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A new generation of leaders at Eldred high school

Eldred Junior-Senior High School Student Council members seen here are, in the top row, Vice President Helen Sherwood, left, Julia Kehrley, Melissa McMonagle, Joseph Potter, President Griffin Major and advisor Lizbeth Stringer. In the front row are Treasurer Catherine Nicholson, Julia Foster, Kassandra Weatherly, Hannah Mayr and Secretary Samantha Laput. Missing from the photo are Patrick Kinney and Brianna Terry.
Contributed photo

By GRIFFIN MAJOR
March 16, 2016

The student council at the Eldred Junior-Senior High School has become extremely involved in the day-to-day workings of the school, changing the way the school functions. From its founding in 2013, it has provided leadership by organizing meetings and engaging in student and community issues and volunteer work, as well as by the members simply being good citizens and role models.

It is only student council’s third year of its existence, and during that time it has made a determined effort to improve the overall experience for Eldred’s students in a way that hasn’t been seen for a long time. This year, the council has sought to reinvigorate school spirit and pride in Eldred’s high school.

In pursuit of this goal, members Samantha Laput, Helen Sherwood, Kassandra Weatherly and Griffin Major scheduled a visit to Port Jervis High School in December to interact with and learn from their peers in student government there. Port Jervis has succeeded in generating a high level of pride in its school among faculty and students, and the goal of the Eldred student council was to find out how they have done that. Council members were privileged to ask Port Jervis students questions, take notes and look into all of the factors that play into Port Jervis’s success.

In order to foster a sense of pride and community following that visit, the council has begun mural painting, distributed awards to outstanding students, and has increased involvement in the community through volunteer work and projects. The momentum that has been generated from bringing these small—but effective—changes back to Eldred from Port Jervis has paved the way for many other achievements. Aside from acting as a liaison bringing student concerns to the faculty and administration, the council has taken part in the Eldred Hall of Fame nominations, assisted in the reinstatement of the senior-seventh grade mentor program, proposed new code-of-conduct amendments, and continued to inform the public at board of education meetings via up-to-date reports about its activities.