A year filled with honors for the Student Council of South Brunswick High School culminated with the group winning the New Jersey Association of Student Council's prestigious Standards of Excellence award earlier this month. Schools can only receive the designation once every five years. To participate, student councils conduct a "rigorous self-evaluation" before being evaluated by a visiting team from another participating school.
Five schools were recognized, with SBHS being awarded the highest point total, according to Student Council President Ian Moritz, who praised the efforts of Student Council members Rachael Shaffer, Brian Tesser and Casey Armstrong.
"Standards of Excellence is an award that is given to student councils in the state of New Jersey who have reached the utmost level of achievement. This year, five student councils in the state of New Jersey were given this award," Brian said. "It was our first time applying for it in history, and the fact that we won is something that we're very proud of."
SBHS was also recognized with community smile and state charity awards. To apply for the Standards of Excellence award, the council had to make a binder of all of the activities of the school and student council, which focused on 12 events separated into five categories: fundraising, community service, student services, spirit, and academics.
"Standards of Excellence shows our determination to improve the school in every way possible," Rachel said. "It shows how much we truly care about the students. It shows that we're proud of what we're doing and that we take pride in our school."
The council also had to organize all of the day-to day-activities, including meetings, organization and administration to present to the school that was evaluating the council.
"In order to apply for the award, we had to evaluate another school (Somerville High School) and we were evaluated by a school (Hunterdon Central High School)," Casey said. "After, we wrote up an evaluation of the school to submit to the NJASC.
"It is important to us as a Student Council because we have never won the award before. It sets a new standard for us to work toward in the future."
The Standards of Excellence award comes on the heels of Moritz being named in February.
"I think that collectively as a Student Council, to pick one thing that we are most proud of would be difficult," Brian said. "I think that we far surpassed expectations in doing things like winning Standards of Excellence, ,running a petition , and all of our events such as Powderpuff and Mr. SBHS."
Praise was also offered for Advisor Lauren Morris, Vice President Matt Panconi, Corresponding Secretary Julia Hernandez, Recording Secretary Daniel Gorzynski, State Student Council Representative Tessa Trach, Board of Education Representative Victoria Monteiro, Committee Chairperson Jessica Stanislawczyk, Historian Taylor Sassman, Underclassmen Representative Matthew Gorzynski, Executive Members Matt Paradowski, Daniel Boley, Maria Riegel and Samantha Wereszczak.
"The work that we do at SBHS helps to build a community and school spirit," Rachel said. "Our spirit weeks help to bring the school together."