Jackie Reilly Leads Student Council to Success

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Student Council’s Publicity Coordinator poses in front of the Student Council bulletin board.

Karalyn Kickham

Student Council's Publicity Coordinator poses in front of the Student Council bulletin board.

 

Dance Company, National Honors Society, Peer Ministry, Best Buddies, volunteer work, homework, friends, and family. This seems like a lot to handle, but not for senior Jackie Reilly, who is also a prominent member of Student Council as the Publicity Coordinator, where she has contributed to increasing awareness of the Council’s events and ideas. This year, Jackie has helped make Walpole Student Council more well-known by entering a design in the MASC 2012 Program Design Cover Contest, and winning.

All of these commitments put together are a lot to handle and Jackie is constantly moving from one place to the next. To give a better idea, Jackie said, “When you fill out college applications via the Common App, they give you ten spaces for activities. I had to attach a separate resume because I exceeded ten.” Members of Student Council say that they have fun, but there is so much behind-the-scenes work that goes into making each project and event successful. As a Student Council Officer, Jackie, along with the four other Student Council Officers, has a study dedicated just to Student Council work. The officers often stay late after school to prepare for events. Jackie said, “I spend more hours at school than I do my own house.”

Even when Jackie can finally head home, the work seems to follow her. Jackie’s job as Publicity Coordinator requires that she run all of Student Council’s online accounts, such as the Facebook page, Twitter account, and web page. She keeps tabs on who visits the page and what posts have the most views, which helps increase publicity. Jackie is also Student Council’s photographer. She takes, edits, and posts pictures from all of the events Student Council participates in and runs. Although this is a tremendous amount of work, Jackie said, “None of the work I do for Student Council feels like work because I love doing it.”

So far, all of Jackie’s hard work has paid off. During her junior year, Jackie was awarded the “Unsung Hero” award at a SEMASC Spring Conference. Walpole Student Council has become more well-known recently within MASC and SEMASC, which are Student Council organizations across the state. WHS Student Council will even be hosting next fall’s Regional Conference here at Walpole High School. Not only has Student Council become stronger and more organized with regional participation, but also within our school. Jackie said, “I think people are finally starting to see we might be more than a group of kids with really cool tee-shirts.” Jackie’s contribution of hyping up the Council’s ideas through social networking has had a great effect.

A major contribution to Student Council’s success this year is the addition of class officers to Student Council. The amount of representatives per grade has also increased, and the Council grew from 40 to 60 people. With so many students on the Council, more ideas have been shared and more action has been taken to make a difference within the school.

Jackie’s reasoning for joining Student Council was not to make her resume look better, like most students normally do. Jackie used to be a cheerleader for both Walpole and a Nationally Competitive All-Star Team. Her entire life revolved around cheerleading, until she suffered a major back injury her freshman year that forced her to give up cheering forever. To keep her mind off never being able to cheer again, Jackie decided she would join Student Council her sophomore year as a distraction from her unfortunate injury. She said, “It is funny how things work out because now Student Council is my way of life.”

Once Jackie became a member of Student Council her perspective completely changed; she loved it. Of course, along with the events Student Council participates in, Jackie is also extremely fond of Ms. McMenimen (Ms. Mac), the Student Council advisor. Much like Jackie, Ms. Mac has a tight schedule being the advisor to 61 students, an English teacher, a lacrosse coach, and a tutor. Jackie said, “Ms. Mac is one of those rare people who you meet in life. I believe a real teacher teaches you about something beyond the classroom— they teach you about life, about yourself.”

With leaders like Jackie on the Council, work gets done efficiently. Although Student Council is time consuming for her, all the time and effort she puts in to it pays off, from winning awards and contests to hosting a Regional Conference.  Jackie described her experience and memories from Student Council as “Life-changing.”