2013 High School NASC Adviser of the Year

Kyle GordonMr. Kyle Gordon, student council adviser at Collinsville High School in Collinsville, IL has been named the 2013 Warren E. Shull National High School Adviser of the Year.  The award was presented to Mr. Gordon during the 2013 NASC National Conference that was held in Las Vegas, NV 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.

Mr. Gordon teaches history at CHS and has been a student council adviser for 12 years. His leadership and the work of his student council have been recognized at the local state and national levels. With over 400 members on the council it is one of the largest in the country. Under Mr. Gordon’s guidance, the Collinsville High School council has been very successful hosting a wide variety of activities focusing on service, school spirit, and student engagement.  A prime example is the annual Santa Visits Kreitner Elementary project in which the CHS council leads a toy collection for a local elementary where a very high number of the students are in need. Thanks to the CHS student leaders, every student at the school receives a toy, a treat bag, and a free meal at a local restaurant. In addition to service projects, the council also plans numerous others such as the popular Make a Pig of Yourself Contest to keep school spirit high and engage both students and faculty in the life of the school.

Ever the teacher, Mr. Gordon works to give his student leaders experiences that will instill the concept that learning never ends. This is reflected in his vision of the CHS student council as a conduit of opportunity. Mr. Gordon notes, “Participation in student council is open to anyone who wants to make a difference in their school and community. When students first join the student council, I view them like an unwritten book.  I get to sit back and watch them begin to write their own life story on those pages. I get to see what they did right, what they would do differently next time, what made them laugh and what they are most proud of.”

As Mr. Gordon’s experience and expertise in leadership and student council grew, it did not go unnoticed and soon he got involved at the state level assuming various roles in the Illinois Association of Student Councils (IASC) and since 2010 serving as associate director. Mr. Gordon has presented workshops at IASC conferences and held multiple leadership positions for the association including conference host, editor of the IASC newsletter, First Vice President, and Comptroller.

His work at the state level did not go unnoticed and Mr. Gordon has become a regular contributor to NASC programs and publications. In 2006, he created an officer training program that he continues to facilitate during the LEAD conferences and in 2005, he council hosted the NASC National Conference. Mr. Gordon shares his expertise of student leadership with NASC members through the articles and stories he’s had published in Leadership for Student Activities magazine.

Mr. Gordon’s excellence in advising student council is matched by his excellence in the classroom. In addition to his student council duties, Mr. Gordon serves on several key committees at his school including his lead role as chairman for the school improvement committee. Mr. Gordon was recognized for his work in education in 2011 when he was given the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. He was also a Walt Disney Teacher of the Year Nominee in 2004.

Those who work closely with Mr. Gordon reflect on his contributions and commitment to the school and students. Mr. Eric Flor, principal of Collinsville High School writes, “His work ethic and belief in the capabilities of our students are two attributes that separate him from other educators.  As our School Improvement Chair he (Mr. Gordon) has breathed new life into an area of our school that needed a helping hand. His leadership has led to school wide initiatives including increasing test scores and implementing a Character Education curriculum.”

Ryan Smith, president of the CHS student council speaks from having been a student in one of Mr. Gordon’s classes as well as a student leader. “I can honestly say that this one class (Freshman Civics) changed my entire outlook and future while in high school. Mr. Gordon inspired us to reach further and go farther than anyone ever had. He held us accountable for our action and in some instances, inaction. He pushed us to be the best we could and believed in us when others, including ourselves, often times did not. Mr. Gordon opened up our student council to anyone who wants to join. There are no requirements to be a part of it. You simply must want to take ownership in your school and give of yourself to others.”

For being a role model for his students, for stressing service and making a difference as key facets of being a student council leader, and for contributing to the growth of student council at the state and national levels, NASC congratulates Mr. Kyle Gordon on being named the 2013 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.