WHS Student Council Wins Prestigious Award


Christina Freiberger

The Walpole Student Council poses for a group picture on their MASC field trip before attending the formal banquet.

Sitting at a round table in Hyannis at the 2011 MASC conference on March 11, 11 members of the Walpole Student Council, and their advisor, clenched each other’s hands to hear which towns won the award. Nearing the end of the list, the president of MASC said the last town that received the award: “Wal,” the Walpole students raised their chins, “tham,” to only lower them a moment later.

Everyone’s always told to check their work twice to make sure he or she did not make any mistakes. Who knew this advice would be so important, that the Walpole Student Council would catch a mistake made by the judges who tallied the points for one of the most prestigious awards a Student Council can receive. Walpole initially did not receive this award when the winners were announced at the annual MASC  (Massachusetts Association of Student Councils) Conference. But, after further analysis of where their application lost points, Walpole Student Council appealed for the judges to review their application one last time, pointing out that two pages had stuck together so an important page was skipped over. After realizing the mistake they made, the judges confirmed that Walpole, in fact, had enough points to qualify for the award.

After a 3 day field trip filled with fun workshops and key-note speakers, the WHS Student Council came home happy about their experiences, but disappointed that their group was not chosen to receive the award. The students had a sleep-over in the school in November to prepare their application for this award. The application included detail listings and explanations of all activities that the council ran, including the March for Matt and the Blood Drive, along with letters of endorsement from the school principal, the council advisor, and the council president. Student Council President Grace Lynch said, “We had to meet certain requirements for community service and school activity projects, which entailed a lot of effort to be put in from each member of the council.” When they realized their effort did not surpass their goal, the faces of all the members in the group were filled with disappointment when the bad news spread.

After a meeting on March 30, Lynch announced to the council that the group was only one point off from qualifying for the award. A few members of the council reviewed their application to see where they lost points, and that is when they realized the judges had made a mistake. “The application lost a point for not containing a President’s letter,” said Student Council Advisor, Ms. Kerry McMenimen, “but we actually had the letter; it had just stuck to another page. So, we called the judges to bring to this to their attention and they profusely apologized for the mistake made and promised to recognize us as a Council of Excellence at the next MASC conference.”

Now officially recognized as a winner of this award, the WHS Student Council is now able to bring more students to the upcoming MASC conferences. The higher levels of the award, all the way up to a Gold Council of Excellence, allow towns more and more students to attend said events, which provides more goals for the council to aim for in future years.

The accomplishments of this group come as a result of their incessant effort, their devoted commitment to each other, and their perseverance of their goals. Checking their work twice definitely paid off for the members of the Student Council. Being the first ever Walpole Student Council to win this award is something the 2010-2011 members will never forget.