Francis Howell High School has developed quite a reputation on the field and in extracurricular activities for fielding outstanding teams and student organizations in recent years.
That success has translated into championships and accolades for the players, coaches, and organizations.
As school begins in a few weeks, Francis Howell Activities Director Sean Erwin and the Athletics and Activities Department, have begun rolling out a program that will not just support athletics and activities, but help build character for all students involved in school activities.
The program is called the Viking Leadership Academy. The VLA, which started on a small scale last year, meets twice a month before school and all students involved in an activity or club are welcome and encouraged to attend.
“Last year we kind of started on a small scale to kind of develop the culture, but this year we are rolling out a full-fledged leadership program for all of our students that are involved in an activity, club, or a sport at Francis Howell and we are calling it the Viking Leadership Academy,” Erwin said.
VLA has a curriculum that is theme-based to help students develop leadership skills and traits that will be successful in their activity or sports and in life beyond school.
Erwin said the academy is a direct outgrowth of the Francis Howell four core values that are known as R.I.S.E. that was started when he came to Howell two years ago.
Respect-Students-participants, coaches, parents and Viking fans respecting others.
Integrity-Student participants, coaches, parents, and Viking fans demonstrate their integrity by being honest in their actions. The preparation of our students to become leaders, good citizens, and contributors to the community is a commitment by all involved in Howell activities.
Sportsmanship-Student participants, coaches, parents, and Viking fans practice the ideals of sportsmanship, and are leaders within the framework of a competitive environment.
Excellence-Student participants, coaches, parents and Viking fans are in pursuit of excellence in sport, in the classroom, and in the community. Our focus on excellence remains constant as we strive to create positive and successful experience for all involved.
The program has been warmly embraced by Howell parents, students, and coaches and will be another tool that the school will be able to create successful people beyond their high school years.
“We really want our football players to be more than just football players,” Francis Howell football coach Cory Snyder said. “We work hard to use the R.I.S.E. core values to help them grow as leaders and community members.”
“The Viking Leadership Academy is encouraging great character to promote and develop overall strong leaders,” Francis Howell assistant girls soccer coach Janet Muehling said.
All of the programs at Howell participate in at least one community service outreach program. During the 2015-16 school year, over 25,000 was raised by Howell programs to benefit local charities.
Students will also get real-life lessons in the morning breakfast meeting from community leaders, and different professionals in the area to help them build leadership skills.
“The continued efforts to help develop leaders and young men and women that embody our R.I.S.E. core values is at the forefront of what were are focusing on in our programs,” Erwin said.