For Second Consecutive Year, Student Council Wins Gold Award

Student Council members pose for a picture at MASC.

Student Council members pose for a picture at MASC.

Brianna Conley

Student Council members pose for a picture at MASC.
Student Council members pose for a picture at MASC.

Each year, representatives from the Walpole High School Student Council— along with other student councils across the state— attend the annual Massachusetts Association of Student Councils (M.A.S.C.) conference. Held from March 5 to March 8 at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center, this year’s M.A.S.C featured workshops, public speakers, the traditional semi-formal dance, and a customary award ceremony to close the conference. Winning big at the three-day event,Walpole StuCo took home a total of three awards and was named one of the top councils in the state.

In the spirit of the XXII Winter Games, the theme of this year’s conference was deemed “The Olympics.” Upon arriving at the conference, council members listed to M.A.S.C president Jacqui Manning explain how the athletes in the Olympics are true examples of what it means to be a leader. The theme was carried throughout the three-day span of the conference, for most speeches and workshops concentrated on the the recurring theme.

Additionally, the Special Olympics was also incorporated into the conference, as many councils participated in a fundraising opportunity called the polar plunge—an event in which students run into the freezing ocean before quickly turning around to run back to shore. Held in order to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics, this event also helped to shed light on the efforts of the “spread the word to end the word” organization. From the polar plunge alone, M.A.S.C. raised a total of $10,000 for donation to the Special Olympics.

Two “Keynote Speakers” agreed to talk at the conference, both of whom spoke about the importance of leadership in one’s life. The first speaker, Bill Cordes, spoke about leadership as well as the importance of good decision making in one’s life. The slogan of his speech, “YOGOWYPI” (You Only Get What You Put In), aimed at encouraging delegates to try their hardest in all endeavors and to continue living as good leaders. The second speaker, John Beede, highlighted the effectiveness of developing goal-setting skills. A successful mountain climber, Beede connected many aspects of life to the rush of one’s emotions when trying to reach the peak of a mountain.

Junior representative and conference attendee Junior Kody McCann said, “John Beade’s speech was very influential and had a great impact on me. His story was expressed in a way that made it relatable to each and every person.”

Delegates attended a total of four workshops throughout the three days. These workshops posed opportunities to meet and work with students from different councils. Additionally, workshops focused primarily on the importance leadership can have on a school and community.  Senior Matt Brownsword said, “At a workshop I attended, I learned about the value of teamwork in problem solving as it relates to student council.  The things I learned in the workshop will definitely help to improve our own council.”

On the last day of the conference, the WHS Student Council received three awards during the awards ceremony, the first of which was an individual award. This award was specifically given to senior Ashley Waldron for her entry in the M.A.S.C. cover design contest— a piece that was chosen as the cover for the M.A.S.C. pamphlets  disseminated at the conference to all students and advisors.

Student Council President, Jack Stedman, accepts the council's Gold Council of Excellence Award
Student Council President, Jack Stedman, accepts the council’s Gold Council of Excellence Award

The other two awards the WHS Student Council received acknowledged the council’s work and achievements over the past year.  One award was the Top Ten Project Award, which is awarded to councils that have submitted one of the ten most outstanding projects of the year. Specifically, this award was given to the WHS council for the Rebel Showcase held last spring to bring the Walpole community  together for a talent show and to promote the various clubs throughout the school. The final award Walpole received was the M.A.S.C. Gold Council of Excellence award— an award which Walpole received for the second year in a row. This honor is presented to councils that a judging committee deems to be some of the most outstanding in the state.

Walpole Student Council advisor, Ms. Kerry McMenimen, was very pleased by the awards received by the council.  McMenimen said, “This years Executive Board has continued to push the program in a positive direction, and it has especially done a great job in creating new, unique events that have been successful for our school and council.”

After a successful M.A.S.C. conference, Walpole High School Student Council hopes to plan new events from the ideas and recommendations given by other councils. Although StuCo will be graduating many leaders at the end of the year, the council will continue to strive to maintain its status as a Gold Council of Excellence in the years to come.