Saugus High School and its Principal Vince Ferry has won the Best Leadership Program Award from Teen Truth, a national organization with a mission to build school culture and empower student voice in every aspect of education. Mr. Ferry developed the Council on School Culture at Saugus, which the organizers of Teen Truth wanted to honor.
"Vince Ferry has gone out of his way to create an amazing leadership program there for his students," said Teen Truth President and CEO J.C. Pohl. "Principal Ferry created a principal's leadership group (called the Council on School Culture) to get the heartbeat of the school campus and to build school culture and connect students to lead discussions on campus."
The Council on School Culture is now a group of 70 Saugus students who help the principal and administrative staff identify school-related issues and then are tasked with the responsibility of helping find solutions to these issues. Saugus was identified for the award before the tragic events of November 14, 2019.
"Principal Ferry was prepared," Pohl said. "He had a leadership group in place. He had been doing school culture work to get kids connected. And while the tragedy is something that I'm sure has changed his life and changed everyone's life on campus, I do feel this award is very much earned because of the foresight and the programming the school put forward to be prepared."
With the Hart School District transitioning to distance learning for the remainder of the school year, Mr. Ferry feels the Council on School Culture at Saugus High School is more important than ever to move students forward in their secondary education.
"During the school closure, I have reached out to a variety of student groups with one group being a few members from the Council on School Culture," he said. "From a distance learning perspective, this group is able to inform me of issues they or their peers are having with distance learning. For the most part, they have nothing but positives to say about our staffs' efforts, but they do provide insightful recommendations for staff. I am then able to give staff the students' perspective on distance learning at our weekly staff meetings."
"It's a privilege and honor to give you this award," Mr. Pohl said. "Know that the work you are doing is so important when it comes to student leadership."