The life of a STUCO officer


The Norwin Student Council officers and advisors pose for a picture at the Homecoming dance. Back row: Mr. MacLaughlin, Addi Patrick, Grace Ketler, Alexis Speranzo, Mr. Chitester. Front row: Randi Booth, Liz Long, Maggie MacLaughlin, Alex Fry.

    They are pillars of the community that haven’t even graduated high school. They are professionals when it comes to streamers and balloons. They collectively spend hours a week planning and organizing meetings and events, and they don’t get paid. 

     Norwin High School’s Student Council (STUCO) officers work tirelessly to improve the culture of the school and district. 

     The officers of the student council plan events and complete projects year round to make the lives of Norwin students and their families easier and more enjoyable. 

     This year’s officers include: president Grace Ketler, 11; vice president Addi Patrick, 12; treasurer Liz Long, 11; corresponding secretary Alexis Speranzo, 12; recording secretary Randi Booth, 12; communications director Maggie MacLaughlin, 11; and student representative to the school board Alex Fry, 11. 

     They each have position-related responsibilities, along with event-based duties. Therefore, the average day, and even the average week, will look different for each officer as every position has a different role to play. 

     “My day-to-day responsibilities with being an officer are remembering to do the small things such as daily communication, working on goals and planning for events,” STUCO president Grace Ketler said. “My weekly responsibilities vary, but include staying after school 1-3 times per week for meetings, setting up for events or meeting with committees to continue to find ways to work on the student council’s goals for the year.”

     Over the course of the year, the STUCO and its officers work towards their goals that are set at the beginning of each year.

     “Our major goals for the 2021-22 school year are to improve communication throughout the school in hopes of enhancing unity among the student body, to improve the school’s aesthetic and to return to a sense of normalcy post-pandemic by hosting our traditional four events,” said Maggie MacLaughlin, communication director.

     To achieve these goals they are working to improve things inside the school, organize small events like the Smile for Tiles project and host their big four events. These often happen simultaneously and require that the officer’s split up their efforts and responsibilities. 

     “Students most likely feel that we only do big events like Homecoming, but it’s a lot more than that,” recording secretary Randi Booth said. “We as a council are always trying to look for ways to keep the positives of the school circulating and ways to minimize or diminish concerns and criticisms. We want to make the day to day high school experience fun for everyone.”

     Large events like Homecoming, Candy Cane Castle, Egg Hunt and Senior Citizens Dinner take up a majority of their time, as they require a lot of planning and organization. 

     “Planning an event such as Homecoming or Candy Cane Castle requires a lot,” Alexis Speranzo corresponding secretary said. “Approval first and foremost, money for supplies and workers, communication between the council and the officers and members of the council to volunteer to help.”

     This year the council has been able to complete a lot of things: courtyard lunches, Smiles for Tiles, Homecoming, Pink Out, Chick-Fil-A luncheon, Candy Cane Castle and they have even instituted a diversity committee within the council devoted to promoting cultural awareness in the school. 

     A majority of the student council’s accomplishments and events originated as ideas from STUCO members and the general student body. 

If someone has an idea of what the general student body, or maybe even just themselves, would enjoy, we research the possibilities and logistics, and if all goes well, we have ourselves a new event! We seek out opportunities to make your high school experience the best it can possibly be.”

— Alex Fry

     “Student council members have the opportunity to present their ideas for new events at every council meeting,” MacLaughlin said. “Officers encourage council members to bring friends who are not in council to our meetings to share new ideas, this way, we always give the general student body a chance to have their voices heard if they are passionate about something.”

     Despite the student council’s awareness of student issues, the effort that STUCO puts into making Norwin a better place sometimes goes unnoticed.

     “I think the general student body should know that the council, especially the officers, put so much time and effort into our events to make the school a better and more welcoming place,” vice  president Addi Patrick said.

     There are even misconceptions that student council members have about being a STUCO officer.

     “I think that sometimes council members fail to realize just how much planning goes into making an event happen,” said MacLaughlin. “Even though we as officers would like to act on every idea that is presented, this is often impossible because of the sheer amount of planning that goes into making an idea a reality.”

     Despite the stress and time that it takes to hold a leadership position in the student council, officers gain a lot from it. They acquire leadership experience and important life lessons from their work in STUCO. 

     “My officer position has taught me many things such as the importance of respect and work-ethic,” school board representative Alex Fry said, “but it has most definitely served as a reminder of how a group of like-minded and driven individuals can create some really empowering things.”

     The student council’s hashtag, that is donned on a majority of their merchandise and advertising, sums up their purpose quite clearly: #forthecastle.

      “We want to make a difference and make this school and community a better place for everyone,” said Patrick. 

     At the end of the day, the STUCO officers are just seven regular high school students with one common goal: to change the culture.