Fourteen Denison Middle School sixth and seventh graders took a short trip back in time Monday to Broadway Elementary.
It was at that building that the students learned about leadership as members of the Broadway Elementary Student Council.
The students compose only the second and third ever student councils (2017-2018 and 2018-2019) at the school, and the purpose of their visit was to encourage this year’s fifth graders to consider running for student council.
But first they were invited to see one of their contributions as student council members – a put-in cup sign attached to the chain link fence on the south side of the Broadway Elementary playground.
The purple, white and black sign spells out the words “Broadway Rocks.”
Money raised and remaining from the student councils in the past two years provided about $350 to go toward the materials for the sign. Another $50 was added from an activity fund.
Julie Wegner, a Broadway Elementary fifth grade teacher and the student council advisor, said that students at the building are excited about the sign.
Before the former student council members visited their old homerooms, Wegner encouraged them to consider running for the Denison Middle School student council, which is being formed for the first time this year.
“I would like to see a lot of you running. I have a lot of good leaders,” she told them.
As they walked toward their old homeroom, she reminded the students, “To these kids, you are role models.”
Four years ago, Wegner brought up the idea of a student council to Trevor Urich, who had been the Denison Elementary dean of students but was then starting his first year as Broadway Elementary principal.
“I walked into his office and said, ‘What do you think of the idea of starting a student council for fifth graders who are willing to be visible leaders of our school? I envision these kids helping others and creating a positive atmosphere in our school,’” Wegner recalled.
Wegner admits she thought the new principal would table the idea for that year and that a student council would start the next year. But Urich surprised her.
“Mrs. Wegner, I like the idea. Let’s form a council now,” was the reply now etched into Wegner’s memory.
Becoming a member of student council requires certain criteria. The candidates must feel that they demonstrate the six pillars of character (trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship) and consider themselves to be good leaders.
The candidates give speeches to their homeroom classes, and the students vote for two people to represent them on the 14-member student council (Broadway Elementary has seven fifth grade classrooms).
The student council tries to meet twice a month, more than that if necessary to carry out a project.
Projects the student council has been involved in are the following.
• Candy Cane Caring Crusade (candy canes with messages sold in December to raise money to adopt families for the Goodfellows Program)
• Visiting residents at Eventide
• Serving as tour guides for our visiting veterans on Veteran’s Day
• Super Bowl food drive (food donated to TAP)
• Morning greeters (daily)
• Decorating hallways (positive messages)
In the fifth grade home rooms on Monday, the sixth and seventh graders explained about the projects and the other jobs that student council members have.
“We have to give up some recesses, but I like it more than recess,” said Ashlyn Dionicio.
Fifth graders were also interested in the speech they would have to make in front of their classmates if they ran for student council.
“I put a lot of thought into my speech; my brain was tired,” said Karel Morales.
Wegner told the students in her fifth grade class that when they run for student council, they have to be serious about it and to make it a year-long commitment.
Letters about Broadway Student Council will be going home soon.
“The idea behind starting a student council was to give student leaders a chance to serve their school and community,” Wegner told the Denison Bulletin and Review. “Fifth graders have creative ideas and truly want to make a difference.
“I think that allowing kids to be in these positions at a young age will increase their chances of wanting to be involved and be instrumental in the decision-making process.”