Mr. Chad Rizner, student council adviser at Jefferson City High School in Jefferson City, Missouri has been named the 2017 Warren E. Shull National High School Adviser of the Year. The award was presented to Mr. Rizner during the 2017 NatStuCo National Conference that was held in Derry, New Hampshire in late June. The annual award is named for Warren E. Shull, the founder of NatStuCo 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. Rizner is a sociology and leadership teacher at Jefferson City and has served as student council adviser there for seven years. Under his tutelage, the student council successfully transformed their activities to involve the community, improve school climate, and address the needs of local families through service. One example was combining homecoming events in ways that made them more inviting to the community and alumni. To show support for those who serve the country, the council created a Salute to service week made up of five parts including a gratitude video and a community service project. Proceeds from t-shirt sales for the week are used to support veteran groups such as Honor Flight. Other projects like their senior prom serve unique populations within the community. The council annually volunteers with Special Olympics and host a Halloween night for children of local families who need a safe place for trick-or-treating.
Mr. Rizner guided the council as it created a Community Leaders Breakfast. This civic-based project brings school, city, county and state elected officials together for a meal catered by the school’s culinary arts program. Outreach of the council has also led to coordinating a district initiative where Mr. Rizner and his leaders mentor student council members and advisers in the middle schools to help them develop stronger council programs.
Becoming student council adviser was a natural step for Mr. Rizner who was a student leader who was active in the MASC serving as a junior counselor, and now today as an adult counselor. He also serves on the MASC Board and in various other staffing roles for the state association. He has been a regular attendee at MASC state conferences, first as a student delegate and in recent years has taken on responsibilities and leadership for different aspects of the annual event.
Mr. Rizner’s first experience with NatStuCo was as a student delegate at the 1989 national conference in Chicago. He has returned since as an adviser to both the national conference and to several LEAD conferences. In addition to his council garnering NatStuCo National Council of the Year honors, Mr. Rizner himself has been recognized by the state association at the district and state levels as adviser of the year. He was a finalist for district teacher of the year in 2015 and in 2016, Mr. Rizner was named a VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher by the local Post.
Of Mr. Rizner, Robert James, principal of Jefferson City High School says, “Mr. Rizner’s leadership and service have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to Jefferson City High School, its students, its staff, and our community; he works tirelessly in his efforts to promote Jay Pride and culture through his advisory leadership and his commitment and service to our campus and staff. He is the perfect model of character for our Jays; he is caring, honest, reliable, hardworking, humble, and most of all perseverant; not all of our Jas are ‘easy’ but Mr. Rizner loves them all and it shows. His students actively recruit others to participate and become productive members of STUCO and our community – welcoming all-comers. His students are the very best role models that we have on campus; obviously demonstrating the outstanding character traits that Mr. Rizner promotes within the STUCO program.”
The 2016-2017 Student Body President at JCHS, Carson Ridgeway echoes Mr. James noting that, “Coach Rizner will do anything for members of our student council, from writing countless recommendations to driving an hour to help with a broken-down car. He has taught all of us many leadership and life lessons. Our community embraces the idea of ‘Jay Pride,’ which includes doing every task, big or small, with ‘gusto’ and ensuring a job well done. Coach Rizner lives by this idea and is the embodiment of Jay Pride.
For being a role model and encouraging student leaders to reach out and help others, and for a commitment to instilling qualities of exemplary leadership and service in his student council, NatStuCo congratulates Mr. Chad Rizner on being named the 2017 Warren E. Shull National High School Adviser of the Year and wishes him continued success in his efforts to develop student council leaders.
NatStuCo congratulates our 2017 National Adviser of the Year Region Finalists who consistently demonstrate excellence in their efforts to help middle level and high school students grow as effective and ethical leaders. Each finalist is a skilled educator who epitomizes the commitment advisers make to promote leadership, service, and civic engagement as qualities of good citizens through their student council programs.
Jeff Kusniez, Boyertown Area Senior High, Boyertown, PA
Tracy Todd, Easley High School, Easley, SC
Kyrie Nehls, Millard South High School, Omaha, NE
Chad Rizner, Jefferson City High School, Jefferson City, MO
Jimmy Gleich, Bishop Manogue High School, Reno, NV
Antoinette Hernandez, Klein Forest High School, Houston, TX