Bishop Verot students make history and memories at LEAD conference in Washington, DC

Ten Bishop Verot Seniors made history and memories when they landed in Washington, DC, last month to participate in the Lead 2014 Conference, hosted by the NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals). The conference provides opportunities for students from Honor Societies and Student Governments to learn about and facilitate leadership and team building.

Coupled with the various programs offered, students were given the opportunity of competing in an inaugural academic challenge. Over 112 schools from around the globe participated, with Bishop Verot fielding two teams of five students each. The competition was fearless, yet the Vikings landed both teams in the final four. In the end, one of those teams won first place, an accomplishment of which to be extremely proud. Winning a competition of this caliber is a testament to the dedication of both students and teachers at Bishop Verot Catholic High School. Countless hours are spent both in academic classrooms and co-curricular activities, shaping tomorrow’s leaders. Yet, everyone involved recognized that the competition was but one facet of their trip.

“Although this first place win was a highlight, there was so much more to this trip. We navigated the city by Metro, took a private night tour of the monuments, walked across the Potomac, lunched in Union Station, visited Senator Marco Rubio’s office in the Capitol and were treated to a personal tour which included sitting in the House of Representatives and the Capitol building. Students were even able to meet former BVHS students, Nicholas West and Bruce Waddell, who both work for representatives on the Hill,” according to Mary Dakin, NHS moderator.

The trip was made possible through fund- raising and the generosity of the school’s National Honor Society, Student Government Association, and the Luceat Yearbook Club. These contributors provided students with incredible opportunities to extend beyond traditional classroom lectures, giving them the ability to touch history first-hand.

The trip culminated with a visit to Arlington Cemetery, where students witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Student Kevin Leddy shared, “The entire place seemed so interesting to me, even though it was simply a graveyard. It felt like more than that, it felt as if I was standing and looking at the remains of history.”

Andrew Bretton echoed Kevin’s sentiments. “This ceremony was the most astonishing thing I saw on the trip. It was more impressive than any architecture, painting or national treasure in the city.” All in all, the students achieved incredible success both in the competition and in their experiences traveling around the city. Senior leader, Allison Oliva summed up the trip by sharing, “ I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. In the course of this trip, I had the chance to meet leaders from other schools all over the country and learn from and about their experiences. “