27th Annual NH Student Leadership Conference

On March 14th and 15th, 2019, students from across the state attended the 27th Annual New Hampshire Student Leadership Conference at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH. This year, over 340 students from a record 54 NHIAA member schools made the trip to the Mount Washington, accompanied by 80 volunteer chaperones. 

Check out these highlights of the sights and sounds from NHSLC19!

Students and chaperones had the opportunity to hear from some incredible speakers over the day and a half Conference. Groups of students rotated through five Break Out Sessions. Topics included sports psychology, styles of leadership, relational leadership, increasing school pride, and building community within teams. Presenters included Paul Menard (high school teacher), Katie Closs (high school teacher), Deb Hult (business owner, group fitness instructor), Annie Alosa (NH athletic director and coach), Jason Lason (former Navy SEAL), and Anthony Page (former Navy SEAL). The fifth Break Out session was conducted by members of the NH Statewide Student Leadership Committee (SLC). These students planned and worked very hard on their presentations for their peers. We are very proud of the work they did in these sessions. A select group of SLC students led a discussion with our chaperones about how they select and utilize team captains. 

Chief Justice John Broderick led off the Conference by telling his story and how he has been affected by mental illness. Justice Broderick has spent nearly three years speaking to people about the five most common signs of mental illness in an effort to improve understanding and awareness of mental illness to eliminate its mythology, encourage discussion and treatment, and begin to change the unfair and shameful culture that surrounds mental illness. Justice Broderick captivated our students and chaperones with his story. 

Keeping with the theme of mental health, Ivy Watts gave her keynote speech on Thursday evening. Ivy was a Division II All-American track and field student-athlete in college. On the outside, she had it all together, socially, athletically, and academically. On the inside, Ivy struggled with anxiety, self-worth, and suicidal thoughts. Despite experiencing the stigma associated with mental illness, Ivy found strength from therapy and her self-love journey. Ivy aims to reduce stigma, promote mental wellness, and empower others who are struggling to tell their stories, know that they are not alone, and find the strength to keep fighting for their tomorrow. Ivy's speech has proven to be one of the most empower and best keynote addresses in NHSLC history. 

John Underwood, as the founder of the Life of an Athlete/Human Performance Project, came in to speak to students and chaperones about the immediate impact that poor health and diet choices can have on performance. John comes to our Conference every year and students are always learning something new from John's scientific research. 

James Orrigo came to close the Conference on Friday morning. James' Lad in a Battle presentation is a great way to close with our students, as we send them back to their communities motivated to make a difference. Lad in a Battle stands for life's struggles and its crazy ride, it's what you choose to do with the moments that make you want to quit, that makes you who you are. James' energy is second-to-none, and he delivered, once again!

Here's what people are saying about NHSLC19

"The speakers at the Conference were very effective. Every single one of them spoke to the level of the students and chaperones alike. They had intensity and enthusiasm."

[From a chaperone] "I have been attending these conferences the past 7 years. This was my favorite one, nice job!"

"The information shared and the quality of the presenters was incredible."