By Beth Murphy,
Director of Marketing Communications
15,256 cans of food for St. Vincent de Paul.
500 pairs of socks for Wheeler Mission.
$2,400 for Christmas gifts for needy families.
Those are impressive numbers from last school year. And they tell just one part of the Scecina Student Council’s story.
The Student Council, of course, organizes activities that involve the entire student body, such as dances, Homecoming Spirit Week and Red and Gold Week.
But the group’s reach also goes beyond Scecina’s campus to the larger community. The Student Council’s annual canned food and sock drives and its Christmas TLC (Tender Loving Christmas) fund are tangible signs of one of Scecina’s core values, stewardship: “receiving, cultivating, and sharing God’s gifts gratefully and generously.”
The Student Council, through its governing structure, also helps student live out another Scecina value, servant leadership: “following Jesus’ example of meeting people’s needs and helping them fulfill their highest destinies.” Students discover multiple opportunities by serving on the Student Council.
“It’s helped me a lot in leadership,” said DeChelle Turner, a senior who serves as vice president of the student body. “I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned and use it in other ways here at school and in life.”
Students who run for election in the spring for the next year’s Student Council fill out an application, list ideas they want to incorporate and must be recommended by three teachers. When approved, they run a campaign that includes using social media and posters and, in Julia Donlan’s case, handing out home-baked cookies.
Julia, a junior who is from Holy Spirit Catholic Parish, ran for Scecina Student Council for the first time last year to be more involved at school and have a say in school events. She now is the president of the junior class, representing her 2019 classmates.
“When the others in the class want a voice in what happens at Scecina, they tell me,” said Julia.
The Student Council, Julia said, uses a democratic process to get its work done. “We throw out ideas and listen to others,” she said. “For instance, we voted on what we wanted for the Homecoming Week themes.”
Being active in Scecina’s Student Council requires a commitment of energy and time. The group meets once a week before school. During some times of the year, such as Homecoming Week, they will spend an hour or two each day working on Student Council events, said student body president Isabelle Leffler.
“I would say that I’ve improved a lot more on my time management,” she said.
A new and unique part of Scecina’s Student Council are the quarterly gatherings for the 18 students who serve on the council.
“I really like to reward them for working hard and to have them do activities together so they can get to know each better,” said moderator Nikki Rosswurm, also chair of the history department. For example, the members have gone bowling, to an apple orchard and to an Indianapolis Indians baseball game. They’ve competed in summer scavenger hunts to develop team-building skills.
Mrs. Rosswurm said the main goal of the student council has been to involve as many Scecina students as possible in school events and to provide a safe space for the students to socialize, such as at the dances. This year, more than 40 freshmen helped decorate their hallway for Homecoming, a huge turnout.
Student Council has helped Libby Joson, senior class president, to be more outgoing.
“This is a good way for me to get to know my classmates,” she said. “For me the big thing was that I wanted them to enjoy the things we planned.”
The students get to plan it all, with guidance from adult moderators.
“I love getting to see the students thrive outside of the classroom, as well as in,” said Mrs. Rosswurm. “Through planning events and StuCo gatherings, the students really get to have fun while being great leaders at school.”
Mrs. Rosswurm has help from the four teachers who serve as advisors to each class: Margaret Zeh Fulford, seniors; Natalie Leonhardt, juniors; Jeff Getty, sophomores; and Matt Black, freshmen.