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NatStuCo E-Bulletin: November 2018

Your complete rundown of NatStuCo news and activities.

PROJECTS OF EXCELLENCE

There are more than 7,000 project ideas available at your fingertips! Log on now to the National Student Project Database on the NatStuCo website for ideas from other schools and to submit your own successful projects!

 

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Best dAy Ever 2017

Pineville High School, LA

In November 2017, the state released our School Performance Scores. For the second year in a row, our school scored an A and had a growth of over 6 points! We took a week to celebrate the achievement, with free dress days, pictures, a DJ, and signs proclaiming “Best dAy ever!”. Our faculty, staff, and students had so much fun celebrating our achievements, and the week made everyone proud to be at Pineville!

LEARN MORE

 

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Teacher Appreciation Breakfast and Goody Bags December 2017

J.D. Smith Middle School, NV

Last December our student council decided that teachers deserved an appreciation breakfast before Winter Break. NatStuCo members raised money in order to host the breakfast, and served waffles, sausage links, bacon, fruit, and hot beverages. Tables in the library were set with holiday tablecloths, and goody bags with small treats and notes of gratitude were given to faculty. We received many compliments on the breakfast and thank-you notes for the goody bags.

LEARN MORE

 

TOP NEWS

 

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New Career Exploration Videos Available

New videos have recently been added to the NatStuCo Career Exploration Series. No login is needed for your students to hear from former council leaders on their journey from high school to career, and how they apply leadership skills along the way.

LEARN MORE

 

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The Early Bird Saves: LEAD DC and Chicago

December 31 for LEAD DC and February 15 for LEAD Chicago are the final days to save on registration! Take advantage of discounted early bird rates before these two deadlines.

LEARN MORE

 

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Share Your Expertise as a LEAD Presenter

We invite advisers and students attending a LEAD Conference to share your secrets for running an outstanding student council and recipes for successful activities by presenting a workshop. From the LEAD homepage, click on the conference location and “Present a Workshop” to apply.

LEARN MORE

 

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National Student Council Conference

The fires are lit for the 2019 National Student Council Conference in Pennsylvania where we’ll be Forging Student Leaders next June! Join fellow advisers and student council leaders from across the country June 24–26 at South Fayette High School for three exciting days of networking, training, and special activities.

LEARN MORE

 

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Nominations Closing for Adviser of the Year

December 1st is the deadline to submit nomination forms for the 2019 Warren E. Shull Adviser of the Year Award, which recognizes outstanding middle level and high school NatStuCo advisers. Beginning this year, nominees must have logged in and joined the NatStuCo Adviser Online Community.

LEARN MORE

 

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Turning Student Councils into Gold

NatStuCo Gold is within your reach. Apply to be recognized as a 2019 National Council of Excellence or National Gold Council of Excellence! All NatStuCo member councils are eligible to apply!

LEARN MORE

 

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Help Your Students Become Next-Level Leaders

Nearly 1,000 students have taken their leadership to the next level, earning national recognition as NatStuCo Distinguished Student Leaders by demonstrating their outstanding leadership skills and knowledge. Challenge your students to become next-level leaders.

LEARN MORE

 

Trending in the Adviser Online Community

Officer Qualifications and Job Descriptions
NatStuCo member councils are varied in the qualifications they have for students to run for officer positions, as well as the responsibilities that officers have once elected. Join the discussion in the Adviser Online Community to share what your council does on this topic.

Log in to join the conversations or post one of your own right now in the Adviser Online Community. Remember, this month we’re looking for resources too. Add an item to the Resources section and you’ll be eligible to win a $50 gift card.

 

Student Council Tips and Tools

The most difficult part of project planning for student councils is often just taking the first steps of deciding what to do. Even with traditional activities like homecoming or an annual charity drive, students can struggle with ideas to make those events fresh or different from the previous years. Before the next time your council faces the task of planning a new project, visit “Getting Started” in the Adviser Resource Center.

 

IMPORTANT DATES

NOVEMBER

6 The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards student application deadline
16 The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards school certification deadline

DECEMBER

1 Warren E. Shull National Student Council Adviser of the Year application deadline
31 LEAD DC Conference early bird registration deadline

JANUARY

4 LEAD DC Conference workshop presenter application deadline
31 LEAD DC regular registration deadline

 

America’s schools need your vote.

Support public education by voting on November 6. »

 

In the Latest Advise

Advise magazine cover

 

The November issue of Advise magazine features an article on 2018 Rynearson Adviser of the Year, Dr. Margaret Lincoln. See all of her great accomplishments along with reading the latest issue here.

Tell us your story! If you’d like to contribute an article to Advise, view the editorial calendar and send your ideas to advise@nassp.org.

What’s in Store?

The NatStuCo Store is stocked up with branded merchandise bearing our new logo and name. More items will be added weekly so check back often. When you shop, you can also save 15 percent through December 31 when you use the promo code 18HOLIDAY.
Visit the NatStuCo Store »

Stay Connected!

Follow us on social media for the latest NatStuCo news.

Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Instagram

NatStuCo E-Bulletin: September 2018

Your complete rundown of NatStuCo news and activities.   Display issues? View this email online.  

SEPTEMBER 2018

PROJECTS OF EXCELLENCE

There are more than 7,000 project ideas available at your fingertips! Browse the National Student Project Database on NatStuCo.org for ideas from other schools and to submit your own successful projects.

 

Club Carnival
Ocean City High School, NJ

Club Carnival is an Ocean City High School Student Council event hosted after school on a day at the end of September. The event invites school clubs to set up a table and make posters to encourage students to join their club. This past Club Carnival involved 28 participating clubs and over 200 students. 

LEARN MORE

 

Run, Walk, and Roll Against Bullying
Irons Middle School, TX

Last year, a group of student council officers and members helped facilitate and participated in the PACER’s Run, Walk, and Roll Against Bullying event. In order to start prevention, we must raise awareness of the issue. Everyone who participated came out feeling like they could raise awareness and make a difference.

LEARN MORE

 

Top News

Join the Adviser Online Community

NatStuCo advisers have a new online community where they can network with peers, share resources, and seek ideas and solutions. Join a conversation and start your own as you connect with fellow advisers in a members-only virtual space.

JOIN NOW

 

NPM Video Contest Deadline Approaching

The October deadline is fast approaching for your student council to enter the 2018 National Principals Month Video Contest! We invite your students to make a one- to two-minute video giving “props” to your principal—telling us what your principal means to you, your school, and your community. Three winners will each receive a $200 gift card and their videos will be published on the webpage.

LEARN MORE

2019 National Council of Excellence Awards 

NatStuCo member councils are invited to apply for the 2019 National Councils of Excellence Awards and earn recognition for their many contributions to their schools and communities. Simply applying for the award helps guide councils through a process that enhances their programs and gives them measurable evidence to understand their group strengths and weaknesses. 

CHECK IT OUT

RSVP Training at LEAD Conferences

Add RSVP training to your delegation itinerary! Training is from 12:30–4:30 p.m. on the Friday afternoon before the conference starts. A separate fee of $169 covers delegations of up to 10 per school (an adviser must attend with students), and includes instruction and a copy of the “RSVP Implementation Guide” or “RSVP In the Middle” guide. Register for RSVP when you register for the LEAD Conference.

REGISTER NOW

 

Present Your Lead Workshop

Middle level and high school advisers and student leaders have a wealth of experience, amazing project ideas, and effective strategies that have helped their councils be successful. We invite you to bring that wealth to your next LEAD Conference—apply today to be a LEAD Conference presenter.

APPLY NOW

 

National Student Council Conference

The 2019 National Student Council Conference theme is “Forging Student Leaders,” and will be held at South Fayette High School near Pittsburgh. Join advisers and student council leaders from across the country June 24–26 for three days of networking, training, and special activities. Visit the National Student Council website for updates.

LEARN MORE

 

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. Created in 1995 by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the program honors middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.

LEARN MORE

 

Join the NatStuCo Adviser Online Community

Join Fellow Advisers on the NatStuCo Online Community
Between back to school projects and events, it is important for student council members to learn to work together as a cohesive group. To foster that, advisers employ team building and other activities. Take a few minutes this month to start a new discussion about team building or join an existing one, and share your favorite team building or icebreaker activities with fellow advisers in the NatStuCo Adviser Online Community!

Log in today to get started.

Student Council Tips and Tools

Who You Gonna Call?
The first two months of the school year are the most chaotic for most student councils. At the same time they need to be hitting the ground running, councils are welcoming new members and beginning to come together. It is also important early on for council members and advisers to begin building strategic relationships within the school. Visit the NatStuCo Adviser Resource Center and check out the strategic relationships we’ve highlighted.

NatStuCo Adviser Resource Center

 

Important Dates
September
7 2018–19 NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities is published to the NASSP website
27 Early-Bird Registration Deadline for Orlando LEAD Conference
October
2019 Warren E. Shull Adviser of the Year Application is live
1 National Principal’s Month
5 Deadline to submit Presenter Applications for Orlando LEAD Conference, Midnight (PT)
November
2–4 LEAD Orlando

 

In the Latest Advise
The NatStuCo Update column in your September issue of Advise provides a nice overview of the programs and services from National Student Council rolling out over this 2018–19 academic year. Watch your mailbox for your copy or read it online.

Have a story topic to suggest for this publication year? Tell us! Email your ideas for Advise articles to advise@nassp.org.

Stay Connected!
Follow us on social media for the latest National Student Council news.
Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Instagram

 

 

NatStuCo E-Bulletin: August 2018

Your complete rundown of NatStuCo news and activities.   Display issues? View this email online.  

AUGUST 2018

Welcome Back!

It’s back-to-school time! Check out the latest news and events as you prepare for the 2018–19 academic school year.

PROJECTS OF EXCELLENCE

There are more than 7,000 project ideas available at your fingertips! Browse the National Student Project Database on the NatStuCo website for ideas from other schools and to submit your own successful projects.

 

Freshmen Blast 2017
Laurens District 55 High School, SC

Freshman Blast was on August 26, 2017 and was held in the Laurens High School gym. During this night, the Class of 2021 participated in many events such as tie-dying a shirt, corn hole, learning the alma-mater and Student Section cheers and chants to do at future pep rallies.

LEARN MORE

 

Welcome

Friday Morning Activities
Silvestri Jr High School, NV

Our student council puts on a weekly event called Friday Morning Activities. Each Friday morning, we set up games and play songs for the entire school in the courtyard. Friday Morning Activities is a very important activity that encourages students to have fun and be a part of their school community.

LEARN MORE

 

Top News

Welcome

Top Middle Level and High School Advisers Named

Congratulations to Susan Waldrep, Texas High School, and Lisa Whirtley, Blennerhassedt Middle School, on being named the 2018 Warren E. Shull National Advisers of the Year. Read more about these outstanding advisers and learn how you can become a state nominee for 2019. Applications due December 1.

READ MORE

 

Welcome

Download Your 2018–19 Calendar

As an adviser, you juggle several responsibilities at once. Make your planning easier by downloading this calendar with key program dates for this academic year. You’ll also find it in the September issue of Advise magazine.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Welcome

2019 National Council of Excellence Awards Application Now Available

Go for the gold this year by applying to be named a National Council of Excellence. The online application is live. Downloads of the application that can be used as reference as your council works to achieve the award are also available. Check out the application process and award criteria today.

CHECK IT OUT

Welcome

Distinguished Student Leader Program

The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time for high school student leaders to commit to taking their leadership to the next level. Encourage your students to challenge themselves by working to earn national recognition as Distinguished Student Leaders.

GET MORE INFO

 

Welcome

Project Database

With new upgrades complete, the National Student Project Database includes essential data fields where users can enter specific numbers for such items as service hours, amounts, and other totals when entering projects. A new, rolling photo carousal highlights featured projects, so be sure to include good quality photos with your entries!

SEARCH NOW

 

Welcome

Annual Adviser Survey Report

The numbers are in from the 2018 NatStuCo Adviser Survey! Nearly 400 survey respondents reported their student councils amassing more than 800,000 volunteer service hours (an average of almost 3,000 hrs per council) and raising nearly $1 million for charitable causes and organizations. A complete report will be presented later this fall and available in the NatStuCo Adviser Resource Center.

LEARN MORE

 

Welcome

National Student Council Conference

Check out the images and comments from the National Student Council Conference on the NatStuCo social media pages or by searching #StuCoMaNia on Instagram and Twitter. Join us in 2019 on June 24–26, in Pittsburgh. The theme, Forging Student Leaders, reflects the roots of “Steel Town” and all that goes into refining students into polished and effective leaders.

LEARN MORE

 

Welcome

RSVP Training at LEAD Conferences

Arrive early at LEAD to participate in Raising Student Voice & Participation (RSVP) training, held just prior to each conference in Orlando, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The RSVP training is an additional cost priced at a deep discount from the regular rate and is separate from LEAD registration. All training sessions take place from 12:30–4:30pm on the Friday of each LEAD Conference

REGISTER NOW

 

Welcome

NatStuCo Member Seal

Show off your official National Student Council membership by displaying the 2018–2019 member seal on your website, social media page, and parent newsletters. Log in and download your seal today from the Council Operations page in the NatStuCo Adviser Resource Center.

GET YOUR MEMBER SEAL

 

Join the NatStuCo Adviser Online Community

Join Fellow Advisers on the NatStuCo Online Community
Add a new resource to your adviser toolbox by connecting with fellow advisers on the NatStuCo Adviser Online Community. Build your profile and start networking in a members-only virtual space. Share your stories and ideas or seek out support and strategies to help make this a successful year with your student council. Join the conversations today!

Log in today to get started.

Student Council Tips and Tools

Using On-Boarding Strategies with New Members
A new year means new student council members. Whether councils provide new members with an orientation or assign a mentor, they should always offer a comprehensive understanding of the council or their roles. View suggested onboarding strategies from NatStuCo to help familiarize your first-time council members.

 

Important Dates
August
2019 National Council of Excellence Awards online applications are live.
September
7 2018–2019 NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities is published to the NASSP website
27 Early Bird Registration Deadline for Orlando LEAD Conference
October
2019 Warren E. Shull Adviser of the Year Application is live
1 National Principal’s Month
5 Deadline to submit Presenter Applications for Orlando LEAD Conference, Midnight Pacific Time

 

In the Latest Advise
Looking ahead to the September issue of Advise, arriving in your mailbox soon—get advice on reviving a dormant council in the cover feature article, plus tips for preparing recommendation letters for your students.

Have a story topic to suggest for this publication year? Tell us! Email your ideas for Advise articles to advise@nassp.org.

Stay Connected!
Follow us on social media for the latest National Student Council news.
Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Instagram

 

 

NatStuCo E-Bulletin: June 2018

Your complete rundown of NatStuCo news and activities.   Display issues? View this email online.  

JUNE 2018

Have a great summer! This is the last issue of NatStuCo E-Bulletin for this academic year. We will resume publication in August. Your efforts as the student council adviser do not go unnoticed and your commitment to your student leaders and council makes a positive difference in your school and community.

PROJECTS OF EXCELLENCE

There are more than 7,000 project ideas available at your fingertips! Browse the National Student Project Database on the NatStuCo website for ideas from other schools and to submit your own successful projects.

 

Senior Farewell 2017
Farrington High School, Honolulu, HI

Senior Farewell is a day designated for the seniors, so they can thank everyone who has made a large impact on their lives, with leis, a special pep rally, and a gift for their advisers. This momentous day also allows the underclassmen to see the importance of the bond created within the classes.

LEARN MORE

Welcome

Come Dream with Me Prom
Crescent High School, Iva, SC

The Crescent Student Government Association (SGA) teamed up with Family Connections of South Carolina to host a prom that is suitable for anyone with special needs. The Crescent SGA made all of the decorations, a video, and raised more than $1,000 for this event and other events hosted by Family Connections.

LEARN MORE

 

Top News

Welcome

RSVP

Get ready to start Raising Student Voice & Participation! With the updated RSVP program, your council can lead the entire student body in effecting change by harnessing their student voice. The program and guide have been revised to reflect the changing times.

LEARN MORE

Welcome

Adviser Survey

The annual NatStuCo adviser survey is open through June 30. Take time to share your feedback and the results of your council’s service activities this school year. The information you share is invaluable—and when you complete the survey, you’ll get a code for 20 percent off the online store!

TAKE THE SURVEY

Welcome

Renewal Reminder

The end of the NatStuCo membership year is almost here. Renew before June 30 to guarantee there is no lapse in your member access to the many online resources available with your NatStuCo affiliation.

RENEW NOW

Welcome

The Conference Is Coming

Time is running out to register for the 2018 National Student Council Conference, June 25–27. Join fellow advisers and their student leaders at Wayzata High School near Minneapolis, MN. Register on or before June 8 to guarantee you won’t miss out.

SIGN UP FOR LEADERSHIP MaNia

 

Welcome

Catch Every Highlight

Can’t come to the National Student Council Conference in person? Follow #StuCoMania on social media for all the action.

DON’T GET FOMO

 

Welcome

Write for Advise

Have you ever considered becoming a nationally published author? Share your strategies and expertise this summer by writing and submitting an article to Advise magazine. Check out the editorial calendar online for dates and information, or contact advise@nassp.org.

LEARN MORE

 

Awards and Recognition

Distinguished Student Leader Program

The Distinguished Student Leader application and materials are now available in a new, easy-to-use online format. Applications may also be submitted using ground mail. LEARN MORE

NCOE Application Opening in Summer

Does your council have what it takes to earn national recognition? Go for the gold by applying for a 2019 National Council of Excellence Award. The online application opens mid-August. At that time, you will also be able to download a PDF of the application that your students can reference as they work to build their award portfolio. LEARN MORE

Join the NatStuCo Adviser Online Community

The Adviser Online Community is NatStuCo’s newest resource this year for advisers only. Set up a profile, start a discussion, or jump in on current conversations. You can also share a favorite council document by uploading it to the resources area. Advisers also earn badges for their community engagement that are displayed on profiles. Make time this summer to connect with peers, share, and reflect on your council year in the Adviser Online Community.

Log in today to get started.

Student Council Tips and Tools

Are you ready to close out your student council year? Before the school doors close, take time to reflect on your year and look ahead to the fall. Meet with your principal to review highlights, successes, and challenges, and note any special events you want your council to participate in next year. Write out your adviser goals for the coming school year. Build a list of leadership resources you would like to find and use. If you will be stepping away from your adviser position, please complete an Adviser Change Form so that we can keep your school’s record up to date.

Now is also a great time to make sure all your NatStuCo member information is up to date. Log in and check your account today.

 

Important Dates
June
25–27 National Student Council Conference, Plymouth, MN
30 Affiliation renewal due
30 Annual adviser survey closes
August
Mid-month  National Council of Excellence application opens

 

In the Latest Advise
Looking for advice on how to support your student activists? The cover feature of the June issue of Advise discusses why students are drawn to activism and advocacy and what an adviser’s role is in guiding them. Also, get tips from a roundtable on giving and getting feedback. Read this or any issue online all summer long.

Tell us your story! If you’d like to contribute an article to Advise, email advise@nassp.org for submission guidelines and the latest editorial calendar.

Stay Connected!
Follow us on social media for the latest National Student Council news.
Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Instagram

 

 

NatStuCo E-Bulletin: May 2018

Your complete rundown of NatStuCo news and activities.   Display issues? View this email online.  

MAY 2018

PROJECTS OF EXCELLENCE

There are more than 6,000 project ideas available at your fingertips! Browse the National Student Project Database on the NatStuCo website for ideas from other schools and to submit your own successful projects.

 

Induction Ceremony—All Council Executives
Mililani High School, Mililani, HI

Toward the end of the school year, this council hosts the ACE (All Council Executives) Induction Ceremony, an annual semi-formal dinner and ceremony. The purpose is to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the council throughout the past school year and pass on the torch by inducting the next school year’s officers.

LEARN MORE

Welcome

Buick Drive for Your Students
Frank W. Cox High School, Virginia Beach, VA

This council worked with PTSA to plan an event at their high school that would result in a donation from Buick. The car company had reached out to Cox High School about wanting to donate up to $10,000 just by having people test drive their vehicles, and the council immediately got to work.

LEARN MORE

 

Top News

Welcome

2018 Adviser Survey Open

Please complete the 2018 adviser survey now. Your responses help NatStuCo staff learn about current adviser perspectives, challenges, and council accomplishments. Upon completion, you will receive a code for a 20 percent discount in the NatStuCo online store.

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE

Welcome

Conference Registration Reminder

Delegate numbers are growing for the 2018 National Student Council Conference. Don’t let your student leaders miss the opportunity to participate in this amazing leadership event. Registration is open through June 8.

REGISTER YOUR COUNCIL DELEGATES

Welcome

National Conference Presenter Applications still being accepted

Students and advisers interested in leading a workshop or seminar at the 2018 National Student Council Conference are invited to submit online applications through May 18. Start your application to present today!

START YOUR APPLICATION TODAY

 

Welcome

For Your Graduating Seniors

Do you have seniors working toward becoming Distinguished Student Leaders? Make sure they submit all materials early enough to be received by NatStuCo prior to their graduation dates. Students can submit materials electronically.

LEARN MORE

 

Welcome

Initiative’s Impact Reported

In 2016, NASSP Student Programs introduced its Student Leadership Initiative: Global Citizenship. A report documenting the initiative’s first year of activity has been released.

READ THE REMARKABLE REPORT

 

Welcome

Time to Renew

As the school year opened, National Student Council launched a fresh look and host of new programs. Throughout the year, we have continually rolled out programs and services. Renew your NatStuCo affiliation before June 30 so that you and your council leaders stay connected.

RENEW HERE

 

Welcome

Top Volunteers Named

Ten national honorees have been named in The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program during an event in Washington, D.C., April 28–May 1. Learn more about the awardees and their noteworthy service projects.

MEET THE HONOREES

 

Welcome

NatStuCo Explores Careers

Student council alumni are sharing their wisdom, experiences, and stories in the new NatStuCo Career Exploration Series. Make time for your student leaders to hear how their predecessors use their student council skills in their current jobs.

WATCH THE EPISODES

 

Welcome

LEAD Orlando Save the Date

The only thing better than learning about leadership is experiencing it. Join fellow advisers and student leaders in Orlando this November at the next LEAD Conference. Registration opens June 4.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

 

Awards and Recognition

2018 National Councils of Excellence Announced

Congratulations to the more than 250 2018 National Councils and National Gold Councils of Excellence award winners! Winners met NatStuCo standards and demonstrated consistent, exemplary council programs. Check out the list and learn how your student council can earn national recognition next year. SEE THE WINNERS

Trending in the Adviser Online Community

As the end of the school year approaches, what does your council do to celebrate the year? I am always looking for new and exciting ideas to celebrate the council’s achievements over the year. Right now, we hold a banquet that begins with a potluck dinner for all of our members and their families.

Thinking about end-of-year activities with your council? Get ideas. Log in to join this and other conversations or post one of your own right now in the new Adviser Online Community.

Student Council Tips and Tools

The month of May brings the final flurry of activities for student councils with elections, installations, and traditional end-of-year events. In spite of hectic days ahead, it is important for advisers and student leaders to plan for the coming transitions in the council. Seniors are graduating, eighth graders are moving up to high school, new officers are stepping in, and in some cases, advisers are leaving. All these changes will impact the council in the coming year, but that impact can be minimized with preparation.

Start with the officers. Visit the “Council Operations” section in the Adviser Resource Center to find an officer transition and end-of-year checklist that will help you identify many of the actions to consider to effectively transition your new officer team into their roles. Log in today.

 

Important Dates
May
Annual adviser survey open
June
8 Registration closes for the National Student Council Conference
25–27 National Student Council Conference, Plymouth, MN
30 Affiliation renewal due
30 Annual adviser survey closes
August
25–27 National Councils of Excellence application opens

 

In the Latest Advise
Want sage advice from two of the best? The cover feature of the April/May edition of Advise provides the wisdom of the 2017 Shull Adviser of the Year winners. Plus, don’t forget to tear out and share the centerfold with students. It’s called “Participation Station” and it’s all about the career journey. Read the issue online.

Tell us your story! If you’d like to contribute an article to Advise, view the editorial calendar and send your ideas to advise@nassp.org.

Stay Connected!
Follow us on social media for the latest National Student Council news.
Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Instagram

 

 

Navigating the Path to Great Student Leadership

“Leadership ain’t for the lame, don’t take it in vain

Time to rethink your position, understand why you came.”

I often recite these two lines from a poem I wrote on leadership when I speak to student leaders around the world. I share this quote to underscore two points. First, leadership is not for everyone. Though everyone can be a leader, leadership is a calling that few people answer and, therefore, it must be carefully considered. Second, leaders must always be thinking about why they chose to be a leader, and whether they still have the capacity or even the desire to lead. In today’s political climate, these two points are more important than ever for student leaders.

Donald Trump’s presidency has not only shaken up our system of government, but it has also had an impact on every aspect of our society, even schools. Some students feel that they have a leader in office who can speak for them in ways that President Obama could not (or didn’t). Others believe that President Trump’s rhetoric makes them less safe in school. It requires students to evaluate whether or not they are built for the task of leadership today.

I challenge student leaders to jump headfirst into whatever challenges their schools are facing. The example of America’s political climate is on the more extreme side of challenges student leaders may face in school, but there are a multitude of other challenges that students face, from cafeteria food and infrastructure to curriculum and school climate. Regardless of the issues, I advocate four simple steps that student leaders can implement to help them better navigate these issues. These four principles—give, release, overcome, and win—stem from my book G.R.O.W. Towards Your Greatness! 10 Steps to Living Your Best Life. 

Give

First, students must review the quality and quantity of their giving. Student leaders cannot be self-absorbed and only concerned with the title of leadership as a résumé builder for their college applications. Their elected position (in many cases) means they must remember that they represent their constituents, even those who did not vote for them. To that end, encourage your student leaders to be giving of their attention to all students in their school. Emphasize that student leaders need to be able to do more listening than talking to really understand what is transpiring in their school, and they must be willing to give of their time to lead the effort toward effective change. As the old adage goes, we have two ears and one mouth, and we should use them in proportion.

National Student Leadership Week (NSLW)—which happens April 15–21 this year-provides an easy way to jump-start your group. As part of NSLW, student councils and chapters of NHS and NJHS are encouraged to plan a special project to show how student leaders positively impact the school and community. For ideas, browse the National Student Project Database, which offers thousands of project and activity ideas completed by Honor Society chapters and student councils. 

Release

Student leaders need to let go of any hatred (or even a simple bias) they may have toward certain groups. I study leadership across the globe, and I’ve examined the practices of leaders including corporate CEOs and national leaders. I have seen situations where someone becomes a CEO and actively works to undermine particular departments they simply do not like. I have seen situations where someone becomes president of a country and exacts revenge on the ethnic group they view as their oppressor. I encourage student leaders to practice forgiveness and inclusivity, similar to what former South African President Nelson Mandela did. Upon his release from 27 years in prison, Mandela went to visit the homes of his former prison guards to express forgiveness. 

Once students release negative biases, they can work toward a second step of “release”–releasing people around them who no longer represent where they want to go as a leader. I tell leaders that they are a direct reflection of their five closest friends. If their friends are racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, sexist, petty, passive-aggressive, or express other biases, chances are the leaders are as well. Student leaders must associate themselves with people who represent not where they are, but where they want to go. 

Also, especially in this world of social media, student leaders need to understand that they must be careful with their “friends” and what they post on social media because colleges and potential employers can view these sites to gain information about the student. An article titled “Social Media Trends in College Admissions: What to Know for 2017” on educational consultant site Ivywise.com shared results from a Kaplan Test Prep 2016 survey of nearly 400 college admissions officers across the U.S. It found that “37 percent of admission officers have found things online that could negatively affect an applicant-mostly illegal activity like underage drinking, other criminal offenses, or inappropriate posts or behavior.” As an alternative, “Keep your profiles clean and use them to highlight your activities and interests,” notes the article. 

Overcome

Student leaders must overcome their fears, as this feeling keeps people from thinking clearly. Students must be guided by their goals and their vision—not their anxieties. One cannot serve effectively if they are governed by worry or distress. Fear can keep students from even attempting to start a program because they’re concerned about what people will think.

Author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said that fear simply means “False Evidence Appearing Real.” This means that most of the issues people worry about will not happen, so instead they should focus on working daily toward their goals. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, is it right?” Student leaders must acknowledge the fear they may feel, but focus more on what is right. Leadership can be a daunting task, but it is a task worth pursuing if student leaders are truly interested in serving their communities.

Win

Student leaders must believe they will win. While this is easy to say and embrace in theory, students will likely need to be reminded that some of the changes they seek in their school may not occur during their tenure as a student leader. Remind students that at one point their school may not have allowed women or students of color, but people fought for the right to attend those schools—even though some fighters for equality never got that opportunity themselves. In this age of instant gratification, student leaders must practice patience; change does not happen overnight. Some Native American communities believe that they should consider how their actions will affect people in seven generations, and that’s the kind of mindset strong leaders should adopt. 

Grow!

At the end of the day, if students look at how they give, release, overcome, and win, they can become effective leaders for their school community. Encourage your students to use these four steps to evaluate their position in leadership; they will better understand the serious job they have as leaders in their school. Whether it is the National Honor Society or student council or any other form of leadership, it comes with the unwritten understanding that students realize the great responsibility of the leadership roles they have undertaken. 

As advisers, you can be the ones who help them along with this process. Your experiences as educators and leaders in your own environments can greatly aid students in their development. Consider taking your group to a conference (like a LEAD Conference) to get student leaders immersed in national discussions, and to help empower them to be strong leaders. I fully believe that with your guidance, our student leaders of today can continue on their path to the greatness that we know is inside of them. 


Omékongo Dibinga, PhD, is a motivational speaker, author, rapper, and professor of cross-cultural communication at American University in Washington, D.C. He conducts training for teachers as well as students on issues related to cultural competency, diversity, and leadership. 


Jump-Starting Leadership

The theme for the 2018 National Student Leadership Week (NSLW) is “Make Your Mark on the World: Dream. Lead. Serve.” The national office of NatStuCo, NHS, and NJHS has sponsored NSLW since 1972. This year, the national office is challenging student leaders to really take this theme to heart. Rather than reporting what they have been doing, the national office wants them to share what they want to do. What is their dream? Have your students pitch an idea for a great activity or event for your school or community, or share how they’d like to add a new twist to a traditional event. If their pitch grabs the judges’ attention and explains why this activity or event is needed or beneficial for your school or community, NHS, NJHS, and NatStuCo may help fund it! 

Several $250 micro-grants will be awarded to councils and chapters to assist in funding these projects, activities, events, and ideas. Create and share your pitch on social media with #OurDream18. Visit the NSLW webpages for more details and contest instructions: www.NatStuCo.org/nslw, www.nhs.us/nslw, or www.njhs.us/nslw

Need an Idea? Share an Idea.

The National Student Project Database

Morning Announcements: April/May 2018

Making Dreams Come True

How are you celebrating National Student Leadership Week (NSLW)? It’s April 15–21, and it’s every school’s chance to honor the important role of student leaders in boosting the climate and culture of their schools and communities. This year’s theme is “Make Your Mark on the World: Dream. Lead. Serve.” Have you heard about the contest? Think about your “dream” service project, like starting a community garden or staging a concert as a fundraiser for a school improvement need. Then, shoot a video, design a poster, or even record a song—use your imagination to creatively communicate a pitch about that “dream” project and how you’d use a cash prize to help fund its implementation. Just post your pitch on social media using #OurDream18, and complete the entry form available now through April 30 at www.NatStuCo.org/nslw, www.nhs.us/nslw, or www.njhs.us/nslw. Several councils and chapters that present the most persuasive pitches will each win $250 in seed money to fund their project. Visit the webpages for contest rules. We look forward to helping you make your dreams come true.

$avings MaNia

Headed to the National Student Council Conference at Wayzata High School near Minneapolis, MN? Want to save some money? Register by April 20 to save $30 per person. Then, get ready for three days of incredible energy and inspiration from speakers and workshop presenters. You’ll get to see Kat Perkins, contestant from “The Voice” season 6, and Monte Shelby, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and recording artist. Attending the conference is the perfect way to prepare your rising student leaders for their roles in the 2018–19 school year. Our theme is Leadership MaNia. See www.NatStuCoConference.org for complete information.

Your College Search Starts Here

Are your NHS and NJHS members looking for a comprehensive approach to the entire college search process? The National Honor Societies present the final college admission planning webinar of this academic year, “Getting Started With Your College Search,” on Wednesday, April 18. These webinars are exclusively for NHS and NJHS student members and their parents. Presenters will prepare viewers for developing a college wish list, researching schools, and meeting with admissions officers. Application preparation tips will also be shared. Registration for this webinar, as well as access to all archived videos available for on-demand viewing, can be found at www.nhs.us/webinars or www.njhs.us/webinars. Remind students to watch any day, any time, at their convenience.

I Want to Be …

New videos are continuously being added to the virtual library of National Student Council’s Career Exploration series. Share the series with your council members, who will get an idea of the career paths taken by former student leaders on their journey. The series can be accessed from the NatStuCo home page at www.NatStuCo.org or in the Online Learning section of the Adviser Resource Center. Students will need your adviser log-in credentials to access the series. Be sure to provide them with your information so they can watch videos at their leisure.

It’s That Time of Year

Every spring, two pieces of housekeeping surface for you as an adviser: The annual adviser survey opens in mid-April, and chapter/council affiliation renewal notices are sent to you and your principal. The survey seeks important information about your council’s and chapter’s activities, including the hours logged by your students in community or school service, as well as any money collected in fundraisers and food or blood donated during collection drives. Watch for a link to the survey sent via email; a link will also be available on the websites (www.NatStuCo.org, www.nhs.us, www.njhs.us) and in your Adviser Online Community. The statistics often tell a powerful story about the impact of councils and chapters. The data also helps the national office in its ongoing quest to forge relationships with organizations that can enrich the experience of your student leaders. Please complete the survey and renew your affiliation by June 30.

Dates to Remember

APRIL

Advisers and principals notified about affiliation renewal

NHS/NJHS Rynearson National Adviser of the Year winners notified

April 1–30: National Student Leadership Week #OurDream18 contest open

April 9–13: National Assistant Principals Week

April 15: Kyker State Association Service Project Award program application deadline

April 15–21: National Student Leadership Week

April 18: NHS/NJHS college admission planning webinar “Getting Started With Your College Search.” See www.nhs.us/webinars or www.njhs.us/webinars to register.

April 20: Early-bird registration deadline for the National Student Council Conference

MAY

Annual adviser survey open

NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award honorees notified

NHS Scholarship recipients notified

JUNE

Kyker State Association Service Project Award winner(s) notified

Warren E. Shull NatStuCo Adviser of the Year winners announced at the National Student Council Conference

June 25–27: National Student Council Conference, Wayzata High School, Plymouth, MN

June 30: National affiliation renewals due

June 30: Annual adviser survey responses due