Serving Kentucky's Schools and Student Athletes Since 1917

06/12/20 – NFHS National Student Leadership Summit Going Virtual for 2020

June 12, 2020 Athletic Department Blog Updates


KHSAA member schools are once again invited to select student-athletes to participate at no cost in the National Federation of High School Associations’ National Student Leadership Summit. 

This is a great opportunity for students from all backgrounds and levels of participation from all over Kentucky and the rest of the nation and Canada to come together for expanded leadership training that they can then share and execute back within their local school and community.

The NFHS hopes to reach thousands of high school students from across the nation July 20-22 with its first virtual National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS).  The deadline to register is July 3.

This year’s summit marks the 13th national conference for high school student leaders sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) since the inaugural event in 2001. The NFHS planned to host the NSLS in Indianapolis this summer; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summit will be broadcast in a virtual setting on the NFHS Network, which annually streams more than 100,000 high school events online at

Despite the circumstances, hosting the summit virtually presents several advantages. Since the summit will be offered at no cost to the students, it allows more student leaders to receive instruction on improving their leadership skills and realize the privilege and power of their influence in their school, community, and state.

The students will receive instruction from a panel of content experts and two featured speakers.

Julie Carrier, who serves as this year’s opening general session speaker, is an award-winning speaker, Emmy nominated TV personality, author, 2002 Miss Virginia USA, and a senior leadership consultant to the Pentagon.

Deanna Singh, who hails from Wisconsin, serves as the closing general session speaker. She is the author of three books, and she was recently recognized among the country’s Most Influential 40 under 40. In addition to being a gifted communicator and entrepreneur, Singh was recently mentioned in the Forbes Magazine feature, “An Awesome Black Woman Everyone Should Know.”

The content speakers include Deb Hult, a nationally recognized presenter in relational and motivational leadership and co-founder of Core Trainings who will speak on relationship building and maintenance; Gregory A. Dale, Ph.D., director of sport psychology and leadership programs for the Duke University Athletics Department, who will speak on effective communication with team, bandmates, and adults; Omari Pearson, an author, speaker, facilitator, mentor and consultant, who will speak on “Brain Mapping (Goal Setting in the 21st Century)”; and Singh, who will discuss inclusion and perspective.

The virtual NSLS will take place via the NFHS Network each day at 12:45 p.m. EDT. Once registered, students will receive a link to the Network’s coverage, which will be accessed each day, and can be shared with fellow students. Following highlights from past summits at 12:45 p.m., and general introductions, the content experts will make presentations at 1:10 p.m. and 1:50 p.m. each day.

The first day of the Summit features Carrier as the opening session speaker followed by Pearson with his “Brain Mapping” session. Hult opens day two of the summit followed by Singh, who also presents on the last day with her closing remarks. Day three begins with Dale’s workshop on effective communication for student-athletes. The summit will conclude at 2:30 each day.

The NFHS started the NSLS in 2015 after previously hosting the National Student Leadership Conference seven times (2001-03, 2007-10). As the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts, member associations felt the NFHS should continue its role in developing and nurturing the leadership skills of high school students.

For more information on the NSLS and to register:

Each year, the KHSAA and its member schools have long been involved with this program with representatives participating in the in-person Summit.  We ask that you share this information with your student leaders so they can continue to learn and expand their abilities.

Contact Butch Cope ( or Sarah Bridenbaugh ( at the KHSAA with any further questions.


About the Kentucky High School Athletic Association
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was organized in 1917 and is the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the Commonwealth. The Association is a voluntary nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of 280 member schools both public and non-public. The KHSAA awards 215 state championships to 51 teams and 164 individuals in 13 sports and 6 sport-activities, funds catastrophic insurance coverage for its more than 106,000 rostered member school student-athletes, provides coaching education and sports safety programs for more than 12,000 coaches, and licenses and facilitates the distribution of training material for over 4,000 contest officials.


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