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Lyon leaders will hear from Oval Office

A group of Lyon students will learn leadership from the highest office in the U.S.

Special Assistant to the President, Judd Deere, ‘10, will speak to the Introduction to Leadership class this spring. The date is to be determined.

The one-hour course is designed to develop leadership skills and provide the opportunity to interact with guest speakers from a variety of career fields and reflect on their own leadership styles. The class is held over the spring semesters of students’ sophomore and junior years. Faculty and staff nominate sophomores for the course. 

“When we see ourselves in our speakers, we realize our own potential to lead,” said Director of Career Services Annette Castleberry, who has taught the class in the past.

The course was developed to help students with leadership potential, according to Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick, who is teaching the class this semester.

According to Mulick, there is a belief across the U.S. that college students do not have access to examples of quality leadership. The leadership class helps expose Lyon students to leaders and nurture leadership skills.

Castleberry explained the class hears from “local government officials to C-suite industry leaders” and so on. Besides Deere, the class will also hear from the CEO and co-founder of banking firm GCA, Todd Carter, and Chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College-Batesville Debbie Frazier.

Past speakers include the first female managing partner of Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Robyn Allmendinger; CEO of Citizens Bank, Phil Baldwin; and Chelsea Clinton.

When the class met for the first time on a cloudy day in January, junior Abigail Grimes had one piece of advice for the new sophomore members of the class.

“It’s really what you make of it,” she said. “When you put in the time, you really will get a lot out of it.”

Junior Timothy Tignor started the class last year. Since then, he’s held several leadership positions on campus. He currently serves as president of his fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon and vice president of Lyon’s LGBTQ+ organization, SPECTRA Alliance.

“Something I’m really wanting to get from this is how to improve myself in these positions and how to grow,” he said.

Sophomore Hannah Wu said she’s excited to put the class on her resume and learn more about leaders. 

Sophomore Daniel Lopez-Marcano was surprised at the opportunity.

“I’m extremely thankful. I didn’t think we had something like this,” he said.

New members in the leadership course are:

Jeremiah Bigham of LaPlace, La.

Darby Blaylock of Fairview, Texas

Kendra     Davidson of West Plains, Mo.

Kaleah Davis of Drasco, Ark.

Eudocia Dunlap of Alton, Mo.

Taylor Fitterling of Pleasant Plains, Ark.

Omar Gasmann of Little Elm, Texas

Michael Jorgensen of Manila, Ark.

Michelle Lewis of Star City, Ark.

Daniel    Lopez-Marcano of Miami, Fla.

Hattie Milligan    of Lake City, Ark.

Debjanee Nandy of Chittagong, Bangladesh    

Long Nguyen of Batesville, Ark.

Ben Norton of Sage, Ark.

Felicity    Reeves of Saginaw, Texas

Ashtyn    Stevens of Plano, Texas

Hannah Wu of Austin, Ark.