It was a music video that helped boost Norman High into the presidency at last year’s convention. Peyton explained that it is actually the high school that wins the elected position, with the presidency determined by the school.
“Last year we did a video in the style of the popular gangnam dance” made popular by a Korean singer. “It was a chance to show what Norman High could bring to the leadership,” Peyton said.
Serving on the Senate “is a year-round job,” he says. Add to that the responsibility for the state competition, and he says “I have found I have a lot more energy than I thought I did.” With the state convention just weeks away, the speakers are secured and the theme is set. “Lead Beyond Your Mask.”
It is a reference to super heros, Powers said, “and we want to challenge the participants to take off their masks, to be confident leaders and to do extraordinary things. We don’t have to suit up to soar to great heights.” He will have the support of the entire Norman High Student Senate, 25 strong, at the convention in Bixby.
His grandmother Quinn, who he calls his “head cheerleader,” saw his interests and abilities in leadership several years ago when he was on the student council at McKinley grade school. An 18-year veteran of state student council conventions, Quinn says of her work with the youth, “I wanted them to learn to be able to do things on their own, and to help others.”
In addition to the state conventions, she attended the 2006 national convention, the year she was a finalist for National Advisor of the Year.
Even grandfather Dan Quinn, a former Norman High and Norman North principal, has gotten in on student council activities, having served with her as an advisor at summer leadership camps. Mom Katy Powers wrote the curriculum for the advanced leadership training program, the goal being “to prepare them to be leaders among leaders,” she said, “and to encourage them to realize how quickly these experiences will go by.”