Student Council Sponsors Summit for Gann Leaders

Senior Perry Wallack had an idea. What if he brought together the school’s leaders — heads of clubs, captains of sports teams, student council reps— to learn how to become even better at what they do? He fleshed out his idea with fellow students, faculty and staff and recruited top Gann administrators to run hands-on workshops teaching leadership skills. The fruits of his labors will be on display at Gann’s first Student Leadership Summit— a half-day event at the school this coming Sunday. Wallack expects at least 30 student leaders to attend.

At the summit, student leaders will learn about everything from marketing to goal setting to best practices for collaborating with the school’s administration. In addition to many sports teams and a number of student publications, Gann offers clubs focused on interests ranging from debate to feminism to coding to cooking.

In fact, there is so much going on at Gann that the Student Council wanted a better way to keep students connected. And one student came to the rescue: freshman Matan Kotler-Berkowitz, a self-taught coder, has built a cell phone alert app that notifies students about time-sensitive news, for example a last-minute schedule change. “Gann Notifications” enables school-related news to pop up on cell phones, where students are most likely to pay attention. The app is slated to go live at the end of March.

As for the Student Leadership Summit, “Success would be if next year leaders are able to run their activities even more effectively,” explained Wallack, who considers leadership development to be a critical part of his role as the Student Council’s officer of activism. “In the case of clubs, that would mean better attendance, greater engagement by members and more connection with the broader world through activities like bringing speakers to the school.”
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