SkillsUSA Officers Attend Harry Potter Themed Fall Leadership Training

Grace Liu, Yearbook Editor in Chief

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  • Chapter President Katherine Hsu ‘18 and Chapter Vice President Phoenix Wang ‘18 meet other officers during their leadership activity. Photo courtesy of Ms. Tiffany Carpenter.

  • State Secretary Janice Oh ‘19 and State Reporter Pooja Enagala ‘19 enjoy playing around in the pond. Photo courtesy of Ms. Tiffany Carpenter.

  • Westwood SkillsUSA officers mime pushing District President James Joh ‘19 into the pond. Photo courtesy of Ms. Tiffany Carpenter.

  • Westwood SkillsUSA officers pose for a photo after the conference. Photo courtesy of Ms. Tiffany Carpenter.

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As a culmination to all their training from Summer Leadership, the SkillsUSA District 10 officers hosted a district-wide Fall Leadership Training session in Georgetown on Oct. 18 for the various chapter officers in District 10. With a total attendance of over 200 people, the conference was able to connect SkillsUSA leaders all over the district. All 13 of Westwood’s SkillsUSA officers attended the annual training camp, with three district officers, eight chapter officers, and two state officers.

To plan for the event, the district officers met up multiple times this past year to work out the activities and lessons for the day. Starting late June at Summer Leadership Camp where the state officers took part in training the district officers from around Texas, the district officers chose Harry Potter as their conference theme and designed leadership events and lectures to reflect the theme.

“For Fall Leadership, we had to plan the schedule and activities, like when we were going to have our officer training and what specific lessons we were going to teach during the training session,” District Reporter Valika Chu ‘19 said.

While planning, the officers encountered various conflicts and solved them in a professional and responsible manner.  

“I think the most difficult part was learning how to adapt our schedule and fill up the time that we had allocated for our community service project that got postponed,” Chu said.

Due to a miscommunication, the donations for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Beaumont never arrived at the conference site, so the district officers rescheduled the service project and filled the spare time with other leadership activities and training to better prepare the chapter officers for their leadership roles. Despite the setbacks, the event went smoothly.

“I have never planned such a big event, and it was quite intimidating when we were given the task to plan and conduct Fall Leadership completely on our own,” District President James Joh ‘19 said. “Just the general responsibility of making this event meaningful was the most difficult component of Fall Leadership.”

Through this leadership training session, the district officers aimed to better educate the chapter officers on their various duties to their respective SkillsUSA chapters and members.

“I hope the chapter officers got a better sense of their roles and responsibilities as an officer and got acquainted with officers from different chapters,” Chu said.

During the training, the district officers went through various leadership exercises and had the chapter officers participate in an interactive Statesman activity, in which the chapter officers demonstrated their newly acquired knowledge in a real-world context.

“I learned from this experience that to be a true leader, you have to be eager to meet new people,” Chapter President Katherine Hsu ‘18 said. “Also, you can learn a lot from people whom you don’t know.”

The chapter officers plan to use the tips they learned from the camp in their future approaches to running the chapter organization, from member relationships to overall leadership skills.

“I learned to work better as a team and as a leader,” Chapter Vice President Phoenix Wang ‘19 said. “For example, I’m planning to be more engaging with the members more by being more present, with a positive attitude at all times. It’s small actions like these that I learned could make a big difference in leadership.”

As a whole, the training camp was a good way for the various officers from around the district to meet and learn from each other.

“I really enjoyed meeting new people at the event and hearing about their backgrounds, such as their interest and what they did at their school,” Joh said. “One specific activity that I enjoyed the most was the game ‘Ships and Sailors’. It is a very active and social game, and I was glad that the people were having fun while getting to know each other.”

In addition to meeting other people, the chapter officers took this conference as an opportunity to create close-knit ties within their own team.

“I think it was good that we got some free time to hang out with our own group of officers so we could bond with not only with other schools’ officers but also our own team,” Hsu ‘18 said.

After months of planning and organization, the district officers reflect on finally seeing their work be put into action.

“Fall leadership would not have been possible if it wasn’t for our district officer team,” Joh said. “We had to find the right balance between making the event fun, but also informative about leadership and SkillsUSA. In the end, we created an agenda of icebreakers, personality tests, and personal officer training.”

Though they experienced minor setbacks, the officers were still able to unite the entire district in their leadership training event.

“My favorite part was meeting all the chapter officers from different regions and catching up with my fellow District 10 officers,” Chu said.

The next general SkillsUSA meeting is on Oct. 24 in the Great Room.