For the students at Herbert Carter Global Community Magnet, school is about more than learning academic lessons in reading, math, and science – it’s about learning to be a leader. And one way the school accomplishes this is through its Student Ambassador program.
Every semester, students at Herbert Carter Global Community Magnet School can apply to be a Student Ambassador and fulfill various jobs throughout the school. Through the program, students are able to develop the skills necessary in and outside of the classroom such as communication and professionalism.
The program, part of the school’s “Leader In Me” curriculum, is focused on the idea that every student has the potential to be a leader and that schools can guide students to grow, not only academically, but socially as well. Through this program, every student gets the opportunity to put their unique talents and skills to use. HCGC prides itself on being a Leader In Me school due to its priority of placing students in leadership positions and creating a schoolwide culture of empowerment amongst students.
Starting in kindergarten up through second grade, leadership positions available for students are classroom-based. Between plugging in Chromebook computers, passing out classroom materials, or leading the line in the hallways, every student in each class has a position they complete based on their talents and skills. Teachers work to teach students responsibility in their classrooms to prepare them for the Ambassador Application during their third-grade year.
The Ambassador application helps to place students in positions that can help develop their skills and talents based on their academic accomplishments and on-the-job training process. Starting in third grade, students can apply to be the flag bearers of the school, raising and lowering the flag every day. Fourth-grade students can apply to the Green Team, collecting school-wide recycling and presenting the morning announcements. During a student's fifth-grade year, they can apply to be on the Botanist Team to water the plants and flowers throughout the school campus. Sixth-grade students can apply to work the car rider line to ensure the safety of the car-riding students.
"We want them to be the face of our school,” said Herbert Carter Principal Shelbi Cole. “They are the first people you see in the morning and the last ones you see when you get picked up at the end of the day. So, we work with them a lot on their people and communication skills to represent our school well.”
Accompanying the Ambassador Program, Herbert Carter developed a student council, coined The Lighthouse Team. Every grade elects a singular grade leader with each classroom electing representatives for the council. These students work to represent the school alongside the Ambassador program while conducting fundraisers and canned food drives for local organizations.
“Any time we do events, have parents or guests on campus, our Ambassadors and Lighthouse students lead something depending on what the event is,” said Herbert Carter Assistant Principal Sean Gray. “They take parents to classrooms, put out folding chairs, and talk to guests. And they’re excited about it! They love doing their jobs.”
To hear more about these programs from the students involved, read these student testimonials about their time with The Lighthouse Team and the Ambassadors Program:
Savannah Peppers -- 5th-grade Lighthouse Team representative:
“Over a week, we made posters and flyers to campaign. It was a little hard to be competing against some of my good friends, but we all agreed that we would support each other no matter who got elected. It was a lot of fun to do the campaign. I was really proud of myself because I do not like talking in front of people. Also, we had a canned food drive for the Marion Baptist Church across the street, and our goal was 1,500 cans. We ended up getting over 4,000 cans. The Lighthouse Team went to the cafeteria and worked together to walk all of the bags and boxes over to the church then unpack them at the church. It was a lot of working together, but we learned a lot about how to work as a team.”
Gethsemani Mendez -- 6th-grade Lighthouse Team representative:
“At the end of the campaign, we had to give these speeches about why we wanted to be on the Lighthouse Team. I had my sister help me write my speech with my ideas, and I was super nervous to present what I wanted to do. But I did it, and I love working with the team.”
Taj Armstrong -- Ambassador Program member:
“You get to see a lot of students and parents every day, talk to them about their day and show them love. It’s important to me to form these relationships because I see them every day. There are some students and parents that only want to be in my line because I will talk to them and laugh and joke with them.”
Liam Henry -- Ambassador Program member:
“I love talking to the kindergarten students in the morning because they are just so happy and energetic. Their parents love to see them happy to go to school, and I enjoy hearing their stories.”
Princeton Wilkerson -- Ambassador Program member:
“When you’re a 6th-grade ambassador, you are at the car line at 7:20 a.m. to help get other students out of their cars. I love it because I have been able to form connections with students. There are some students who are more shy or other students don’t really understand them, but I love to talk to them and learn about them so I can be a better friend and ambassador. Through the Ambassadors Program, I learned how to stand up for other students when they were being bullied. I am really proud to say I stand up for my friends and even people I don’t know, just doing the right thing, and getting those people to talk it out to make things right at the end of the day.”
The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit https://www.msd3.org/ or call 870-739-5100.