Archive for the ‘Leadership’ 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.

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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.

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.

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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.