Mak­ing school mem­o­rable

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier Len­noxville

LastWed­nes­day was Wacky Wed­nes­day at Alexan­der Galt High School, a day when stu­dents are en­cour­aged to se­ri­ously go for the ‘ridicu­lous’ when they’re choos­ing what to wear to school in the morn­ing. Since it is one of sev­eral an­nual

events or­ga­nized by the school’s Stu­dent Coun­cil, it seemed like a good day to in­ter­view a few of that or­ga­ni­za­tion’s en­thu­si­as­tic mem­bers.

Stu­dent Coun­cil pres­i­dent Gre­gory McBean, head of pub­lic­ity, Pa­tri­cia Ga­mache, and head of on­line pub­lic­ity, Sa­man­tha Lis­ter, spoke about the school’s large coun­cil and its goals and ob­jec­tives for the year.

“There are seven­teen stu­dents on the coun­cil,” said the pres­i­dent. “Cer­tain po­si­tions, like the sec­re­tary and the trea­surer, must be from level four but, be­sides that, lev­els two to lev­els five are rep­re­sented on the coun­cil. It’s im­por­tant to see the per­spec­tive of other grades,” com­mented Sa­man­tha.

With all the ac­tiv­i­ties the coun­cil or­ga­nizes in a year, it needs lots of mem­bers. Be­sides Wacky Wed­nes­day, the coun­cil has al­ready held spe­cial ac­tiv­i­ties af­ter the school’s an­nual Terry Fox Run in Septem­ber, or­ga­nized Spirit Day and a Hal­loween cos­tume con- test. “We’ll also be or­ga­niz­ing a hol­i­day dress-up day, when stu­dents wear red and green, a pyjama day, and a for­mal day when they wear shirts and ties, dresses – some even come to school in tuxe­does. We get good par­tic­i­pa­tion for dress-up days,” said Pa­tri­cia. “We also hold ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the win­ter car­ni­val – that’s the big­gest dress-up day of all,” added Sa­man­tha.

But the Stu­dent Coun­cil is not only about fun and games; it has a few more se­ri­ous man­dates. For starters, their Can-o-thon started yes­ter­day, a col­lec­tion of non-per­ish­able food items for the school’s Christ­mas Bas­ket Cam­paign. At the be­gin­ning of the school year, and with the in­put of all the stu­dents, the coun­cil chooses a cause to raise money for through­out the school year, one of the coun­cil’s most im­por­tant mis­sions. “A staff mem­ber re­cently passed away so we are start­ing a trust for her chil­dren to go to col­lege or univer­sity. We choose what we want to raise money for at the be­gin­ning of the year so we can con­cen­trate right away on the fundrais­ers,” Gre­gory ex­plained.

Both the pres­i­dent and the vice pres­i­dent of the coun­cil sit on the school’s Gov­ern­ing Board, at­tend­ing each meet­ing. “When they want a stu­dent’s per­spec­tive, they ask us. And we’re there to speak for the stu­dents. It’s where we bring up our new ideas, too,” said the pres­i­dent.

When asked what they found chal­leng­ing about be­ing on the Stu­dent Coun­cil, Gre­gory and Sa­man­tha an­swered to­gether: “Try­ing to make ev­ery­one happy!” “And time man­age­ment,” men­tioned Gre­gory who or­ga­nizes all the meet­ings, writes up the agen­das and meets with the prin­ci­pal. “Hav­ing a so­cial life can be a chal­lenge; four out of my five lunch hours were taken up this week,” he said. “All five of my lunch hours were taken up!” coun­tered Sa­man­tha.

Since all three of th­ese coun­cil mem­bers have had pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence serv­ing on the stu­dent coun­cil and knew what they were get­ting into, they ex­plained why they wanted to be on the coun­cil again this year. “I saw stuff that worked on other coun­cils and stuff that didn’t work, so I wanted to use my ex­pe­ri­ence to see what I could do. But I’ve wanted to run for pres­i­dent since I first joined the coun­cil – I’ve been mov­ing up!” Gre­gory ad­mit­ted.

“I wanted to be pres­i­dent, too; we ran against each other last May. It was a very close race,” said Sa­man­tha. “I like to be in­volved and to help other stu­dents, and to or­ga­nize ac­tiv­i­ties that make it fun to be in school.”

Although Pa­tri­cia ran for vice-pres­i­dent last May and lost, she still wanted a place on the coun­cil. “I like be­ing be­hind the scenes – mak­ing de­ci­sions. That makes school more fun for me,” she com­mented.

“This is how we get in­volved in our school. Oth­ers do sports – we like to be on the coun­cil,” contributed Sa­man­tha.

The three out­go­ing stu­dents also seemed aware of how they were ben­e­fit­ting from their vol­un­teer work on the coun­cil. “Be­fore join­ing the Stu­dent Coun­cil even I was too shy to dress up, but I’m much less shy now,” said Pa­tri­cia who was wear­ing a pretty wacky out­fit. “Yes, you can lose your shy­ness and gain lead­er­ship skills,” said Sa­man­tha. “You also learn to deal with speak­ing in front of crowds and you learn to be or­ga­nized,” men­tioned Gre­gory.

“Be­fore school starts I have my whole day planned,” said Sa­man­tha. “Do they use agen­das since they have such busy sched­ules?” I asked. “Oh, yeah. My agenda is com­pletely color-coded,” said Pa­tri­cia. “I don’t use an agenda; I just have sticky notes all over my locker!”

photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Stu­dent Coun­cil mem­bers (l. to r.) Pa­tri­cia Ga­mache, Sa­man­tha Lis­ter and Gre­gory McBean, pos­ing here in the Galt li­brary, were dressed ap­pro­pri­ately on ‘Wacky Wed­nes­day’.

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