DR. BOBBY LOPEZ — Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

Published 12:45 am Saturday, September 25, 2021

Building tomorrow’s leaders today is what we strive to do at the Bob Hope School.

In previous articles, I have mentioned that our goal is to Transform a Community. This certainly takes a lot of effort, but the rewards are worth it. The investment we make in the early years allows our students to be accepted into major colleges and universities upon graduation.

How do we teach our students to learn about right from wrong, to learn about helping others and to learn about investing in themselves?

At BHS, we begin at the elementary level by offering students an opportunity to participate in leadership programs. These students meet regularly to discuss ideas on how they can contribute to their campus in a positive manner.

They also work on real-world projects and activities together and then finalize this process by presenting their work to other classes.

This process of developing our leaders continues through middle school. In these grades, we have special invited guests who come to address the group of leaders and spend time with them. The group continues to participate in various leadership events throughout their middle school years.

Once these students move into high school, they continue strengthening their skills by participating in Camp Takula, located in Woodville, Texas. This experience takes place twice during the school year.

The first camp is for 9th and 10th graders and the second is for 11th and 12th graders. Students spend three days immersing themselves in leadership activities directed by our staff.

At Camp Takula, the students collaborate in co-educational groups of no more than ten students per team. They participate in a variety of goal-oriented activities that develop team-building and problem-solving skills.

After arriving at the camp, the students gather at their meeting lodge room. They then listen to an invited guest speaker share his or her story as well as motivate the group toward achieving their goals.

Some of the speakers in the past have included Michael Perez, former Chairman of Rotary’s RYLA; Gabriel Najera, best-selling author and motivational speaker and former Hughen Center client; and Damon West, nationally known keynote speaker and best-selling author.

Our students are provided many activities that focus on leadership development. Michael Perez most recently spoke to the group about his experiences in growing as a leader. He mentioned how he devoted time to helping others and that even though it may not have been what he had initially chosen as a goal, in the end it materialized into a purposeful outcome.

The entire investment from the early grades to this moment is designed to allow our students to face future challenges once they leave the security of our school family.

The Camp Takula agenda includes determining color personalities, creating chants that focus on leadership and acting out skits. We also have a great time at the campfire with smores and music, walking the trails, and climbing the rock wall.

The three-day event ends with an adventurous zip line activity. The opportunity to stay overnight at a camp is something many of our students would never experience, but they get to live it through Bob Hope School.

Offering this tremendous retreat is one that the Bob Hope administration started more than eight years ago and is still dedicated to allowing the students to participate and enjoy. We continue to look forward to building the leaders of tomorrow because it will create a better future for all of us.

Go Eagles!

Dr. Bobby Lopez, CEO, has served as superintendent of the Bob Hope School since 2010. Contact him at bobby.lopez@bobhopeschool.org or 409-983-3244.