WSLC leads students body to success

CREATING LEADERS: Deb Hult asking the crowd questions about their lives to provoke emotion.


Ava LaBianco, News Editor

Thirty-three students from DGN went to Lyons Township High School for a West Suburban Leadership Conference (WSLC) field trip on Oct. 28. DGN students have been attending this field trip for a decade to help the student body become stronger leaders for the school. The retreat is sponsored by Core Training, who invited students from all over the West Suburban Conference schools.

The WSLC used to be for just student athletes, but in recent years, they have been opening up to the general population of the school. Three seniors and 30 juniors are nominated by teachers, coaches, and staff to attend the retreat.

“A nominator looks for students that are willing to go out of their way to help other students in the classroom. Usually they would be the 5-6 on the team but they always contributing their strengths when needed. They have the ability to be a strong leader but don’t have confidence yet,” special services teacher and head of the field trip Kristen Virostko said.

Core Training is a company out of Boston that specializes in leadership skills. They started with going to Addison Trail high school but then the school opened it up to everyone in the WSC.  Core Training teaches leading with three components: communication, values and perspective, and a 630 leader.  A 630 leader is seeing everyone as a whole and including everyone’s idea  when working together. 

According to co-founders of Core Training Dana and Deb Hult, they are motivated and committed to enhancing the lives of students and staff through the concepts of leadership. They believe students enhance their opportunity for success in leadership through the power of relationships, sound character and confident displays of leadership. 

Although the field trip was on Oct. 28, the 3 seniors, Theodore Pawlik, Gabriella Chen, and Maggie Flemming, went to an informational training after school on Oct. 27. It consisted of training, specifically about the breakout groups that the seniors would be leading. They got to meet with leaders and teachers from almost all of the schools in the WSC and learn the lessons they would teach to the juniors. 

“During the conference, I learned a lot about the characteristics that make up a good leader,” senior Theo Pawlik said. “I got to participate in multiple activities with other senior leaders where I was able to implement all kinds of skills from communication to teamwork. One of the biggest takeaways that I had was that half the battle of being a leader is just reaching out to the people that you are leading.”

The field trip started at 8:30 a.m. and lasted till  2:30 p.m. The students arrived at Lyons Township High School and were greeted with music and positive vibes from the Core Training team. The company talked about how the students should be proud of themselves for being nominated to be at the field trip. After the introduction, juniors went to break out rooms with two seniors from different schools. There were 12-15 students in each room and they switched classes every hour. 

“We did a lot of different activities that each centered around a different attribute that a leader should have. I learned about being able to reflect my character into my leadership opportunities,” junior Gianna Hunsche said. 

Leadership clubs and events are all over DGN. It is important to the school that students are natural leaders around the school and in the community. 

“The goal of the retreat is for students to come back with some ideas of what they would like to see happen here at DGN.  One of the biggest themes of this conference is the idea that Leadership Is Influence – so many of our students watch what our leaders do and emulate that.  So it’s really important that we’re helping our leaders develop skills that model our core values, that are inclusive to our entire student body, and show all of our students that they can be a positive influence also – both here at home at DGN and at all of the schools we visit during our time here at DGN,” Principal Courtney DeMent said.