Take 10

BECOME A COUNCIL OF EXCELLENCE

In this issue we took a special look at Hawaii, which currently leads the states in the number of schools that have earned the National Council of Excellence designation. To become a National Council of Excellence, evidence must be presented in the following areas:

  • Governance
  • Service
  • General Activities and Operations
  • Civic Engagement and Student Voice

A full list of requirements for both middle level and high schools can be found at www.NatStuCo.org/NCOE.


FOCUS ON ACCESSIBILITY

Kathleen Thomas, NJHS adviser at Watson B. Duncan Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, suggests other chapters follow her example and make their own group more accessible by:

  • Holding meetings during school hours
  • Planning one act of service per month and keeping it something that can be done at school
  • Charging a low membership fee (if one must be charged at all)
  • Encouraging students to fulfill their service hours outside of school

BLAZE A TRAIL

Yale University student and advocate Kahlil Greene suggests using the following framework to diagnose systemic issues:

  • History: When you see a present-day problem manifest, dig into the series of historical events and decisions that led to that outcome.
  • Hurdles: Identify exactly what barriers exist that impede changing the system.
  • Healing: After your diagnosis, determine creative ways of using your influence to break down those barriers and implement fixes to the broken system.

KEEP PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS SHARP

2019 NJHS Rynearson Adviser of the Year Amy Krueger shares the importance of honing student public speaking skills—even in a virtual environment. She suggests encouraging students to:

  • Show passion for the topic.
  • Use applicable voice tone and intonation.
  • Include facial expression.
  • Incorporate academic word choice.
  • Show evidence of rehearsal and reflection.