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On Wednesday, September 16, a group of 16 students representing Becker Fine Arts and Athletics, along with approximately 140 students from the other Granite Ridge Conference schools, attended the Granite Ridge Leadership Conference at St. Cloud Cathedral High School. The goal of the conference was to bring together students from all of the Granite Ridge schools to help promote good sportsmanship and to discuss the qualities of what makes good leaders in our schools.

The event started with guest speaker and television sports personality, Mike Max, giving a great message to the students about being responsible for their own actions/reactions and decisions they make, as well as the opportunity that each of the students have to be great leaders in their activities and in their schools. It continued with Paul Conrad, a veteran football, basketball, and baseball official, talking to the students about the challenges and rewards of officiating, in addition to the working relationships between officials, coaches, and players during an athletic contest. The conference concluded with Jay DeCann, Activities Director at Little Falls High School, discussing the qualities of good sportsmanship. One of the activities that Mr. DeCann had the students from each school work on was to create a Fan Code of Conduct for their school. After a period of time to collect their thoughts and write down their ideas, each school presented their student-created Fan Code of Conduct to the group. It was recommended by Mr. DeCann that each school bring this code of conduct back to their respective schools, continue to fine tune it and put it on a banner to display in each of their schools for fans attending extracurricular activities to see.

I believe that the day was a very valuable experience for our students. Not only did they get to hear some great messages and get to discuss some important topics that will hopefully guide and shape their lives, but they also created connections between other Granite Ridge Conference students that will hopefully continue for years.

-Dave Niemi, Activities Director