Ms. Janet Young, student council adviser at Sioux City West High School in Sioux City, IA has been named the 2012 Warren E. Shull National High School Adviser of the Year. The award was presented to Ms. Young during the 2012 NASC National Conference that was held in Oklahoma City, OK in late June. The annual award is named for Warren E. Shull, the founder of NASC and recognizes high school student council advisers of exemplary character, leadership and commitment to young people and who foster their development as student leaders.

Ms. Young teaches math at Sioux City West HS and has been a student council adviser for 24 years. Her leadership and the work of her student council have been recognized at the local state and national levels. Under her tutelage, the SCWHS council has been very successful hosting a wide variety of activities focusing on service, school spirit, and student engagement. The council’s homecoming activities, blood drives, and dodge ball tournaments are favorite events of the students with each one having strong levels of involvement. During Ms. Young’s tenure as adviser, the blood drives have become so successful; the council now hosts four drives each school year, instead of just two as they did originally. The work of her council is reflected in its winning NASC National Gold Council of Excellence honors each year since 2007.

As Ms. Young’s experience and expertise in leadership and student council grew, she stepped beyond the school and became involved at the state level, assuming various roles in the Iowa Association of Student Councils (IASC). Ms. Young has presented multiple workshops at IASC conferences and has held leadership positions on the IASC board. In 2006, she cofounded a regional leadership conference for the Northwest area schools in Iowa, giving schools in that region of the state a more accessible event.

Amid her school and state obligations, Ms. Young has found time to be active in NASC too. She has been a regular attendee at the NASC National Conference since 1993 and has been a popular workshop presenter for both student and adviser sessions. She has also written a number of articles for Leadership for Student Activities magazine, including one that focuses on student councils working with autistic students. She has also served NASC as a member of the National Advisory Council, including one year as adult co-chair.

Ms. Young’s activities and involvement in education and service extend well beyond student leadership. She serves on the district math committee and coordinates the AMC math test each year. She is a Best Buddy adviser and recently attended the Project UNIFY conference which helped her lead the local Project UNIFY events.

Ms. Young’s skills as educator, adviser, and volunteer have not gone unnoticed. She has received accolades in all three areas including Outstanding Young American Award for contributions to society and the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. Ms. Young is also a past recipient of the Best Buddy State Adviser of the Year Award, and the Women of Excellence Award for her pursuit of truth and making a difference in the lives of her students.

When asked to reflect on the benefits that students derive from being in student council, Ms. Young says, “Student Council members grow as both individuals and leaders. They learn problem solving skills. Students learn how to organize their thoughts and plan a project or talk to an administrator about a proposed project. People skills are also learned and used. Student Council members must be responsible so they learn this skill if they don’t already have it. The biggest benefit they learn is simply leadership. They will use leadership skills whether they are stay at home parents or a CEO of a company. They also learn meeting skills such as parliamentary procedure.”

Ms. Young’s influence on her student leaders is evidenced in their reflections of their adviser. “Mrs. Young is always thinking ahead and constantly challenging her students to do more for our school and community. In her twenty four years as advisor, Mrs. Young has tackled almost every aspect of helping the school one can think of. She demonstrates her leadership by involving the entire council and at times the entire student body in everything she does; never leaving a student to feel out of place or uneasy. She constantly sets the bar by making an example of her character in her classes every day.”

For being a role model for her students, for stressing service and involvement as keystones of student council, and for contributing to the growth of student council at the state and national levels, NASC congratulates Ms. Janet Young on being named the 2012 Warren E. Shull National High School Adviser of the Year and wishes him continued success in his efforts to foster and develop leadership in his school and state.