Taft High School was honored as one of 16 high schools in the state of Oregon to be recognized as a high achieving student council. The award, sponsored by the Oregon Association of Student Councils, sets high standards for councils and recognizes their accomplishment when standards are met.
Councils begin by setting goals in the fall and work hard all year to achieve them. In order to receive the award, councils must be involved in community service, activities that promote school spirit and pride, sportsmanship, unity, recognition and involvement in leadership training.
“Student leaders have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact on the culture and climate of their school and the academic success of their student body by the activities they sponsor,” Sara Nilles, Executive Director for the Confederations of Oregon School Administrators said.
This year Taft was in a bit of a transition year according to Taft ESL/Leadership Teacher Karissa Snelling. As a group, they wanted to maintain and improve upon some of the traditional events and fundraisers such as the Pink-Out for cancer awareness, while also being open to new ideas such as Paint Night with Bob Ross and Smash Bros Tournament.
“Overall, our mission is to make our school a spirit-based, welcoming place where middle and high school students can learn, support and uplift each other, as well as make great memories,” Snelling said. “We are in a time when we need a school culture shift to occur and leadership is hoping to make a great impact in that endeavor.”
Taft’s leadership class is composed of 31 students and the student council includes Autumn Ellis (President), Emma Coulter (Vice President), Lydia Prins (Secretary), Jordan Hall (Treasurer), Fatima Lupercio and Jordyn Ramsey (Public Relations Directors) and Veronica Jin (Historian).
Together, the students participated in activities that show school spirit, culture, pride, recognition and appreciation, community service, unity, diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Pink-Out is among our most beneficial and successful fundraisers,” Snelling said. “It is a month-long series of activities, assemblies and events where all of the money earned goes to those who need assistance to pay for medical bills or mammograms. This year we worked with the North Lincoln Hospital Fund so that everything we raised went straight back to those in our community.”
The schools receiving the honor were recognized at the annual Spring Conference banquet, which was held at the Red Lion Hotel on the River in Portland on April 28. High Schools will be recognized again at the annual Fall Conference in November in Seaside.
The students were excited to receive the award and were pleased to continue the success that was built last year when they received gold status.
“We always knew we could get some sort of recognition when we attended conferences and were honestly surprised we got Gold Status the first year we had applied,” Fatima Lupercio-Rubio said. “I hope future ASB classes can continue to receive this recognition through OASC since the application itself offers plenty of ideas to better the lives of our Tigers.
“We wear the blue ribbons on our names tags at OASC proudly as they serve as reminder of all the things we as an ASB class have done to serve our peers, school and community.”
Receiving gold status in back-to-back years, Snelling feels that this is setting a standard for future Taft Leadership classes and Student Councils for years to come.
“As a group, we have come to an agreement that the work we put into receiving gold status with OASC is not only realizable, but greatly beneficial to our school community,” Snelling said. “OASC has come to show us that student councils are not only about school dances and spirit assemblies, but about solving problems within our community, and educating ourselves and those around us.
“Next year, Taft Associated Student Body (ASB) would like to push even further into the realms of spirit and service.”