2014 Middle Level NASC Adviser of the Year

James KramerMr. James Kramer, student council adviser at Indian Mound Middle School has been named the 2014 Warren E. Shull National Middle Level Adviser of the year by the National Association of Student Councils. Mr. Kramer was announced and presented with the award during the NASC National Conference held in Orlando, Florida in late June.  The annual award is named for Warren E. Shull, the founder of NASC and recognizes middle level student council advisers of exemplary character, leadership and commitment to young people and who foster their development as student leaders.

During his tenure as adviser at Indian Mound Middle School, Mr. Kramer has worked to help his students develop as leaders through their planning and running of student council activities and events with a goal of having a positive impact on the school climate. To accomplish this, he explains that council activities center around five areas – school/students, service, staff appreciation, senior citizens, and student council.

The five areas of emphasis are reflected in the variety of projects that the Indian Mound student council plans and sponsors, from spirit building dress-up days and staff appreciation activities to reaching out to senior citizens in the community to help them celebrate birthdays or do light chores.  The council has supported both local and national charity organizations through their projects that have ranged from a walk-a-thon for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and a Coats for Kids clothing drive to a Hoops for Heart tournament to benefit the American Heart Association.  Mr. Kramer also challenges his students to explore global issues, which led to the student council hosting projects to raise funds for disaster relief in Japan and the Philippines.

Since 2005, the student council has hosted four successful regional leadership conferences with each one drawing nearly 500 student and adviser attendees. According to Mr. Kramer students used many leadership skills to coordinate and host those events.

Mr. Kramer’s leadership and success in developing student leaders has not gone unnoticed at the state level. He has been active in the Wisconsin Association of School Councils, serving in multiple roles including workshop presenter, leadership camp counselor, and as a member of the WASC Governing Board. For a period of time, he also held the position of Regional Adviser, a role through which he credits for giving him the opportunity to learn more about the state association and the chance to plan and host regional conferences. For his work at the state level, Mr. Kramer has been recognized by the Wisconsin Association of School Councils as the WASC Regional Adviser of the Year in 2011, Meritorious Member in 2010, and this year as the Wisconsin Shull nominee. He has also been recognized by the American Legion for his work with their 8th grade award.

On the national level, Mr. Kramer has been a contributing author for Leadership for Student Activities magazine. His most recent article, Fun Fund Raising Activities appeared in the January 2014 issue. Mr. Kramer has represented his profession as an Executive Board member and officer of the McFarland Federation of Teachers, representing his peers on a variety of issues and topics.

From students to staff, Mr. Kramer makes a lasting impression on those around him as is illustrated by Indian Mound Student Council President Morgan Richter’s comments. Morgan says, “I do not think I would have run for an officer’s position if it were not for Mr. Kramer’s support and encouragement. He really gets the students involved and tries to bring out the best in them. He reached out to me and made me think I could make a difference in my school and community.”  She also noted, “Another thing I really appreciate about Mr. Kramer is that he’s very available and organized. He always checks in with us throughout the day to make sure we have what we need for projects, give us information about a field trip or activity, remind us about a meeting, and whatever else is going on.” 

WASC Executive Director Michelle McGrath shared that “Jim (Kramer) is a team player and works tirelessly to serve student leaders on a community and state level. Jim has developed an excellent student council and leadership program in McFarland. Without question, his involvement and contributions have helped to develop and maintain very viable student council organizations, locally, regionally, and in the state of Wisconsin. Jim has taken on numerous leadership roles in WASC programs and he is always willing to help out when asked.”

For his efforts to develop emerging leaders and for creating an effective student council framework that fosters student engagement and growth, NASC congratulates Mr. James Kramer on being named the 2014 Warren E. Shull National Middle Level Adviser of the Year, and wishes him continued success in his efforts to promote the value of student council for middle level schools.