A Leadership Odyssey 2001"

is ready to land

March 26, 2001

"A Leadership Odyssey 2001" is ready to land


Maryland Association of Student Councils


staff photographer

"A Leadership Odyssey 2001"

2001 Convention Maryland

Association of Student Councils

Thursday, March 29, through Saturday, March 31

Ramada Inn, Dual Highway, Hagerstown

Jennifer Aiken

Above: Jennifer Aiken

Below: Allen Murphy

Allen Murphy


Watch out! The Maryland Association of Student Councils' annual state convention is about to land in Hagerstown.


"A Leadership Odyssey 2001" will bring about 1,000 student leaders and student government advisers from across the state for three days of workshops, meetings and fun.

Washington County Association of Student Councils is hosting the leadership-building event. Local students are organizing the convention. Meetings have become more frequent, and things are "heating up" in the month before the convention, says Allen Murphy, president of Washington County Association of Student Councils. Murphy, 18, is a U.S. Naval Academy-bound senior at Hancock High School.

The convention is an opportunity for student leaders to learn parliamentary procedure and lobbying techniques, Murphy says. Large groups will break into smaller ones for workshops, says Jennifer Aiken, convention student co-chair. The workshops for the students are practical - planning a pep assembly, coping with violence.

Washington County students, the convention hosts, will be working too hard to sit in on the workshops. That's OK.

"It's great to interact with other people and get ideas from other schools," says Tyler Patton, convention student co-chair. Patton, 18, is a senior member of the student government general assembly at South Hagerstown High School. He was a student page for the Maryland General Assembly during the current legislative session in Annapolis.

Local students have planned for some recreation - hiring disc jockeys, a photographer for the first-time-ever group photos, bringing in Scope pictures for key-ring photos like the ones at the beach, Patton says.

There will be nominations, campaigning, candidate speeches and election of officers to the state student council association. There will be motivational speakers and a dinner to which local dignitaries have been invited.

Aiken, student body president at North Hagerstown High School, serves as the student representative to Washington County Board of Education. She has participated in three previous state and two national conventions. Last year's, in San Jose, Calif., was "a week on the beach, pretty much," but a week during which Aiken and fellow conventioneers dealt with the tough issue of school violence.

"It's a little sad and a little happy," Aiken says of the Hagerstown gathering. She is looking forward to reuniting with people she's met, but there's the awareness that it's the last year for the senior students.

"I hope it's a really good experience for everyone," Aiken says.

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