Mak­ing school Me­mories

Stanstead Journal - - SPORTS -

viewed a few of their mem­bers at the end of Oc­to­ber, they’d al­ready or­ga­nized the Terry Fox Run, Spirit Day, a Hal­loween Cos­tume Day, and were work­ing on the com­ing Re­mem­brance Day Cer­e­mony, held on Mon­day, and the Awards Night on Novem­ber 15th.

Vice-pres­i­dent Han­nah Bowen, who lives in Hat­ley, spoke first about why she wanted to be on the stu­dent coun­cil: “I re­mem­ber what the stu­dent coun­cil did for us when we were in level one. And then when I went to a Lead­er­ship Camp in level three, it re­ally broad­ened my hori­zons. I de­cided I wanted to be part of mak­ing school fun for other kids.” “I went to Lead­er­ship Camp too and saw I had the po­ten­tial to be on coun­cil – and now I’m the pres­i­dent!” said Jazmine Aldrich, from Stanstead.

“I joined be­cause I’m just nosy; I want to know what’s go­ing on. I also like to be in­volved,” said Mikhayla Pat­ter­son, of Bald­win Mills, the stu­dent coun­cil’s trea- surer. “This is my first year on coun­cil. I used to help out with ac­tiv­i­ties be­fore but had never joined the coun­cil, but I de­cided to try some­thing dif­fer­ent,” said Kaila Coulombe, of Sawyerville, who is a stu­dent coun­cil ‘walk-on’, some­one who helps wher­ever they’re needed.

“We have a big stu­dent coun­cil this year, about twenty peo­ple. But, un­for­tu­nately, about 90 % of the coun­cil is in level five,” said Jazmine about a big con- cern for these mem­bers. “When we first came to this school, the par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ac­tiv­i­ties was crazy – ev­ery­body was in­sane. But now we see less young peo­ple in­volved,” com­mented Mikhayla. “It seems like some ac­tiv­i­ties are slowly dy­ing. The level five stu­dents are re­ally par­tic­i­pat­ing, like to­day, al­most all the older stu­dents are wear­ing cos­tumes for Hal­loween, but we don’t want the younger stu­dents to miss out. We want them to make some mem­o­ries, too,” added the pres­i­dent.

“Our main chal­lenge is to get stu­dents in­volved and not just cater to those al­ready in­volved, but to those stu­dents who are un­com­fort­able about join­ing in,” said Han­nah.

Be­sides or­ga­niz­ing ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties for their fel­low stu­dents, the stu­dent coun­cil must also fundraise for a good cause. “We chose the Arthri­tis So­ci­ety. One of our teach­ers has a child with a rare form of arthri­tis, so know­ing how it af­fected some­one in our own com­mu­nity… and the stu­dents can re­late to it be­cause it’s close to home,” said Jazmine, adding: “We came close to choos­ing Lac Me­gan­tic.”

“We started rais­ing money on Spirit Day. We had pie throw­ing at teach­ers and we sold pop­corn and wa­ter bot­tles that were do­nated by the Mackey fam­ily,” ex­plained Han­nah. “The fundrais­ing will be on­go­ing through­out the year.”

With the hol­i­day sea­son fast ap­proach­ing, the stu­dent coun­cil will soon be run­ning the an­nual “Can-o-thon”, a con­test be­tween the girls and boys of the school to see which group will gather the most canned food for Christ­mas bas­kets. “It’s a friendly com­pe­ti­tion for a good cause, and by friendly I mean guerilla war­fare!” joked pres­i­dent Aldrich, al­though half se­ri­ously.

Re­viv­ing the old ‘sock hop’, bet­ter known as the school dance, gone for years, is also on this coun­cil’s agenda. “We’re try­ing to hold a Valen­tine’s Day Dance. I’m in level five and I’ve never been to a school dance!” said Kaila.

“We re­ally want to make the school a health­ier en­vi­ron­ment for the kids. Bul­ly­ing is much less and we now have a LGBT (les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der) Club which sup­ports that group of stu­dents. Peo­ple don’t have to be gay or les­bian to join that club,” said Han­nah.

When talk­ing about what they liked about be­ing on the stu­dent coun­cil, each of the girls had a dif­fer­ent an­swer. “I feel im­por­tant be­cause I’m help­ing to change the school for the bet­ter, not just wait­ing for some­one else to do it,” said Kaila. Mikhayla is happy to be mak­ing a dif­fer­ence, even help­ing to change some peo­ple. “Coun­cil helps us feel like we be­long,” said Han­nah. “I couldn’t not re­turn to coun­cil af­ter last year,” said Jazmine, adding: “Now I feel like I didn’t waste my high school ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Asked if they had any­thing else to add, the girls all said: “Quick brain­storm” and joined hands in the mid­dle of the ta­ble. They quickly came up with this con­clud­ing com­ment: “It’s not al­ways fun to come to school, but if you can dress up funny, that makes mem­o­ries. Don’t waste your high school ex­pe­ri­ence and don’t for­get to make some mem­o­ries!”

If our newly elected mu­nic­i­pal coun­cilors could bring as much co­op­er­a­tive­ness, hu­mour, en­ergy and con­cern about at­tract­ing the dis­en­gaged to their posts as these stu­dent coun­cilors, wouldn’t that be great?

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

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