S-D-A Middle School hosted over 200 seventh grade students from all over Otoe County for the annual SAIL (Students Accelerating In Leadership) Conference Feb. 16.  
Syracuse, Nebraska City, Lourdes, and Palmyra students participated in the day-long conference.
United way and St. Mary’s sponsored the event that opened with keynote speaker Aaron Groff who is the National Coordinator for BoysTown.  He has worked at Boys Town for over 21 years, coached wrestling and football, and was inducted into the Nebraska Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012.
After the opening address, students rotated through six different classes over the course of the day.  They did activities in many of the sessions, and they were all designed to be interactive with the students.
“Unlock your Leadership Potential” was led by Nebraska City High School students who had an “escape room” concept.  “Healthy Boundaries/Crossing the Line” was taught by Project Response who focused on teaching the students how to set boundaries and recognize their own personal limits.
Attorney General representative Ryan Sothan taught a session on the importance of maintaining a good “digital footprint” by making sure that they’re cognizant of how they portray themselves on the internet.
EducationQuest sponsored “Look 2 College;” Nebraska State Trooper Charlie Cook taught a session on drug and alcohol trends in youth.  The Nebraska National Guard worked with the students in team building exercises.
Syracuse Middle School Principal Tim Farley said that it was a great day, and he really enjoyed watching the kids building relationships and interacting with each other.