“Stay Classy, Jenison!”

This summer a handful of students and teachers came up with an idea they believed had the power to revolutionize Jenison High School. It wasn’t complicated, it didn’t cost anything, and it didn’t come from a motivational speaker. Instead, it challenged students to be respectful of the school, of one’s self, and to always put their best foot forward.

The challenge was to “Stay Classy, Jenison!” Who knew two words would become the language of a high school? The “brand” of its students?

Jenison High School student congress members with 2012 staff advisors.

This year’s student congress, comprised of 47 students representing all four grades, have spearheaded several school-wide events such as Homecoming, Powder Puff, Monster Mash Dance, Your Change Can Change Hunger, and NHS Christmas Giving to name a few. Spring will bring Earth Day Activities and Graduation, and student congress will be there from start to finish.

The common thread through it all? Elevating the ordinary so that it is extraordinarily classy. It’s the new norm; the new expectation.

Connecting students around this “brand” has been made easy with the school’s “Stay Classy” bulletin board. It received a fresh coat of paint this summer and is now the hub for all school student council-led activities. Need a sign-up sheet? Check the Stay Classy Board. Want to see the new T-shirts? Check the board!

Advisor Tracy Mossburger recently shared that several students have approached her, thanking her for this central meeting point. What’s more, the work that Mrs. Mossburger and fellow advisors Mrs. Roby and Mr. Russell do to recognize students makes them the heart of the movement.

Mr. Russell, Mrs. Roby, Mrs. Mossburger

For example, did you know that at each dance all three advisors spend the evening canvassing the dance floor snapping pictures of as many kids as possible?  The goal: make each kid famous by catching them having fun and then posting their photo on the Stay Classy board. After a week or so, students are invited to grab their photos for a fun souvenir.

Kids aren’t the only ones talking about this new kind of school pride—parents and community members are noticing, too.  Parents are seeing that small steps toward excellence yield considerable gain. They’re seeing that reshaping attitudes at school, from hallways to homework, means greater care and affection is shown everywhere.

We’re so fortunate to not only have a group of students committed to excellence, but a trio of advisors who inspire and motivate kids to strive for their best each day.

Thank you, student congress, for keeping us classy!

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