7th grade Leadership Conference recap

Joliet Catholic Academy held its annual 7th Grade Leadership Conference on Thursday, March 21. Over 300 7th graders were in attendance.  In addition, JCA had nearly 100 of their own student leaders who helped facilitate the event. Nine Catholic grade schools brought their entire classes, including St. Dennis- Lockport, St. Raymond, St. Mary Nativity, Holy Family, St. Mary Immaculate, St. Paul, St. Joseph- Lockport, All Saints Academy, and St. Andrew.  Tours were offered to the principals and teachers who accompanied them.

The conference took place from 9 am to 11:30 am. JCA students led small groups of 7th graders in activities and discussions. Tapestry, Joliet Catholic Academy’s choral group performed for the students, performing renditions of Alicia Keys’ “If I Aint’ Got You” and Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance”.

Later, 1991 JCA graduate and community leader, Lieutenant Mike Rompa, of the Bolingbrook Police Department addressed the 7th graders. Rompa, last year’s Bolingbrook PD Policeman of the Year, is also the media spokesperson for the department. He told students about how his job requires him to be great leader and how JCA helped him become one. Rompa had a vision of becoming a linebacker, which at times, became derailed. He started out playing football during his freshman year at Joliet Catholic, which went very poorly for him. He then transferred to Romeoville, where he got back on track- but he felt something was missing. He knew he’d made a mistake and transferred back to JCA. However, during his senior year, JCHS and SFA merged, which was difficult to adjust to. Being the leader he had become, in the transitional period between freshman and senior year, Rompa wouldn’t let that stop him. In fact, that year the football team went 14-0, bringing home a championship. He, along with the other leaders on the team, did something very special that year. Their win helped enable their peers to be leaders and set the tone for a legacy of winning attitudes and great leaders at JCA for years to come. Rompa made it clear that he learned a great deal of his leadership skills that still serve him today, while a student at Joliet Catholic Academy. “I was taught to persevere and not be afraid. That came from the coaches, from the teachers, from the administration.”

Below, please find the handouts from the day’s activities.


Qualities of a Leader

Leaders vs. Followers

Do the Right Thing

Conflict to Cooperation

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