Both Citizenship and Leadership Walking Hand-in-Hand

CitizenShip and LeaderShip Walking Hand-in-Hand
Posted on 12/22/2023

Many adults remember taking U.S. Government, Civics, or other social studies classes during their school years. But students in Luke Bradley’s Civics, U.S. History I, and Leadership classes at Covington Middle School will vividly remember powerful interactive activities that encourage them to envision the future.  As adults, these students will undoubtedly reminisce on the important lessons and encouragement they received from Bradley.  

On a December visit to Bradley’s Civics class, Kim Halterman of the AHPS leadership team observed students as they worked together to imagine the 2026 National Tree Lighting in Washington, D.C.  This activity concluded their study of the federal government, and they were asked to envision who might be in office as president in 2026.  

Many students selected well-known figures they felt could unify the country. Recently, students had studied the duties of the president and the constitutional principles of the federal government. Halterman said she was particularly impressed by the students’ ability to interact with each other.    

“This class is very educational and fun at the same time,” said Jordan Davis, an eighth grade student, athlete, and band member. 

“The teacher is able to relate with us on an emotional level and shares a good connection with us. He has a better understanding because he is up-to-date on things,” Davis said. Davis is a student in both civics and leadership classes.  

Bradley emphasizes community and collaboration in his classroom, establishing an environment of respect that helps students think about what it means to be a citizen and a leader. He encourages students to engage in leadership activities such as creating a school calendar of events posted in the hallway through Covington Middle School’s newly-established Leadership elective course. In honor of the holidays, students in the course recently decorated a Christmas tree to add to school spirit.

“With this being the inaugural year of our Middle School Leadership class, it has certainly been dynamic, but the students have been amazing in following the flexibility of the course and developing well-rounded projects for the school,” said Bradley.

Parker Osborne, an eighth grade student and athlete, shared about how the class has helped him learn about ways to help others. Osborne and his colleagues did a project to enhance school safety awareness earlier in the academic year.  


“I felt like I was helping the school and people in the school, like the students and the faculty,” he said.  

The students in the class supported school staff in helping others know about proper procedures for emergencies.

Recently, Bradley was named Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1033’s Citizenship Teacher of the Year. He was also named VFW District 6 Middle School Teacher of the Year.  The awards specifically honor teachers who promote civic responsibility in their students.

Bradley’s leadership students at Covington Middle School perform a variety of service tasks within the school.  For example, Davis serves as a library media center assistant.  In conversation, He shared how the program is encouraging him to self-reflect and improve.


“We are truly excited about the energy in our community to help us all continue to grow, and experiences like these help young people prepare for their responsibilities as contributing adults,” said Halterman.

All of AHPS is excited that Bradley’s honor from the VFW now advances to state-level competition!  Good luck!

AHPS is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington. The school division serves approximately 2,700 students. It was created through the July 21, 2022, merger of Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center.

AHPS news and events are regularly updated on Facebook at AHPublicSchools and Instagram at ahpublicschools. Information is also available at

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