Shaun Derik Speaks at First Assembly of the Year | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School


Shaun Derik Speaks at First Assembly of the Year

Shaun Derik Screenshot

We knew it was important for our students and for our faculty to kick off the school year with high energy, engagement, participation, and school spirit! Making that happen during distance learning would require some out of the box thinking and research. One of the great things about distance learning is that as more and more organizations transfer over to a digital platform there are more opportunities for educators and students to connect. 

As the Director of Student Activities, I had the opportunity to attend a virtual national student council conference - the first of it's kind. It was there that I discovered Shaun Derik: Speaker for the Dreamer. I was immediately engaged, participating in the chat, laughing, singing, and most importantly watching thousands of students engaging with each other online. 

One of the downfalls of distance learning is a decrease in engagement. We wanted to help our students shift their mindset and see that they can stay connected in this disconnected world. Shaun Derik's focus on "How to Live a Life Worth Talking About" and "Speaking is Easy...Saying Something is the Hard Part" really speaks to what our students are experiencing during one of the largest social movements in US history.

Unfortunately, we ran into some technical issues and realized too late that our Zoom account had a lower capacity for video conferencing than I thought. I immediately tried to troubleshoot the problem but was unable to find an immediate solution. I was really disappointed that an assembly meant to bring the school community together - ended up excluding some of our students. However, we were able to record the assembly and learn some valuable lessons as we move forward in this new way of teaching and engaging our students. The recording will be posted on Schoology for students. I watched the recording yesterday and by scrolling through the chat it almost feels like you are watching it live. 

Student Reviews: 
“My favorite part of the assembly was that SJND students and faculty were able to bond as one community through laughter and relatability. By seeing everyone truly engage with Shaun and his inspiring messages, I was reminded of the energy that the SJND family can create when together.”
“The assembly was an amazing way to energize and bring joy to our student body. It was the biggest and most energizing event we have had since spirit rallies in the gym. Mr. Derik and his presentation definitely made it clear to the student body that student activities have excellent plans for the rest of the school year.“
“My favorite part was definitely getting to participate with so many others through the chat. There were so many responses, which showed how engaged students were and how much fun we were all having!” 
“Shaun constantly engaged us students with excitement and understanding. In addressing us as if we were his lifelong friends, he fostered a sense of community among us all. Some of my friends are not normally comfortable participating in spirit-related events, but when addressed by Shaun, even they were engaged and happy to respond.”
“It was necessary to start off the school year with this assembly because it was important for the students to know and see that even when online, we can still be connected as a whole school community. This assembly allowed students from all grades to interact with each other and with Shaun as he encouraged everyone to be as engaging as possible.”

Jennifer Stein 

Director of Student Activities