By Shirley Shuman
Advisor Lisa Vaughan praised her student council members for their achievements at the recent WV Student Council Fall Convention. The BCHS group, she noted, “won gold in every category.” She mentioned they had a gold-level scrapbook, and they won the President’s Theme Award.
Discussing the President’s Theme Award, Vaughan explained that at each fall convention a theme is chosen for the upcoming year. The theme for 2022-2023, she said, “was all about community involvement.” One activity of the Braxton council members was going to all the local businesses to tell them about Spirit Week for Homecoming and everything that went with it. For Spirit Week this fall, the local student council co-sponsored Eagle Fest, a bonfire and food at the Meadows field in Gassaway. Vaughan noted that that event “involved lots of food and lots of people.”
The advisor commented on the enthusiasm of her group of approximately 23 and called them “real go-getters.” Their next project is Super Leadership Day on January 9, which will be held at Braxton County High. This project involves student council members from all over the state. During the day, Vaughan explained, students will participate in leadership activities and hear speakers discussing various aspects of leadership. She emphasized, “Because this is the 90th anniversary of student councils In West Virginia, we will focus on alumni.” She especially mentioned Suzanne Cunningham, who, although she did not graduate from BCHS, is an “alumni” student council advisor at Braxton, a position she held for many years.
Others from Braxton County High School honored at the recent convention were teacher/student council advisor Susan Kearns and assistant principal John McElwain. Kearns, Vaughan’s co-advisor, was named WV Student Council Advisor of the Year, and McElwain was named WV Student Council Principal of the Year.
McElwain responded to being chosen for the honor. “It is such an honor to be WV Student Council Principal of the Year because that’s something chosen by the students. As educators we are here for the students, and to be recognized by them means the world to me.”
Kearns explained that she has been involved with the BCHS Student Council several years off and on, but most of the time she has taught at the high school. Kearns, like McElwain, was pleased with the choice. “It’s an honor to receive this reward.” Kearns also noted that she will serve as the chairperson for advisors’ business meeting at the 2024 State Student Council Fall Convention.
Also occurring at this year’s fall convention, last year’s Braxton honorees received awards for their service during the past year. Alicia McPherson of Braxton County Middle School served as Advisor of the Year for 2022-2023, and her principal, Amy Perkins, served as Principal of the Year for the same period. BCHS principal Lori Stover-Williams, last year’s Principal of the Year, and Lisa Vaughan, last year’s Advisor of the Year, also received awards.