School News

UHS Youth Leadership Conference Sept 2018

Urbandale High School Students Participate In The National Council On Youth Leadership

UHS Youth Leadership Conference Sept 2018

(see photo caption below)

More than 250 high school seniors from 24 area high schools were selected by their schools to attend the National Council on Youth Leadership’s (NCYL) 26th annual Youth Salute on September 10, 2018, at Drake University. The following seniors represented Urbandale High School: Max Carver, Marissa Chavez, April Czarnecki, Brooke Dannenfeldt, Lindsey Ingraham, Aditya Kotla, Jonah Larsen, Matt Moran, Jacob Sammon, Katherine Stoelk, Riley Vander Hart, and Varun Vepa.

The seniors engaged with peers from around the state in order to learn how to become better leaders. Riley Vander Hart commented that the keynote speaker, Craig Hillier, was the highlight of the day as he led students through engaging activities. From Hillier, Vander Hart took away key aspects of being a leader such as learning that you don’t have to be great to start something, but rather you have to start something to be great. Also, being a leader means that you have to gauge your group and engage with them—you can’t lead from a distance.

Four participants were selected as Youth Leaders of the Year and will attend the national NCYL conference, Town Meeting on Tomorrow (TMOT), in St. Louis in October. Those students were Phuoc Phu from North High School, Eleanor Hildebrandt from Roosevelt High School, Grace Millsap from Waukee High School. and our very own Jacob Sammon from Urbandale High School.

“My acceptance into the National Council on Youth Leadership is one of the greatest honors I have ever received,” said Jacob Sammon. “A significant amount of my life has always been attributed to becoming the most effective leader I can be, and having the opportunity to continue developing my skills and to meet others with similar ideals is truly special to me. I look forward to learning everything I can at the conference to help me work toward making a difference in the world.”

Joanne Hale Jacob Sammon

UHS Social Studies Teacher Joanne Hale and UHS Senior Jacob Sammon.

“Jacob is a wonderful Urbandale High School student and Urbandale community member,” said UHS Social Studies Teacher Joanne Hale. “Over the years Jacob has excelled academically while growing as a leader amongst his peers. Recognizing Jacob as one of four youth leaders for the state is impressive, and the Town Meeting on Tomorrow will provide Jacob with further opportunities to develop as a student leader and community member. I am so proud that Jacob is recognized for all of his hard work and dedication.”

NCYL is dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and developing the leadership skills of youth. The mission of NCYL is to create public awareness of the importance and power of youth leadership, provide information to help build advanced leadership skills, and encourage community involvement in recognition and support our youth. The Greater Des Moines chapter is facilitated by the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, which offers a variety of public awareness activities and programming, including CHARACTER COUNTS!, a widely used character education program.

The Urbandale Community School District congratulates these UHS senior leaders for being such outstanding ambassadors for Urbandale, and extends best wishes to Jacob Sammon for an inspiring and meaningful experience during the national NCYL conference in St. Louis on October 20-23. #proudofU

(Our thanks to Principal Tim Carver, Joanne Hale, and Jacob Sammon for their contributions to this article.)


UHS Seniors In Group Photo Top Left to Right:
Max Carver, Aditya Kotla
Riley Vander Hart, Jacob Sammon
Jonah Larsen, Matt Moran, Verun Vepa
April Czarnecki, Katherine Stoelk, Brooke Dannenfeldt
Lindsey Ingraham, Marissa Chavez