Around 30 upperclass students from Sage Creek and Carlsbad High are selected onto a board of CUSD Champions, a program that gives high school students the opportunity to promote leadership, school safety, and inclusion to local middle and elementary schools.
Senior Caytre Ede, an academic and athletically-driven student, was chosen as one of these CUSD Champions. She believes that the process to achieving this accolade was largely based on her efforts in community involvement and devotion to cross country.
“I think the thing that made me stand out was the Gold Award Project, where I worked with eighth graders and made high school-readiness workshops for them,” Ede said. “I’m also one of the upperclassmen on the cross country team, so I have the opportunity to lead the athletes. I think my participation in the community and helping out the younger generations is why they chose me.”
The process to becoming a CUSD champion consists of an interview and digital application process with Mrs. Eshelman, the head coordinator for CUSD Champions for both Sage Creek and Carlsbad High. When Ede was chosen, she knew from the start that she would make a conscious effort to utilize her talents and spread positivity throughout the community.
“I was pretty happy that I made it because I know a lot of really outspoken people that are a big part of the school who tried out for it, so I was also surprised,” Ede said. “I am just excited because I really love working with little kids and being a positive role model for them. I can’t wait to go to the elementary and middle schools because I remember when I was in elementary school and I got the cards from the champions and it made me really happy.”
In addition to speaking at local schools, CUSD Champions get to hand out their own personalized trading cards that represents their activity in high school. As for Ede, she represents the cross country team, so her trading card has a picture of her in running gear. Coming from a Carlsbad-oriented household, Ede’s family was astonished to hear of her accomplishment.
“My parents were pretty excited, especially when I got my own trading card,” Ede said. “You get 500 trading cards with your face on it and they’re good quality cards too, which is crazy. They are also happy for me and excited to see how I can help elementary and middle school students in Carlsbad.”
Senior Tyffani Caddy was also selected as a CUSD Champion. After leaping from multiple states, such as Maryland, Virginia, Florida and California, Caddy brought a unique perspective to the interview after explaining the challenges of moving.
“I think what got me into being a Champion Lancer was because I was a military child,” Caddy said. “I’ve moved around so much, so I knew how different school districts worked and I knew different methods of trying to solve problems.”
While many students in Carlsbad do not have a military connection, Caddy understands the struggles of being the new kid, and she wants to encourage younger students to go out of their comfort zones and develop new relationships.
“The main message I want to promote is to not be shy, but be outgoing,” Caddy said. “Being a military kid, I had to find new friends every now and then, so I just want to tell others to not be that shy kid in the corner, but to go out and try to make friends because it sucks being alone.”
Caddy has visited Magnolia elementary school, and she currently represents the yearbook program for Carlsbad high school. Her passion for her work stems from her excitement to be a part of the CUSD program and the opportunity to connect with younger kids.
“I actually found out in the middle of my second period class and I started freaking out a little bit, and everybody was trying to figure out what was wrong with me,” Caddy said. “But I was just really excited.”