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Student Leadership in Sixth Grade

By: Sixth Grade Teacher Zack Mouw

March 1, 2022

Sixth grade at Rossman is always a memorable year for our students. Not only do our sixth graders get to experience student life as “seniors” and close out the school year with a graduation ceremony, but they also have the privilege of taking on various leadership roles to help prepare them for secondary school and life after formal education. Whether it is serving as Rossman’s big brothers and sisters, writing and publishing our school newspaper (Rocket News), or organizing ways to support St. Louis World Food Day, our sixth graders embrace and enjoy the numerous ways in which they are able to contribute to the school community and enrich their own education. 

Though I have long recognized the importance of student leadership, I was curious to discover how our sixth graders felt about the opportunity to serve in this kind of capacity, and therefore, sought out some volunteers to share their thoughts on the matter. After hearing from the Class of 2022, it is evident that they, too, comprehend how significant their roles are as leaders at Rossman School. 

 “I believe that student leadership is important because without it, students would not be ready for things we need to do in the future,” states Max, the Chief Editor of Rocket News

Classmate Maya echoed Max’s sentiment. “Student leadership is important because it allows students to become more independent. Not just this, it also sets us up for the real world where we don’t have a teacher to check our work.”

In addition to appreciating how student leadership prepares them as individuals, Rossman's graduating class is also cognizant of how their service affects others. “One thing I like about having a leadership role is helping people. Even the smallest thing can help someone a lot,” remarks Lillian. Lillian is one of the many sixth graders who organized a snack drive to raise money for St. Louis World Food Day.

By developing a servant leadership mindset, our students regularly embody Rossman’s values of honesty, kindness, respect, and responsibility. I admire how our “seniors” care for those around them; their thoughtfulness and intentionality especially shine through in the way they interact with their Rossman siblings. 

Finley Rose, a sixth grader who joined Rossman in November, reflected on her first meeting with her Rossman siblings from Junior and Senior Kindergarten. “Over the week of Valentine’s Day, I got to meet my Rossman brother and sister for the first time. This was something that I was looking forward to ever since I joined Rossman. While meeting our Rossman siblings, we got to read them a book. This was so heartwarming, and it was an amazing experience!”

Having been at Rossman since Junior Kindergarten, Zoey understands the influence that the school’s big brothers and sisters have on their little siblings. “It feels nice to be helping people and to know that I am making an impact on someone’s life. I remember looking up to my Rossman siblings when I was younger and wanting to be just like them,” she shares. 

It is clear that our sixth graders recognize the value of student leadership and appreciate the opportunities they have to use their talents to serve those around them. I have to wonder if there is a student in Junior or Senior Kindergarten who is reflecting on an experience that they recently had with their Rossman big brother or sister. Perhaps one kindergartener is having the same thought that Zoey had all those years ago–“I want to be just like them.”


Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in St. Louis, is a private preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills.​ Request a free Rossman School brochure here.

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