The student news site of Western Albemarle High School - Crozet, VA

The Western Hemisphere

The student news site of Western Albemarle High School - Crozet, VA

The Western Hemisphere

The student news site of Western Albemarle High School - Crozet, VA

The Western Hemisphere

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Should Leadership Require an Application?

The+goal+of+Leadership+is+to+maintain+the+identity+of+Western.+
Credit: Sophie Mathew
The goal of Leadership is to maintain the identity of Western.

As it comes time for students to choose their classes for next year the ever pressing struggle of what electives to take arises. With endless options to choose from and new electives added every year, it takes several discussions with parents, meetings with counselors, and hours of introspective thought to nail down the perfect elective. One of the most coveted electives has always been Leadership, while most electives are led by one faculty member, Leadership needs two, Molly Miracle and Sandra McLaughlin, and is spread out over several blocks because of the interest. The demand of this one elective has warranted the creation of an application in the upcoming school year. 

The way one got into Leadership has changed over the years. Students once had to apply and wait for approval before being able to register. This process changed when county policy got rid of all application based classes, which included the academies, because of equity problems surrounding applications. However, an application will be implemented to limit  the number of the students participating in this elective. Previously, the application was designed to be an arduous process that required teacher recommendations and an interview. Each application was reviewed blindly to take away any bias yet the elective remained extremely hard to get into. The goal for the new application is to be a “memorandum of understanding,” Sandra McLaughlin affirms, “We’ve been wanting to figure out a way to gauge student interest in Leadership and let them know what signing up for the class entails. The restoration of a modified version of the previous application seemed like a beneficial idea to complete this.” 

This modified version will include a letter of comprehension of the course and a paragraph for prospective students to write why they’d be a good fit for the program. “We don’t see this as a year where we’re going to be choosing kids and being selective. Our aim is to pull from a diverse student body for different activities and groups,” Molly Miracle adds. Resources like the curriculum fair are great at showcasing what separate electives entail and trying to impress students, but the application will do this and hear from students about what they can contribute. 

Kinda Karaoke, Spirit Week, and WAHS with a Cause are just some of the events that Leadership students plan. Their goal is to maintain the identity of Western as a school, “known for being full of kids that have pride in being a warrior,” McLaughlin states, “As a class we do this by organizing all school activities that are non-sport related and building a better community.” This was especially important to Leadership students after Covid, who wanted to return the community spirit and rebuild some of the traditions that made Western a special place. In both McLaughlin and Miracle’s class  students are always occupied with hands-on projects that require responsibility and enthusiasm. “ At the beginning of the year you’re given a project to work on for Spirit Week. So you need to make sure you’re doing your part and making sure everything is done by spirit week for the school and the students to be able to take part in these activities. You also need to be very respectful and kind because you are interacting with teachers and principals all the time,” remarks Tommy Boyd, sophomore class officer. Nick Wankhar, sophomore class officer, adds that leadership is a, “ very social, very engaging class.”

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About the Contributor
Sophie Mathew, Assistant Editor
Sophie is a junior at Western and is excited for her second year in Journalism as a Sports Editor. In her free time she loves reading, being outside with her friends, laughing, and driving. She is also on the crew team and can be found on the reservoir in the early morning. Her favorite thing about Western is the football games and she hopes to attend more this year!
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