Headed under five advisers -Ms. Frontier, Ms. McCully, Mr. Packard, Mr. Richards, and Principal Lowder- this year, Pioneer’s Student Council is undergoing a new system of election and government. This new form of student government features four different councils that specialize in certain areas of helping the community, both in and out of school. From the beginning, this new system had an aim of getting rid of a “popularity contest,” as Ms. Frontier calls the former election process.
Ms. McCully has been an adviser of Pioneer’s Student Council for many years, and believes that this “change has been coming for a while”, and looks forward to “exciting new things” in the upcoming year.
Unlike National Honor Society, student council does not require a GPA of 3.6 or above, so long as students display effort and try their hardest. It is a common belief amongst the advisers that determination should outweigh a physical grade.
Once students were accepted into the new council, they were assigned a group to work with for a majority of the time; the four main groups being Social, Philanthropy, Alumni Relations, and Principal Advisory.
Ms. McCully is heading the Social aspect of Student Council. Some events her group plans to hop on immediately are this year’s Homecoming dance and December’s blood drive. Ms. Frontier and Mr. Packard are jointly heading the Philanthropy group, which plans to help with volunteering around both Pioneer and the community. The Principal Advisory group will be working directly with Mr. Lowder on issues related to the school and administration. Lastly, the Alumni sector headed under Mr. Richards has the goal of outreach to graduates of the school, with a goal of increased alumni donations to help sponsor events such as Senior Prom.
Although these are the only groups planned thus far, a meeting of student council hopefuls on September 18 brought forth the idea of other forms of councils. Many student leaders are in interested in creating a greater sense of school spirit and turn out at sporting events; there could possibly be an addition to the student council of a student relations group.
Students of all grades were allowed to apply, and will be expected to be active participants. Junior, Rachel Wellings, applied this year for the first time as “getting rid of the popularity contest inspired [her]”. Senior Julien Heidt has been a member of Student Council since freshman year and hopes that this year will bring “a greater sense of unity between the four class councils, as well as more organization and focus on clear goals.” Heidt also is wishful that “...with this new structure we (Student Council) can prove the people that think student council doesn’t do anything, wrong.”
Interviews took place Wednesday, September 24. During a fifteen minute interview groups of three students met with one of their potential advisers to answer questions related to their prior experiences and what they could bring forth to the council. From these interviews, the advisers met and discussed who would be accepted; students were notified the following week whether they had been accepted.
Mr. Richards has acknowledged that “this will be a trial year” to see “what works and what doesn’t work”. There will “obviously be some things we need to work out”, adds Ms. McCully. However, all advisers are optimistic that this drastic change in student council is for the benefit of the school as a whole. Both advisers and students seem excited for change, as this is the first alteration in Pioneer’s Student Council in almost ten years. This change for student council has been long coming and will hopefully invigorate a new wave of ideas and actions around Pioneer.