For the eleventh consecutive year, the Student Council at Mexico Middle School has earned a Gold Award from the honor council committee of the Missouri Association of Student Councils.
Also at the state convention, incoming president of the MMS Council Ryan Shopher was recognized as the Outstanding Middle School Leader for the state.
Following an interview, Shopher received a plaque and a $350 scholarship to Leadership Camp this summer at William Woods University.
"Ryan is an amazing young man," counselor Julie Lower said. "He is such a leader, and is a great example for all students."
Shopher also is active in Ag Club, Builders Club, Quiz Bowl, football, track, B and G Hustlers 4-H Club and Tae Kwan Do. He is the son of Darlene and Kevin Shopher. Linda Mallot, who has been Student Council sponsor for the past 12 years, believes in the importance of teaching leadership qualities. "I want to inspire students who are in leadership positions," she said. "I think organizations such as Student Council instill community service and help young people think about others."
Selection as a Gold award winner was based on an application submitted by the Council. The award recognizes Student Councils which have a comprehensive program in promoting student activities and student leadership. "The activities must include school service, spirit, community service, student and teacher recognition, and leadership training activities," Malott said.
Activities of the Student Council include participation in Red Ribbon Week, Adopt-a-Block, and raising money for the United Way through a penny war. Members organized a Friends of Rachel program this year, adopted needy families at Christmas and organized a food drive for the Help Center.
For their fundraiser for the Special Olympics, the Polar Bear Plunge, the Mexico Council earned recognition at the state convention for raising the most money by middle schools with 500 or fewer students. Twenty members participated in the February event, and raised $1,525.00.
The administrators at MMS are appreciative of the efforts of all members of the Student Council. "We believe an involved child is more academically successful," Deb Hill Haag, principal, said. "It changes the culture of a school when students work to make their school a better place."
Ed Costley, assistant principal, recognizes the advantages of students representing the school in a positive way."Our Student Council provides resources for our school, and gives us valuable input on decisions which impact our school," he said.
Other Student Council members representing MMS at the state convention at Washington High School were Emily Chastain, Emma Chedwick, Kaelyn Denham, Janea Nunnelly and Cody Watkins.