Past Leadership Challenge Events

2011 Leadership Challenge Event

“That was the best thing that I have seen for students ever.  My students had a blast and enjoyed the many challenges before them.”    -Murray Moore; Advisor to team from Topeka High School, Leader for Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas, and volunteer as a team coach.

The first annual Challenge Event™ took place on April 7th and 8th, 2011.  



The conference portion of the LCE was more traditional and allowed students to analyze and discuss individual and team leadership dynamics in work-shop and break-out sessions.  Examples of the conference topics included

  • Ethics in leadership
  • Personal Leadership styles and orientations
  • Conflict management and consensus building
  • Effective communication
  • Teambuilding activities

The conference featured keynote speaker Dr. Lee Bolman, Professor and Marion Bloch/Missouri Chair in Leadership, UMKC.

On Thursday evening, student participants along with team advisors, volunteers, and community members gathered at the Capitol Plaza hotel for a dinner and program featuring keynote speaker Kay Barnes, former mayor of Kansas City.


The 2011 LCE™ Simulation theme challenged students to overcome the chaos of a campus shooting occurring at Central Kansas University the day before. Students had the chance to interact with campus and community volunteers throughout the day.  15 teams participated, ten of those being from high schools and six from colleges and universities.  Three states were represented: Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. 

Student Participants

High Schools

  • Marian (Omaha, NE)
  • Benton (St. Joseph, MO)
  • Independence (Independence, KS)
  • Campus (Haysville, KS)
  • Wellington (Wellington, KS)
  • Hayden (Topeka, KS)
  • Washburn Rural (Topeka, KS)
  • Shawnee Heights (Topeka, KS)
  • Topeka High (Topeka, KS)
  • Highland Park (Topeka, KS)

Colleges and Universities

  • Baker University (KS) 
  • York College (NE) 
  • Missouri Southern State University (MO) 
  • Benedictine College (KS) 
  • Fort Hayes State (KS) 
  • Southwestern College (KS)

Award Recipients

Leadership Challenge Event Champion sponsored by St. Francis HealthCare

College Division: Missouri Southern State University

High School Division (co-champions): Hayden High School and Independence High School 

Joe & Jillain Williams Award for Team Communication

College Division: Benedictine College

High School Division: Washburn Rural/Shawnee Heights High School

Citizens Bank & Trust Award for Team Collaboration

College Division: Southwestern College

High School Division: Topeka High School

Community Involvement

“I wanted to let you know that you all did an EXCELLENT job with your leadership competition.  I am very glad that Cindy Barry got us (KTWU) involved as a sponsor.  The students were great to meet and the competition was even better to watch!  Great job!!!!!”    -Eugene Williams; General Manager (KTWU), team sponsor

The 2011 LCE™ was truly a representation of the Heartland Visioning initiative strongly underway in Topeka and Shawnee County.  The LCE™ required the involvement and support of the entire community in order to produce this event.  There was a $30K economic impact in Topeka as a result of the 2011 LCE (analysis by Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce).


Two organizations were the title sponsors for the 2011 LCE™ providing significant financial and human resources for the production of the event. 

  • Capitol Federal Foundation
  • Heartland Visioning

Six organizations were award sponsors

  • St. Francis Healthcare- LCE Champions award
  • Stormont Vail Healthcare- Participant medallions
  • Citizens Bank and Trust- Team Collaboration award
  • Joe and Jillain Williams- Team Communication award
  • Washburn University Admissions- Scholarships to high school champion participants
  • Intrust Bank- Savings bonds to collegiate champion participants

Twelve Organizations were team sponsors:

  • BA Designs
  • BNSF
  • Capital City Bank
  • Creative Business Solutions
  • Go Topeka EMBD
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  • KTWU
  • Leadership Greater Topeka Class of 2011
  • Security Benefit
  • Stormont-Vail Healthcare
  • US Bank
  • Westar Energy


“I was a Type I judge and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. You would have never known it was a first time event by observing the simulation from my perspective.”   – Karl Klein; volunteer as a judge

There were 143 volunteers made up of WU students, faculty and staff as well as the Topeka and Shawnee County communities. 

  • 74 from the community and 69 from Washburn University
  • 48 organizations in the community were represented by their participation