On, March 26, Walpole High School’s Student Council’s (StuCo) Executive Board and officers gathered in the auditorium to award Ms. Kerry McMenimen with the 2021 Massachusetts Association of Student Council’s Adviser of the Year award. Not only did StuCo students attend, but teachers came to applaud McMenimen, as well as administration. The award was delivered to WHS by Paul Branagan, the executive director of Massachusetts Association of Student Councils, with members of the MASC Executive Board.
The MASC Henry Sullivan Adviser of the Year award recognizes Student Council advisers in Massachusetts that go above and beyond in leading student governments. Each year, schools all over Massachusetts can nominate one adviser and the MASC Executive Board selects a single winner.
“Ms. Mac stands out among all other advisers from around the state as someone who seeks to connect with students not only from Walpole High, but also from other towns and inspires them to establish and develop leadership skills which makes her so deserving of this award,” senior StuCo President Edwin Ryan said.
McMenimen was surprised by this ceremony, as she was told that she would be covering a class on Friday afternoon in the auditorium. Instead, she was greeted with applause and the notable award. Branagan and members of the MASC Executive Board made small speeches at this ceremony, as did Ryan and Brian Foley, Vice President of WHS’s StuCo. After, a brief video of thanks was displayed showing teachers, members of StuCo and alumni sharing their appreciation for McMenimen’s work and dedication.
“I was so thankful that my commitment and efforts towards StuCo were recognized by the state,” McMenimen said.
WHS has been fortunate enough to have McMenimen as the StuCo adviser for 14 years and a teacher for 15 years. During her time as adviser, she has guided students in leading fundraisers, dances, regional events and countless more events that have added to students’ high school experiences. She has also inspired StuCo students to run for higher positions on the Executive Board at WHS, as well as regional positions. Although McMenimen has forever impacted WHS, her StuCo career started before she began teaching in Walpole.
“StuCo has been a part of my life since I was 14. In high school, StuCo gave me confidence in my voice. It made me more outgoing. It forced me to go outside my comfort zone and I love giving students the same opportunities to grow into the best version of themselves,” McMenimen said.
McMenimen continues to go above and beyond as she makes WHS a better place by getting kids involved and active in the student body. Since the announcement, she has received great praise from staff and students, showing that this award was truly well deserved. WHS looks forward to seeing what else McMenimen will accomplish as an adviser.
“I’m confident that she will win this award many more times in the future and will work hard to improve the leadership skills in Walpole High students each and every year,” said Ryan.