Leesville Sophomore Class Council and the six elected representatives for the council haven’t allowed COVID-19 to stop them from hosting meetings and supporting Leesville throughout the strange school year. (Photo permission from Jeslyn Camilo)
Leesville’s Sophomore Class Council is actively running meetings and projects to keep the Leesville sophomores engaged in their school and with each other even throughout the virtual school year.
A group of six elected students leads the Sophomore Council along with two Leesville teachers, Ms. Ballew and Ms. Smith, who help administer meetings and the officers’ decisions. The council is student-led and can only be limited by Wake County guidelines and Leesville budgets.
Jeslyn Camilo, the president of Sophomore Council, explained her intentions for the council, via a Facetime call. Camilo had originally spoken to administration early into the school year about Sophomore Council working with other councils like the Make A Wish council to raise money for community service, as well as money for the school.
Typically, the council meets once a month via a Google Meet, and information including when and how to join the meeting is shared on multiple social media platforms. The council is putting a lot of emphasis on social media this year and finding ways to stay connected even when apart.
Sophomore Council created a public Instagram account at the beginning of the 2020 school year(@leesvillecouncil23) that remains in active use. This Instagram account was made so that the sophomore class at Leesville would have a large social media platform to follow and keep up with for their remaining years of high school. The account grew fast and now has 200 followers.
On Instagram, the council officers post updates on council projects, meeting times, and general school updates, and upcoming event reminders. Another larger portion of what makes up the Instagram account is the “student of the month” posts. Each month, the Leesville sophomores have a chance to vote for a student, other than themselves, on a public google form that they believe has been a role model for other students that month.
Each council meeting starts with a brief introduction of each leader. The leaders of the council include Jeslyn Camili, Caleb Thomas, and Alexis Mast who work together as vice presidents, Emma Farbaugh whose role is secretary, Ilian Pardo whose role is treasurer, and Bo Groff who is the sophomore class sergeant at arms.
The meetings consist of attendance, updates from past council projects, and icebreakers so that the council members can get to know one another. Normally the meeting has about forty sophomores attend, as well as both Ms. Ballew and Ms. Smith who help the council officers when they need anything that involves a teacher’s help.
The council actively plans events during live meetings and asks for suggestions from the members on what the council can do for Leesville throughout the pandemic.
First semester, Sophomore Council participated in the socially distanced Homecoming parade. The council created a stand in which the officers and members each made parts of and set up at the school. The council, like it does most of the year, worked hand-in-hand with the Executive Council on parade preparation throughout “FOCO” week.
(Photo courtesy of Alexis Mast)
Emma Farabaugh wrote via text message, “being able to see the sophomores work together while still staying apart was really cool and gave me hope for future projects in sophomore council.” Sophomore Council still intends on planning some sort of fundraiser with as little contact as possible, as well as some sort of appreciation project for the teachers at Leesville.
The council has confidence going into the second semester and working towards starting more projects because of the successes in the first semester. Homecoming, the turkey trot, and all the council bonding activities in the first semester were overall enjoyed and efficient according to a poll asked in a Sophomore Council meeting.
The setting for this year’s Leesville Sophomore Class Council is different and limiting, but unsurprisingly, the sophomore class has found a way to still make a difference at Leesville and stand together throughout this unusual school year.