By Matthew Lukshaitis Pine River Area Schools Superintendent We have a new Leadership class at Pine River High School and I asked Cody\u00a0Wagatha, the teacher of the class, in his second year at our district, to share some information with me so I could possibly share it in an article. Well, Cody took the\u00a0time and wrote a nice article, so rather than me take his article and rewrite it, I\u00a0thought I\u2019d just share it.\u00a0\u2014 Matthew Lukshaitis,\u00a0Pine River Area Schools Superintendent This year at Pine River we were given the opportunity to turn our student council into an\u00a0everyday class. Having 53 minutes to meet every day gives us much more planning time to\u00a0coordinate events. There is a grade for the class which is a combination of weekly writing\u00a0assignments, creating awareness boards every two weeks and attending and working our\u00a0events. The class is called Leadership and is focused on taking some of the leaders from within\u00a0the student body and finding ways to help our school and increase community involvement in\u00a0our district. With our high school pulling students from multiple towns in the area, the students\u00a0are especially focused on ways to make our school a place to unite those towns. Leadership at\u00a0Pine River has replaced our student council and principal\u2019s council, while we still have\u00a0National Honor Society and Youth Advisory Council as their own entities. The class is modeled\u00a0after an established Leadership program at Lake Orion High School that I was fortunate enough\u00a0to be a part of during my student teaching. Some events we have coordinated this year include the traditional Homecoming\u00a0festivities and Thanksgiving food drive. We were able to bring back Powder Puff football and it\u00a0was a huge success; next year should be even better. We also habe been able to create some new events for the district such as our Boys and\u00a0Girls Nights Out. These events are for our elementary-aged students and give them the\u00a0opportunity to spend an evening at the high school participating in activities chosen by our\u00a0Leadership class. We really try to focus on getting the children involved in engaging activities\u00a0which require decisions, movement and strategy \u2014 we want to encourage kids to be social\u00a0interactive and enhance "active brain time" as opposed to an over-reliance on passive activities or\u00a0activities where they are alone with a screen. We are still trying to bring more new events to Pine River to get people excited and\u00a0involved. This year we would still like to put on a talent show, a pageant for the boys of the high school\u00a0senior class called "Mr. PR," a volleyball version of Powder Puff for the boys, a Charity Week\u00a0during the spring and Boys and Girls Nights Out during the third and fourth quarters of the\u00a0school year. We also have some big ideas for the class in the future. We are hoping to create some\u00a0bigger events such as a Special Olympics basketball game with another school in the area, attend\u00a0the statewide conference for student councils in Traverse City so we can compare ideas with\u00a0other schools and eventually host a regional conference for other student councils north of\u00a0Midland to exchange ideas that are more relevant to districts like ours. We have an excellent group of students here at Pine River that are more than up to the\u00a0challenge, and the staff as a whole has been extremely helpful in making this first year successful\u00a0thus far. I have lofty goals and expectations for this class in the future and see no reason why\u00a0they can\u2019t be met.