The elementary and middle school 4-H clubs in Bartow County appear to be in good hands for this school year.
Fifth-grade classes across the county elected the president, vice president and secretary of their club during the first week of November, giving many students their first exposure to the election process and leadership positions.Georgia 4-H’s youth development program exposes young people to a variety of opportunities to develop their leadership skills, and for many club members, their first leadership experience comes from serving as an officer of their fifth-grade club. Electing officers demonstrates the importance of choosing responsible leadership, and club members learn about citizenship, running for office and the voting process, according to a press release.“In some schools, teachers use this as an opportunity to teach the election process,” Bartow County 4-H agent Allison Perkins said. “We have each candidate present a campaign speech that highlights skills that would make them a great officer. During the meetings, there are always a few students that stand out as having leadership potential. It is great to see that develop over the years if they stay in 4-H. Many of our county 4-H’ers that have been elected to state positions decided to campaign for a position during their elementary or middle school years at the school club level.”Each officer is responsible for fulfilling specific duties during the monthly meetings, according to the release. The president opens the meeting, maintains order during the meeting and chooses someone to lead the American and 4-H pledges. The vice president assumes the president’s responsibilities if he/she is absent and is responsible for choosing someone to give the “thought for the day.” The secretary completes the meeting-minutes sheet during each meeting and reads the last month’s minutes. “Working together with fifth-grade teachers, Bartow County 4-H strives to make 4-H club officer leadership experience more meaningful and educational,” Perkins said.Once the elections were done, the senior 4-H’ers conducted a special after-school officer training session at the Bartow County Extension office in Cartersville to teach the new leaders the specific responsibilities of each office and to help them become familiar with the opening order of business that would be followed at each meeting. They also encourage the young members to stay involved in 4-H beyond elementary school. After enjoying refreshments and singing a few songs, the senior 4-H’ers broke the new officers into groups, played an icebreaker game and taught them about their duties.“Our officer training turned out very well,” Perkins said. “At our county officer training, we utilize high school students that are interested in teaching younger 4-H’ers. This is a great opportunity for the high school students to share their 4-H experiences. For many of the fifth-grade students, this is the first 4-H event they have attended. Having an awesome senior club makes this event a lot of fun for the newly elected 4-H’ers.”Bartow’s middle school clubs also elected officers during their after-school meetings, Perkins said. But whereas only fifth-graders can run for office in the elementary clubs, students from any grade can be elected to office in the middle school clubs.The newly elected officers for 2015-16 school year are:Adairsville Elementary — president, Brett Lance; vice presidents, Jenna Young and Emmalie Williams; and secretary, Reagan Bates.Adairsville Middle — president, Nirvana Becerra; and vice president, Macy Harp.Allatoona Elementary — president, Alex Rivas; vice presidents, Celes Rothman and Tara Grace Gardner; and secretary, Katie Staton.Cartersville Elementary — president, Ava Perkins; vice president, R.J. Taylor; and secretary, Audrey Roth.Cartersville Middle — president, Nadia Rodriguez; vice president, Jereni Winters; and secretary, Juliana Hartley.Cass Middle — president, Christina Cremers; vice president, Tristen Kaylee; and secretary, Jaden Barker.Clear Creek Elementary — president, Garrett Ford; vice presidents, Ericka Roberts and Kaden Stephenson; and secretary, Ali Toter.Cloverleaf Elementary — president, Taryn Mareau; vice presidents, Kaylee Westbrooks and Carter McCamy; and secretary, Parker Dunn.Emerson Elementary — president, Lawson Bennett; vice presidents, Jacob Starnes and Olivia Alvarez; and secretary, Ansleigh Waller.Euharlee Elementary — president, Noah Baer; vice presidents, Skyler Fort and Emma Segars; and secretary, Breanna Chapman.Excel fifth grade — president, Daylen Rediger; and vice presidents, Rebecca Millwood and Lea Brasington.Hamiliton Crossing Elementary — president, Chris Roper; vice presidents, Caden Burlison and Tom Brunnon; and secretary, Ella O’Banion.Home school — president, Jessica Green; vice presidents, Grace Goltz and Gus Federico; and secretary, Andrew Mullinax.Kingston Elementary — president, Alyssa Seaglione; vice presidents, Ivania Quinonez and Alyssa Timm; and secretary, Wesley Collins.Mission Road Elementary — president, McKaiden Reece; vice presidents, Greg Olsen and Isabella Zapata; and secretary, Lily Gochee.Pine Log Elementary — president, Jackson Burnette; vice presidents, Charlie Ray and Celeste Greene; and secretary, Cooper Brown.Taylorsville Elementary — president, Carson Parramore; vice presidents; Nick Kennedy and Austin Martin; and secretary, Hunter Shirley.White Elementary — president, Gareth Kincannon; vice presidents, Khyier Williams and Cara Serbentes; and secretary, Jazzell Lemon.Perkins said 4-H generally is known for its agriculturals roots, but “leadership skills is one of our program highlights.”“Through the campaign process, officers are elected by their peers to serve on leadership boards,” she said. “Service is for one year with various levels of leadership: county, district and state, which is the highest. A few other leadership programs offered through 4-H include participating in leadership needs-based projects, attending national conferences and leadership retreats.”For information on Bartow County 4-H programs, visit www.uga.extension.com/bartow or call 770-387-5142.