Inspiring Leadership


Todd Irvine

Leadership students participating in an activity to improve their communication skills.

Kaitlin Foley, Senior Editor

“Each day you are given 86,400 seconds to spend, invest, or waste. Once the day is done, the time is gone. What are you doing with your opportunity?”

Here at MHS, we have what seems like hundreds of courses and classes to choose from. Our school offers countless interesting elective courses that help prepare students in a myriad of ways. One of these classes, new this year, is Leadership. This class, taught by Mr. Kunick, focuses on “empowering students with the ability to lead themselves to become a positive influence in the world”. It is class for students to explore and reflect on their values and beliefs whilst developing important reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. This class has had a large influence on the student body this year, even after being around for only one semester. To get a better picture of this course and its impact, I talked to Mr. Kunick and some students who were in leadership about the effect that they saw the course having.

Mr. Kunick was asked and responded to the following questions about his class.


What inspired the creation of this class?

“People are important. More specifically, all people are important; not just a chosen few who have a fancy title or some form of status.  As a health teacher I see the rising statistics of mental health issues across our country, particularly among high school age students, and what I think about is how in our data/GPA/ACT driven society we have forgotten about basic human interactions.  What my hope has always been for this class is that it gives us time to focus on two things, ourselves and what we do for others. I hope this class can help students figure out what they want to be known for beyond a grade point average or an ACT score, what character traits are important to them, and then that the class gives us time to figure out how we can live that for others on a daily basis.”


What are some your favorite things that you’ve gotten to do with your classes?

“We do a lot of different activities that are sometimes goofy and are a lot of fun, but what I really enjoy most is when we have conversations about how the class connects to students’ everyday lives.  When our conversations become about real life experiences there is a lot of passion and a lot of learning. It is fun to see students make the connections from a goofy activity to a situation that actually matters to them personally.”


What do you hope for students to take out of this class?

“I hope students walk out of Leadership with a better awareness and understanding of others.  Our character is who we are built by the thousands of choices we make daily, and every day is a new opportunity to build or destroy it.  No one is perfect, but when we start thinking about others more than we think about ourselves our own problems seem a little bit smaller and our influence grows a little bit bigger.”


What goals do you have for this class in future years?

“We’re only a semester in, so I’m still focused on the small day to day details of the class and trying to build it to be the best it can be for our specific students here at MHS, but ultimately I would love to see it grow to a Leadership 2 class.  I think in Leadership 2 we could have students expand on the lessons from the current Leadership class by creating their own lessons and teaching each other. I would also like to give students opportunities to go out into other parts of our building, other schools in our district, and our community to put the lessons into action in the form of change projects.  With a change project, students would identify specific pieces of our school(s) or community culture that they want to see changed and then create and implement a plan to make it happen.”


Student engagement for this class is phenomenal. When asked about their favorite aspects of the class, a student who completed the course first semester responded the following way.


What was your favorite aspect of the Leadership class?

My favorite part of this class was the 40 day character dare — each day for forty days we had different dares to build our character. I also enjoyed doing class activities that were relatable to the topics we were learning and gave us a real life-small scale example. I also enjoyed the positive attitude and overall energy that our teacher, Mr.Kunick, brought to the class each and every day.”


What did you take out of this class, more importantly, how has it impacted you?

“This class allowed for me to broaden my mindset and learn to become more conscious of doing nice things for others. It also furthered my desire to serve and sacrifice for others and lead with servant leadership.”


Leadership follows the core ideas that our school was built off of– learning, growing, and succeeding. These students are getting the opportunity to truly learn about life and the relationships and establishment of connections that everyone of us experiences each and everyday. They are growing in their understanding of themselves and their peers. Most importantly, they are gaining the crucial understanding and knowledge of themselves and people around them that they need in order to excel in any aspect of their lives.

Todd Irvine
Leadership students participating in an activity to improve their communication skills.

This class has a teacher who is passionate and students who are wholeheartedly engaged; it’s a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in growing as a leader, student, or even just as a human-being. This half semester course is offered for grades nine through twelve– it offers countless unique opportunities to learn, grow and succeed. With big future plans and exciting as well as engaging day-to-day activity, Leadership is a course that offers MHS students new opportunities and experiences to grow. This class works on establishing a more positive environment for everyone, working to make MHS– and society– a better place overall.