Hughes speaks to ninth grade classes about public speaking and leadership skills


Walker Bailey

Jay Hughes speaks to the ninth grade LeadWorthy classes about public speaking and leadership skills. Hughes was one of firsts of a set of speakers that the LeadWorthy classes will listen to throughout the year.

Edward Brown, Staff Writer

Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives and Oxford citizen Jay Hughes came to speak to the ninth grade LeadWorthy classes on Sept. 13. Hughes was asked to come speak to the leadership classes about both public speaking and leadership skills.

“The goal of me coming to speak was to try and give a real-life representation of the importance of public speaking and of leadership skills that carry you through life,” Hughes said.

Freshman Charlie Shull was in attendance to listen to Hughes speak and felt that Hughes brought up good points on why leadership skills are important to have.

“I thought it was pretty cool that someone so important in politics in Mississippi came to talk to us,” Shull said. “And he talked a lot about how having leadership skills could help us and how they helped him.”

Starting this school year, it is required for all ninth grade OHS students to enroll and take the new leadership classes, or LeadWorthy. No students currently in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade were required to take a leadership class when they were in ninth grade.

“I’m not the biggest fan of it because it takes up a whole period,” Shull said.  “It would probably be better for us if the class was a more education-focused class.”

Throughout the speech for the ninth grade students, Hughes talked about multiple other topics in addition to talking about leadership skills. He also talked about his life in politics and the problems with public education in Mississippi.

“We are in an environment now where there is so much focus on standardized testing and basic courses in school that we’re leaving out the soft skills that can be needed for success,” Hughes said.

Many, such as Hughes, feel that leadership skills and public speaking are incredibly important in finding success in life.

“Whether you’re applying for college, applying for a job, or whatever, I think that self confidence and basic leadership skills are sadly missing by too many graduates nowadays,” Hughes said.