Two NASC advisers embody what it means to go above and beyond for their students
The 2015 NASC Warren E. Shull Advisers of the Year took the stage to accept their awards at the NASC National Conference this past June in Albuquerque, NM. Linda Pickett from Columbia High School in Columbia, IL, won the high school award, and Jackie Jaros from Deer Lakes Middle School in Cheswick, PA, won the middle level award. Named for NASC founder Warren E. Shull, the Shull Awards recognize high school and middle level student council advisers of exemplary character, leadership, and commitment to young people and their development as student leaders.
Linda Pickett is a special education teacher and has served as the Columbia High School (CHS) student council adviser for 12 years. During her tenure, Pickett has worked tirelessly to create a dedicated and impactful student council-growing its membership from 20 students to over 150 members. Under her guidance, the CHS student council has hosted activities that bolster school spirit, benefit the less fortunate, and bring the entire student body together. One especially successful program called the League for Excellence serves as a student-driven committee that consists of a representative from each club in the school. The league meets regularly to come up with ways to improve the school climate.
Thanks to Pickett’s leadership, the CHS student council has been recognized as a National Gold Council of Excellence Award winner for six years in a row. According to Columbia High School’s Principal Jason Dandurand, Pickett goes far above the call of duty for her students. “As I walk the halls long after the school doors have closed, I can often observe Mrs. Pickett working diligently in her classroom on initiatives to better our students and school,” Dandurand says. “Her dedication and passion to education in preparing our students for the future is second to none.”
Much like Pickett, Jackie Jaros puts countless hours and her entire heart into student leadership development. Described as passionate, dedicated, loyal, and empathetic, Jaros is a guidance counselor and has served as the Deer Lakes Middle School student council adviser for 14 years. Through her leadership, the students at Deer Lakes have come together for both spirit activities and meaningful service projects, raising funds for organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, Four Diamonds, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Buddies International, and Team Tassy: HATS-Haiti.
Jaros believes in making the world a better place for future generations. According to Deer Lakes principal David Campos, what truly sets Jaros apart from the rest is her ability to make people feel special. “I have witnessed quiet students find the courage to give a public speech; students who struggle socially participating with ‘popular’ students; and students with special needs not just made to feel as if they were part of something, but rather to truly be part of something,” Campos says.
To learn more about the Shull awards or to make a nomination, visit www.nasc.us/shull.
Sidebar: NASC National Conference
More than 800 NASC students and advisers gathered in Albuquerque, NM, this past June for the 2015 NASC National Conference. Hosted at Rio Rancho High School, this year’s conference sent everyone home with new friends, great memories, and innovative ideas about leadership. The 2016 conference will be held at Century High School in Hillsboro, OR, on June 24-26. Visit www.nascconference.org to learn more.