Dr. Bill Walner, Associate Director of the ACSI Southern California Regional Office, has shared with me the blessings that our middle school staff and students are to the rest of the ACSI schools in southern California. When he speaks about the ACSI Middle School Leadership Conference, he has said “Your staff makes the whole thing possible; we couldn’t do it without them.” When he says “your staff” he is specifically referring to Mrs. Cheryl Shiplett and Mrs. Lisa Costello.
Mrs. Shiplett and Mrs. Costello are members of the conference Leadership Team and have, by all accounts, worked effectively over many years to make sure the conference is an excellent leadership training and fun experience for the student leaders and adults who attend.
They are also the leaders of the middle school Diakonia leadership organization which has trained hundreds of our middle school students over the years. Mr. Brian Roseborough, Principal of Desert Christian Middle School, explains, “When parents at our school sign their middle school student into our Diakonia program, few realize that under the leadership of Mrs. Shiplett and Mrs. Costello this program has become one of the premier middle school leadership programs in our region. Not only do other program directors see it as an exemplary program but Mrs. Costello and Mrs. Shiplett play a lead role in the direction of the regional ACSI middle school leadership conference. Teaming with students, those teachers, reach not only into the lives of Diakonia members, but infuse the whole campus with a positive, servant-style leadership, and additionally impact the lives of the high school students that are part of our team.”
When I spoke to Mrs. Shiplett, she was very quick to acknowledge the contribution of others. “Devin Thomas (DCHS Principal) is very supportive to the Leadership Conference every year. Karen Long and the high school worship team have led, and will be leading again, the worship during our general sessions. Also, Karmae Shiplett, as the ASB teacher, and the ASB cabinet (a group of 6 HS students) and Diakonia HS advisors (a group of 6 additional HS students) come and serve as host leaders in many different ways. They have led games, conference sessions, and helped with set-up and take down as well as help “direct traffic” when needed. They will be doing this again this year. Without Mr. Thomas’s support and HS students and staff support we would be missing an important part of what makes the conference run so well. We greatly appreciate him, his staff, and students.”