Similiarities between leading a city and leading a school

Golden High’s sophomore student councilors lunch with Golden Mayor Sloan

Posted 2/6/18

Being mayor is a part time job, said Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan during a luncheon with 10 Golden High School sophomores who make up part of the school’s student council. “Really, it’s more …

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Similiarities between leading a city and leading a school

Golden High’s sophomore student councilors lunch with Golden Mayor Sloan

Posted

Being mayor is a part time job, said Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan during a luncheon with 10 Golden High School sophomores who make up part of the school’s student council.

“Really, it’s more like a hobby,” Sloan added. “City council sets policy, and the city manager implements it. Ideally, you can have a full-time job, a family and be mayor.”

Sloan met with the students on Jan. 31 in city council chambers in city hall.

Julie Behrens, the assistant director for the Golden Civic Foundation, bought the Lunch with the Mayor package at the Golden Civic Foundation’s 42nd annual Gala & Auction on Nov. 11. She bought it with the intention of donating it to Golden High School’s sophomore student council members because her daughter is on the student council, she said.

“This sounded like something that would tie into their leadership curriculum,” Behrens said. “They’re young, developing leaders in their school, and any tools they can learn from a strong community leader will only help them and their school community.”

The mayor and the students discussed a variety of topics in the approximate hour they had together: how the City of Golden’s leadership works, tactics to get an entire community involved in civic responsibility and events and the similarities between what the student council struggles with and the similarities between what the city council struggles with.

“Student council is trying to be a voice for everybody,” said student councilor Lucy Grylicki. “It was interesting to see how she deals with different people in the community, despite how they all differ from each other.”

Fellow student councilor Cali Poulos agreed.

“It’s cool how she emphasized that it’s important to take in account other people’s perspectives to solve an issue when there’s not a right or wrong answer,” she said.

Much of the discussion was led by the students’ questions for the mayor, but Sloan also asked the students some questions.

“What are your challenges at Golden High School?” Sloan asked the students. And “how do you come up with solutions to them?”

Sloan mentioned that one of the toughest issues she’s currently facing is that Golden wants to stay a small town, but is challenged with development and growth.

“We want to stay small,” Sloan said, “but still grow and offer housing that can be affordable to families and young people.”

Student councilor Katja Behrens responded by saying that the high school faces a somewhat similar situation.

“We’re so close to being a 5A school,” Katja Behrens said. “That would bring stature and a lot of good things, but it would also change our culture as a small, special school.”

Sloan also brought up the discussion of allowing 16-and-17-year-olds the right to vote in local elections, because she wanted to hear the student leaders’ opinion.

“Voting at a younger age would inspire more of the younger people to want to vote in the future,” said student councilor Lucy Goldman.

Fellow student councilor Stella Schneider added that if students were able to vote, it would most likely empower them because they’d be involved in an important role of a community member.

The student council’s mission is “to create school spirit and belongingness where it doesn’t exist and support it where it does,” the students said. So the things the mayor had to say about leadership was valuable and beneficial, they said.

But “just her coming to meet and talk with us shows she cares about the schools and Golden’s younger population,” said student councilor Cassie Oberholtzer, adding this was not the first time she had met the mayor. “And she’s willing to do it multiple times — it’s not just a one-time thing.”

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