On 10 April 2014, Tauragė Žalgiriai Gymnasium hosted an international secondary students’ conference “My Future is in My Hands” in which 8–12 form students from Lithuania and the Kaliningrad region (Russia) made presentations in English in order to share their experience,  ideas and plans for the future. The conference was organized by Janina Pukelienė (Chair), Vaida Jucienė, Gintarė Kolesnikova, Virginija Liaudanskienė, Vyda Markauskienė, Jūratė Senkuvienė and Orestas Valančius.

Our guests were students and teachers from Gymnasium 1 and Lyceum 5 from Sovetsk, Tytuvėnai Gymnasium, Plungė “Saulės” Gymnasium, Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University “Rasos” Gymnasium, Upyna Stasys Girėnas Secondary School, Pagėgiai Algimantas Mackus Gymnasium, Garliava Juozas Lukša Gymnasium, Šeduva Gymnasium, Šiauliai Simonas Daukantas Gymnasium, Švėkšna “Saulės” Gymnasium, Šilutė Gymansium 1, Pakuonys Basic School, Klaipėda “Gabijos” Progymnasium, Tauragė Skaudvilė Gymnasium, Tauragė “Šaltinio” Progymnasium and Tauragė “Versmės”  Gymnasium.

The plenary session was opened by a song performed by the Tauragė Žalgiriai Gymnasium choir. The Headteacher of the host gymnasium Viktorija Paulauskienė and the Mayor of Tauragė Pranas Petrošius gave heartwarming welcome speeches and wished the participants not only productive work during the conference, but also new friendships for future collaboration. Plenary talks were given by OUP representative Miglė Ogorodnikovienė: “Making Digital Sense” and LCC representative Emilis Gricius: “Change and Hope: They Walk Side by Side”.

In the afternoon, students discussed their ideas in workshops. 70 presentations were given in 10 parallel sessions moderated by the students of Žalgiriai Gymnasium. The listeners voted for the most interesting and inspiring presentations. The presenters were awarded prizes – invitations to Tauragė Amusement park “Taurų Parkas”.  At the end of the conference, all the participants were issued Certificates of Participation. The teachers of conference presenters were issued Certificates of the Lithuanian Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (LAKMA) and also invitations to LAKMA seminars. After the conference, the participants were offered an opportunity to try their physical skills on the climbing wall in the gym under the guidance of PE teachers Jurga Sparnauskienė and Saulius Girulis.

On behalf of the organizers, I wish to express my sincere grattitude to all the students who participated in the event. My praise and thanks also go to their teachers who put so much enthusiasm, passion and patience into their work.

With best wishes for a lot of success and inspiration for the future,

Janina Pukelienė

Chairperson of the Organizing Committee