MPAC learns that student leadership makes a difference

Evelyn Clark, Junior Reporter

The Manitou Performing Arts Club (MPAC) has revitalized it’s programming over the last year with the help of student leadership. The current president of MPAC, August Tribble (11) took over this semester for Ryder Ballard, a senior who is graduated in December. Ballard became president one year ago and made many changes to the club. 

“MPAC used to just be playing improv games and eating food and just socializing,” Ballard said. “We do projects and we collaborate with other clubs now that we never used to do.” 

Wendy Harms, the theater teacher and MPAC adviser has noticed the change. 

“Each group of officers and club members puts their own stamp on the activities of the club,” Harms said. “Stronger, focused leadership – which I feel we have right now – has made it a fun place to be – with good energy and positive people. We really needed that coming back after our COVID year. The energy level in the meetings is tremendous. This year we’re really looking at partnering with other groups – like the fashion piece we just did with the Environmental Club. We’re also sharing folks with the Game Club, which meets on the same day as we do. People feel okay bouncing from event to event, and that’s nice.”

MPAC’s new president, Tribble, joined the club just this year; but Ballard decided that he would be the perfect person to carry MPAC into the future.

“Presidency requires a certain level of leadership and creativity and collaboration, and there were quite a few people who are interested in just being on board. Then I thought about it. August was really the only person that I felt could fill the spot,” Ballard said.

MPAC president, August Tribble (11) is currently stage managing Suzette Who Set To Sea. He also served as stage manager for Skinflints and Scoundrels and other shows put on by the MSHS drama department. (Claire Kisielnicki)

Harms agrees. “I’m so excited for Ryder. He’s ready to start his life journey after high school. I’ve appreciated the leadership he has given to MPAC in the past couple of years, and think we are on a good trajectory because of that. I think August is the right person to step into Ryder’s shoes, and I’m excited to see what this new combination of officers will bring.”

Tribble is excited to fill the position and looks forward to improving on Ballard’s hard work. 

“I am nervous, but very thankful for the opportunity presented. I’m excited to be further involved in the community,” Tribble said.

He believes that it is a collaboration in deciding where to go with the club. 

“My first priority is to keep up what Ryder has started; then our team can decide what we would like to do with the club in the future,” said Tribble. “It’s not about me. It’s a team effort.” 

Both Tribble and Ballard agree that it is most important to work together in a club setting. 

“Everybody’s got really good creativity and collaboration skills, but the leadership role is really what you need for a president,” said Ballard. 

Even though Ballard left at the end of first semester, he has parting words for the new members and leaders. 

“Just enjoy it. Have fun. If you need to drop it, do what you want to do. High school is a time where you just sort of have to experiment and figure out what you want to do. And as far as officers go, make sure that you actually want to do it and make sure that you’re actually committed to what you said that you would do.”