Take 10

Exemplifying Excellence

Warren E. Shull Award winners Susan Waldrep, TX, and Lisa Whirtley, WV, offer these pearls of wisdom:

  • Word of mouth can be a great tool for creating a diverse council.
  • Try establishing a theme for your student council at the beginning of the year.
  • Remind council members that their peers are watching how they behave and act. Set a good example.
  • Letting students take the lead helps them discover and develop their personal leadership styles.
  • Attending conferences such as the National Student Council Conference and LEAD pay dividends for the group.

Planning Futures

This edition of Participation Station offers some valuable information to help your students plan ahead for the coming summer, next school year, and college.

  • Lakewood Middle School in Lakewood, NJ, worked over the summer to create a beautiful (and sustainable!) school garden, complete with greenhouses constructed out of recycled water bottles.
  • According to our poll, most students planned to stay engaged over the summer by volunteering.
  • NHS Scholarship National Winner Jenny Rodriguez shared her top tips for college prep: Plan. Trust. Prepare.
  • The #EngageInChange initiative is a great way for students to help their communities and carry their leadership into their future as global citizens.

Implementing Strategies for Success

The College Board offers a few tactical strategies for advisers to help support students as they progress along the path to college:

  • Prepare students as early on in their school careers as possible.
  • Ready students for college entrance exams by incorporating productive practice into classroom instruction and other interventions (after-school programs, peer ambassadors, study groups, etc.).
  • Build systems and structure around activities that align with the tasks that students must complete to enroll in a postsecondary institution.
  • Remember to celebrate the victories; acknowledging wins along the pathway to college is important.

Personalizing Leadership

No two students learn the same way. Tailoring the student experience to these varied learning styles can strengthen your council or chapter. Humans generally tend to learn in one of four ways:

  • Visual learners more readily absorb information by using visual aids such as charts, graphs, mind maps, and symbols.
  • Auditory learners prefer to have information that is spoken from lectures, tapes, group discussions, or talking something out.
  • Reading learners acquire information best through reading and writing.
  • Kinesthetic learners prefer to learn through personal experience, examples, practice, simulation, and working with their hands.