By Lorrie Ham
The Mound Westonka High School Student Senate is pleased to have wrapped up the 2018-2019 school year, which included many successful events and activities. From the highest-to-date amount of cash raised in the Stuff the Bus campaign benefitting the Westonka Food Shelf to a record number of student attendees at prom, the year ended positively, according to advisor Jamie Harms.
Student Senate recently held general elections, which saw 43 candidates complete self-reflection assessments, teacher evaluations, signed agreements and 150-word mission statements as their election platforms. The 2019-2020 Student Senate members include: rising seniors Robby Brustad, Lexi Jolicoeur, Connor Prok, Claire Russik and Hampton Velarde; rising juniors Alyssa Bourdon, Lily Donelan, Claire Ficek, Amelia Pettitt, Jadyn Rice and Liza Ruegemerp; sophomores Caleb Abernethy, Ingrid Aufderheide, Hallie Dierbeck, Jake Gaylord, Selamnesh Gough and Blake Lee; rising ninth-graders Serenity Bownik, Sam Dioszeghy, Sara Funderburk, Eve Seckinger, Laura Sunnarborg and Naresh Thakurdial; and rising eighth-graders Olivia Adam, Elizabeth Eberhart, Kate Ficek, Sammy Krahl and Natalie Miner.
To be considered for an officer position, each member submitted a video application, which was played at the first meeting of the newly-formed Student Senate. Senate members then voted on the candidates via Google ballot. Newly-elected officers include President Connor Prok, Vice President Amelia Pettitt, Secretary Jadyn Rice, Public Relations Officer Ingrid Aufderheide and Treasurer Caleb Abernethy.
Three additional members have been appointed to the Executive Board for the 2019-2020 school year. Hallie Dierbeck and Lexi Jolicoeur will serve as committee executives, and Claire Ficek will serve as executive director, overseeing the committee execs.
Eight Senate seniors were recognized at the Student Senate graduation ceremony, with five of these members serving all five years. Nick Drilling (1 year), Alex Kline (3 years and President), Nels Larson (5 years), Asha Martel (5 years), Tia Meyer (5 years), JP Oftedahl (2 years), Shane Stevenson (3 years) and Navin Thakurdial (5 years) were recognized for their years of service and hard work at the end of year barbecue.
Senate looks forward to next fall, starting with Homecoming 2019. Save the date for the homecoming festivities, starting with coronation on Monday, September 23, a parade and tailgating on Friday, September 27 and the homecoming dance on Saturday, September 28.
“We had a record year, with so many things to celebrate, and that leaves us knowing that next year is going to be even better,” said Harms. “We have a wonderful group in place to really set up for many successes!”
“There are big things in store from Senate next year,” added President Prok. “Following the final year of dodgeball, the door is open for a new and exciting event to take its place, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Senate will start its year in August with the annual planning retreat and will officially kick off the year’s activities with the 9/11 tribute.