High school students on leadership track through special Shepherd University program

West Virginia

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — More than a hundred high school students from West Virginia’s eastern panhandle and just across the state line in Maryland are on a fast track to the leadership ranks of their chosen profession.

The Stubblefield Institute at Shepherd University welcomed them to a day-long seminar in leadership skills for their chosen livelihood, whether it be in the business world, public policy arena or beyond.

At their Monday day-long workshop, teams of students simulated how they might govern the borders to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Another challenge: how to allocate a limited supply of the vaccine to treat it.

Student coordinator Sarah Burke explains that while the Monday exercise was in the realm of making decisions in a government setting, the skills are transferable. Shepherd faculty member, Dr. Samuel Greene, echoes that view… that sound decision making in any content must follow a template.

MacKenzie Colt, a senior at Martinsburg’s Spring Mills High School is finding the training invaluable. She hope to go to law school and sees value in the simulated exercises from the leadership training program.

Featured speaker at the Stubblefield program was West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, who oversees elections and business licensing. He also has a distinguished military career and spoke of the consequences of sound leadership in making group decisions.

“I have found,” said Warner, “the best decisions are made when the group tries to be as inclusive as possible. It helps to get as broad a spectrum as possible.”

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