An eye-opening trip to the Ron Clark Academy inspired MISD principal Tameka Patton to bring a very special program back to Nancy Neal Elementary School.
"At the Ron Clark Academy, we were greeted by students who asked us questions and asked what was our mission there,” Patton said. “I’ve got students at Nancy Neal that can do this."
|Superintendent Dr. Jim Vaszauskas spent time with the Neal|
Ambassadors earlier in the year teaching them the importance
of being a life-long learner.
They are a key component of telling the “Neal story” to guests who visit the campus.
"Students had to complete an application and meet an application deadline,” ambassador co-sponsor Erica Carswell stated about the selection process of the students who would become ambassadors. “They were then brought in for face to face interviews. We selected the top ten students and they became Neal Ambassadors."
For Turner Hawkins, applying to be an ambassador was an obvious choice.
"I chose to join because I thought I would do a great job because I love helping people. This has taught me that if you work together, you can get more done." Hawkins said.
Through the direction of their sponsors, school leadership and the many special guests they have welcomed into their meetings, the Neal Ambassadors are learning character, responsibility and the value of a heart for service.
The students have had the privilege of learning leadership traits from a number of guest speakers. Superintendent Dr. Jim Vaszauskas spent time with students early in the year talking about what it means to have a heart for service and the importance of being a life long learner. Recently, the ambassadors welcomed Leigh Collins, district director for Senator Konni Burton, who talked about the importance of goal setting. The students listened to her speak and ask questions about her educational path and her career.
Ultimately, the Neal Ambassador Program is about building leaders of the future in areas such as public speaking, responsibility or introductions; the possibilities are endless.
Co-sponsor Monique McGrew says it’s all about their character.
"The one thing we have really honed in this year, and tried to instill on each student is character, who are you when no one’s looking."