Jamie Pascua, coach and student council adviser at Sandy Valley School in Sandy Valley, NV, has been named the 2019 Warren E. Shull National Middle Level Adviser of the Year. Pascua was announced and presented with the award during the National Student Council Conference held in McDonald, PA, in June 2019. The annual award is named for Warren E. Shull, the founder of National Student Council and recognizes middle level student council advisers of exemplary character, leadership and commitment to young people and who foster their development as student leaders.
Pascua has advised the student council for 17 years. During that time, she has helped her young leaders grow by fostering their efforts to plan and implement a wide variety of events and charitable projects that support the school and community. Her support and guidance of her council during those and other council activities brought growth to both students and adviser as Pasqua notes that, “A lesson I have learned is a student leader’s potential is not based on my vision, but instead based on the discovery each student leader makes on their personal path to leadership. I have had to learn that student leaders come in a variety of packages—age, ethnicity, maturity, and experiences outside the classroom—and each of these things impacts both how student leaders view their own potential and how they perform as a leader.”
As a preK–12 school, Sandy Valley maintains separate middle level and high school student councils. Eight years ago, Pascua accepted the challenge to be adviser for both groups. In addition to her educator role and her adviser responsibilities, she also coaches the middle level and varsity basketball teams and varsity softball and was recently honored as the NIAA Division 1A Coach of the Year for women’s basketball.
Pascua’s teaching and leadership skills have not gone unnoticed. She is actively involved with the Nevada Association of Student Councils (NASC) taking on roles from senior counselor at state and regional workshops to regularly presenting a the NASC conferences. Pascua has been honored twice as the state middle level adviser of the year. She is also active at the national level as a regular attendee and presenter at the National Student Council Conference and LEAD Conferences, and her student council was recognized this spring for earning the National Gold Council of Excellence Award for their 10th year. Pascua has shared her expertise with fellow NatStuCo advisers as a contributor to Advise magazine and as a former member of the NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Council.
Sandy Ginger, executive director of the Nevada Association of Student Councils, writes, “Simply put, Jamie believes in kids! Hardworking, loyal, fun-loving, and persistent, Pascua has changed the students of the school while creating a climate and culture where each student believes in their own potential—in the classroom, in the community, and in their future. Under Jamie’s guidance, the student council has consistently grown in numbers as evidenced by the increased involvement in school, community, and state activities.”
Of Pascua, Dawna Alexander, principal of Sandy Valley School says, “If you were to evaluate all student council advisers in three categories—good, better, best—I believe you would need to add a new level of category in order to fully evaluate Jamie Pascua. As the SVMS adviser, she takes the slogan ‘Dude, Be Nice’ to an entirely different level by creating life-long relationships with her students. She is the real deal, not only for our Sandy Valley school community, but also for the Nevada Association of Student Councils, and the National Student Council.”
Enrique Lovato, the 2017–2018 middle level student body president and current member on the Sandy Valley high school council reflects, “One thing that I think especially makes Jamie unique and amazing is her style of being an adviser. She pushes us to be independent leaders and thinkers, even as middle school students. She encourages us too not only think of ideas, but also think of ways to make them happen. She realizes that with each student, a different kind of leader will emerge, and she does not want to have to fit everyone to the same mold.”
For her efforts to help emerging leaders find their potential and for guiding a student council program that fosters student engagement and service to build a positive school atmosphere, National Student Council proudly recognizes Jamie Pascua as the 2019 Warren E. Shull National Middle Level Adviser of the Year.