Students Rise by Being #Bettertogether


Jake Richards

Members of SALT listen intently to Mr. Commins' words of wisdom on leadership and service at the group's second Champions Breakfast.

Lilly Toerner, Staff Writer and Marketing Manager

Martin Luther King Jr. George Washington. Nelson Mandela. These individuals are well known leaders, but future leaders could be closer than you think. Potential leaders at RHS have formed a new team known as the Student Athletic Leadership Team (SALT).

SALT is a group of student athletes at RHS whose goal is to better themselves and their community. They gain leadership training and leadership skills through many activities, meetings and speakers. They learn how to be a leader and the importance of being a leader within sports and in life.

Mr. Kenyon Commins, Dean of Students, spoke out about his thoughts on the team and what he wants each and every one of them to take away from this opportunity.

“I want them all to begin to spread the idea of leadership and understand that the purpose is for these student athletes to get the training to make the right decisions all the time in difficult situations. To be that leader, to be the person that has the ability to say no to absolutely anything but still be relatable to everyone at the same time,” said Commins.

Going along with this opportunity being a sense of kudos to the student athletes, members spoke out about what it means to be a part of SALT.

Junior Ethan Hall said, “To me it means I get to help others know why I want to be a leader and show other people ways to become a better leader.”

“Throughout my high school career, I have always tried to take a lead and help others before myself whether it’s school or sports related. Being on this team makes me realize that at least one person felt that I met my goal and deserved to be a part of this amazing group,” said junior Megan Foster.

Some may notice that SALT has been quite active in recent weeks. On September 21, members participated in an event called ‘Leadership Kickoff Retreat’ where leadership skills, discussion about what a leader looks like and how essential service can be were the major points learned. Aside from this event, SALT has begun to host a ‘Champions Breakfast’ on Fridays at 6:30 a.m.

Foster said, “At the champions breakfast, a guest speaker will come in and talk to us about how to be a leader. Each speaker is so unique in their ideas that their speeches motivate me for new reasons every breakfast.”

The team is more than just a group of leaders. They’re a group of leaders that continue to want to grow and improve. One member talked about some of their future goals thus far.

Senior Emma Stidd said, “We’ve always been a part of Miles for Matthew but this year, though we will still play a role, we want to step away a little to allow us to add more community service that is lead by our group. Also, a goal is to develop into better leaders and allow other individuals to take away from being a leader.”

With being a leader, it’s more than just your individual performance but the overall performance of each individual together. A hashtag that the Ross Community has filled Twitter with, #bettertogether, has been a powerful message. Everyone interviewed with the Ross High Times spoke out about how no matter what way you interpret it, we’ll always be #bettertogether through it all.

“Would you rather have one lollipop or two lollipops? You’d rather have two lollipops right? Just like with teamwork, you’d rather have two teammates helping you than one teammate helping you because when you come together as a team, you’re always better than if you were just a singular player,” said Hall.

Commins said, “It’s amazing how much truly better this place is if we are all together. It’s amazing how when we all stand behind each other and help each other, when we are all in the same boat and rowing in the same direction, it’s amazing how better we can be together. It doesn’t happen overnight and there will be setbacks but we will always be #bettertogether.”

SALT is just beginning on their journey to success, guidance and focus on what a true leader looks like. These members were chosen by a teacher or coach that saw something special in each individual and how they carry themselves as a leader.

Though nothing is set in stone, SALT is currently making future plans to host a community event that will go towards Suicide Prevention and Mental Illness.

The power of #bettertogether doesn’t have meaning if it doesn’t live up to its truths. So if you believe in the importance of #bettertogether and want to be a part of a group that believes so highly in that, SALT nominations will be starting up again soon, and you could be be the next potential future leader.