Students and staff of Pine Bluff School District’s Belair Academy presented their best teamwork and leadership talents and projects at the Belair Showcase Craze on Wednesday, Dec. 19, to the community, parents and guests.

The purpose of the Showcase was to increase students’ abilities to lead and work together, according to a news release. The projects presented were done by students and mentors who prepared them over a two-week period of intense team and leadership training.

Team teachers said they were able to help students learn how to work together to increase their teamwork and leadership skills that foster and increase academic achievement for long-term success, the news release said. The series of activities were co-sponsored by Belair’s community partners What’s Next Pine Bluff and Maxey Plumbing Company of White Hall.

Eric Elders, Belair school administrator, welcomed Showcase speaker Denise Simmons, PBSD program administrator and a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Simmons is a graduate of Dillard University and Texas A&M University, a spokeswoman said. Simmons has been an educator for 32 years and “is passionate about the power of education,” the spokeswoman said.

“She inspired and motivated students to be better students, citizens and future leaders with her topic on ‘becoming the best you! Discovering the Leader in You.’ She communicated a tremendous amount of stimulating knowledge and closed informing them that ‘all limitations are self-imposed.’”

The Showcase Winning teams were: First place, the Jingle Ballers, led by Bradley Bateman and Earl Buchanan; second place, B.A. Productions, led by Oyoungo Jones and Henrietta Nelson; and third place, Little Steppers, led by Linda Wyrick and Betty Moseby. Honorable mentions were given to the Freedom Riders and The Big Dog Team.

The showcase panel of judges were Stephaney Bennett, Valerie Elders, Ronald Laurent, Jacquelin Norful and Warren Smith, according to school social worker and activity chair Deborah Thomas. Refreshments and prizes were presented at the close of the event.