Democracy in action at Stafford Elementary School

Image: The newly elected Student Council officers: Reese Janek, Karson Holley, Tanner Chambers, Jaylon Lusk, LaJada Jackson, Chase Hyles and Brook Gage.

The newly elected Student Council officers: Reese Janek, Karson Holley, Tanner Chambers, Jaylon Lusk, LaJada Jackson, Chase Hyles and Brook Gage. (Cindy Sutherland)

Everyone has the right to vote, your vote makes a difference. Stafford Elementary students exercised their right to vote by electing students to the newly established student council. Jeanette Janek (dyslexia and reading teacher), Leslie Allen (title one reading teacher), Melissa Bedard (counselor), Jane Medrano (fifth grade math teacher), Felecia Burkhalter (library aide) and Myla Wilson (principal) put their heads together and made it happen.

With lots of hard work and dedication from the teachers and principal of Stafford Elementary, students got the opportunity to witness democracy in action when voting for the student council members. The election was run like the real thing and students got to learn about democracy first hand.

To campaign for the various offices you had to be a proven student leader and you had to be in the third, fourth, fifth or sixth grade. The positions available were: for the third and fourth grades: Class Representative and Alternate; from the fifth grade: Historian and Secretary, Class Representative and Alternate; and from the sixth grade: President, Vice President and Treasurer, Class Representative and Alternate.

When elected to the student council these Stafford Tigers will have the opportunity to actively participate in school wide initiatives, lend hands to community causes, and see democracy in action.

The thought behind having a student council was to help student leaders gain responsibility, increase their pride in their school and gain an overall awareness of events at a local and global level. Class representatives along with school officers will be held to high academic and citizenship levels.

The responsibilities of the school officers are:

President – Run the student council meetings and represent the council at various functions.

Vice President – Serve in the absence of the president, carry out meetings and lead the pledge to the flag.

Secretary – Keep accurate minutes of the meetings, report at each meeting the minutes from the previous meeting and keep attendance of all representatives at teacher meetings.

Treasurer – Keep a written record of money earned and spent by student council and report at each meeting on money matters.

Historian – Serve in the absence of the secretary, keep newspaper clippings and council photos in an organized notebook and inform media about upcoming student events.

Classroom Representatives – Attend student council meetings and report back to classrooms including kindergarten through second grade, bring ideas and suggestions from class members to the meetings, help with the development of projects for the student council and school and help promote school pride. All officers are expected to practice good citizenship at all times.

Students were very excited about running for offices in the student council for their school. Many students campaigned for the office of their choice by creating posters with their own slogans and thoughts on how they would make their school a better place.

Voting took place last Thursday between 1:00 and 2:00 PM. A classroom was designated as the official voting place. As the students came in Mrs. Bedard checked them in to vote. They were handed a ballot and instructed to go to the voting booth and vote. A very good simulation of the real thing! The candidates running for office were:

Third grade students running for Class Representative:

  • Sadie Hinz
  • Brodie Hugghins
  • Brianna Hall
  • Zoe Hogan
  • Darrin Jackson
  • Chase Hyles

Fourth grade students running for Class Representative:

  • Brooke Gage
  • Bryce DeBorde
  • Haylee Mathers
  • Catie South
  • Guadalupe Morales
  • Reese Janek

Fifth grade students running for Historian:

  • Hannah Carr
  • Sydney Lowenthal
  • Maddie Chambers

Fifth grade students running for Secretary:

  • Hannah Coffman
  • Tanner Chambers
  • Alex Jones

Sixth grade students running for Treasurer:

  • Jaylon Lusk
  • Karley Nelson

Sixth grade students running for Vice-President:

  • Cassidy Gage
  • Karson Holley
  • Savannah Lewis

Sixth grade running President:

  • Abby Gage
  • Isaac Garcia
  • LaJada Jackson

Friday afternoon the the results of the election were announced over the loud speaker. The Stafford students elected were:

  • Class Representatives:
    • Sadie Hinz (third grade)
    • Chase Hyles (third grade)
    • Brooke Gage (fourth grade)
    • Reese Janek (fourth grade)
  • Historian:
    • Sydney Lowenthal (fifth grade)
  • Secretary:
    • Tanner Chambers (fifth grade)
  • Treasurer:
    • Jaylon Lusk (sixth grade)
  • Student Council Vice-President:
    • Karson Holley (sixth grade)
  • Student Council President:
    • LaJada Jackson (sixth grade)

When the newly elected student council representatives were asked why they thought they had been elected the over all consensus was, “The students trusted them, knew they were honest and knew they would do the best job they could for Stafford Elementary.”

Democracy in action at Stafford Elementary!