Top Ten Projects
This award recognizes ten (or sometimes eleven) schools each year for outstanding projects or activities that they conduct in their schools.
Nominees are carefully reviewed by the NJASC Treasurer and then the award winners are decided upon by the State Officers at their December executive meeting.
Applications for this award are available in early October, the deadline for submission is in late November, and plaques are presented at the Winter Convention in January.
Recent Award Winning Schools
Click on a link below to view recent schools that have won this award, and read about the projects they did to earn it...
Bayonne High School
REWRITING THE SCHOOL CONSTITUTION
This EDUCATIONAL project was intended to fix an ineffective and unreliable Constitution, allowing the Student Council to reach its potential as a governmental, charitable, and spirit organization. This was not the type of project that will become tradition or gain a tremendous amount of money for charity, but the significant changes that were a result raised morale and ensured that the educational aspect of Student Council was addressed. With this revised Constitution, Bayonne is now able to make its Student Council more democratic for years to come. All members of the student body were involved, as well as several teachers and administrators, opening the floor to ideas that the student body wanted to incorporate in the new Constitution. Teachers with a strong knowledge of the United States Constitution were asked to review and ensure that the new Constitution did not have any loopholes. After gaining the seal of approval from the Principal and Activities Coordinator, the new Constitution was presented to the entire school for approval. Every homeroom was given a copy of the proposed new Constitution two weeks prior to the vote, which was ratified with more than the two-thirds supermajority needed.
A total of 2700 out of 2700 (100%) students participated in the project, 5 out of 16 (31%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 5 out of 250 (2%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Richard Baccarella, “after all their months of hard work, we now have a document that insures consistency from year to year as the Student Council leadership changes.”For more information, contact Bayonne advisor Martin Gurczeski.
Belvidere High School
SLIME THE TEACHER
This FUNDRAISING project involved students donating money for a teacher to be slimed at the Homecoming Pep Rally. Out of six teachers that volunteered, only the three with the most money donated toward them would be slimed with homemade breakfast, dinner, or dessert slime. The names of the teachers were written on six different canisters, decorated, and placed in the lunch room. Some teachers took time out of their lunch to campaign and the competition was fierce; one teacher in the running had an announcement made that if students could raise $50 in the next hour all the teachers involved would be slimed without wearing any rain gear! The students of Belvidere High School raised well over $100 in that hour alone! Proceeds benefitted The Matt Bocchino Fund; named for a dedicated Belvidere High School wrestler and member of the Class of 2003 who passed away following a motorcycle accident.
A total of 250 out of 481 (52%) students participated in the project, 75 out of 105 (71%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 7 out of 60 (12%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Christopher J. Carrubba, “the students had a great time, the faculty enjoyed seeing their colleagues get slimed, and we funded a scholarship which will benefit one of our students as they go on to further their education.”For more information, contact Belvidere advisor Michelle Calvin.
Columbia High School
THE JIMMY FUND
This SERVICE project was inspired by Dr. Megan Coffee, a graduate of Columbia High School who now works as an infectious disease doctor at a tuberculosis clinic in Haiti. She reached out to the council and shared with it that a lot of young people in Haiti want to have a valuable education, but they cannot afford it because it costs $300.00 to send a child to school for one year in Haiti. The council decided it had a responsibility to raise funds that would send at least one child to school in Haiti. The first child that was sent to school by this project was named Jimmy; the fund was named after him to continue to send other “Jimmys” to school as well. To raise funds, the council held bake sales in the community, collected donations, and utilized funds raised from a bi-annual volleyball tournament fundraiser at the school. While the original goal was to send at least one Haitian child to school, the hope is to expand that opportunity to at least two children and eventually to as many prospective students in the Haitian population as possible.
A total of 2000 out of 2000 (100%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 30 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 200 out of 200 (10%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Dr. Lovie Lilly, “Recognizing the value and worth of The Jimmy Fund...our Student Council exemplifies the commitment needed to support today’s issues, particularly at the international level.”For more information, contact Columbia advisors Beth Dalzell and Hannah Edelman.
Gateway Regional High School
R.E.C. - RESPECT, EDUCATION, COMMUNITY SERVICE
This SERVICE project involves Student Council members who had decided that it was important to get students interested in doing community service at a young age. They wanted to work with the four elementary schools from the sending districts to their school. These students met with the Superintendents and Principals from each of the districts and pitched their idea. The response was overwhelming; all four schools wanted to work with them. The program was named “R.E.C.” which stands for Respect, Education, & Community Service. Gateway students went out to visit the schools three times during the year. The first set of visits was to make holiday cards for soldiers, representing service to the country. The second set of visits was in January to make Valentine’s Day pins and to deliver them to a local nursing home, representing service to their community. In the spring, a third set of visits involved a planting on the school grounds, representing service to the school.
A total of 15 out of 579 (3%) students participated in the project, 15 out of 54 (28%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 1 out of 95 (1%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Steve Hindman, “the Respect, Education, Community Service Program is the model we use to assist children…we are proud that our Student Council leaders have taken on the admirable task of bettering our community.”
For more information, contact Gateway Regional advisor Dana Layng.
High Point Regional High School
RED CROSS PROJECT
This FUNDRAISING project included a movie day, the selling of wristbands and stickers, as well as a special Black Light Dance. The project started this past year when the High Point Regional Student Council was faced with the task of organizing a fundraiser for our local Red Cross Chapter. The Red Cross committee wanted something new that would bring the whole school together. After working off of each other’s ideas, the Black Light Dance came about. Instead of a normal dance, the committee wanted to put together something that could be enjoyed by the whole school. They found somewhere to rent black lights from at a low cost, hired a new DJ, brought highlighters, made posters, and advertised door prizes to be raffled off. The dance was a big success, thanks to the committee and their push for a new innovative event which now will become an annual tradition.
A total of 20 out of 1021 (2%) students participated in the project, 20 out of 120 (17%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 6 out of 115 (5%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Thomas Costello, “the dance was able to bring together many different groups of students who would not normally have interacted. In this way the dance was excellent for school spirit, culture, and morale with the students.”
For more information, contact High Point Regional advisor Chirstine Henry.
Hunterdon Central Regional High School
RESTORE THE SHORE BENEFIT CONCERT
This FUNDRAISING project brought together the school community to reach out and support communities affected by hurricane Sandy. The “Sweet Relief” benefit concert was a joint effort in conjunction with the Senior Class Council, many of the school’s National Honor Societies and numerous clubs. Together they gathered both student and faculty talent acts and performers, and also organized the sale of baked goods and other treats for what became a three hour event. Just under $7000 was raised from donation entrance fees and food purchases, put aside to be donated to the New Jersey Sandy Relief Fund. Student Council members also sold shirts within school and at the function to add to the total donation for the fund, donating the profits to this fund. With the cooperation of multiple clubs and organizations throughout the school, the concert was a full house and seated not only students but many of the teachers, community members and parents. At the concert clothing articles, domestic supplies and food were also collected to be donated to those in need on Long Beach Island as well as in Toms River and Lavallette.
A total of 65 out of 3200 (2%) students participated in the project, 21 out of 67 (31%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 14 out of 300 (5%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Vice Principal Ashley Walulak, “the attendance for this event was amazing and really brought everyone together to be ‘Jersey Strong’…carloads of donations have gone to each of the adopted schools.”
For more information, contact Hunterdon Central advisor Jane Paradiso.
Madison Junior School
ECLC STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM
This MIDDLE LEVEL project brought Madison student leaders together with ECLC, a school located in an adjacent town for students with severe learning and/or language disabilities such as autism and Down syndrome. Student Council members have developed a great relationship with fellow students from ECLC resulting in helping each other learn, grow, laugh, and smile. Council members visit the ECLC twice a year, exposing them to how difficult and different life is for other kids the same age. Each visit included a dance during the school day as well as many other activities. Students from both schools became pen pals. For the first time, in 2012 ECLC students returned the favor by visiting Madison Junior School. The Community Service Committee and Executive Board planned out a series of activities that were engaging and allowed for social interaction while modeling interaction skills. Students from both schools participated together in ice breakers, board games, crafts, and just catching up with old acquaintances. This project inspired others to help out and volunteer around the community, a number of students contacted the ECLC to find out about opportunities in their summer and aftercare programs.
A total of 30 out of 542 (6%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 52 (58%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 2 out of 60 (3%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Thomas Liss, “this program has opened the eyes of our students…our students have seen how they can help and most importantly how much effort the ECLC students put in to learn and grow…we believe the ECLC students are more an inspiration to us then we to them.”
For more information, contact Madison advisor Stephen Finkelstein.
Neptune High School
FLIERS FIGHTING CANCER
This SERVICE project was created to raise funds for Mary’s Place by the Sea, a local rehabilitation facility/home for women with cancer. At this facility women can stay in a seaside community free of charge and receive care that ranges from medical needs to comfort needs. Families are also invited to stay as well. This was a year-long project where different fundraising events were held each month. A head committee was formed to plan and organize the events and then smaller committees were formed to implement the individual fundraising events. Some of the events included selling specially designed pins, cancer awareness bracelets, carnations, and more. The members of the Student Council then assisted and took part in the various events. In addition, we volunteered at different events that “Mary’s Place” held which included decorating the home for the holidays and a walk-a-thon. The staff and founders of Mary’s Place expressed their appreciation, and so did their visitors.
A total of 900 out of 1352 (67%) students participated in the project, 65 out of 65 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 112 out of 112 (100%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Richard W. Allen, “Cancer is a serious topic and the Student Council has tackled this project with a maturity and understanding that belies their age and life experiences…their work has inspired other school organizations and teams to volunteer their time and efforts.”For more information, contact Neptune advisor Catherine Crelin.
New Egypt Middle School
HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE
This MIDDLE LEVEL project had close to 100 students in our school working together to make the holidays special for local families. Partnering with a local food and clothing pantry, Helping Hands, the Student Council collected and distributed gifts to the children whose families use the pantry. After being provided a list of ages and genders for children registered at the pantry, Student Council members divided the list and each grade “adopted” an age group for which to donate new toys, puzzles, games, gift cards, and sporting equipment. Students earned raffle tickets and Spirit Week bonus points for donating items. The Student Council then sorted and categorized the gifts and went shopping to supplement ages where there were not enough gifts. They also designed fliers in both Spanish and English for Helping Hands to distribute letting patrons know about the gift distribution. After delivering gifts to the pantry, Helping Hands patrons selected a gift for each child in their family which Student Council members then wrapped for them. In all over 100 gifts were collected to help 40 local families in need.
A total of 90 out of 447 (20%) students participated in the project, 31 out of 31 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 3 out of 36 (8%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Andrea Caldes, “the generosity of our students and the hard work of the New Egypt Middle School Student Council members made for a very special holiday season for many members of our community.”
For more information, contact New Egypt advisor Jenny Wittmer.
Oxford Central School
This MIDDLE LEVEL project involves the students, staff, and the community in what has become an annual event that everyone looks forward to. In order to prepare for the Duck Race, Student Council members must check the numbers of the ducks, create a chart that tracks who bought which duck number, and advertise. They also reach out to community businesses to display posters and promote their business through prize donations. In the school, Student Council members hang posters, send home flyers, and post a School Reach message to get the word out. Duck sales take place during the school day and to the community during an annual Pasta Dinner. At the Duck Race, spectators observe hundreds of rubber ducks racing down the local Oxford Furnace Creek. Prior to the race the Student Council Members clean the creek for Earth Day then give a brief assembly on Autism Awareness. The ducks are dumped into the creek as all the students of the school and community members cheer them on! The first three ducks to cross the finish line are the winners and receive the donations made by local community businesses. Last year the Student Council nearly doubled their duck sales, with almost 500 ducks sold for $2.00 each; the profits go towards Autism Awareness.
A total of 291 out of 291 (100%) students participated in the project, 17 out of 17 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 33 out of 33 (100%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Chief School Administrator Robert J. Magnuson, “I am so pleased that the Oxford Central School Student Council has developed and promoted this event…parents and community members come out to cheer for the ducks as they come racing down the stream!”
Seneca High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is an end of the year event for all of the students which takes place in the football stadium. The annual Spirit Carnival includes food, inflatable amusements, a dunk tank, and competitions between the grades, culminating with the “Senecart Race” between carts built by wood shop students. In this race, each grade races a go-kart around the track to earn bragging rights and a Spirit Trophy. There are nearly twenty stands featuring different foods and desserts sold by the various clubs and student government organizations. This project benefits the school not only because it gets everyone involved in being active and outside but also provides some healthy competition between each of the grades. Aside from two seasonal Pep Rallies, it is one of the rare times in the school year where the entire school population – students and staff – is participating in a single event. Since the Student Council has taken it over it has become a huge school tradition right before Memorial Day weekend, and a fun time for all.
A total of 1218 out of 1218 (100%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 30 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 150 out of 167 (90%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Bradley H. Bauer, “to hear the students laughing and talking throughout the day and even as they leave the field makes it quite clear that this event is a huge success…Spirit Carnival is a huge part of Seneca High School’s culture.”
For more information, contact Seneca advisor Erica Maira.
Williamstown High School
HAUNTED HIGH SCHOOL
This SERVICE project is intended to provide a safe and fun alternative to trick-or-treating; youngsters up to and including fourth grade are invited to attend. Hallways throughout the first floor of the school are used, with the various clubs of the school decorating their assigned section. Any and all groups are invited to participate in decorating a classroom, doorway, or part of the hallway and to give out candy when the trick-or-treaters arrive. Groups decorate their assigned areas after school before 4:00, and then dress up in costume to hand out treats to the children. Each trick-or-treater who comes to visit is asked to provide a canned good that will be donated to local families in need. Cash donations are also accepted, to purchase perishable foods that will also be donated. The candy that is given out is donated by various organizations and businesses, students and staff of the school as well as district staff members. With the effects of Hurricane Sandy cancelling Halloween activities in many communities, the attendance this year was overwhelming; in just two hours from 4:00-6:00 p.m. there were over 4000 people that walked through the Haunted High School!
A total of 300 out of 1950 (15%) students participated in the project, 60 out of 80 (75%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 40 out of 125 (32%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Paul J. Deal, “the event was an incredible hub of activity as parents from other communities as far away as Pennsylvania and Delaware joined neatly 4500 people…there was still a line halfway around the school when the event was closed down.”
For more information, contact Williamstown advisor Jennifer Arcolesse.
Cherokee High School
SCARE UP SOME FOOD
This SERVICE project is a community food drive held every year on Halloween weekend. Student Council members address and mail postcards to local neighborhoods about a week in advance, providing community members with information about the event. Community members are asked to place bags of non-perishable food donations on their porch on the specified pick-up day. Volunteers from multiple service clubs are invited to walk to local neighborhoods to collect the donations on the morning of the last Saturday in October. Many clubs other than Student Council participate, including National Honor Society, Renaissance, Class Officers, and Interact. Volunteers bring the collected food back to Cherokee to sort it, and then fill the shelves of the Chiefs Pride Pantry where it is stored. Food from this pantry is distributed to families in our own community who are in need; usually six full families through the holidays. This pantry was started by a graduated Cherokee senior, Gina McCool, as a service-learning project, and has evolved into a core element of Cherokee spirit and service. Scare Up Some Food is the kick-off event for collecting donations for the year, and many smaller-scale food drives are held to supplement the pantry as the holidays pass. Each year, Student Council sponsors this drive to feed the hungry in our own community, and to foster the spirit of giving between Cherokee and the community.
A total of 100 out of 2700 (4%) students participated in the project, 20 out of 150 (13%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 5 out of 200 (3%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Supervisor Steven Ciancitto, “the success of Scare Up Some Food has been vital to other clubs moving in the direction of feeding our local community and taking care of families less fortunate among us.”
For more information, contact Cherokee advisor Maura DiMedio.
Columbia High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project provides students and faculty members the chance to talk openly about important issues in Columbia High School. The Student Council invites about 200 students and 50 faculty members, all at random. For about four hours these participants sit in groups with a mixture of students and faculty and discuss issues such as leveling, diversity, safety, visibility/accessibility of administration, and hall sweeps. The groups not only discuss the issues that are brought to attention, but they share their opinions on the topic as well as any solutions that could possibly work. Then the groups all come together and share their ideas about, solutions for, and opinions regarding their particular issue. After the forum has concluded the students and faculty that attended the event try to pursue those solutions and influence others to do the same. The solutions that were created during the forum are brought back to Student Council and from there the Executive Board then informs the rest of the student body of the solutions through the morning announcements on the Columbia Cable Network (CCN). The Student Council then works closely with the administration to make sure these ideas become actions.
A total of 200 out of 2000 (10%) students participated in the project, 17 out of 17 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 50 out of 225 (22%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Dr. Lovie Lilly, “I believe we have achieved significant gains in the areas of student engagement and involvement. The ethos of the school is notably improved, and The Student Forum Project should benefit students’ experiences for many years to come.”
Franklin High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is also a fundraising activity that can be morphed in many different concepts and ways. As an advisor, one must push past the possible negative connotations that my lie behind what the name conveys; you must make special mention that there will be no alcohol involved. After that the FHS Tailgate does take on the features of a typical tailgate featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers. Over the past two years, Franklin High School has had this event catered. This event is very flexible, it has been run as the Senior Tailgate, Prom Tailgate, and the Fall/Spring Tailgate. While the FHS Tailgate does coincide with football season it can be used as a social event; we have geared it towards our senior class. With the addition of music and games this can turn into a great picnic type event. Council members set up, serve food and beverages, play music, organize games, and clean up. Funds are raised from ticket sales to this event, which more than cover the food/beverage cost.
A total of 500 out of 2100 (24%) students participated in the project, 10 out of 10 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 25 out of 250 (10%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Vice Principal Ana Washington, “This highly anticipated event has had a significant impact on our school culture. Students and teachers all come together to enjoy an afternoon of bonding and sharing of school spirit.”
For more information, contact Franklin advisor Robert Freedman.
Hunterdon Central High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT event featured several talented students interested in displaying their guitar skills. Two teachers, both members of a band, served as leaders for the musical aspect of this event and conducted auditions for interested participants. The ten most talented individuals were selected to participate in the Guitar Showcase, working individually with these two teachers in addition to a house band for one month to bring the show together. The Student Council publicized the event by running a commercial on the morning announcements, posting flyers around the school, and displaying two banners located in the lunchrooms. Two weeks prior to the event, volunteers from Student Council sold tickets during lunch. Council members also designed the event program, which introduced the students involved. On the night of the event Student Council members sold tickets at the door, served as ushers in the auditorium, and sold drinks and snacks during intermission. The performance featured all ten selected student guitarists, who performed two songs each, in addition to six members of the house band and two emcees.
A total of 25 out of 3100 (1%) students participated in the project, 15 out of 50 (30%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 10 out of 200 (5%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Vice Principal Ashley Walulak, “This event allows students who are not normally involved in student activities an opportunity to showcase their hidden talents. Additionally this event draws a crowd of students that typically do not attend school sponsored events.”
For more information, contact Hunterdon Central advisor Jane Paradiso.
Madison Junior School
This MIDDLE LEVEL project features a contest which involves much work from the students who become candidates. Each student must be sponsored by a local business, wear casual and formal outfits during the actual contest, create and perform an individual talent act, be prepared to answer numerous questions, learn and perform an opening group act, all while raising funds for the State Charity. When local businesses sponsor a contestant, he becomes “Mr. (business name)” which gets that business some recognition and notoriety with their donation toward the State Charity. Ticket sale proceeds are also donated to the State Charity. There are many practices prior to the actual show night, at which faculty members serve as judges for the various competitions. Contestants are judged for their talent, spirit, and articulation – there are prizes for Mr. Congeniality (spirit and spunk) and Mr. Talent (best performance), but the pinnacle of the night is the conclusion when “Mr. MJS” is crowned.
A total of 350 out of 568 (62%) students participated in the project, 20 out of 50 (40%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 10 out of 45 (22%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Thomas Liss, “each year when I ask for chaperones this event is the most sought after for many reasons; it is our most celebrated event of the year.”
For more information, contact Madison Junior School advisor Stephen Finkelstein.
Mount Olive High School
TAKE YOUR CHILD TO WORK DAY
This EDUCATIONAL and SERVICE project paired Student Council volunteers and children of Mount Olive staff members for an afternoon of educational activities and fun on the annual “Take Your Child to Work Day”. First, the Student Council invites staff members and their children to participate in the day. Then a roster is compiled and based on the number of participants age specific groups are formed. In the past, groups of attendees have participated in Art, Music, Robotics, TV, and Science classes facilitated by staff members. Student Council members have also taught classes such as Dance, Ecology and Book Buddies. A schedule for both groups is developed from the classes that will be taught, from this a supply list is generated and items are purchased by Student Council. Volunteers attend meetings to inform of the details, expectations and highlights. The actual event day is filled with excitement and energy, as all participants meet in the library for introductions and overview of the day and then the fun begins. Volunteers escort the participants to and from each class, acting as teacher aides and mentors. Everyone regroups and the end of the day for one last activity and parent pick up.
A total of 35 out of 1500 (2%) students participated in the project, 35 out of 100 (35%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 20 out of 107 (19%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Kevin Stansberry, “volunteers are able to demonstrate their leadership skills by organizing, producing, and executing events for the younger participants…young attendees are able to witness firsthand the positive influence student leaders have in their everyday environment.”
For more information, contact Mount Olive advisor Christine Nelson.
Neptune High School
STUDENT & STAFF MEMBER OF THE MONTH
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project was created to raise the morale of the students and staff in order to increase school spirit. The Student Council developed three separate components of this project by creating Student and Staff Member of the Month, Birthday Cards, and Monthly Staff Appreciation. For Student and Staff Member of the Month a nomination form and ballot was created. For the birthday cards every student in the school receives a card on his/her birthday as well staff members who want to take part. For the Monthly Staff Appreciation there is a special “thank you” treat for the staff in the faculty room. Each component is a committee. The Student and Staff Member of the Month the committee members created the nomination ballot, the system for voting, and anonymously vote for the winner. The Birthday Card committee is responsible for going through the birthdays of all the students in the school, separating them by month, putting the names on the cards, as well as the date and homeroom teacher’s name on the back of the card. They also help with the distribution of the cards. The Monthly Staff Appreciation committee decided on what the monthly treat should be, contributes to the treat as necessary, and helps with the set up and clean-up of the faculty room on treat day.
A total of 1200 out of 1375 (87%) students participated in the project, 54 out of 60 (90%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 112 out of 112 (100%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Richard W. Allen, “this project has been well received by the entire Neptune High School family…it has without a doubt raised the morale of Neptune High School and has helped to engage the faculty and students.”For more information, contact Neptune advisor Catherine Crelin.
Parsippany Hills High School
HALLOWEEN AT THE HILLS
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project brings the whole school together in one night to entertain the children by setting up various Halloween themed classrooms for them to enjoy while promoting safe trick-or-treating and avoiding the negative behaviors associated with Mischief Night. Nearly all co-curricular clubs participate, each being given a room to decorate and set up activities for the community to enjoy. Some rooms become haunted classrooms while others feature fun games and face painting, and most rooms give out candy to the trick-or-treaters who visit. In the cafeteria, parents and kids can purchase pizza and water sold by the Student Council while a DJ plays classic Halloween songs. Buckets for the State Charity are also set up in the cafeteria for adults to donate, and Student Council members scatter around the school with buckets too. Each year parents compliment the school for how their children enjoy this event, while a good amount of funds are also raised for the State Charity.
A total of 200 out of 1200 (17%) students participated in the project, 33 out of 50 (66%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 30 out of 150 (20%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Mike DiSanto, “I am still amazed by the excitement, intensity, and popularity of this event…it is one of the most anticipated happening of the school year.”
For more information, contact Parsippany Hills advisor Danielle Portella.
Seneca High School
STATE CHARITY DINNER
This FUNDRAISING and SERVICE project brings together students, faculty, community members, and local businesses to support the State Charity. Students at Seneca work for weeks in preparation as they reach out to local businesses, schools, and community stakeholders. They prepare banners, flyers, and posters to be distributed throughout the community. They also visit the local middle and elementary schools to get the word out. Student Council members meet with businesses and encourage them to promote their business by donating a gift basket for the silent auction. Seneca teachers, clubs, and athletic teams also donate baskets to support the cause. The dinner is prepared by the Future Chefs of America club at Seneca and is served by Student Council members. Attendees have the option to support the State Charity directly by donation, or to participate in the silent auction. Representatives from the charity are in attendance, to speak about their cause and how the funds raised will be utilized. Over the past eight years, this event has been extremely successful in raising funds for the State Charity while bringing the Seneca community together.
A total of 45 out of 1265 (4%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 30 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 4 out of 120 (3%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Bradley Bauer, “this event not only contributes a charitable donation, but also brings our school and community closer together to embody the culture of Seneca High School.”
For more information, contact Seneca advisor Erica Maira.
South Brunswick High School
This FUNDRAISING project was organized in honor of breast cancer awareness month. On October 20, 2011, South Brunswick High School’s Student Council organized “Go Pink” in which the entire school was encouraged to wear pink. To advertise the day, for the entire month of October, the student council was selling two types of pink shirts and pink pens with all the proceeds going to The Amy Foundation along with posters and bulletin boards hung around the school. On “Go Pink” day the students, faculty, and staff all wore pink and some of the female students purchased pink hair feathers for $10.00 from La Jolie Salon and Spa. The money made from the hair feathers was split half and half with the student council and the salon with all the money going to support breast cancer research. Overall, the event was a success, raising a total of $556.23 which was donated to The Amy Foundation in memory of Diane Goodwin. As an annual event, Go Pink gets more popular every year and with additions like the pink hair feathers the event will only gain more popularity. South Brunswick High School was honored to have the opportunity to raise awareness of such a prominent cancer and be able to help find a cure by the donations offered to the foundations.
A total of 800 out of 2834 (28%) students participated in the project, 16 out of 16 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 250 out of 300 (83%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Patricia Abitabilo, “our Student Council explores the opportunities for service, chooses the most appropriate causes, and maps out a plan to involve the entire school community in providing service.”
For more information, contact South Brunswick advisor Lauren Morris.
Stewartsville Middle School
5K CHARITY WALK TO RITA'S
This MIDDLE LEVEL project has been conducted in the past two years to raise money in support of the State Charity. Students and teachers are invited to the yearly walk to Rita’s Italian Ice, a popular hotspot for kids in Stewartsville. This event is hosted by the Student Council, working together with Rita’s and the Stewartsville Police Department. Parent volunteers are stationed along the walking path mapped out by the Student Council, and many of the school’s staff members walk with the students to ensure safety and have fun along the way. The local community also takes part in the project; parents that live in houses on the route of our walk always sit outside and greet everyone while the police department helps with traffic control while supporting the walking kids. Overall, the event has provided the Stewartsville Middle Student Council with great success in supporting the State Charity. It has also brought the community together, creating many laughs and memories while celebrating the hard work and philanthropy of our middle school student leaders. The Stewartsville Middle School Student Council hopes to hold the 5k to raise money for the NJASC State Charity for many years to come!
A total of 225 out of 310 (73%) students participated in the project, 38 out of 38 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 10 out of 20 (50%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Stephanie Snyder, “It is heartwarming and a little overwhelming to see the swarms of students walking down the main street of our township to support our student body organization in their efforts to support the annual State Charity.”
For more information, contact Stewartsville advisor Bonnie Boyer.
Allentown High School
This FUNDRAISING project raised over $700.00 for the men and women serving our country in the US Marines. This money was donated to Operation Redbird, a group that sends packages to members of the Allentown community who are serving in combat zones. The event was suggested by a former Student Council member who is currently serving in the marines, and was held during the 2010 Spring Pep Rally so that the entire school and staff would be present to enjoy the show. Students interested in competing for the title of "Chicken Wing Eating Champion" signed up and received a bucket to collect donations. After one week, the eight students or staff members with the most money raised were asked to be in the actual event while the rest were thanked for their contributions. Each of the eight contestants had the opportunity to have an Entourage, a group of 10 friends to cheer them and help make a big entrance. When all the contestants and entourages made their scene, the competition began. There were two 5 minute eating periods, in which the eight people ate as many chicken wings as possible, being sure to clear the bone completely. Student Council members then sifted through the bones (using gloves of course) and counted each contestant's total - the winner ate 46 wings in 10 minutes! This event was for a great cause and the whole school really got into the contest as they watched fellow students and staff members stuff their faces with wings!
A total of 1200 out of 1200 (100%) students, 50 out of 55 (91%) Student Council members, and 110 out of 110 (100%) teachers became involved. In the words of Guidance Secretary Anastasia Essi, "A former graduate who is now a US Marine suggested a Wing Bowl contest in support of Operation Redbird, which proved very successful and generated the interest of the entire student body. From the reports of the recipients, Operation Redbird has brought support and comfort to our troops in harms way."
For more information, contact Allentown Advisor Pat Sweeney.
Brooklawn Middle School
SERVE THE SOLDIERS
This MIDDLE LEVEL project was student generated, student planned, student implemented, and brought together the school community to serve those who serve our country overseas. It began with a letter from 1st Lt. Joseph Zdaniewicz, a former (2001) NJASC State Officer and LTC Junior Counselor, who well into his first deployment in Afghanistan was starting to feel beaten down by the heat turned to cold as the holidays approached. He and his unit were desperately in need of some reminders of home. What began as a discussion about this letter by a small group of students became “Serve The Soldiers”, in which the Student Council collected various personal items for the men and women of his army unit and then shipped them overseas. After some research the primary items collected were puzzles, games, balls, socks, gloves, non-perishable snacks, books, and especially letters or cards. In organizing this project and collecting these items, students and faculty not only gained a personal appreciation for the service provided by the young men and women of our military but directly established a personal connection to the servicemen and servicewomen of this unit and extended dedication to service beyond the boundaries of their school and local community.
Over 400 students out of 870 (46%), 75 out of 75 Student Council Members (100%), and 15 out of 100 teachers (15%) became involved in the project. In the words of Mrs. Eileen Hoehne, “The Brooklawn Student Council and all those who became a part of this project were impacted by this far more than they could have ever imagined…this project will forever remain as a life lesson to all the students, who will hopefully continue to pay it forward in their volunteerism and leadership.”
Buena Regional High School
EARTH DAY OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
This SERVICE project was started as a joint effort between the Student Council and Future Farmers of America (FFA), and was completed with the help of the wood shop classes. The "outdoor classroom" was created in a wooded area behind the teachers' parking lot and includes a walking path for Science classes to observe and identify various types of animal and plant life. Wood shop classes designed and built benches as well as a teacher's podium, while Student Council and FFA members cleared debris and laid down the paths to this new classroom. The local community also became involved in this project. The owner of a local winery brought his tractor and auger to drill the needed holes for installing the benches and podium, while a retired fire chief helped students line up the benches into the correct holes and tamp them in with stone. Some Buena Regional alumni also helped in collecting logs for the wood chipper and then using the chips to create the path to and from this new outdoor classroom. All of this took place in only ONE DAY, and proved that students in different organizations could come together to benefit the school and community.
A total of 65 out of 900 (7%) students, 75 out of 75 (100%) Student Council members, and 5 out of 75 (7%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Richard A. Lawrence, "This great work would not have been possible without the efforts of Mrs. Meyrick (advisor) and the Student Council."
For more information, contact Buena Regional HS Advisor Barbara Meyrick.
Columbia High School
HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FUNDRAISER
This SERVICE project was in reaction to last year’s earthquake in Haiti, a devastating tragedy with ramifications echoing within Columbia' High School and throughout its' sending district. Awed by the extent of the destruction and motivated to help because of the large Haitian population within the school, the Student Council decided to direct its efforts towards organizing a massive, community-wide fundraising effort. It reached out to other clubs, including Key Club, the Columbia Haitian American Club (CHACA), and Columbia High School Inspired (CHI) among others, in a concentrated approach to collect donations throughout the school and the community. By advertising on the local cable TV channel, the effort was publicized in surrounding towns, encouraging their communities to join this effort. Charity events, such as an Open Mic Night, were held and made open to all so that the community would be invited into the school to support the cause. The overall result was a donation of $9055.00 to Partners in Health, a leading organization in the Haitian Earthquake Relief effort. The outcome of this project surprised and amazed many, but there was never a doubt about the power of a community working together to help others in need. The Student Council was gratified by and so appreciative of the participation across the school district and the Maplewood-South Orange community.
A total of 1750 out of 1950 (90%) students, 23 out of 23 (100%) Student Council members, and 180 out of 200 (90%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Dr. Lovie Lilly, "The Haitian Earthquake Relief fundraising effort was an overwhemling success. This was the first time in several years that a wide variety of clubs and service organizations worked cohesively toward a common objective. Although these organizations maintain very distinct mission statements, etc. their collaborative efforts spurned ideas into action that resulted in the collection of money, food, clothing, and other supplies."
Hunterdon Central Regional High School
This FUNDRAISING project encouraged all students of Hunterdon Central to wear pink to the home football game against Phillipsburg, uniting them in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In this spirit, we reached out to the Phillipsburg Student Council who agreed to spread the word to their fans to wear pink. Both football teams participated as well, with the Hunterdon Central team wearing pink stickers on their helmets and the Phillipsburg team sporting pink shoe laces. To fundraise for the Pink Out, the Student Council ordered pink ribbon shaped pretzels to sell at the Snack Shack and 2000 pink awareness bracelets to sell during lunch the week of the game and at the game. A generous donation of pink Tic Tac candies were received, and given away with the bracelets and educational pamphlets at a table set up by each ticket booth entrance. After all the donations were counted, the Student Council matched the proceeds to raise for a total of $750.00 that was donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The local newspaper featured this event on the front page and highlighted the article in pink. The students were very supportive and the stands were packed with spectators in pink attire on both the home and visitors' sides.
A total of 1800 out of 3200 (56%) students, 60 out of 60 (100%) Student Council members, and 200 out of 300 (67%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Ashley Walulak, "For the first time ever, Hunterdon Central worked together with one of our key rivals, Phillipsburg. Although we were on opposing teams, we shared the common goal of raising breast cancer awareness - this event was fabulous and we hope to continue these efforts in future years."
For more information, contact Hunterdon Central HS advisor Jane Paradiso.
Kinnelon High School
BULLYING STOPS HERE
This EDUCATIONAL project promoted anti-bullying in the Kinnelon High School community, where students wore pink in support of saying that the BULLYING STOPS HERE. This event took place on Wednesday October 20, 2010 during Spirit Week. The Student Council sold pink t-shirts to high school students and the entire district staff. The teachers took a tally during first block of how many students were wearing pink in each grade, and the grade with the highest amount of participation pink won points. The Student Council and Peer Leaders went to the middle school to speak to the students the day before, in which each homeroom had two students initiate a discussion about anti-bullying. The students were given a handout to lead the discussion and then discussed where bullying occurs, how it can be prevented, and who is involved in a bullying situation. The middle school principal was very pleased with the result, and then reminded the students to wear pink the next day. This event also prompted many discussions in the classrooms in the entire district and it was a sea of pink in the hallways. It was a successful event that will continue at Kinnelon High School in upcoming years.
A total of 400 out of 700 (57%) students, 45 out of 45 (100%) Student Council members, and 76 out of 82 (93%) teachers became involved. In the words of Vice Principal Scott Rosenberg, "Our student council at Kinnelon High school recognized this growing problem (bullying) and decided to do something about it. [This project] truly emphasizes that caring and honorable community we aim to create at our high school."
For more information, contact Kinnelon HS Advisor Hannah Sappio.
Lopatcong Middle School
ALMOST ANYTHING GOES
This MIDDLE LEVEL project has been a big success for many years. Almost Anything Goes is a night of fun, competitive games to raise money for emergency services in our community. The beneficiary rotates each year between the Lopatcong Fire Department and the Lopatcong Emergency Squad. This year we were able to raise $1,350 for the Fire Department. Student Council members are responsible for organizing the teams, designing a t-shirt, and collecting sponsors for our event. Parents are also asked to help with collecting admission, scoring, timing, refereeing, setting up the props for each event, and organizing refreshments. Out of all of the events our Student Council Sponsors, this one is the biggest and involves the most participants. Not only is a large portion of our school involved, but members of the community are encouraged to take part, as well. Almost Anything Goes encourages the students, teachers, administration, alumni, and community members to work together for a positive cause. In addition, the students are always thrilled to face off against their teachers and parents in several friendly contests, including an epic game of tug of war.
A total of 216 out of 438 (49%) students, 107 out of 129 (83%) Student Council members, and 18 out of 47 (38%) teachers became involved. In the words of Vice Principal Stephen Geisel, “School and community spirit was in evidence before, during, and after the event. Almost Anything Goes brought all stakeholders in the school and community together, and the Lopatcong Township Middle School student council made it all happen."
For more information, contact Lopatcong Township MS Advisor Traci Ruane.
Ocean City High School
RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE
This SERVICE project was the largest service activity organized by the Ocean City HS Student Council. This annual American Red Cross Blood Drive involves not only the participation of the Red Cross, but also staff support, student donors, committee members, and it affects hundreds more based on the amount of blood donated. We believe it is one of our most influential projects because it allows all students the opportunity to participate and donate. Our philosophy is "Service Above Self" and by organizing this drive, we feel we are introducing civic action to students who otherwise, are unaware. By encouraging humanitarianism in high school, we believe we are introducing habits of volunteerism to individuals who may continue its practice throughout their lives.
Though we have had six consecutive highly successful blood drives, we are continually conflicted by the date. As it is held in the first weeks of March, spring athletes are often unable to donate. Coaches are concerned about the physical strain and fatigue donation places on student athletes, and often discourage or forbid their teams to donate. We have considered moving the date, but argue then that less people will be able to donate because they have not yet turned the required donation age. With many successes, we have elected to continue using our spring date and feel that some losses would be apparent in any situation.
A total of 300 out of 1250 (24%) students, 90 out of 95 (95%) Student Council members, and 75 out of 160 (47%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Matthew Jamieson, "The Red Cross Blood Drive is the most critical project organized by our Student Council, and these student organizers worked for several months to plan the event. The OCHS Student Council worked tirelessly to involve the faculty, staff, and community at large."
For more information, contact Ocean City HS Advisor Matt Purdue.
Readington Middle School
This FUNDRAISING project has been an annual tradition at Readington Middle School since the 2007-2008 school year. Currently, RMS is preparing for the Fourth Annual Lip Sync Competition that will take place this coming February. Last year RMS raised approximately $3500.00 for the Family Reach Foundation, the NJASC State Charity. The Lip Sync is an entertaining evening show where students perform a song of their choice and prepare a choreographed dance routine. This event is over a two month long process, beginning with a group application process and song selections. After student groups, and traditionally one teacher group, have been formed, the Student Council hosts try-outs, begins the process of advertising for the event in the school and throughout the RMS community, and creates a much anticipated t-shirt design. Students spend countless hours practicing their routines, designing outfits and costumes, and then finally putting on a fantastic show on the big night. This event is one of the most anticipated evenings of the year at Readington Middle School. This fundraiser generates profits through ticket sales, group application fees, and t-shirt sales. Almost more importantly, this event generates school spirit and creates a positive and enthusiastic school atmosphere of teamwork, appreciation of hard work, and working towards a common goal to raise money for a good cause.
A total of 90 out of 800 (11%) of students, 35 out of 100 (35%) Student Council Members, and 10 out of 88 (11%) of teachers became involved in last year’s Lip Sync. In the words of Principal Catherine Hollinger, "The Lip Sync is a highly anticipated event that has had a significant impact on our school culture. Students, teachers, and parents all come together to enjoy the show each year."
For more information, contact Readington MS Advisor Erin Spiess.
Southern Regional High School
This EDUCATIONAL project was a simulation of a drunken driving accident performed by members of the Student Council, local police, fire department, and EMS. Our school resource officer, Stafford Patrolman Ron Brummer, assistant principal Joe DiPietro and I organized the event. The junior and senior classes were brought to the football stadium just before junior and senior prom. Two damaged vehicles were set up as if they were in a head-on collision. 4 student council members played the role of prom-goers who were on their way to an after-prom party. In the second vehicle, two staff members and a student council member played the role of a family. The driver of the student vehicle acted as the “drunk driver”. His front seat passenger was sprawled on the hood of the car, dead from going through the windshield. The two backseat passengers were injured. In the second vehicle, a staff member pretended to be unconscious from the accident. In the next few minutes, police, paramedics, and the fire trucks all raced onto the field. Each of the responders acted if this was the real thing. The driver was handcuffed and taken away, injured students were helped by EMS, and our unconscious staff member flown away in a life flight helicopter. The final moments of the re-enactment had our deceased student placed in a body bag and driven away by a hearse. All of this was done to remind students of the dangers of drinking and driving before their respective proms.
A total of 1050 out of 2100 (50%) students, 9 out of 104 (9%) Student Council members, and 5 out of 250 (2%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Joseph DiPietro, "I know that Project Crash was in the minds of our seniors as they approached prom season last year; I truly believe that the powerful message that was delivered that day will be a guiding force to students when they are in the position of potentially making a destructive decision."
For more information, contact Southern Regional HS Advisor Steven Derion.
Union High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is a mock beauty pageant for senior males held each May. Contestants compete in casual wear, talent, swim wear, and formal wear. After formal wear six finalists are selected who then compete in a question/answer segment. The second runner up receives half off a tux rental, the first runner up receives a free tux rental - and Mr. UHS receives a crown and cloak, free prom tickets and free tux rental. The contestants themselves vote on a “Mr. Congeniality”, who receives a month membership at a local gym.
Advertising for contestants and emcees begins in March, and auditions are held in April to select them. Teachers judge the competition and over the past four years there has been a “celebrity” judge each year, including Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Model Melissa Baker, America’s Next Top Model Contestant Mena Ayinde (also a UHS alumnae), and American Idol Contestant Michelle Delamor. A bulletin board is created with each contestant, host and judge’s picture. Contestants and emcees rehearse after school for several afternoons prior to the event. Student Council members make a program for the show, purchase food and beverages for refreshment sales, order roses for contestants to give their escorts during the formal wear segment, select a DJ, organize judges packets, and order favors for the runner ups and winner. On the day of the event Student Council members work throughout the day to sell tickets for the show, set up the auditorium, create a backdrop banner, set up refreshment sales, work the curtains, lights, and take care of any last minute details that are needed. During the event Student Council members sell tickets and refreshments, distribute programs, and ensure that every aspect of the show runs smoothly. After the show council members clean up and store any leftover supplies in our student council closet. The week after Mr. UHS, the Student Council watches a video of the show and enjoys talking about what went well and what should be done to improve for the following year.
A total of 700 out of 2600 (27%) students, 30 out of 30 (100%) Student Council members, and 25 out of 200 (13%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Edward Gibbons, "The Mr. UHS program certainly contributed to the overall development of school spirit at Union High School. The entire community of Union is very proud of our Student Council."
For more information, contact Union HS Advisor Meredith Getsinger.
Bayonne High School
POWDER PUFF & BOYS' CHEER COMPETITION
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project featured a flag football tournament where the senior girls played the sophomore girls, the junior girls played the freshmen girls, and the winner of these two games played for the championship. Each grade level also had a cheer squad that consisted of 20-25 boys, who performed a routine both at the Spring Pep Rally earlier in the day and at the tournament that night. This was the first year Bayonne High School conducted this event, and to plan it they visited a similar event at South Brunswick High School to get ideas. There was much planning, both within the school to organize and promote the event and with the city of Bayonne to secure the field. Each class decorated the halls to match their class colors, and on the day of the event wore spirit clothing as this also marked the first Spring Pep Rally in many years. The community was also invited to this event, and all proceeds from a full stadium of attendees benefited the American Cancer Society.
A total of 200 out of 2600 (8%) students, 18 out of 50 (36%) Student Council members, and 30 out of 250 (12%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Richard Bacarella, "The stands were full of students, families, and members of the community having a great time...the Bayonne High School Powder Puff and Cheer Competitions were a great success and seem to be a new BHS tradition."
For more information, contact Bayonne Advisor Jeanine Jensen.
Belvidere High School
SLIME THE TEACHER
This FUNDRAISING project raised over $500.00 to support the Joshua Tresslar Memorial Scholarship Fund, named in honor of a former Belvidere student government president and 1999 graduate who passed away from lymphoma in January 2009. This scholarship was started by his family to keep his memory alive and to support current Belvidere students in continuing their education after high school. During Spirit Week, seven teachers volunteered to "get slimed". Their names were placed on canisters in the cafeteria, and the three with the most money at the end of the week would get slimed. Student goverment members promoted this event and so did some of the teachers, with a rivalry developing between two of the seven that volunteered to participate. The actual sliming took place at the Pep Rally, whih was great fun for the students as well as the "slimed" teachers.
A total of 300 out of 570 (62%) students, 100 out of 149 (67%) Student Council members, and 7 out of 55 (13%) of teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Chris Halloran, "The students had a great timem, the faculty enjoyed seeing their colleagues get slimed, and most importantly we are reminded of a student that worked hard to achieve success but lost a battle to cancer far too early in life."
For more information, contact Belvidere HS Advisor Joan O'Neil.
Cherokee High School
This EDUCATIONAL project was designed to give homeroom ambassadors some of the same skills and training that the nine Cherokee delegates to the NJASC Leadership Training Conference (LTC) received the past summer. In August, a planning committee was created and council officers worked through September to develop a lesson plan to use at this event, based on some of what they experienced at LTC. At first, the officers were apprehensive and wondered if the homeroom ambassadors would actually attend, but when the training took place on October 2, 39 out of 40 did. After this event, each ambassador completed an evaluation form and the feedback was very positive. In the coming year, these evaluations will be used to help plan the next Ambassador Training session. Since the training homeroom ambassadors have been more energetic, interested in council events, and better at public speaking when delivering information to their respective homerooms.
A total of 53 out of 2433 (2%) students, 53 out of 125 (42%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 250 (1%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Linda Rohrer, "The skills learned at Ambassador Training will not only help with student council, but are transferable skills that can be used throughout high school and life. I am proud that the student council took the initiative to bring formal leadership training to Cherokee High School."
For more information, contact Cherokee HS Advisor Staycee Milligan.
Columbia High School
FALL PEP RALLY
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project involved the entire student body and school community as they resurrected the Fall Pep Rally as an assembly. In prior years, the school administration did not allow Pep Rallies, due to concerns about safety and order in the gym. The Student Council proposed that a new Fall Pep Rally be held in the auditorium and created a plan that included a step-by-step blueprint for the event, believing that the new venue would allow for a more orderly and well-planned activity. Prior to the Pep Rally, each team involved has to submit their music and lyrics were reviewed by the advisors. In addtion, two full rehearsals were conducted prior to the actual Pep Rally, to ensure that all was in order. The week of the Pep Rally became Spirit Week, for which the halls were decorated and each day had a different dress up them, such as "Wacky Wednesday" or "Farmer Thursday". There were two Pep Rallies, one for each half of the school. At each, student council members were the MC's and teacher volunteers dressed up to provide comic relief between the introductions for each sports team. The Pep Rally excited Columbia students and increased school spirit and pride, while showing support for the marching band, color guard, cheerleaders, and athletic teams.
A total of 1950 out of 1950 (100%) students, 22 out of 22 (100%) Student Council members, and 185 out of 185 (100%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Dr. Lovie Lilly, "the essence of school spirit is alive and well due to the dedication and support of our Student Council...the ethos of the school is notably improved and should benefit students' experiences for years to come."
Kawameeh Middle School
This MIDDLE LEVEL project encouraged students to display their heritage by wearing colors of their native flags, shirts showing pride, as well as traditional costumes and garb. Each day for the whole week students could purchase tickets for a raffle, the prize being an international food basket that contained all kinds of things from various cultures. Each day there was a different food theme in the cafeteria, such as Chinese Food or Soul Food Day. There was also a Heritage Banner contest, where each homeroom created a banner to address the theme "What Does Diversity Mean To You?" A Heritage Festival was held in the school gym at night, featuring students' artwork and multimedia presentations. Students and their family members enjoyed food samples from different cultures at an International Cafe. A Heritage dress up day was also held, where students (within the dress code) could show ethnic pride while homerooms competed against each other for points toward Spirit Week. There was also a Heritage Logo contest with the winning entry used for the cover of programs, shirts, and cookbooks.
A total of 750 out of 750 (100%) students, 17 out of 17 (100%) Student Council members, and 20 out of 72 (28%) teachers became involved. In the words of Chief School Administrator Dr. Thedore Jakubowski regarding Multicultural Week, "this is a real reflection of the heritage in this community, and you can see how the kids are really proud of their heritage."
For more information, contact Kawameeh MS Advisor Christina Santoro.
Mount Olive High School
THANKSGIVING DRIVE COMPETITION
This SERVICE project entailed Student Council members concentrating on providing a full Thanksgiving dinner to local families in need. Instead of just collecting money the goal was to make 25 Thanksgiving baskets complete with a full dinner of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, and a $15 gift card to purchase a turkey or ham. Each class was assigned the task of collecting these food items and selling paper turkeys to raise the funds for the gift cards, and a competiton was created to increase overall involvement. The paper turkeys were sold during lunch periods and displayed in the school lobby. Collection boxes for each grade were placed in the cafeteria to collect the food items. In the end, not only was the original goal met, but additional food items brought in were donated to the Mount Olive Food Pantry to further help families in need. Working together with the Director of Family Services for Mount Olive Township, the baskets were distributed to local families in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
A total of 250 out of 1475 (17%) students, 30 out of 55 (55%) Student Council members, and 10 out of 122 (8%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Kevin Stansberry, "Student Council members worked tirelessly in promoting and organizing the drive, and enthusiastically prepared the 25 full Thanksgiving dinners."
For more information, contact Mount Olive HS Advisor Christine Nelson.
Parsippany Hills High School
HALLOWEEN AT THE HILLS
This SERVICE and FUNDRAISING project, held each October 30, brings out over 1000 attendees, providing kids with a safe place to trick-or-treat and an event where families can come together for a fun and safe time. From 5:00-7:30 p.m., each club in the school sets up and decorates a classroom for the kids to enjoy with games, music, candy, and numerous Halloween themes. In this event devoted to the youth of Parsippany, there are both scary and friendly rooms provided for all ages of trick-or-treaters. This project is overseen by the Student Council, which relies on all active clubs to participate. The community is also an important part of the success for this project, which not only provides a safe and secure night for younger kids but also helps to keep older kids out of trouble on "mischief night". Local businesses donate candy and pizza, with all proceeds from admission and food sales becoming part of the State Charity donation for Parsippany Hills High School. Kids from outside Parsippany also come to this event, which has grown to the point that shuttle buses are being looked into for the future.
A total of 300 out of 1250 (24%) students, 90 out of 95 (95%) Student Council members, and 75 out of 160 (47%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Mike DiSanto, "this event is one of the most anticipated happenings of the school year, and is great for parents looking for a safe, fun, and not so scary Halloween experience. This year's attendance was so high that we will have to look for additional parking areas for next year's date."
For more information, contact Parsippany Hills HS Advisor Kitty Reinhard.
Phillipsburg High School
HAUNTED HIGH SCHOOL
This SERVICE and FUNDRAISING project not only benefits the children of the Phillipsburg community, but also serves as a primary fundraiser for the NJASC State Charity. The Student Council works closely with numerous clubs and organizations to provide an event where Halloween amusement for children is exciting and safe. Preparation begins months prior to the event as clubs, athletic teams, and organizations are contacted about hosting a room and deciding on a theme for it. Rooms can be friendly or scary, and the Student Council coordinates all room submissions through a planning committee while also sponsoring a club room of their own. Local businesses provide donations of candy, decorations, and bags for trick-or-treating. Press releases as well as flyers sent to all local schools promote the event. This event is always scheduled on a half-day of school, so that the students have enough time to transform Phillipsburg High School into a haunted house. On the night of the event Student Council members not already involved with a room hand out bags, deal with ticket sales, conduct a costume contest, and oversee the event. After the event, an evaluation meeting is held to discuss the positive and negative aspects of the night and make adjustments for the future.
A total of 650 out of 1650 (39%) students, 120 out of 180 (67%) Student Council members, and 35 out of 120 (29%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Gregory Troxell, "each year, we get various letters from parents of children who are very touched by the generosity of our Student Council's effort with respect to Haunted High School."
For more information, contact Phillipsburg HS Advisor Bill English.
Sayreville War Memorial High School
SAY NO TO DRUGS
This EDUCATIONAL project was designed to lead the younger children of Sayreville on the path of a drug and alcohol free life. In this project, Student Council members visited four elementary schools, an upper elementary school, and the middle school. Planning includes coordinating visit days and times with several school principals, obtaining shirts and other supplies, and making a banner for each school with a catchy slogan declaring that school drug free. On the day for each visit, council members break up into groups of 3 or 4, going into each classroom to introduce themselves and conduct this activity. First, they ask the younger students what they might already know about drugs and how they can affect you. Then they lead these younger students through a series of fun activities that send the message to "Say No To Drugs". The younger students are entertained as they learn about the dangers of drugs and other harmful substances, while council members enjoy interacting with the younger children and listening to their opinions.
A total of 75 out of 1725 (4%) students, 75 out of 75 (100%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 120 (2%) teachers became involved.
For more information, contact Sayreville War Memorial HS Advisor Jen Pesci.
Union High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project included several events throughout one week in March to increase interest and participation among both students and faculty. Featured among these events were the Student-Faculty basketball game and a Spring Dance. Planning begins months in advance as council members decide on dress-up themes for each day, such as Wild West Wednesday and Twins Thursday. Well over half of a large and diverse student body dress up for every day of Spirit Week. Local businesses were also contacted to donate food, and over a dozen volunteered to do so. The Student-Faculty basketball game was held in conjunction with the Girls' Basketball team, council members promoted the game and sold tickets for it. The theme for the Spring Dance was a luau, with leis for all that attended and a gym decorated with a volcano, waterfall, and palm trees. Council members worked hard to plan this dance; booking a DJ, ordering supplies, acquiring food, promoting the dance, and selling tickets. The celebration of school spirit throughout the week and at each major event was definitely worth it, and has given the school something to look forward to each March.
A total of 1500 out of 2600 (58%) students, 200 out of 200 (100%) Student Council members, and 100 out of 230 (44%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Edward Gibbons, "Spirit Week was very successful and it served to have a positive effect on our school climate. The entire Union High School community is very proud of our Student Council."
For more information, contact Union HS Advisor Meredith Getsinger.