership.
Bitter is president of the middle school’s National Junior Honor Society. As a leader of the organization, he says he gained several crucial leadership skills at the conference.
“We learned a lot about the importance of communication,” Bitter said. “We also learned about how to give and receive instructive criticism. That was useful.”
Gibson says he has seen Bitter, Burns and Krysiak have strong leadership qualities and is proud to have had them represent Argyle Middle School at the conference this summer.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how they enact this now that they are back,” Gibson said. “As they go into adulthood, I expect good things from them.”
Brianna Vela is a public information intern with the Argyle Independent School District.