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Waukesha West leadership conference urges culture of positivity

Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 17:55:09-05

WAUKESHA -- Following some of the most recent incidents of unsportsmanlike behavior at youth sporting events, a local school wants to "create the culture" of positivity giving student-athletes the tools they need to become team leaders on and off the field.

About 200 students at Waukesha West High School attended the school's annual leadership conference --a conference geared toward developing leaders and strong leadership.

“I’m just here to keep the train on the tracks, but this is their school, their teams. So, they need to be able to take the wheel,” Associate Principal and Athletic Director, Kyle Lemieux said.

Modeling that kind of leadership behavior is exactly what senior basketball player David Skogman said he’s trying to do.

“I think a good leader is someone who leads by example, someone that you can depend on. A good leader is someone everyone looks to for guidance I would say,” Skogman said.

To attend the conference, a student-athlete has to be nominated by his or her coach. This year’s theme is “create the culture”.

“Each year I take away how to improve myself and how to step up,” Tori Toshner, a junior and member of the school's dance and pom team, said.

The goal of the conference is to help students build positive and inclusive environments while preventing incidents like the one in Brookfield where a soccer match ended with fists flying and a referee punched. Cellphone video shows the moment referee Terry From was punched twice. From said he was trying to stop a kid from throwing a water bottle at someone.

“[That's] unfortunate, but I always point back into saying, let’s control what we control,” Lemieux said.