Archive for the ‘Student Council’ Category

Student Council members are teaching leadership lessons this quarter by delivering presentations that connect to the audience with personal stories.

By Sarah Hebert
Cougar News Blog

     Student Council members are designing a presentation to show other members how to improve leadership skills.
     In a keynote address, presenters are going to tell some of their life stories to help classmates and future Cougars understand how to grow as a leader.
     “What I’d like students do with this project is talk about their own success and failure and how it’s helped them become a better leader,” adviser Jason Davis said.
     One of the goals of the project is to get students to think about what is most important to them when it comes to leadership.
     “There are dozens of qualities that make up good leaders – respect, enthusiasm, responsibility, etc. – and I wanted to give students a chance to teach someone a lesson related to their own lives,” Davis said.
     The impact that this will have on other students is to make more successful people when they grow up. Davis is trying to let students inspire as many people as possible. Seventh grade representative Kashmir Baillie said that students have a lot to teach each other.
     “I know we’re at a young age and we still have a lot to learn, but these leadership presentations teach us a lot more than a few mistakes,” she said.
     The end result will be about 15 minutes. The keynote presentations will occur throughout the fourth quarter. The idea for this project came from the keynote speakers at the three leadership conferences council member attend each year. Those speakers teach lessons and offer motivation in a fun way, not a lecture.
     “They make a connection with the audience by telling stories from their lives – both successes and failures. It makes them human and makes the audience want to listen,” Davis said.

Jaden Unise, 8, serves up a cup during the NJHS chili cook-off on Oct. 26.

Jaden Unise, 8, serves up a cup during the NJHS chili cook-off on Oct. 26.

By Anyssa Pena
Cougar News Blog

      Members of the NJHS raised over $300 for Project Help on Oct. 26 with its third annual chili cook-off.
      The money raised from this event will go towards purchasing turkey dinners for families in need this holiday season as well as assist in purchasing holiday gifts for children through the Angel Tree project.
      The event included many different chilis entered in by the contestants. Students and parents could enter a chilli dish or come out to try the chilli and vote.
      Mrs. Schroeder was happy with the the turnout and the amount of money raised.
      “I believe that this year was a successful fundraiser as we had a nice turnout of over 15 chili entries,” she said. “In addition, we raised more funds with this event this year than in years prior.
      The chili cook-off is a fundraiser for NJHS students to learn leadership skills like accountability, teamwork, and time management. Mrs. Schroeder is in charge of organizing it so she does have some expectations from the student to show that they are responsible enough to have another fundraiser.
      “My expectations of my NJHS students in hosting organized community events, is to learn communication, dependability, and a sense of responsibility and citizenship within their community,” said Schroeder.
      Even with the success of the event, the group is already thinking about next year’s cook-off.
      “I am always looking for new ideas and ways to improve events,” said Schroeder.

Preparing to hang up a poster advertising the fall dance, seventh grader Jordan Digos tapes a rip in the paper. (Photo by Kashmir Baillie)

Preparing to hang up a poster advertising the fall dance, seventh grader Jordan Digos tapes a rip in the paper. (Photo by Kashmir Baillie)

By Zachary Grattan
Cougar News Blog

     This year’s November dance has quite a twist. The dance this year will not be the normal Halloween dance that students all know – in fact, it won’t be a Halloween dance at all. It will be a Fall dance with a Charlie Brown theme. This will be taken place in the school’s gym on Nov. 10. It will be from 6:15 to 8 p.m. The ticket will be $5 at the door, but if students wish to get in 15 minutes early then swing on by the Student Council room at lunch.
     This big change from a very well known dance is not just to mix things up. It’s because it was the least attended dance at CCJH, and it been descending each year.
     “The Halloween dance has always been our lowest attended dance of the year, sometimes by over 100 students,” said Student Council adviser Jason Davis. “I don’t know why, but my guess is that people don’t come because they think they are required to wear a costume. So now we need to try something different and hope it works out.”
     Low attendance means that student council can’t make the money to support groups, projects and other things in the school. The student council uses the fundraiser, for academics, extracurricular classes and a little bit of everything.
     This will mean that students are no longer allowed to dress up at all. Mr. Davis said that some students are disappointed about not being able to wear their costume, but StuCo did have to make this change to increase attendance.
     “I hope it benefits us by getting more students in the door. These dances are our major fundraisers for the year,” said Mr. Davis. “We pay for our leadership trips and give money to a lot of groups and projects around campus and we can’t keep doing that if no one comes to our dances.”
     StuCo is offering Krispy kreme donuts, pretzels, and some new games which they hope will get people to buy some tickets.

By Savannah Barr
Cougar News Blog

     Students will soon see what’s in a name for the newly paved driveway in front of the school.
     Student Council recently sent out a survey that allowed students to come up with a name for the now-smooth road. However, they were asked to think beyond the Cactus Canyon and Cougars. Students were encouraged to create a name that represents the positive traits of the school. The more creative, the better.
     “It’s a contest and we’re looking for unique suggestions that really show what CCJH is all about,” said Jason Davis, the Student Council advisor. “We want students to think beyond ‘Cougar Street’ and other obvious names. Since community members are going to drive by it everyday, we want them to see what we value and demonstrate each day.”
     Up until late summer, the driveway of the school was rough, scattered with potholes, and nearly undrivable in general. The city of Apache Junction and AJUSD worked together to get the road repaired, and the excitement of having a smooth surface inspired the council to name the road. Although, rather than the council just deciding on something simple, they will let the whole student body have a say. StuCo members will look at the entries and choose the three best choices before sending the ballot to all students.
     “We could’ve easily just voted as a council and decided on something simple, but we think we can get a really great name by opening it up to the whole student body,” said Davis.
     Cactus Canyon won’t be the only school with its own street name. Apache Junction High School had two signs installed over summer break. The road west of the Davis Field is simply named “Davis Drive,” and the west-facing parking lot of the school has a sign that says “Prospector Way.”
     Principal Courtney Castelhano hopes students will be proud of whatever the new name is.
     “I believe students will gain ownership and pride with being involved in naming the street in front of the school,” said Castelhano.

Eighth grade StuCo representative Ruby Verduzco sells a ticket to the dance. (Photo by Chloe Krueger)

Eighth grade StuCo representative Ruby Verduzco sells a ticket to the dance. (Photo by Chloe Krueger)

By Mya Palomino and Anyssa Pena
Cougar News Blog

     Student Council mustache you a question. Have you ever been to a school dance that is not only an hour later than usual, but also has a food truck? Cactus Canyon Student Council will be hosting a welcome back dance that features both of those changes.
     The dance is ‘50s theme and there will be plenty of neat decorations. The food truck will be selling mustache-shaped pretzels and a variety of drinks along with your choices of dip. It will be held in the gym at 6:15 to 8:00 on Thursday September 1, 2016.
     “We did not have to pay for the food truck. The folks from Mustache Pretzels were very kind to not charge us a booking fee,” said Jason Davis, the Student Council adviser. “They will keep all the money from their sales, but we hope extra ticket sales make up for any revenue we might lose from concession sales.”
     The time was changed to be one hour later, giving students a more flexible schedule, especially for the parents. Last year’s dances were 5:15-7 p.m. In consideration of the time extension, the council hopes there will be more students involved in the dance.
     “The time change gives us more time to hangout and dance with our friends,” said eighth grader Jesse Redondo. “This also allows new and old students to interact with each other.”
     The welcome back dance might be hardest dance to put together because there are only 14 StuCo members to make all the decorations and preparations. Seventh graders join the group when the second quarter begins in October.
     “It’s really hard to cram everything into three weeks, because if you have extra school work to do and sports activities after school, plus your Stuco responsibilities it’s really difficult to manage your time wisely,” said representative Oceana Faulkner.

The CCJH Student Council earned the award of Master Council at the AAJHSC convention on May 5.

The CCJH Student Council earned the award of Master Council at the AAJHSC convention on May 5.

By Lexi Demery
Cougar News Blog

     The student council masters are here.
     Cactus Canyon’s Student Council earned the award of Master Council – the highest given by the Arizona Association of Junior High Student Councils – at the state convention at We Ko Pa Resort and Convention Center in Scottsdale on May 5.
     “We were so excited to earn the Master Council award,” said adviser Jason Davis. “We worked very hard for the whole year and now we are proud to be able to call ourselves one of the best councils in the state of Arizona.”
     In order to receive Master Council the council had to meet over 25 requirements. The group had to complete leadership, school spirit, and diversity projects, as well as raise funds for the school and charity. In order to get rated a Master Council, every project needed to be complete and earn at least 90 percent by the judging committee.
     “We had to attend the AAJHSC events, and even had to present a lesson at one,” said Mr. Davis. “We also had to document our activities with reports, a collage, and a scrapbook.”
     This was the council’s first year as a member of AAJHSC and there was a lot of effort and dedication that went into .
     “I’m so happy, we put so much in our student council work,” said Faith Marie Inzunza.
     The council was very tense before the convention because making the Master Council application and projects perfect was very tedious.
     “I was stressed to the max before the convention,” Davis said. “I knew we had done everything we needed to do to get the award, but I was terrified that I made a mistake on the application or that I would forget to bring something we needed.”
     In addition to the award ceremony, students heard a presentation from motivational speaker Patrick Perez, who uses dancing to connect with his audience and help them set goals and work toward achieving them.
     “The things Mr. Perez talked about were really inspirational, and touching,” said eighth-grade representative Jessica Martinez. “The message really got to me, personally and was extremely helpful.”
     As described on its website, the AAJHSC is a student-oriented organization dedicated to developing leadership in student council’s in Arizona. Its goals are to unite students, develop leadership skills, and educate students in school spirit, academic achievement, community involvement, and diversity.
     “Being in the AAJHSC gave our kids a chance to network with students from other councils, learn ways to improve our events and activities, and become better leaders and examples,” Mr. Davis said. “We plan to be part of the association for a long time.”

By Jenevieve Saidi
Cougar News Blog

     Cactus Canyon Junior High participated in a coin drive over the week of March 28. They wanted to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
     The fundraiser collected a total of $1,516.18. The American Cancer Society is a nationwide health organization that is dedicated to cancer research, education, and eliminating cancer. It is a volunteer health organization and is one of the largest contributors to cancer research and public education about the diseases.
vLast year the school raised $1,152.87. This year they raised $363.31 more than that.
     “We are proud to have raised more money than last year,” said Meaghan Davis, dean of students..
     The money donated to ACS is going to be spent on cancer research, patient support, preventive information, detection, and treatment. ACS also holds their own events and fundraisers such as Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Life Skills students participate in a mock sword fight during a trip to the Renaissance Festival on March 3. (Photo by Mr. Davis)

Life Skills students participate in a mock sword fight during a trip to the Renaissance Festival on March 3. (Photo by Mr. Davis)

     Students in the CCJH Life Skills class and Student Council recently went to the Renaissance Fair for their yearly trip.
     Desirae Bickle’s Life Skills class and the Student Council, led by Jason Davis, went on a one-day trip to the fair on March 3 so that the Life Skills kids could interact in a new environment.
     “The Life Skills students go every year,” said Mr. Davis. “StuCo kids get to come with because we work with those students during seventh hour most days.”
     The Life Skills students’ goal was to learn in a new situation where they weren’t completely comfortable and learn how to react to it. This was to teach them how to cope with uncomfortable situations.
     One of the Life Skills class’ goal is to teach social skills. To be polite in public, to deal with weather and people, and to teach them how to be positive. This trip was a good test run on their people-skills.
     “You have to make decisions about what activities to do, deal with hot weather and thousands of other people, and be polite when talking to the vendors and workers at the fair,” said Mr. Davis.
     In addition to social skills, the kids also had some fun during the course of the day when they weren’t learning.
     “One of the things I enjoyed was the show in which a person juggled sticks with fire on them,” said JoseAntonio DeSantiago.

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By Skylar Sosa
Cougar News Blog

     To help bond members and to have each other come together as a whole, Student Council went on a retreat to learn about leadership, bond, and to just have fun.
     Council members attended the Arizona Association of Junior High Student Council’s annual retreat Feb. 6 at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
     “The overall goal, at least for me as the adviser, was for students to bond as a group and come away with at least one thing they can use make our council better,” said Jason Davis. “That may not be the same thing for everyone, which is great.”
     Attendees had the chance to listen to Steven Hunter, a former Suns player. He shared his knowledge on leadership, persistence, and goal setting.
     “Those are good messages for young leaders to hear because expectations for them are very high and it’s easy to get caught up in nonsense that can get them off track,” said Mr. Davis.
     Having Hunter speak to the students is not where the list of opportunities ends. The whole moral of this trip was for teamwork and communication. There were leadership sessions that covered everything it takes to be successful in StuCo. Leadership skills it takes to be in Student Council were showcased during the activities and games the conference had given. The activities provided to the students had them working with complete strangers or even people from their own class that they usually didn’t partner with.
     “I wanted to create opportunities everyone to bond with someone they maybe didn’t know that well,” said Davis. “It’s those bonds that create better teamwork and make us better.”
     “The activities we did while on the retreat had some people getting out of their comfort zones, but it also caused everyone to have a great time,” said representative Arleen Preciado.

StuCo president Tiffani Morris speaks at the year's first assembly.

StuCo president Tiffani Morris speaks at the year’s first assembly.

By Chelsey McCarthy
Cougar News Blog

     Every student and teacher loves having a fun, active assemblies. Cactus Canyon is now having them every quarter as well as having spirit competitions between the seventh- and eighth-grade students.
     The events are a way to recognize student achievement in athletics and academics.
     Most students dressed up in class colors for the first quarter school assembly in October. The colors are red for seventh grade and purple for eighth grade. The colors are the same ones the classes will have at Apache Junction High School.
     “It shows that the students care for our school. It is also really fun showing off our school spirit and watching students do the same,” said eighth grader Meagan Clark.
     CCJH had another competition between seventh and eighth graders in which they would sing a song, once the music cut out it was a contest to who could sing the words the loudest. A group of staff judges awarded a banner to the eighth graders for having the most spirit during the first assembly.
     “I think the spirit competitions and the spirit competition we had gives the students personality and allows them to have fun and get loose,” said eighth grade teacher Jeremy Seaman.
     The students and teachers hope Cactus Canyon continues to have assemblies and different spirit competitions help improve the school spirit. Those could include costumes, art shows, and colorful hats.
     “I would love to participate in more creative spirit competitions,” eighth grade teacher John Leal said. “I would also like the participation of students who don’t normally participate.”
     In addition to improving school spirit, there are other benefits to having the assemblies.
     “I think students learn during these events, in addition from being a part of the community, is it helps them know how to act appropriately in big groups,” said eighth grade science teacher Regan Roach.
     The next assembly and spirit competition will be Thursday, Dec. 17. Students are again asked to wear their class color to school.