A gathering of elementary student council officers in Killeen might prove to be a preview of tomorrow’s area leadership.
The Killeen Independent School District’s Jackson Professional Learning Center hosted 110 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from Killeen, Copperas Cove, Gatesville and Groesbeck schools Oct. 23.
Carolyn Solomon, director for student leadership with the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, led the elementary student council officers in songs and explained the basics of leadership and organization.
In multiple workshops, the TEPSA educator covered topics ranging from the function of a meeting agenda to the importance of greeting new students and using diverse personality types to strengthen a group.
At the beginning of the workshop, Solomon honored top area councils from Nolanville, Clifton Park and Cedar Valley for earning National Association of Elementary School Principals recognition as honor councils.
For the students, the training was grist for their enthusiasm to make their schools better.
Adult advisers also received training, learning about student council charters, constitutions and fundraising and activity tips.
“This is a chance for students to get involved in their school and community,” said Laura Kelley, a kindergarten teacher at Nolanville Elementary School and adviser to the nine-time national award-winning group.
Every third- through fifth-grade class in the school has representation on the Nolanville Elementary council and those students report back to their peers about upcoming activities.
The student council at Nolanville plans to conduct teacher appreciation efforts, motivational events, school improvement and service projects.
“They are so excited to be here,” Kelley said. “At first they were nervous, but now they have talked to other students and they are excited.”
“What I like about student council is you get to lead other people,” said Trimmer Elementary fifth-grader Nicholas Mintz. “We get to lead the school to success.”
He said his student council is working on a multiyear project to purchase a digital announcement board for the school.
Isabella Palmisano, Nolanville fourth-grader, said she was enjoying the silly songs during the workshop and was ready to learn her role as vice president of her school’s student council.
“I like student council because we do so many things that help the school,” she said, noting that a food drive planned for November will help many people.
The training effort helps propel students already engaged in leadership to push forward even more.
Last year, Trimmier Elementary School’s student council helped conduct a $4,000 fundraiser for a leukemia charity. This year, the group is raising money for a digital marquee, teacher and adviser Angela Michler said.
“These are good, leadership kids,” Michler said, noting that they spearhead major campaigns and also hold the doors open for their peers in the morning and greet guests as school ambassadors.