Pacific High School student leaders say the skills needed to be successful in any endeavor are acquired in high school, but not in the way you might think.

When the PHS Student Council hosted the Pacific Chamber of Commerce luncheon meeting Nov. 21, local business owners and managers got more than a good meal.

Four student leaders welcomed the business community and offered a look at the array of activities at Pacific High that has prepared them to go forward.

The speakers emphasized that it is not just classwork — as important as that is — that today’s active high school students can explore and do before they head to college and eventually the business world.

Many of the student activities like drama, music, sports and clubs receive support from the local business community and all the support plays into the success of the activities and the students who participate in them.

Four years of high school has been a whirlwind time of activities, clubs, mentors, books and projects for the senior class president, Caitlynn Barnes. Whether in the classroom or extracurricular activities she looked to sponsors and teachers as her model leaders.

“Knowing they expected me to be my best, I rose to meet the challenges and they helped me when I struggled,” Caitlynn said. “I have been able to take what I learned and influence younger students . . . to pass on what I have learned.”

For Logan Armstrong, Student Council representative, the mix of sports and studies offered spectacular benefits.

“I’m proud to say that I have been a part of so many things here at Pacific High, ranging from athletics like soccer, golf, basketball and organizations like DECA,” Logan said. “Last year I was able to go to Anaheim, Calif., for an international competition . . . and let me tell you it was one of the best experiences of my high school career.”

While she became involved with as many activities as possible, in addition to her academic studies, Taylor Hill said the most important thing she had gotten from PHS was the necessary life skills. Because she wanted to do so many things from sports to Student Council to band, she saw that she had to set goals and work hard to bring it all together.

“I have developed better communication and time management skills,” Taylor said.

Ashley Hill who came to high school from St. Bridget’s Elementary School where the biggest class she had previously attended had 18 students, was suddenly faced with culture shock when she encountered a sea of kids, rooms, clubs and activities that left her wanting to do everything and at the same time scared.

“I didn’t know what to do with myself,” she said. “Slowly I made friends and got to know my teachers. They helped me get involved and soon I had a hand in everything.”

Each student emphasized these are years they will never forget.

The annual event where student leaders sit down to lunch with business leaders is the district’s way of showing businesses that continually support school activities that they are part of the future of the community, according to school officials.

“We don’t say enough to the businesses and the community as a whole for all the support they give to all the schools in the Meramec Valley,” Superintendent Randy George said. “We just appreciate the opportunity to thank the businesses and we appreciate the student leadership group that hosts the annual luncheon.”