Pacelli students attend TeamUp

Published 9:10 am Saturday, December 1, 2018

By Laura Sheedy

Activities/Middle School Math

Pacelli student athletes, Abbey Neve, William Kahle, Vanessa Cotter, Jayden Lewis, Sam Nelsen, and Sam King had the opportunity to attend a TeamUp Conference with other student athletes from our Conference. On the drive to Rochester that morning students were asking, “What will we be doing?”  “Who is all going?”  the usual questions that we ask ourselves before something new.

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New experiences can be scary, even for students who realize they will know six other people who will be with them all day. However,  the jitters were gone by the end of the first half hour. Under the guidance of speaker and author Craig Hillier, their nerves vanished.

When my administration asked me if I would like to take students to this conference, I jumped at the chance when I learned who was speaking.  According to his website, Craig Hillier has a passion to work with students, educators, and professionals. He has spoken to over two million people since 1990. His high-energy programs and contagious enthusiasm captivates audiences throughout the United States. Participants find themselves engaged in a story and then suddenly they are on their feet with an activity that drives the point even further. His programs are known to be up-beat, fun and educational.

Mr. Hillier has the skills and techniques to reach high schoolers by drawing them into his stories and positive antics.  He then spoke to them about being positive role models and making positive choices, in a way that students listen to and think about for their future.  Hillier spoke about leadership, how to approach situations as part of a team, how to look at things from different perspectives; all ideas and skills that are helpful for high school students.

At the end of the day students took a survey to determine their personality type. They were placed into groups based on their answers. The four groups were called; Togetherness, Enterpriser, Analyzer and The Motivator.  Sitting in our groups, we discussed what kinds of skills each individual brings to working as a team; the strengths and how they learn best, as well as the negative characteristics each “type” might bring to a team. It was interesting to see the student athletes think about what skills they bring to teams that they may be a part of, or how the negative aspects can be turned into advantages. They learned how they can make any team, whether it is a sports team or not, a better functioning team.

The ride home was much different than the drive over.  It was a time of reflection and thinking. While they didn’t ask a lot of questions during the workshop, based on conversations since, they paid close attention to what was being said about teamwork.

If you are interested in learning more about Pacelli Catholic Schools, please visit our website at or email or call 507-437-3278 anytime during regular school hours.