Student council creates an engaging school environment

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Members of the MFL MarMac High School Student Council, with adviser Megan Schellhorn (front, far left), included (front, left to right) Allison Corlett, Bryce Burke, Chaun’te Drahn, Becca Harms, Cassie Cahoon, Nicholas Larson; (back) Josie Kleinow, Brenna Boland, Skylar Moser, Sierra Wiebensohn, Chelbe Feuerhelm and Coltin Ball. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

MFL MarMac High School’s student council works regularly to create an engaging school environment.

“We try to do things throughout the year to keep students excited,” said student council president Allison Corlett.

That begins the day students arrive back to school, with candy left at their lockers. It continues with homecoming, as the student council designs shirts, establishes fun days and helps line up everyone for the parade. For Red Ribbon Week, members organize dress-up days and the sale of bracelets. A few other activities throughout the year include recognizing student birthdays (and half-birthdays), ordering pizza for staff during parent teacher conferences and observing days for administrative professionals and bus drivers.

“Every month they do something,” noted adviser Megan Schellhorn. “Those little events are big in that they bring together the high school. It’s huge with the culture of the kids.”

The student council’s two most recognizable undertakings include organizing the annual Veterans Day program along with cancer awareness activities, held in January the last few years.

These activities mean a lot, noted Corlett and fellow student council member Chaun’te Drahn, because they also involve the community.

For Veterans Day, that involves honoring local service men and women. This year’s program featured a Quilts of Valor presentation to 11 World War II veterans. A first for the program, Drahn said it made the experience even more engaging.

“This year, we also included the history of World War II, to bring out the importance,” she said.

For the cancer awareness activities, which include the sale of T-shirts, observances at a wrestling meet and basketball games, a program with a special speaker, a balloon release and more, community members are invited to show awareness for all types of cancers.

“By opening it up to all cancers, it engages a lot more people,” Drahn said. “The community is very supportive.”

It was inspiring, said Drahn, who’s a basketball player, to enter the gym and see the stands filled with colored T-shirts, each representing a different cancer.

Last year, the student council received the Kelly Neiber Award for community involvement from the Iowa Association of Student Councils, in recognition of organizing the cancer awareness activities. Winning the award was a confidence boost, Drahn said.

“It let us know that you can get the community more involved,” she said.

With that knowledge, student council members attended the annual conference of the Iowa Association of Student Councils last month and led two sessions about community involvement. Corlett spoke about Veterans Day while Drahn and Bryce Burke presented on the cancer awareness event.

Corlett and Drahn said one of the things they enjoy most about student council is involvement, both among themselves and other students.

“The participation among students is great to see,” Drahn said. “And when you have those big events, to see all the work behind it, you appreciate it more.”

“I like to be behind the scenes. You feel like you did something good,” Corlett said, adding that she enjoys helping to make school not just about work, but about a bit of fun, too.

Being involved in student council also helps make students leaders, Corlett said.

It allows students to show different leadership qualities and choose the roles they want to take, Schellhorn added.

“It’s an opportunity to grow as a person and touch people at school and in the community,” she said. “This group, they are amazing leaders. They know how to lead and get other people on the bus.”

That comes from sharing ideas, Drahn said.

“We incorporate everyone’s ideas. Your opinion matters,” she said. “If you have a passion for the school, think your opinions can make a difference, and give your time and effort, then student council is the place to be.”

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