Student Council District 3 members showed they were born to lead Wednesday at the annual convention at Ardmore High School.
"I liked all of it. I learned to be yourself and not others," said Lacy Rutledge, Ringling sophomore.
The convention was attended by a variety of area schools, including Dickson, Healdton, Lone Grove, Ringling, Springer, Sulphur and Wilson.
"A lot of kids came from all over, so we made lots of new friends," said Conner McDaniel, Ardmore junior class representative.
Several Ardmore High School student council alumni returned to speak and inspire the new generation of student leaders.
"It was awesome. Ardmore did a great job," said Alex Porter, Dickson junior and officer team member. "I learned about including everyone and how to get involved in high school."
Patrick McSweeney, Class of 2010 and born in New Zealand, led a workshop on how to "Find Your Accent."
"I got through being the new kid because of my accent," he said. "People wanted me to sit at their table at lunch just to hear me talk."
McSweeney advised students to find their own way of overcoming obstacles, a process he summed up in three parts — stay positive, connect with others and go.
"It was inspiring to hear how he used a quality he had to overcome," said Marietta junior Brooke Walton.
The speakers also shared the ways in which leadership events like the district convention helped develop them into the leaders they are now at the collegiate level.
"I was one of the really shy people," said Joy Quary, Class of 2012. "Look at me now, getting up to speak to you."
Jade Ellis, Class of 2008, and Rachel Simpson, Class of 2009, demonstrated through a blindfolded activity the necessity of asking for help and delegating in order top accomplish goals.
Other speakers included alum Mary Means, Michael Giesecke, Steven Lee and current students Hunter Nichols and Sarah Oliver.
"The convention was a good experience and showed me not to be shy," said CeAnne Gossvener, Healdton president.
Attendees found the information and advice very practical for when they return to their own schools.
"I liked that it was based on stuff we need to know," said Kendra McClendon, Marietta junior.
The convention was Springer's first time as a council to attend a district event.
"My favorite part was when we all got together as a district," said Springer sophomore Caden Ingram. "This event let us get to know people and know how to be a leader."
Ardmore senior Margaret Spring spearheaded the convention planning, which she said was stressful and fun.
Page 2 of 2 - "I learned how to stay organized for a long period of time and how to have 20 conversations at once," she said. "This event makes me want to be an event planner. I love this stuff."
Last year's convention was hosted by Marietta, who especially appreciated the work Ardmore did for this year's event.
"We appreciate how everything goes more," said Kelsi Winchester, Marietta junior. "It looks easy when they are up there talking, but it took a lot of work before today to put this together."
New district officers were also elected. Marlow won the presidency over Marietta. Vice president will be Fletcher. Secretary and next year's convention host will be Lawton Eisenhower.