- Coatesville Area School District
Coatesville Athletic Leadership Council
Coatesville Athletes Take On New Leadership Roles
An old Vince Lombardi quote says, “Leaders aren’t born, they’re made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.”
Coatesville Area Senior High School is putting this theory to the test, creating opportunities for students to develop and refine their leadership skills through the Coatesville Athletic Leadership Council (CALC). The mission of CALC is for student-athlete leaders to create a positive impact on their school through community service, school spirit, and leadership activities.
CALC was started in the summer of 2022, as schools nationwide were rebounding from the pandemic. The school’s athletic department knew Coatesville had strong student leaders who could shine if given the proper pathways. Administrators worked with several community leaders, including Dwayne Walton of Parkesburg Point, Josh Crans of The Bridge Academy, and Mark Mintzer of the Youth Mentoring Partnership to design a framework for students to learn about leadership and put that learning to use as role models and mentors for younger students.
During monthly meetings, adult advisors lead students through activities such as self-evaluations of their leadership skills, exploration of leadership skills like integrity, honesty, courage, and physical trust exercises.
“The club has helped me in my own personal growth and has also helped me learn how to support my fellow lacrosse team members in their growth,” said Steven Evans, a senior lacrosse player and second year CALC member. “I am definitely more disciplined and feel a sense of responsibility in setting an example for other players and students.”
The week following each monthly meeting, seniors head to the 6th Grade Center to work with the younger students, share the lessons they have learned, and talk with students about their specific sport.
“Sharing with the sixth graders is incredibly rewarding,” said Kylie Warmiak, a senior member of the school’s Dance Team. “The younger kids look up to us. Seeing us in these roles inspires them to take a chance and get involved and maybe try out for a team.”
About 30 students participate in CALC, including one senior and one junior representative from each team. New members are recommended by current student representatives, with final approval from the head coach of each respective team. According to Meghan Gehr, Athletics & Activities Assistant, the Council includes a strong mix of students who show leadership potential as well as those who already hold leadership positions as team captains.
CALC members are invited to join other students from across the Delaware Valley at an annual Leadership Conference hosted by Neumann University. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in multiple service projects throughout the year.
Administrators and faculty say the feel the council has contributed to an increased positive atmosphere in the high school, with students taking more ownership of their environment, and encouraging others to do the same.
“Being part of this Council has helped me grow in so many ways,” said Warmiak. “Hearing stories from other students about how they’ve overcome obstacles is inspiring. It makes you think about your own journey and how you can be better.”
“I’ve learned that winning isn’t the only thing that’s important,” said Evans. CALC encourages us to hold each other accountable. My main goal is to be a good person, and, in the end, isn’t that what really matters?”