On March 4, members of the WHS Student Council attended the Massachusetts Association of Student Councils (MASC) Spring Conference in Hyannis, Mass. Students participated in workshops, attended award ceremonies and listened to motivational speeches. The conference featured workshops on leadership training, communication, event planning, organization and spirit.
“These three days are full of events, motivational speeches, workshops, awards and entertainment—and are a rewarding experience for any student leader. Attendees are trained in areas of leadership, allowed to network with students from across Massachusetts and celebrated as student leaders for their achievements throughout the year,” the MASC website stated.
In addition to training, students enjoyed a variety of entertainment including a semi-formal dance, swimming and a lip sync contest. The new election board is also announced during the conference.
“Some of the connections I’ve made through these events have become extremely meaningful relationships in my life and I am able to lean on these people as both friends and people to turn to with questions or inspiration for new student council events,” senior and Student Council member Justine Prophil said.
Along with workshops and training sessions, students also listened to two keynote speakers. Former NCAA All-American runner Eddie Slowiski spoke, as well as former NFL quarterback and army lieutenant Caleb Campbell. Campbell delivered a speech about staying true to oneself and persevering through difficult times, whereas Slowiski discussed the steps necessary to achieve a goal.
“The students this year really enjoyed Caleb, they thought he had a really powerful message,” Student Council advisor Kerry McMenimen said.
MASC also raised over $50,000 for the Special Olympics through participating in the Special Olympics polar plunge, Walpole specifically contributing $823. Students raised money for Special Olympics through online fundraisers and contributions and commemorated their donation by diving into the ocean. In addition to supporting this cause, the polar plunge is a memorable bonding moment for many councils and is something students look forward to each year. To continue the support for Special Olympics, Student Council members posted pictures from the polar plunge to generate more support and outreach from the Walpole community and beyond. This year is the seventh year that MASC has participated in the polar plunge.
“As a council we pride ourself on meaningful inclusion in our relationship with Special Olympics. Raising money and participating in the polar plunge is just another way we show our support for this amazing organization,” Prophil said.
The WHS Student Council was also recognized as a Gold Council of Excellence by MASC for their hard work and numerous events. WHS Student Council has hosted the Special Olympics bocce tournament the past two years, Fall SEMASC conference, environmental clean ups, Toys for Tots fundraisers, pep rallies, dances and other school wide events in order to achieve the gold recognition from MASC. This is the eighth consecutive year that they have received this award after attending MASC for ten years. In order to be considered for the gold standard, students create a binder outlining the events they have hosted, community outreach and how they plan on improving the council.
“I think it just shows how the student council has continued to maintain a certain standard, whether we are doing things in the school or in the community, the expectations are always high,” McMenimen said.