Superintendent Winfried Feneberg
114 Cougar Court
New London, NH 03257
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019
Contact: Kelsey Bode
Email: [email protected]
Kearsarge Students Partner with Colby-Sawyer College to Host C.A.R.E. Conference
NEW LONDON – Superintendent Winfried Feneberg is pleased to announce that a group of Kearsarge Regional High School students partnered with Colby-Sawyer College to host a Community Action Resulting in Experience (C.A.R.E.) Conference this week.
More than 120 high school students from throughout the region gathered at Tuesday’s C.A.R.E. conference at the Ware Center at Colby-Sawyer College, where they had the opportunity to discuss and learn more about how individuals and communities can act to promote meaningful experiences and practices that better their overall society.
At the conference, students discussed big picture questions in small groups about community and leadership, including what aspects define a leader within a group of individuals, how one educational environment impacts a community, what common goals and values unite a community and how a community of diverse people can live peaceably, solve problems and make effective decisions together.
Jennifer White, an assistant professor at Colby-Sawyer College, gave the keynote speech at the conference. White is both a Kearsarge and Colby-Sawyer alumna, and her speech focused on how students can transform an idea into an action that will result in change
Beginning in April, approximately 30 students in Kearsarge Regional High School’s Students Working on Community Outreach (SWOCO) Club began planning the conference. Kearsarge students formed the SWOCO Club last year after attending a Students Practicing Ethical Leadership (SPEL) Conference in December 2018 at St. Anselm College, in an effort to organize and offer similar opportunities.
“It has been a pleasure to watch these students become so inspired and motivated, to the point where they have taken it upon themselves to create more leadership and critical thinking opportunities for their peers,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “As a district, we are dedicated to creating opportunities for students to find their voice, take an active part in their schools’ decision making, and practice being engaged young citizens. Events like the Kearsarge C.A.R.E. conference make it clear that the students are embracing opportunities to learn about leadership, collaboration, and community. I commend them for all their hard work in organizing this event, as well as their eagerness to learn from and share with other schools this valuable experience”
The December 2018 SPEL Conference was organized by students in Souhegan High School’s Ethics Forum, who helped Kearsarge students give a 30 minute presentation to Colby-Sawyer representatives and Kearsarge administration pitching the C.A.R.E. conference on June 18. After the presentation, Colby-Sawyer offered to donate the Ware Center venue, breakfast and lunch to support the student conference.
“It was very surreal to see this conference come together in the end,” said Will Moore, a senior. “I enjoyed seeing how each school interpreted each question. I believe this conference is a great way for students to advocate for what they believe in in their community.”
“I am so proud of this SWOCO group,” said Eliza Cardillo, a sophomore. “Today showed that all the early morning meetings and hard work over the last few months was worth it.”
Kearsarge students also held several meetings over the summer to plan and organize the event.
“The students of SWOCO have put a significant amount of effort into this conference and their maturity and grace throughout the process has been fantastic,” said Curtis Roddy, Kearsarge Social Studies teacher and adviser to the SWOCO Club. “I’m honored to guide such an amazing group of students who want to make a sincere impact on their community, especially making connections with schools in our area.”
Schools attending the C.A.R.E. conference included Hillsboro-Deering High School, Franklin High School, Winnisquam Regional High School, Souhegan High School, Stevens High School, Mascoma Valley Regional High School, John Stark Regional High School and Newport Middle School.