Junior High Goes Boo! For Halloween

MIII1548 copyThe rain may have been falling outside on Halloween this year but that was no obstacle for Jenison Junior High Student Congress and their Halloween festivities!
Student Congress faculty advisers Kevin Fales and Mallory DeFouw oversee the leadership of the students as they plan and execute a fun event for the entire school.  “The kids involved with Student Congress are in charge of planning games that get lots of kids involved. Our members pick up the materials needed for the assembly and during the assembly they are in charge of running each event. They make sure each event goes smoothly and we have some students help explain the events with the microphone while others demonstrate how the game works.” says Mr Fales.

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“As advisers we help guide the kids to what games have worked in the past. We help the kids realize what materials are needed to run each event. During the assembly we guide the kids so it runs smoothly.”

 There are a lot of activities throughout the day including the opportunity for students to express themselves with their favorite costumes!  Mr Fales adds,  “We encourage our kids to dress up and have lots of fun celebrating such a fun day. During both lunches the teachers judge costumes. The categories range from cutest to scariest. The last two hours of the day our JJHS Student Congress lead the assembly. We plan out fun games that get the maximum number of students involved. We play music and get the gym rocking!”
To encourages some healthy competition, costumes are judged by the staff members each lunch. “We ask all staff to come down half way through their lunches grab a ballot, walk around to all the categories and pick the favorites. It’s a lot of fun to see all the creativity today, we usually get some awesome group costumes, really scary ones, and other great winners! I tally up the ballots and we announce the winners during the assembly by calling them down to the center of the gym. Each winner gets a large bag of candy….we had a lot of candy brought in this year from our student congress members so they got a pretty stuffed bag this year!”
MIII1551 copy“It’s a long stretch of serious hard work when starting school until this assembly. This allows kids to take small break from tough academic work and have some fun. Kids pair up and plan costumes together, get excited in the halls when they see a peers excellent creativity on costumes, and cheer each other on during the games played. We usually have students cheering for kids they never knew walked these halls and might make a few new friends today because they found a common interest, etc. The student congress members get to see their hard work and planning pay off while everyone is having a good time participating in the games they planned and gathered supplies for. Over the years we have found that this is a nice bridge from parading the halls in elementary school, to still wanting to be kids and have fun on Halloween at school. Kids are well behaved, yet excited for this opportunity to compete in a friendly competition all while being dressed up! Teachers love dressing up too! We usually talk over lunch about what we will dress as, and it’s a good time for everyone!” – Mrs DeFouw
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Thanks for another great Halloween, Student Congress!

“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!