Ellis Middle School Student Council hard at work

Published 8:01 am Friday, January 6, 2012

By Eric Vaughn

Ellis Student Council Advisor

The Ellis Middle School Student Council has been hard at work this year. There are several projects and events which we are involved with yearly. With dedicated Student Council members and many opportunities to grow leadership, the Ellis Student Council provides many benefits to Ellis and the Austin community.

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The end of summer found students back to school, and the student council planning for its fall events. The Leadership Austin cohort came in October to tour Ellis and eat lunch with the student council. Student Council members helped Leadership Austin members navigate the lunch line, choose hot lunch items, and eat together. While eating, both groups shared stories of their involvement in the community. Student Council officers each spoke about what leadership means to them. The student council also gathered ideas for Vision 2020 through advisory classes. Two Vision 2020 committee members spoke to the Council. Ellis students, through the coordination of the student council, had the opportunity to offer ideas, and submitted many pages of ideas to the Vision 2020 committee. Character Counts! Week at the end of October saw the student council working with the Ellis Art Club to create posters and slogans to usher in the events of the week. The student council is asked to help yearly with the fall fundraiser with the pick-up of orders. We help unload the truck, sort orders, and aid customers with product pick-up. The pinnacle of the fall events is the Veteran’s Day breakfast at Ellis. Working with the Ellis Orchestra, Band and Choir, we celebrate our veterans and thank them for their service. We listened to Norm Hecimovich speak about the honor of being a veteran, and stories of heroism and self-sacrifice. It is an honor to be able to serve breakfast and spend some time with our veterans, and we look forward to seeing them next Veteran’s Day at Ellis.

December finds us planning for our Pennies for Patients fundraising campaign and Wacky Week. Pennies for Patients events raise donations and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. On average the annual donation to Pennies for Patients is greater than $3,500. To date we have raised $24480.43. We thank Community Bank in Austin for their help counting the thousands of dollars in bills and change for us. There is no way we could be involved in Pennies for Patients without their support. Wacky Week is Ellis’ “Student Council Week” where events like pajama day and ugly sweater day are held. Wacky Week culminates with the Ellis Fun Night with the staff versus students basketball games and the fun night dance. Pennies for Patients and Wacky Week events help to chase away the winter blues at Ellis.

A new community service project the Student Council wants to participate in this year involves feeding needy children. We are planning to spend some time packing meals at Kids Against Hunger in the Oak Park Mall after the winter sports season. We had spoken about this in the past but the travel time was prohibitive. Now we are able to participate in this worthwhile program here in Austin.

In May the student council honors teachers with a luncheon during Teacher Appreciation Week. Not long after that the officer elections are held and we get ready to send the eighth-graders off to the high school and plan for next year. It is very exciting to be a part of the Ellis Student Council and the many events and projects it supports.

This year the Student Council officers are: President Valentina Truong-Ferreira, Vice-President Sam Esplan, Treasurer Sean Baker, Secretary Brooke Pedersen, and Historian Baylee Garroway.

Ellis Middle School Student Council members are:

Eighth grade — Sean Baker, Zach Coffey, Elizabeth Ettinger, Ashley Harrington, Kayla Jacobson, Ryan Kempen Emma O’Conner, Nicole Olson, Madeline Rohr, Katlynn Schmick.

Seventh grade — Haley Culbert, Christina Hernandez, Josh Snee, Dorothy Stevens, Jesse Synoground, Grace Thoen.

Sixth grade — Carlos Botello, Logan Braaten, Ava Grev, Ben Kinney, Sydney Marsh, Lydia Morey, Emily Sayles, Paiton Schwab, Araiah Shropshire, Maya Wuertz.