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.
Award Application Forms
Click on one of the links below to access the Top Ten Projects award application form. Please mail your completed form to the 2015 NJASC Treasurer at the address indicated on the form by December 1, 2015
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...
Allentown High School
HOMECOMING TAILGATE PARTY
This SCHOOL SPIRIT tailgate event was started last year by Student Council. Our second annual tailgate party helped celebrate Spirit Week and the homecoming games of each of our teams, especially our football team, and raise money for the chosen charity. Our Student Council transformed the parking lot closest to the football field into the celebration area. There were games such as Frisbee, hamster balls, and an outside video game truck to provide entertainment. The cheerleaders performed and a DJ was hired to play music that helped set the mood. The celebration started with the breaking of the football piñata by freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior class members, each taking a turn. The football parents donated food and drink for the tailgate while the cheerleading moms chaperoned. The tailgate added another aspect of spirit to a fun-filled week which ended in our pep rally, parade, and football game. This event allowed students and members of other groups in the school community to come together in a fun and safe way to celebrate the success of our school’s fall sports.
A total of 93 out of 1283 students (7%), 26 out of 48 Student Council members (54%), and 2 out of 138 (2%) of Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Vice Principal Lynn Folino, “this project went off without a hitch, generating school spirit and providing a fun outlet for students to socialize and enjoy activities they would not typically be doing on a Thursday night.”
For more information, contact Allentown advisor Mary Johnson (JohnsoM@ufrsd.net).
Columbia High School
THE GOAT PROJECT
This SERVICE project came from Dr. Beth Dalzell, CHS Student Council advisor. Her daughter, Jenni, has traveled to Haiti and worked as a volunteer since the 2010 earthquake. While there, Jenni met Colin “Baba” Augusnor, a veterinarian and leader in the community of Bassin Bleu. He shared his desire to begin a program of raising goats to enable the community to learn to feed themselves and become self-sufficient. Student Council was enthusiastic about the project; the target was raising money to purchase 60 goats at $100 each. Flyers were made and students spread the word throughout the community as local businesses, houses of worship, families and friends offered donations. Students and staff members generously contributed to the cause. It became a service project for the entire South Orange-Maplewood community, raising nearly $10,000! Dr. Dalzell and her family traveled to Haiti in May 2014 to deliver the donations along with clothing, school supplies and toiletries collected by our students. Student Council felt great pride in successfully providing such life sustaining support for the Bassin Bleu community!
A total of 1700 out of 1913 (89%) students, 22 out of 22 (100%) Student Council Members, and 160 out of 160 (100%) Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Principal Elizabeth Aaron, “The Haiti Goat Project is truly an example of the way we can join together for positive social change.”
Fair Lawn High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is an annual event hosted by the Student Government Association, designed to inform and enlist students into the 67 active clubs of our school. At the beginning of every year, after meeting with representatives from each club, SGA creates the Club Fair to highlight the broad interests offered at Fair Lawn High School. Held in the gym, each club is assigned a table where they construct a display to attract students with similar interests. The clubs hang posters, hand out literature and have sign-up sheets so interested students may receive additional information. During lunch periods, all students are invited to visit, browse and find clubs that interest them most. Council members distribute pamphlets which include a description of each club as well as when and where they meet. Whether it be pursuing a current interest or finding a new one, Club Fair is the perfect opportunity to showcase all that the school has to offer. This event truly displays that there is something for everyone, allowing students to find their place in a welcoming and friendly environment. Praised by students and administration, Club Fair is SGA’s must successful and thriving event.
A total of 1000 out of 1465 (68%) students, 25 out of 25 (100%) Student Council Members, and 8 out of 120 (7%) Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Principal James Marcella, “students have a voice through our clubs and they use that voice to make our community a better place.”
For more information contact advisor Marco Infante (email@example.com).
Hunterdon Central Regional High School
This SERVICE project called Survivors’ Celebration was inspired by the courageous battle 14 million people fight per year, cancer. We took our annual PinkOut football game and elevated it to acknowledge and celebrate the strength that local cancer survivors have. In addition to our annual PinkOut shirt sale and donation boxes at the Snack Shack, where the money collected goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the HC Student Council collected names of those who are fighting and who have fought cancer throughout our school and community. These people received free admission to the game, VIP seating, and a touching tribute where they were honored by the entire football game audience. During halftime, members of the Student Council escorted the survivors onto the field with large bundles of pink balloons, and proceeded to hand out bouquets of pink flowers as a gesture of thanks. A touching tribute was read as the audience applauded widely. It was a memorable moment for everybody as we honored and celebrated those who have been through a horrific ordeal. Members of the community were also involved as our opposing team for that game, Phillipsburg, wore pink in support of breast cancer awareness. The Hunterdon Medical Center also came and handed out educational materials to spectators. Overall, the Survivor’s Celebration was a huge success, and the HC Student Council is looking forward to continuing this new tradition.
A total of 30 out of 3100 (1%) students, 25 out of 110 (23%) Student Council Members, and 2 out of 120 (1%) Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Principal Suzanne J. Cooley, “as those survivors took the field, an entire stadium stood together in support and unity. The message to all that were present was profound and much needed in a time of such uncertainty and pain.”
For more information, contact Hunterdon Central advisor Elizabeth Rosen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project was intended to breathe some life into school dances and make them more fun by renting a photo booth. Upon researching, the students found out the photo booth was too expensive and the council wouldn’t make a profit. Instead, as a team, they put their heads together to come up with a different spin on the photo booth idea. The students decided on a photo backdrop, placing a large themed drop down the hall from the dance. For the first dance, the students created a photo backdrop by soliciting donations from different local party stores, one of which donated a large backdrop and a few parents volunteered to transport it to the school. A photo backdrop wouldn’t be complete without some fun props; some resourceful students created many different props for the backdrop as well. The students at the dance loved claiming props from the prop table before jumping in front of the backdrop to pose. Each photo was $1.00 and all money raised will be donated to the NJASC State Charity. Students were able to take their picture home with them before the dance ended. It was a great project and we are looking forward to continuing this project at the remaining 2 dances this year!
A total of 282 out of 300 (94%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 30 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 10 out of 12 (83%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Kevin Davis, “the Student Council came up with a fun and exciting way to raise money and make the school dances even more fun!”
For more information, contact Knollwood advisor Kelly Fogas (email@example.com).
Ocean City High School
RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE
This SERVICE project begins in December and January with preparations for the annual Blood Drive that will take place in March. Red Cross representatives come to our school to assist us in informing the students and faculty of the Blood Drive and answer any questions that we might not have been able to answer ourselves. Weeks of signups, advertising and logistics keep the event successful every year. Our Red Cross Blood Drive is more than just our typical event; it’s a commitment that’s carried out by the biggest organization in our school. It requires exact times and calculations to ensure that it runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Student Council members who participate in this event feel that it’s more than just putting on an event and cleaning it up after; during the event you see the pints on pints of blood that you know are saving three lives each. We get to see all of the effort that we've put into the event right in front of us which all pays off in the end.
A total of 500 out of 1200 (42%) students, 30 out of 110 (27%) Student Council Members, and 40 out of 125 (32%) Teachers participated in the project.
For more information contact Ocean City advisor Matt Purdue (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Parsippany Hills High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project run aims to help freshmen feel more comfortable in the new high school environment by having them work with their peers and seniors as a team to complete in certain events. This annual event, filled with plenty of fun activities, has always been successful in creating a positive school atmosphere and is conveniently held the same night as Freshman Parent Night for the convenience of the entire family. During this night, teams with ten freshmen and five seniors each compete against each other in a series of competitive games and activities judged by the members of the Student Council. The teams bond and prepare for the competition, fostering a feeling of camaraderie among the students participating. The events challenge team members, who must use teamwork and communication skills to accomplish their goal in each five minute rotation. At the end of the night of competition, all the scores are tallied and the team with the most points wins Frosh Night, but everyone is a winner after having a great time with friends new and old. Frosh Night brings the entire school community together, the students participating bond and create memories with friends to make the night unforgettable for all involved.
A total of 175 out of 1100 (16%) students, 15 out of 50 (30%) Student Council Members, and 2 out of 150 (1%) Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Christian Keegan, “this year’s attendance at Frosh Night was a true measure of how popular the event is, as the school becomes a major community gathering place…it undoubtedly strongly contributes to our school climate.”
For more information contact advisor Danielle Portella (email@example.com).
Randolph High School
SENIOR TAKE OVER DAY
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project was created to unify staff and students. Randolph High School’s first annual Senior Take-Over Day in April of 2014 was much more than a student government fundraiser, it was an opportunity for the senior class and staff to collaborate. Seniors tried to outbid one another for the opportunity to take over a staff member’s position for the day. Staff members volunteered in advance to participate; it expanded beyond high school teachers to administrators in the building, the head of technology, and even the assistant superintendent and superintendent. Students and staff members were encouraged to meet prior to the day to ask questions, prepare lessons and begin to comprehend the serious responsibility this type of shadowing entailed. Students were also required to dress the part, and therefore dress for success! The student leaders that day were also asked to work together and host our spring pep rally. They unified to plan, execute, and manage a very successful and fun filled, well attended celebration of RHS! Randolph High School invites the entire student body of 1,600 to all pep rallies. This project increased unity among the student body and staff; it was well received thanks to the student government’s passion and dedication. Passionate students working together create excellent opportunities; Randolph High School is lucky to have started another outstanding tradition on behalf of the graduating class of 2014.
A total of 50 out of 350 (14%) Seniors, 20 out of 20 (100%) Student Council members, and 50 out of 150 (33%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Superintendent Dr. David M. Browne, “I had one of my favorite Randolph days today hosting Ms. Anna Conklin as Acting Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent Ms. Jennifer Fano hosting Mr. Luke Wright as Acting Assistant Superintendent. We appreciated the chance to get to know these two fine members of the RHS Class of 2014!”
For more information, contact Randolph advisor Lindsay Brinkerhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Seneca High School
BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT SNACK GRAMS
This SCHOOL SERVICE project marks the first student council event of a very busy year. Not only does it help our new members accommodate to student council event, but also it sets the council off on the right foot with the parents. We help guide the parents throughout the school often escorting them if needed. We work with the National Honor Society and the AFJROTC Kitty Hawk Air Society on guiding the parents to their student’s classes. The Student Council also uses back-to-school night as an early fundraiser. We have tables set up at the intersection of every corner to sell snack grams. Snack grams are candy and other snacks such as chips, which for a dollar, parents can buy for their children. The parents then handwrite a message onto a blank label, which is attached to the snack gram. The next morning the snack grams are delivered to the students during homeroom. The students, unaware of why they are receiving a snack gram, are overjoyed when they see that their parents have bought them a snack gram the night before. Overall, selling snack grams at back-to-school night is an easy way to not only make money to start off our year, but also an easy way to brighten a student’s day.
A total of 16 out of 28 Student Council (57%) members participated in the planning and running of the project. In the words of Principal Jeff Spector, “the purpose of this event is to let students know their parents care; getting a supportive note and snack from their parents was a wonderful way to start the school year.”
For more information, contact Seneca advisor Erica Maira (email@example.com).
South Brunswick High School
HUGS FOR BRADY BLACKLIGHT DANCE
This SERVICE project was created in 2012 for the Hugs For Brady Foundation, which supports various aspects of the fight against childhood cancer. The Wells family, who started this foundation, raises money for supplies for children struggling with cancer, tools and resources for families who are dealing with their children’s illness, and works with hospitals to be more accommodating for these patients and their families. This cause was particularly close to our heart since the organization was close to our HOME! The Wells live in South Brunswick, miles from South Brunswick High School and we were thrilled to work on different ways to fundraise and spread awareness about their mission. The South Brunswick Student Council sent letters to local businesses to inform them about the Hugs For Brady Foundation and to ask for donations of door prizes. Students could pay or donate to attend the event, and the Wells family was invited and were able to come and experience the event. Now in its third year, The Hugs For Brady Blacklight dance continues to grow! The Student Council takes the time to raise awareness about childhood cancer in the form of morning announcements, bulletin boards and lunch activities. The end result is an event that celebrates life and good time with friends after the hard work of fundraising and spreading information has been done.
A total of 300 out of 3000 (10%) students, 16 out of 16 (100%) Student Council members, and 15 out of 250 (6%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Peter Varela, “this project stands out because it helped a local charity raise monies while it engaged our students in a community building activity, and what better way to do it but through the art of dancing!”
For more information, contact South Brunswick advisor Kelly Boyer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bayonne High School
THE SANDY GROUND
This SERVICE project was in memory of the twenty-six individuals who lost their lives in the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. This project, also known as “The Sandy Ground: Where Angels Play”, chose several counties across the tri-state area to construct a playground dedicated to a Sandy Hook shooting victim. Last year, the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association of New Jersey asked Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan to adopt a Sandy Ground playground. However, Bayonne was not funded for the construction of this playground. Dr. McGeehan gave the Student Government both the honor and responsibility to raise the funds necessary for the construction of this playground. The Student Government named this task Operation Playground, and expanded the project to include a memorial garden in memory of those who passed away while working in or attending the school district. In order to complete a task of such great magnitude in just a little over a year, the Student Government compacted 2014 with events and fundraisers designed to both strengthen the community and achieve our goal while reaching out to elementary school student councils and encouraging them to participate in Operation Playground events.A total of 800 out of 2700 (30%) students participated in the project, 40 out of 40 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 12 out of 231 (5%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Richard Baccarella, “I have no doubt that the Student Government leaders will work endlessly to succeed in this endeavor and stand together in pride as they watch their hard work pay off, culminating in creation of the park and garden by the end of the year.”
For more information, contact Bayonne advisor Martin Gurczeski.
Columbia High School
THE RYAN BURBANK PROJECT
This SERVICE project was dedicated to former student Ryan Burbank, who was left paralyzed from the chest down in a 2012 swimming pool accident. The accident came as a painful shock to his family; added to the emotional toll was the financial burden of medical treatments. Our project was to raise money to help the family with these costs. The Student Council launched its campaign by selling blue & white "Ryan’s Hope” wristbands to students and community members. We placed collection cans in as many local businesses as would allow them, while encouraging student participation in the “Maplewood in Motion” 5k dedicated to Ryan's recovery. Students worked as waiters at a Community Dinner for the family, inspired and helped advertise a benefit magic show in the school. The project ran approximately three months and was a resounding success. Not only was our Student Council fully involved, but also the entire school and the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange. We are extremely proud of the manner in which our student council and the community at large rallied around Ryan and his family.
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 (100%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Kirk Smith, “our students and the community rose to the occasion to let Ryan and his family know that the concept of family extends beyond bloodlines to a caring community that wants to make a positive difference.”For more information, contact Columbia advisors Beth Dalzell and Hannah Edelman.
High Point Regional High School
MAD DASH FOR MADDIE 5K
This SERVICE project directly benefited one of High Point’s very own students, Mandie DiCarlo, who was diagnosed with Gray Zone Lymphoma about a year and a half ago. During her sophomore year, while she was undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Health, her classmates were constantly thinking of her and her family. Although we were all focused on the current health status of our beloved classmate, we couldn’t ignore the idea of hospital bills being so detrimental to her family’s financial state. After some brainstorming, we decided a local 5K was our best bet to draw the community together. Soon after, the event was named “Mad Dash for Mandie” and we commenced planning. Funds were raised by registration fees as well as donations from local businesses; each Student Council member was responsible to find two sponsors to join the effort. A shorter “Fun Run” was also organized for younger attendees. We set a monetary goal of $10,000 dollars; the event took place on June 15, 2013. Soon afterward, a check for $10,000 was proudly presented to the DiCarlo family. We take remarkable pride in the fact that “Mad Dash for Mandie” was successful on all levels. Since then, her positive attitude and touching smile has managed to pull a school community together in ways that will last forever.
A total of 300 out of 1120 (27%) students participated in the project, 120 out of 120 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 30 out of 100 (30%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Acting Principal Jon Tallamy, “the Student Council turned a hardship into a school wide event to help Mandie and raise awareness of cancer.”
For more information, contact High Point Regional advisor Christine Henry.
Kinnelon High School
This SERVICE project involved a donation drive during Spirit Week. Each year, students eagerly anticipate Spirit Week, which includes a series of events for which points are awarded for first, second, third and fourth places. As part of Spirit Week, the Student Council conducts an annual food drive for charity. Spirit Donations takes advantage of high participation and elevated school spirit as an opportunity to give back to the community. This year’s food drive was extended to include a variety of new items including winter coats, toys, games, books, bicycles, and clothing. More than 3,700 non-perishable food items and more than 5,000 other items were donated. With a student population of just 690, the average student donated more than 12 items. The food items were donated to the Interfaith Food Pantry, Rockaway Food Closet, and the Jersey Battered Women’s Services (JBWS). Winter coats, toys, clothing, etc. were donated to a community in the Bronx. Students were involved in every step of the process, from the planning of the event to the donation of the items and from the packaging to the delivery. In its fourth year and still evolving, Spirit Donations achieved tremendous, unprecedented success our school and Student Council will work to repeat next year.
A total of 600 out of 690 (87%) students participated in the project, 67 out of 67 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 9 out of 72 (13%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Scott Rosenberg, “we are extremely proud of the great work and community service efforts that our Student Council is doing at Kinnelon High School.”
Neptune High School
PTA BABYSITTING & COMMUNITY EVENTS
This SERVICE project encompasses providing babysitting or child care services at the local elementary schools for PTA Meetings, District Wide Parent Meetings, and assisting at Township Recreation Events. During babysitting we play with the kids; the games can range from kickball and basketball, to tag and jump rope. Student Council members also read to the kids and do arts and crafts projects with them. We also provide babysitting services at district wide parent meetings where the activities are similar. In addition, we assist at Township Recreation Events. The responsibilities of Student Council members include working with parents as they interact with their children. The purpose of the project is to overall help enable parents to be more active in their children’s schooling and taking part in community events. In the Neptune School District it is difficult for many parents to make these important meetings because of child care concerns. This project helps to make it a little bit easier.A total of 52 out of 72 (72%) Student Council members were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Richard Allen, “parental involvement has increased…these dedicated Student Council members have been a steady influence, source of inspiration, and tremendous role models for our elementary school aged students.”
For more information, contact Neptune advisor Catherine Crelin.
Parsippany Hills High School
HALLOWEEN AT THE HILLS
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is an annual event run by the Student Council where the high school is transformed into a safe and fun trick or treating environment. Parsippany Hills High School prides itself on bringing the students and community of Parsippany together through this event. The event is targeted towards the children of the town as well as their families and friends. Not only do the participants wear costumes but faculty and students participate as well. Each room is run by a different club which is supervised by a club advisor and interfaced with club members. Clubs are each assigned a room in which they choose a theme that can vary from scary to friendly. Each room typically consists of games, contests, and crafts. Being a Halloween event there is plenty of candy and the children are delighted by the sweet rewards they are given after completing a game. Parents are given a map designating the rooms and outside each room there are signs stating whether it is scary or friendly. In addition, the Student Council runs the Cafeteria which is the hub of the event: there are pizza sales, games, and an information desk as well. Halloween at the Hills is an event that allows children and community to come together and celebrate in a safe environment while still maintaining the thrill of the holiday.
A total of 250 out of 1200 (21%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 50 (60%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 35 out of 150 (23%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Christian Keegan, “our Student Council spends a tremendous amount of time preparing and organizing this event…Halloween At The Hills is one of their most notable moments of the year.”
For more information, contact Parsippany Hills advisor Danielle Portella.
Randolph High School
TIMELINE OF TEES
This SERVICE project involved creating a unique and energetic project to display the rich history our school offers. Students, teachers, coaches, and alumni from Randolph were all approached and asked to donate t-shirts to the "Timeline of Tees". Various clubs, sports, academic teams, and honor societies, all donated their respected t-shirt for the project. To obtain funding, the Class of 2012 and the 2013 Student Council donated money to buy frames for the project. The shirts were framed and hung to create a timeline of events at RHS; the maintenance crew hand bent the metal strips that enclosed the frames on the wall. Over 100 shirts were framed and hung for viewing with many RHS activities represented, increasing student collaboration and involvement in school and community events. The most important part of this project is that the timeline is endless; more shirts and memorabilia can continuously be collected and changed to reflect the ongoing groups at RHS. Feedback from this project has been terrific, many students and parent groups whom visit the school pause and reflect at the wall.
A total of 75 out of 1700 (4%) students participated in the project, 12 out of 36 (33%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 45 out of 200 (23%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Vice Principal Lee Hackney, “these shirts are truly a testament to the rich traditions here at Randolph High School.”For more information, contact Randloph advisor Kelly Fogas.
River Dell High School
RD MOBILE APP
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project brought together students, teachers, parents, and alumni in the River Dell Regional High School community. The idea of a school mobile app for smartphones was born out of a need to create an accessible high school “guidebook” to help new students. Since then, the RD Mobile App has been adopted by students, teachers, parents, and alumni to give quick and easy access to news, upcoming events, and more. For students, this app will be most helpful in remembering the drop rotation schedule, important dates, or even the cafeteria menu. The app also features club descriptions, teachers’ page, special bell schedules like half-days or delayed openings, and quick access to e-mail and the online grade book. Teachers and coaches are able to use the app for its notes feature and sports schedules. Parents and other community members can get this app if they are interested in the dates and times of athletic events, concerts, plays, and board meetings. More students have joined the RD Mobile Project Team not only to expand its functionality but raise more awareness as well. As of the end of November, over 300 students have downloaded the app representing around 30% of the student body and this number continues to grow every day. The app was a huge success, thanks to the advertising and enthusiasm by the student council members. Above all, the RD Mobile App allows anyone to be connected to everything River Dell – all in the palm of your hand.
A total of 10 out of 1086 (1%) students participated in the project, 19 out of 19 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 5 out of 95 (5%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Lorraine Brooks, “the influence of the RD Mobile App extends beyond our school; it provides faster and more efficient communication to our school community and allows all River Dell stakeholders to stay connected to the school.”
For more information, contact River Dell advisor Jennifer Cuccio-Morris.
Seneca High School
SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAYS WEEK
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project brings Seneca High School together; this year it fell the week before Thanksgiving, giving it perfect timing for a Christmas drive to help families affected by AIDS. When students donated items needed by these families, they received Spirit Points towards their class. These items were given to families in need at our Thanksgiving Pep Rally, which culminates Spirit Week. Immediately following Spirit Week is our homecoming football game on Thanksgiving Day, where the school spirit continues with a banner parade of all school teams and clubs along with each class presenting a dance or skit with their float that corresponds with their class theme in order to win Spirit Week points. During Spirit Week, every class also was assigned a hallway and theme to decorate; the best decorated hallway earned points for their grade. Theme days for Spirit Week are chosen by the students well in advance as part of the planning process, based on what they believe will best engage the student body. Seneca’s spirit week is a perfect example of what school spirit and unity stands for, and is one of their most anticipated events of the school year.A total of 320 out of 1245 (26%) students participated in the project, 28 out of 28 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 75 out of 200 (38%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Bradley Bauer, “giving back to our community is extremely important; Spirit Of The Holidays was extremely successful and brought our school and community closer together.”
For more information, contact Seneca advisor Erica Maira.
Somerville High School
THE SPIRIT TREE
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project was created to help raise students’ school spirit along with their holiday spirit. The Spirit Tree is placed in the main lobby of the high school during the month of December. It is decorated with ornaments that represent the purpose and goals of the various clubs, sports, and organizations of Somerville High School. The ornaments are handcrafted by each club, sport, and organization and can sometimes turn into a friendly competition over who can create the best ornament. Student Council Representatives also get involved by creating Somerville High School themed ornaments representing the school as a whole. The Spirit Tree brings the Somerville student body, which comes from both the towns of Somerville and Branchburg, together while building pride within the student body for all the programs and activities offered at the school. The activity culminates with the annual tree lighting before school while the choir leads the school in songs, and the tree remains lit through the holiday season.A total of 500 out of 1200 (42%) students participated in the project, 75 out of 110 (68%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 30 out of 100 (30%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Scott Hade, “the Spirit Tree is a model of how students can unite a school comprised of two communities.”
For more information, contact Somerville advisor Andrea Keller.
West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
SUPER SAMARA DAY
This FUNDRAISING project involved students of West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, coming to support a teacher’s daughter, Samara Sheller, who had been recently diagnosed with childhood cancer. Between concerts and sporting events held to help the Sheller Family, the Student Council organized a Super Samara Day; Samara’s favorite color is pink and council members designed pink shirts with “Super Samara” on the front. With profits dedicated to the Sheller family, the shirts sold quickly and soon enough the entire school was filled with pink shirts that read “Super Samara”. When Super Samara Day came, Samara unfortunately could not attend because she was not feeling her best. The school gathered to take a giant group picture and sign a get-well card. When she felt better, two additional Super Samara Days were designated to keep her spirits high. Inspired by the Student Council, the Volleyball Team held a match dedicated to Samara and a recent alumni dedicated two concerts to the Sheller family. At the end of the fundraiser, well over $4000 was raised from shirts and donations alone. The students and teachers of West Windsor Plainsboro-South are truly a family, and came together to support a fellow Pirate.A total of 1216 out of 1622 (75%) students participated in the project, 40 out of 40 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 117 out of 117 (100%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Dennis Lepold, “Samara’s mom told me how much it meant to Samara when she was given the picture of so many students and teachers wearing the pink shirts and sending her thoughts of good will.”
For more information, contact WW-P South advisor Brandy Moncada.
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 Christine 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.