Archive for Friday, April 7, 2006

Breakfast raises money for Lansing schools

April 7, 2006

Students, teachers, business leaders and community members filled the Lansing Middle School commons on Friday morning to hear leadership advice as the Lansing Educational Foundation Fund put on its second annual giving campaign breakfast.

Audience members also were treated to an update on the Lansing High School trip to China.

Guest speaker Michael Chesser, chief executive officer of Great Plains Electric, told the audience the two people who had most influenced his leadership style were a Catholic priest and a 25-year-old girl.

The priest was the Rev. Robert Spitzer, president of Gonzaga University, who told Chesser that a person can operate for immediate gratification, or they can set a goal and work toward it, but the only way to be happy is to put others first. And people respond to a leader who considers their needs above his own, he said.

"It truly is an example of outstanding leadership," Chesser said.

The 25-year-old girl was his daughter, who taught for two years in Mozambique. He said the area was dealing with corruption, but his daughter's students put on skits for him explaining how they aspired to live by a higher standard.

Chesser said he wondered how his daughter had made this kind of impact. A woman there told him, "She cares more about me than I care about myself. I wouldn't let her down."

The lesson to lead by one's heart rather than an iron fist can be used at any level, even by students, Chesser said.

Linda Leffler, an LHS English teacher who just returned with a group of students and two other teachers from a trip to China, told the audience that the students were putting together programs on the meeting of the Chinese and American cultures, architecture, business issues, Buddhism and history of the martial arts. Leffler said anyone interested in having the students speak to a business or group could contact her or Mary Alice Schroeger, an LHS foreign language teacher who also went on the trip, at the school, 727-1525.

For more about the Lansing Educational Foundation Fund breakfast, check out the April 13 issue of The Current.


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