New elementary student council forms at Henning

Photo by Chad Koenen
Members of the elementary student council include: Front row: Svea Hansen, Shelby Loock, Korie Koenen and Piper Greenwaldt. Back row: Shadley Bunkowski, Hailey Fiskum, Lily Grieger, Gwen Christensen, Annabelle Jacobs, Jade Pearson and Emmy Spires. 

By Chad Koenen

Publisher

A group of 11 students gathered in Stephanie Jorgenson’s classroom last Wednesday afternoon. With a pencil and Post it note in front of them, the students worked through a brief, albeit important, list of topics that will affect elementary students at Henning School. 

As part of the first elementary student council meeting, the third through fifth grade students brainstormed and then settled on a dress up day during homecoming week for elementary students. As the group narrowed down the ideas, which ranged from crazy day to America day and flannel day, the students moved forward with plans for future fun weeks in the elementary school.

Jorgenson reminded the students, who all campaigned for the new student council by creating handmade signs and asking people to cast a vote for them for student council, that their job was to represent the students in the elementary school and be advocates for the decisions that were made by the group. 

“This is the first year in quite a few years that Henning has had an elementary student council. The upper elementary teachers, which I am a part of on and off, decided that we need to have some representation for our younger students for dress up days, special winter activities, etc. We usually have a dress up day that doesn’t quite match up with the high school, and as we try and include everyone, we look to see what is a more simplified version for the younger ones, and what makes more sense for them,” said second grade teacher Stephanie Jorgenson. 

  As part of their first big decision, the elementary student council elected to change Adam Sandler Day as a dress up day during homecoming week to crazy/mismatch day. 

“This year, we chose to have ‘Crazy/Mismatch’ day instead of following the high school on Adam Sandler day,” said Jorgenson. “The elementary student council members agreed that the younger students may not know who he is or why it’s funny to dress up like him. We wanted it to be more parent and student friendly for our younger learners. This is just one reason why we wanted their voices represented in a student council.”

Due to a tie in the voting, four students in third and fifth grades were selected to the student council, while three students in fourth grade were elected to the student council. 

The idea of creating an elementary student council has been discussed in the past by elementary staff members. The hope was to give the younger students a voice in the school and provide an opportunity for them to make decisions that could affect their experience at Henning School. Jorgenson enjoyed serving on student council when she was in school and offered to lead the group of students as the new advisor. 

“I said I would be the advisor for this group, because I loved being on student council as an elementary student and high school student myself. I feel that our upper elementary students have so much to offer,” she said. “Their first meeting was this week and they tried so hard to be specific in their reasons for nominating an idea, etc. They really focused on the elementary as a whole, and were quite self-less in their decision making.”

Throughout the year the elementary student council will focus their attention on making decisions regarding future dress up days, picking the activity day for the elementary day during Snow Week and possibly add some fun dress up days leading up to Christmas break. As the group grows and develops over the course of the next year, Jorgenson is hoping that the students will be able to lend their experience for other events as well.

“We will add other activities as we grow in our experience,” said Jorgenson. “I was very impressed with our first meeting, and look forward to watching their voices grow and encourage each other.”

Students elected to the student council include: third grade: Korie Koenen, Piper Greenwaldt, Shelby Loock and Svea Hansen; fourth grade: Jade Pearson, Emmy Spires and Annabelle Jacobs; and fifth grade: Gwen Christensen, Shadley Bunkowski, Lily Grieger and Hailey Fiskum.