Top Ten Projects
This award recognizes approximately ten schools each year for outstanding projects or activities that they conduct in their schools.
Nominees are carefully reviewed by the NJASC Treasurer and then the award winners are decided upon by the State Officers at their December executive meeting.
Applications for this award are available in early October, the deadline for submission is in late November, and plaques are presented at the Winter Convention in January.
Award Application Forms
Click on one of the links below to access the Top Ten Projects award application form. Please mail your completed form to the NJASC Treasurer at the address indicated on the form by November 21, 2018
|Form posted September 2018|
Recent Award Winning Schools
Click on a link below to view recent schools that have won this award, and read about the projects they did to earn it...
Allentown High School
This FUNDRAISING project has been a tradition within our school for many years that traditionally takes place in March and brings the community together by allowing them to enjoy the many different personalities of the boys who enter into the competition. All boys who enter must do so under a title such as Mr. Band, Mr. Lacrosse, Mr. Book Club, Mr. Fashionably Late and our favorite, Mr. Student Council. This ensures that our audience will be varied as well, including students of all grades and activities, parents, faculty and community members who in some way know one of the boys on stage.The show begins with a full-fledged dance number that is choreographed by two student council members. Following that, we have a swimwear competition, a talent portion and a formal dress wear aspect, where the boys are escorted by lovely Student Council volunteers. In addition, at the event, we have members stationed at two booths. One is for a popularity vote, where audience members can buy tickets to vote for their favorite boy and the other is a dinner date raffle, where they can enter into a raffle for a dinner with one of the contestants. All proceeds from this project go toward our State Charity donation. In addition, this project unites the people of the community and our school for a common purpose: to see the boys put on an entertaining show that all can enjoy.
A total of 45 out of 1250 (4%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 50 (60%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 8 out of 110 (7%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Vice Principal Lynn Folino, “this tradition truly brings together the different clubs and sports into an event where they all work together and support one another.”
For more information, contact Advisor Mary Johnson at email@example.com
Brooklawn Middle School
This MIDDLE LEVEL project is a competitive double-loss elimination tournament in which teams of seven players (five on the floor at one time, players rotate in and out after each goal) play Team Handball against each other. Team Handball is part of the Physical Education curriculum in grades 7 and 8; a fun team-building sport that promotes sportsmanship, communication, and helps participants build strategic thinking. An important part of the planning process was to determine the game and tournament rules; we approached the Gym Teachers who shared what they use when teaching the game in class, then worked with them to adapt these rules to our tournament. Our gym is divided into four handball courts to handle all the games that must be played; all teams start in the “Winners Bracket” but once a team loses it goes into a “Losers Bracket” and if it loses a second time it is eliminated. Eventually, there is a winner take all championship game between the team winning the “Winners Bracket” and the team winning the “Losers Bracket”.
Handball Night was very successful in its first year; it increased involvement in Student Activities of many students who otherwise do not participate in our traditional events, such as dances. Most of the teams made their own shirts or other costumes to show off their team spirit and excitement for the games. It also gained the interest of our Physical Education teachers, who teach Team Handball in their gym classes and helped us in the planning process. Our teachers and administration also became actively involved, forming a “Teacher Team” which played against student teams after they were eliminated from the tournament. After just one year, “Handball Night” has already become a new Spring tradition that our students are already looking forward to.
A total of 130 out of 910 (14%) students, 50 out of 75 (67%) Student Council members, and 20 out of 110 (18%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Mike Nicosia, “I was blown away by the amount of pre-planning that had taken place. The student council had created a clear rules sheet that outlined every single possibility, the gym was arranged to maximize student engagement, and throughout the night our students and faculty had a great experience.”
For more information, contact Advisor Lou Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kinnelon High School
DUCK TAPE YOUR TEACHER
This FUNDRAISING project is held during Spirit Week and is an opportunity to raise money for “Shelter Our Soldiers”. The Student Council worked with the Give Back Club to raise money for this good cause. Each grade was assigned a teacher volunteer; pieces of duck tape are sold for $1 and if the grade raised over $250, then the teacher would be taped to the wall. The fundraiser involved the entire community and was advertised on the loudspeaker, through social media, and in the school newsletter. Students donated money each day of Spirit Week and by Friday morning, the students and staff raised over $1400.
On Friday, students and staff worked together during lunch to tape the four teachers to the wall. The teachers wore painting bodysuits to protect their skin and they stood on chairs while being taped to the wall in the main hallway to the new gym. The students cut tons of strips of duck tape to be passed out to volunteers for the four teachers. Once the taping was complete, we took away the chairs and watched the teachers hang to the wall. All the students in the school watched the teachers displayed on the wall as they walked to the new gym for Color Day. It was an easy fundraiser that involved the entire school and community.
A total of 680 out of 680 (100%) students, 42 out of 42 (100%) Student Council members, and 30 out of 75 (40%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Gary Suda, “the positive momentum and wave of spirit gained during this student-led event enriches our educational environment and elevated student pride in the school community.”
For more information, contact Advisor Hannah Sappio at email@example.com
Lakewood Middle School
PAINT THE HALLWAYS
At Lakewood Middle School, the Student Government Association wanted to create an atmosphere that would help boost SCHOOL SPIRIT. Paint the Hallways involved various groups within the building including both staff and students. In one of the hallways, stretching from the main entrance to the rear of the building, students wanted to brighten up the halls and leave inspirational messages for the upcoming students. Teachers submitted their favorite quotes that would help students develop positive character and the top 25 quotes were selected.
Students that showed incredible talent in art stepped up and paired off with an SGA member. Each pair designed a 15 by 3-foot section from image to font style to coordinating colors. They spent two weeks sketching a rough copy and then another week penciling their design on the wall. After school in June, 55 students and staff had a paint party from 2:00-7:00 p.m. In the last few weeks of school and over the summer, students spent hours touching up the paintings to be ready for the new school year. In another section of the building, a different group of artistic students designed a history timeline to illustrate the event of beginning America to present. Students stayed after school a little each day for two weeks and completed the project with images, labels, and a scroll tying each event together.
A total of 65 out of 1300 (5%) students, 21 out of 21 (100%) Student Council members, and 25 out of 125 (20%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Richard Goldstein, “we have seen a decrease in disciplinary referrals this year, and I believe it is because of the culture and climate we have established within our school community.”
For more information, contact Advisor Brenda Douglas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Liberty Middle School
This SERVICE project is held on the 4th Monday in September to coincide with Family Day, a national initiative started in 2001 by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA). Family Day is to remind parents that everyday activities they do with their children, like sharing a meal, playing a game or asking about their day can make a difference because research shows that children who regularly interact with their families are less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs. Therefore, making a date for dinner on Family Day is a celebration of families and a way to remind them how important it is to make time for one another.
To offer an incentive for families to participate we contacted restaurants all over town asking them to offer families a Family Day discount. We created and distributed a discount card to give to students and staff. This year our Superintendent of Schools asked us to include all 7,000 students in the school district in our project, and made it a “no homework” day district-wide so families would have time to spend together.
A total of 95 out of 512 (19%) students, 27 out of 62 (44%) Student Council members and 7 out of 56 (13%) teachers participated by using the discount card. In the words of Principal Robert Klemt, “Family Day was a tremendous effort that broadened our school’s community outreach and brought families together.”
For more information, contact advisor Susan Zaccaro at email@example.com
Neptune High School
UNITY PEP RALLY
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is designed to recognize all students of the school and to show that all students matter and contribute to the school. Our Unity Pep Rally was held in conjunction with Homecoming and Spirit Week. During the Unity Pep Rally, advisors of all clubs recognized their members and the coaches of all Fall sports teams recognized their members. The Marching Band played, Dance Team performed, and the cheerleaders did the Neptune cheer. When club members and sports teams were called out they stayed in the bleachers and then stayed standing. The last group recognized was the football team to raise the spirit and interest going into Homecoming.
Once the last group was called the emcees pointed out the number of students standing and that they were in all four grades. It was also pointed out that while they look “scattered” they are all together. In the days prior to the Unity Pep Rally students signed up to take part in “swag surfing” and then students were randomly selected from all four grades. They started in small groups and then were moved into a big group. The more they worked and moved together the better the “surfing” was- the gym was electrified and excited. A Unity poster was then unveiled and was the culminating moment of the Unity Pep Rally.
A total of 1265 out of 1265 (100%) students, 10 out of 40 (25%) Student Council members, and 3 out of 112 (3%) teachers became involved. In the words of Vice Principal Titania Hawkins, “this event served as a culminating activity to kick off our Homecoming Weekend, and was a complete success!”
For more information, contact Advisor Catherine Crelin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ocean City High School
ST. BALDRICK'S CHARITY EVENT
This SERVICE project benefits the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for childhood cancer. This project was effective in garnering both students and staff to support this cause. Planning included the contacting and arranging of dates and details with the ambassadors of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, setting up in our school gym, publicizing the event, and overseeing the project to ensure a good turnout and a smooth running. The project lasted an entire lunch period.
The charity event was successful, as many students and teachers gave both their hair and donations to this deserving organization. The community was involved, as local hairdressers were employed to cut hair as donations, and word spread to the community through the students and staff. If there was one aspect of this project that I could change, I would make the event a bit longer to provide a larger span of time for people to donate and participate. However, this project was a major success in the eyes of our council and our school. Ocean City High School’s Student Council looks forward to hosting this event in years to come.
A total of 885 out of 1262 (70%) students, 56 out of 184 (30%) Student Council members, and 68 out of 103 (66%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Matthew Jamison, "these student organizers worked for several months to plan the event; the necessary effort and leadership for such a project to be successful was astonishing.”
For more information, contact Advisor Matt Purdue at email@example.com
Parsippany High School
KILL 'EM WITH KINDNESS
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is a spinoff of a local game called Assassins. Every participant receives the name of a secret target, another PHS student, and some basic information about him/her. Once we introduced the idea to our student body, the staff got pretty jealous, so we incorporated a parallel game for them. To start the game, we emailed a brief survey to all students and staff. To enter the game, one simply had to fill out the survey.
This is their mission, if they chose to accept it: Over the course of a 10-day period, 5 different missions are introduced and the assassin’s job is to perform these secret missions using knowledge of their target – without getting caught! The purpose of this quest is simply to get acts of kindness in the forethought of our community’s collective mind. The missions range from silly (like creating a meme) to sincere (offering a motivating quote) to satisfying (bringing a treat). Every two days, participants become both the assassin and the target, so they find satisfaction in both giving and receiving kindness. In the end, once kindness became the talk of PHS, we finally let the assassins reveal themselves to their targets. Participants were asked to snap a selfie and share it with The Commander, bringing an end to our game but not to the idea of kindness and how we can share it with one another.
A total of 151 out of 899 (17%) students, 71 out of 188 (38%) Student Council members, and 41 out of 103 (40%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Lisa Garofalo, “the excitement and anticipation could be felt in the hallways as students and staff alike were focused on promotion of kindness and encouragement of positivity throughout the school.”
For more information, contact Advisor Melissa VanWingerden at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parsippany Hills High School
This FUNDRAISING project unifies the rivalry of Parsippany Hills and Parsippany High in a volleyball tournament. Students from the rival schools compete against each other in teams of six in a competitive environment to win rewards such as gift cards, and free lunch served by the principal. Besides the team awards, two jugs were placed in the gym for schools to raise money during the tournament. The school that raised the most money would win the reward of having the opposing school raise the victor school’s flag for a week.
The event reached out to multiple businesses and vendors around town for opportunities to contribute to our cause. Volleyball teams who were in the middle of rounds, or eliminated could relax in a room full of food from our sponsors (for example, Chipotle, parents, etc.). The matches featured neutral referees who volunteered and two teams from the bracket for the prizes. The event was a great success, it brought the community together, fed the students of the rival high schools, and gave students a great night to remember! This event showcased not only fundraising, but school spirit from Parsippany’s students and community. The proceeds became part of our State Charity donation.
A total of 10 out of 1070 (1%) students, 13 out of 13 (100%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 120 (2%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Richard Fonti, “this night brought both sides of our community together and helped to raise money for a common cause.”
For more information, contact Advisor George Clark at email@example.com
South Brunswick High School
Powder Puff Football is a SERVICE project hosted by our Student Council. While this is a common event hosted across the United States, we take pride in being able to bring the whole community together for a night of fun, exciting competition. Powder Puff returned in 2017 for its 17th consecutive year, again upholding its longstanding reputation of excellence. Each year, students from across all four grade levels work tirelessly to continue this great tradition. Students are encouraged to get involved in the event in at least one of four ways: playing, coaching, cheerleading, or Spirit Squad. The week leading up to Powderpuff is always buzzing. Members of the Spirit Squad work relentlessly to pump up the student body by decorating the school in their respective class colors.
Meanwhile, coaches, players, and cheerleaders practice throughout the week to perfect their game day performances. The tournament, which is usually held on a Saturday evening under the lights, is the talk of the school in the week before. The coaches work alongside the players over the course of game night, calling plays and supporting the athletes on the field. The cheerleaders put on a spectacular halftime dance to entertain the audience. And Spirit Squad members are on the sidelines, ready to help when needed. All proceeds from Powder Puff, from ticket sales to registration fees are donated to charity.
A total of 171 out of 2976 (6%) students, 14 out of 14 (100%) Student Council members, and 40 out of 200 (20%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Peter Varela, “students stayed after school and at night to transform our building into a football-like environment that was spirited and motivational.”
For more information, contact Advisor Kelly Boyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Allentown High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is held the day before our Homecoming football game and is open to the community. The Homecoming Tailgate is a celebration of the end of Spirit Week and promotes school spirit for the game the next day, and we highly encourage community participation, especially from rising high school students. The Homecoming Tailgate is held outside, weather permitting, and inside the gym and main cafeteria if not. The event features cheerleading routines, a class vs. class dance off, a pinata contest, a DJ, video games, laser tag, and food trucks. The Tailgate is one of our most anticipated and attended events.
We offer incentives for participation, and the class that has the most students attend receives points that go towards their Spirit Week score. The dance-off between classes is also very popular, as the two classes that win the crowd vote then perform at the Pep Rally the next day and are judged by teachers. We charge admission and also ask the food trucks that attend to donate a portion of their profits at the end of the night to Student Council. We also sell Allentown apparel and “game gear.” All the money we make goes toward our annual NJASC State Charity donation.
A total of 150 out of 1276 (12%) students, 50 out of 56 (89%) Student Council members, and 10 out of 120 (8%) teachers became involved. In the words of Vice Principal Lynn Folino, “Every year we run this event, it gets bigger and better than the year before. Our Student Council always does a wonderful job and created a fun, exciting, and spirited event.”For more information, contact Vice Principal Lynn Folino at email@example.com
Columbia High School
This SERVICE project was the result of Student Council members expressing an interest in going beyond our borders to serve others. At our 2015 Student Council Retreat, we decided to host a service project whereby Columbia High School Students would make sure that the community would have tangible proof that others cared. Realizing that 18.6% of the Essex County population was food insecure, and 17% of New Jersey’s homeless families were found in Essex County, Student Council decided to sponsor Columbia Cares.
Columbia students clothed homeless students with the warmth of coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and mittens that were continuously delivered to a Newark Center. We fed the hungry by collecting food items and continuously delivered them to the local food pantries in Maplewood and South Orange. The Columbia Cares Warmth and Food Drive was held throughout the winter months from November to April. Throughout this project, Student Council interfaced with the community service organizations and effectively put a picture to the face of hunger and homelessness. Over 300 coats as well as over 300 hats, gloves, scarves and mittens were collected. Two thousand items of collected food made their way onto food pantry shelves. The one thing we would change would be to start earlier and end later; there is so much more to do!
A total of 1100 out of 1850 (59%) students, 47 out of 47 (100%) Student Council members, and 150 out of 200 (75%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Elizabeth Aaron, “I am proud of their [Student Council] work, and expect only greater things in the rest of this year.”For more information, contact advisor Suzanne Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Delaware Township School
STAR WARS TOURNAMENT
This MIDDLE LEVEL project was established by petition from a student, brought to a Student Council meeting and evolved into a spirit and fund raising event where students created teams to have fun, raise funds and compete for the title of Star Wars Champion. Star Wars, at the Delaware Township School is a favorite game that students play during physical education classes. This event turned into a great fundraiser and a wonderful community event inspired by the students themselves. How this event was started also helped students to realize that one student CAN make a difference.
The Student Council committee developed the permission forms, filled out the appropriate facility forms, equipment requests, planned snack sales, advertised spectator fees, developed tournament brackets, sound tracks for appropriate music, referees, donation cans and awareness posters for the state charity, as well as prizes for our champions were completed. This ensured that all were engaged and had opportunity for social interaction while modeling good sportsmanship and community outreach.
A total of 174 out of 376 (46%) students, 50 out of 124 (40%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 39 (5%) teachers became involved. In the words of Supervisor Kathleen Racile, “The administration and advisors encourage all students to bring their creative ideas to the Student Council and be a part of the continued efforts to make a difference every day in our school and community.”
For more information, contact advisor Cindy Terranova at email@example.com
Edison High School
DANCE FTK (FOR THE KIDS)
This SERVICE project involves participation from Edison High School, Rutgers University, the Embrace Kids Foundation, as well as other local high schools. The Edison Dance FTK event is a four-hour dance that raises money for the Embrace Kids Foundation, an organization that supports children with cancer and blood disorders. Edison High School grew fond of this organization since one of our current officers benefited from the services of the Embrace Kids Foundation as he overcame childhood cancer.
For the Edison Dance FTK, the Edison High School Student Council worked closely with The Embrace Kids Foundation who provided a DJ, t-shirts for all participants, food donated from local restaurants, a photo booth station, and several games and activities. They also created a website so that students and community participants can register electronically. For a $20 fee, participants would receive a t-shirt, enjoy the donated food, and dance with music provided by Hurricane Productions, the same DJ that hosts the actual Rutgers Dance Marathon. All of the money raised from this event goes to benefit the Embrace Kids Foundation. Last year, we were able to raise over $6,000. Not only did this event help support a great cause, but it also raised lots of school spirit and pride in our high school.
A total of 300 out of 2000 (15%) students, 80 out of 100 (80%) Student Council members, and 20 out of 220 (9%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Nicole Himmelstein, “The Edison Dance FTK was our best attended event of the year; this was attributed to the passion and commitment of our Student Council officers, members, and their dedicated hard-working advisors”For more information, contact advisor Amanda Gonczi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kingsway Regional High School
BAND AID BRIGADE
This SERVICE project was a class competition completed by our 2015-2016 Student Council last spring. Each year our Executive Board blends one charity with a class competition. The charity we decided to support was Family Promise of Gloucester County who mission is to provide homeless families the chance to attain a stable life by providing food, shelter, emergency services, and in some cases, the coordination of resources in the community to enhance the lives of those who suffer from poverty. Freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors were all pitted against each other with the goal of collecting medical supplies that Family Promise needed. First aide items, which included Band-Aids, gauze pads, antiseptic-spray, rubbing alcohol, Q-tips, cotton balls, etc.., were collected during lunch by our Executive Board.
Our Officers counted and tallied all items after school according to which grade donated them. The tallies were kept and posted outside the cafeteria. With that, the competitive nature of our students took over. We not only collected five 14 gallon bins worth of medical supplies, but we also promoted a sense of school spirit as classes became competitive during the event. Most of our students and teachers participated in the event; the Sophomore class ultimately won. While it was exciting, I can say the best part was the character education that was infused in to our student body. They truly donated with the spirit of generosity and with the intent of being a person for others.
A total of 1600 out of 1600 (100%) students, 25 out of 25 (100%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 150 (1%) teachers became involved. In the words of Vice Principal Lauren Kerr, “This drive was a success as our students understood what it meant to give back to our community; a large part of character education.”
For more information, contact advisor Joe Dacchille at email@example.com
Kinnelon High School
This EDUCATIONAL project is dedicated to reminding students of the importance of respecting peers and preventing harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Respect is a crucial aspect of life that is sometimes underestimated and taken for granted. In Kinnelon High School, we make sure that respect is accounted for and reiterated throughout our community. Throughout the month of October, our Student Council joined with the Peer Leaders and Give Back Club to promote respect and spread awareness of anti-bullying by wearing pink. The Peer Leaders wrote quotes of respect on the windows and to confirm the commitment to respect, each student decorated a slip of construction paper with their name and taped it onto the “Wall of Respect.” One of our English teachers created a quilt with her students that displayed quotes representing different perspectives of respect for each individual.
In this event, the entire school was involved and inspired to consider their own definitions of respect. The project’s success lies not only in the display of creativity, but also in each individual student. The public displays in the hallway serve as a reminder for each student to always respect others as well as themselves. The only change I would make to this activity would be for teachers to participate along with the students to commit to the Wall of Respect. This reiterates the importance of respect for everyone, and not just the students.
A total of 680 out of 680 (100%) students, 29 out of 29 (100%) Student Council members, and 60 out of 78 (77%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Gary Suda, “The Respect Wall initiative was a well-planned, student orchestrated, character building event; the positive momentum and spirit enriched our educational environment and elevated student pride in the community.”
For more information, contact advisor Hannah Sappio at firstname.lastname@example.org
Knollwood Middle School
VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION
This MIDDLE SCHOOL project brought together students, faculty, staff, and the community of Fair Haven. The Knollwood Student Council took on a new initiative this year to honor our veterans, organizing a Veterans Day Ceremony where students, faculty, and staff honored and commemorated a veteran they know. The project consisted of selling American Flags for one dollar and all the proceeds, a total of $575, were donated to Wounded Warrior Project.
'The ceremony took place on Veterans Day, Wednesday November 11th. During the ceremony, each grade level was called outside. Students silently planted the flags they purchased in front of the school remembering those who protect our country. After each grade level planted their flags, students faced the flags and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. A member of the Knollwood marching band played “Taps” as students returned inside the school. The flags lined the school and as members of the community drove by they could see all the flags and think about the special men and women who serve our country.
Click on this link to view a video of the ceremony - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-V1OAzrRck
A total of 589 out of 589 (100%) students, 15 out of 30 (50%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 66 (3-%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Amy Romano, “I am so proud of our students and staff who generously took on this project, highlighting how we treat each other, show respect for our country, and have greater appreciation of the sacrifice that our veterans make each day.”
For more information, contact advisor Nicole Bryant at email@example.com
Mercer County Technical Schools Health Sciences Academy
CULTURAL DAY CELEBRATION
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project celebrates the diversity of our school. When our Academy first opened, the Student Council felt that the diversity of the student body was something that should be celebrated, so they created the first HSA Cultural Day celebration. They were determined to create an event that would allow every student to share what makes him or her a unique member of our school community. The event has become the longest-running Academy event.
Students are invited to wear cultural garb to the event, which begins with a speaker who introduces a series of student performers. Performances range from cultural dance to musical performances to slam poetry. Afterwards, they share cultural dishes – which all students and staff are invited to bring – in the cafeteria. In 2014, students were awarded a KidsBridge Young Humanitarian award for their dedication to embracing cultures and uniting the school community.
A total of 117 out of 117 (100%) students, 17 out of 17 (100%) Student Council members, and 12 out of 12 (100%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Sharon Nemeth, “The goal of the celebration is to bring acceptance and knowledge of different cultures through nutrition and camaraderie; there has been standing room only for years!”
For more information, contact advisor Rachel Hendrickson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parsippany Hills High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project commemorates the accomplishments of our school’s seniors by giving out superlatives (for example, best couple, most likely to succeed, etc.) in an award show format, which takes place in February. Awards are given out as trophies and are determined by the online votes of the seniors. While the awards are given to the seniors only, this event unites all grades into one fun night. Between the awards, there are special performances from students in every grade. For instance, last year students took part in lip sync battles! Anyone can give these performances by signing up before the event.
The audience is also entertained by the hosts of the event, who perform self-written comedic skits and dialogue. A student made video introducing the hosts and nominees is also played to open the night. The event is hosted by senior girls who go through an audition process to be selected for the role. Although meant primarily for school spirit, the event acts as a major fundraiser. Parents, students, and others from around the Parsippany community can come watch for an affordable ticket price. The proceeds are invested back into the Student Council to be used for other events and activities.
A total of 25 out of 1050 (2%) students, 13 out of 13 (100%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 150 (1%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Carly Stout, “This event had a huge turnout last year, much more than expected, and we cannot wait to have this event grow even more year after year.”For more information, contact advisor Elizabeth Mejia at email@example.com
South Brunswick High School
DECK THE HALLS
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is an annual event held at South Brunswick for all students and teachers, held in December. There are two goals for this project. First, we work to get the whole school ready for the holiday season! The students are given the opportunity to decorate their lockers, while teachers can order custom made door decorations designed by the Student Council. In the end, winter spirit is spread throughout the school with the halls filled with many decorated lockers and doors. Secondly, we aim to raise money through this event that is donated to the local South Brunswick Food Pantry and SB Social Services. Our donations help families in need around the holiday season to prepare holiday meals and provide their family with gifts.
The Student Council advertised for this event by making flyers and promotional bulletin boards. Each teacher attached $5 to their door order and students paid $5.00 and used any supplies provided by the Student Council to decorate their lockers at our evening event. Additionally, all student participants at our night event were provided with free hot chocolate! This event was a great opportunity to spread school spirit while helping those in need in our community!
A total of 20 out of 2917 (1%) students, 14 out of 14 (100%) Student Council members, and 25 out of 237 (11%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Peter Varela, “This project stands out in my mind because it helped bring about holiday cheer, raise school spirit and supported families in need during the holiday season.”
For more information, contact advisor Kelly Boyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bayonne High School
This SERVICE project engages a group of students who would normally not be able to participate in Student Government functions, catering to special needs students who are part of the Project Independence program at Bayonne High School. The Sweetheart Dance is held for two hours during the school day every February in the Tech Gym for all students in this program.
When planning this event, Student Government members ask Project Independence teachers about the interests of their students. Everything from favorite songs to cartoon characters are discussed to personalize the Sweetheart Dance as much as possible. A few weeks before the event, students receive hand made invitations. On the day of the dance, students arrive in the Tech Gym after lunch to see various decorations and their favorite songs playing. Different stations are set up for face painting, temporary tattoos, coloring, balloon games in addition to the dance floor. Student Government members dance, color and laugh with the Project Independence students during the event, and give out goody bags after the event is over. In the week that follows, Student Government members meet again with the Project Independence teachers and students to get their feedback which is used to help in planning for the following year.
A total of 75 out of 2800 (3%) students, 10 out of 28 (36%) Student Council members, and 10 out of 230 (40%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Richard Bacarella, "Every year I visit the Sweetheart Dance to see the progress the Student Government has made; every year I see an even better version of this annual event. To me, the Sweetheart Dance is one of the most important events in our school. It is something that makes me very proud of the Student Government here at Bayonne High School."
For more information, contact Bayonne Advisor Keri Toomey.
Columbia High School
SCHOOL IN ACTION NIGHT
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is an annual event that showcases everything Columbia High School has to offer, while also serving to dispel any negativity surrounding our school. The event draws students and parents (of all ages) who come as organizers, participants or just to enjoy the many different performances scheduled throughout the evening. Many community members and in-coming 8th graders attend the event as well, to learn about all the great activities CHS has to offer. While the event itself only takes two and a half hours, planning for it spans from early January until the day of the event in mid-April.
The main wing of the building has tables where every school club has a booth where they can hand out information, sell various items, and speak to students, parents, teachers and members of the community about their club. Various sport exhibitions take place in the gym or cafeteria; our award winning Fencing Team is always exciting to watch. Each class works together to provide pizza, snacks, drinks, or desserts for the event which are sold for a small profit. A number of performance groups such as the Special Dance Company, Friday Night Live, the Shakespeare Club and our Acapella group, Unaccompanied Minors perform in the Auditorium or our Black Box Threatre. Our CHS TV station broadcasts live shows throughout the evening, letting anyone take a tour of the TV Studio and anchor a news show. The Astronomy Tower is even open for anyone to look through our telescopes with the assistance of the Astronomy Club.
A total of 500 students out of 1898 (26%), 32 out of 32 Student Council Members (100%), and 35 out of 180 teachers (19%) became involved in the project. In the words of Principal Elizabeth Aaron, “This event gives voice to the many ways our students work together across lines of race, gender and class, working with teachers and communtiy organizations to share the talents of our students and staff to make our school and community better for all of us.”
Edison High School
HALLOWEEN AT THE HIGH
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project was created to have Edison students of all ages interact and socialize in a child-friendly atmosphere for Halloween. At the annual Halloween at the High event, the Student Council invites local elementary and middle school children to the high school for many Halloween activities and events. Several high school clubs host a child-friendly Halloween event in a classroom. Children and their parents will walk among the designated classrooms to participate in these activities.
The class councils also compete in a Battle of the Class competition by designing a room in a haunted house. Faculty members judge the rooms of the haunted house, and the classes will earn Battle of the Class points based upon their scores. Older children and teenagers are welcome to walk through the haunted house if they dare! The event has a $3.00 admission fee, with all proceeds being donated to the NJASC State Charity. Attendees can also bring in canned goods for a reduced ($2.00) admission fee, and these collected items will be donated to a local food bank.
A total of 500 out of 2100 (24%) students, 45 out of 52 (87%) Student Council members, and 40 out of 230 (17%) teachers became involved. In the words of Assistant Principal Nicole Kesselman, "Halloween at the High truly unites the community; we have families from all eight elementary schools come to enjoy safe Halloween fun and teachers from the district bring their children to this event as well. Our Edison High students collaborate and volunteer their time because they have personal satisfaction seeng the jovial smiles of a petite Princess or young Batman; knowing that their efforts made a difference in a child's day is an unparalleled emotion."
For more information, contact Edison Advisor Amanda Gonczi.
Kinnelon High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is designed to allow every student to participate in a week of showcasing talent, friendly competition and bringing the school together. Spirit Week is a week of fun that takes over a month and a half of planning for the student council. It is a huge part of the culture at Kinnelon High School. A Kinnelon freshman still feels like a middle school student until after his/her first Spirit Week. Once this freshman has passed this milestone, this right-of-passage, and seen the whole school come together and do incredible things in the name of school spirit, he or she feels like a real member of the KHS community.
The students, the staff and the community come together to participate in a variety of events that include volleyball, hallway decorations, quiz bowl, dance competition, dance practices, spirit spot videos, band day, banner decorations, spirit treats, color day, and homecoming. Every student is accounted for during second block when teachers mark all the students are who participating in the theme day of the week. All students are encouraged to participate and the events are designed to span such a broad spectrum of talents that everyone can find some way to shine, and to make their grade succeed.
A total of 678 out of 678 (100%) students, 42 out of 42 (100%) Student Council members, and 62 out of 62 (100%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Gary Suda, "This five-day event truly embodies the threads of character, civility, passion, comradery and school pride among four distinct classes into one spirited student body fabric. The positive momentum and wave of spirit gained during Kinnelon High School's Spirit Week has enriched our educational environment and elevated student pride in self and school beyond quantification."
For more information, contact Kinnelon HS Advisor Hannah Sappio.
Logan Township Middle School
This FUNDRAISING project derives from the famous NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. For several weeks in March, our 7th and 8th grade students are involved in forming teams, practicing their skills, designing t-shirts, and competing in one night of frenzied athleticism that culminates with the top student team squaring off against the staff team for the ultimate championship. This event is well attended by hundreds of current and former students from Logan Middle and Elementary School, and numerous parents, friends, and relatives also come out to cheer on their favorite teams, which are eliminated bracket-style as the night goes on.
Staff members play music during the entire event, sell snacks, referee the games, keep score, and of course, compete in the final showdown against the winning student team. At halftime, spectators pay $1.00 for 2 chances to make half-court shots, for which they are awarded small prizes; all basketball players pay $5.00 each, and spectators contribute $3.00. Snacks are sold throughout the night, and all proceeds benefit the state charity. Every year, our small middle school of about 262 students raises nearly $1000 which is donated to the NJASC State Charity. Due to the immense student, staff, and community participation, without a doubt, this event is the most anticipated of the year.
A total of 175 out of 262 (67%) students, 25 out of 29 (86%) Student Council members, and 14 out of 20 (70%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Heather Moran, "Even though the objective of the event is to raise money for the NJASC State Charity, the benefits are much more wide-reaching. The stands in the gym are packed to capacity, most of the staff is participating in one way or another and our students are having a fantastic time. Who could ask for anything more?"
For more information, contact Logan Township MS advisor Sara Bigley.
Neptune High School
VARSITY LOCKER RECOGNITION
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is designed to recognize students for what they do to contribute to the school environment and to raise the school spirit of individual students and the school as a whole. The lockers of varsity athletes are decorated at the beginning of the sport season to recognize and acknowledge them as being leaders. This project has been utilized for three sports seasons and has created morale among the team members as well as the school itself. It is a “shout out” and has led to the students looking to see whose locker is decorated and those that have a decorated locker to point it out to others. The students see the recognition as “bling” and will re-tape and fix the recognition when it begins to show wear and tear.
This school spirit project fosters feelings of pride because it recognizes those that are able to play at the varsity level no matter the grade level of the student. For the sports that do not distinguish between varsity and junior varsity the juniors and seniors receive locker recognition. Also, all sports are recognized and not just high profile sports. When the athlete sees his/her sport being recognized, it reiterates that their sport is part of the school. Because we wanted to promote school spirit, the lockers of the Marching Band and Drama Troupe are decorated as well. Their contributions to the school are significant and deserve recognition.
A total of 453 out of 1360 (33%) students, 25 out of 40 (63%) Student Council members, and 34 out of 125 (27%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Richard Allen, "This small act of kindness and recognition has had a significant impact on the school climate and culture. Students take great pride in preserving the notes on their lockers, and their fellow classmates make every effort to ensure that the recognition remains on their lockers throughout the season."
For more information, contact Neptune HS Advisor Catherine Crelin.
Parsippany Hills High School
This SERVICE project can be easily implemented in any school, and it unites the students to support a worthy cause. Yuda Bands is an organization that brings together the school and global community. The student council receives leather bracelets in various designs, which are made by impoverished Guatemalan families from the Yuda Bands vendors, and they are sold during lunch periods for $7. Any profits from the sales not only aid those poor families who made the bracelets, it also helps sponsor an underprivileged student’s education in Guatemala.
In New Jersey the state is able to provide quality education free of cost; this is still a distant dream in a majority of nations. Not only do the council and students learn to appreciate the value of free education, we are also able to connect and communicate with the student that we sponsor. We work to bring attention to Yuda Bands in the community to support this important cause. The project is run in December, which coincidentally is the season of giving. The bracelets make exceptional gifts, and it is a great way to give back to the community. This unique project makes a positive impact on the world by making it possible for students to pass on the gift of education to their peers internationally, and we hope that it can mobilize communities all over the state to helping provide an education to those less fortunate than ourselves.
A total of 500 out of 1100 (45%) students, 20 out of 100 (20%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 100 (2%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Michael DiSanto, “The Yuda Band project is not as familiar as other projects. It's a step outside everyone's comfort zone and brings awareness to educational needs in other countries. I am proud of the Student Council for choosing such a significant project, one that helps other students in under-priviledged nations facing tremendous hardships."
For more information, contact Parsippany Hills HS Advisor Elizabeth Mejia.
Saint Peter's Preparatory School
ADOPT A FAMILY
This SERVICE project first started at Saint Peter's Prep in 2003 and was organized by Pax Christi, a club at Saint Peter’s Prep that organizes charitable events and justice initiatives. It looks to helps families and the people of the Archdiocese of Newark that cannot afford gifts for Christmas. We are given the profiles of the families by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark. The homerooms, which meet twice every eight days, each sponsor a person, and collect money to purchase gifts for them.
Representatives of Pax Christi collect the gifts each homeroom buys, and then the representative would bring that down the contributions to the campus ministry offices. Homerooms buy needed items or gift desired by the family, for example, a new winter coat or toys. The student council is involved in the program by being the principal promoters and supporters of Adopt a Family in the school and specifically the homerooms. Last year the program helped collect 500 gifts and over $2000 in grocery gifts certificates for 50 people in need. Students and parent also come to Prep a week before Christmas to wrap the gifts and come together and a community to truly reflect on what we are thankful for. This program has contributed a vast amount of support to families and the community as a whole.
A total of 954 out of 954 (100%) students, 21 out of 21 (100%) Student Council members, and 88 out of 88 (100%) teachers became involved. In the words of Director of Campus Ministry Maura Toomb, "The Adopt a Family program requires the full participation of the Prep Community in order to be successful. It highlights the incredible generosity of our students and teachers and what makes our community here at Prep so great - service to others, generosity and unity on many levels."
For more information, contact St. Peter's Preparatory School Advisor Brooke Simonson.
Seneca High School
PROM HOUSE 110 CARRANZA
This SERVICE project is one of the biggest and most influential projects of a very busy year for the Seneca Student Council. This event helps not only the students and parents but the community as well. Prom House 110 Carranza was started three years ago by the help of the Student Council and School Adminstration. This project is purely one to aid students in making good decisions and avoid temptations such as illegal activities, that might otherwise be an option at a normal beach house after prom, from 12:00 to 6:00 a.m.
The gyms at Seneca High School is transformed into beach-themed chill rooms and game rooms, for the seniors who attended prom. Donations are made to be raffled off during the night, donations such as a car, TV’s, iPod’s, iPads, computers, gift cards and even mini refrigerators for a college dorm. The raffle tickets are earned throughout the night as the seniors play games, and attend things such as the movie. Other school clubs such as the National Honor Society and Student Governments get involved to help make this night spectacular for the students in attendance. Throughout the event there are games, movies, a hypnotist and food offered to the students. The attendees of the Prom House always have an unforgettable night to help end their senior year right. Overall, Prom House 110 Carranza is a safe alternative and an extremely fun night for everyone involved.
A total of 200 out of 1200 (17%) of students, 25 out of 37 (68%) Student Council Members, and 15 out of 120 (13%) of teachers became involved in last year’s Lip Sync. In the words of Assistant Principal Bradley Bauer, "Prom House 110 gives students another option other than going to the beach and being put in the position to make the 'right' decision in regards to using drugs and alcohol. Our Student Council has done an amazing job organizing this event; each year over 85% of the students who attend prom also attend Prom House 110."
For more information, contact Seneca HS Advisor Erica Maira.
South Brunswick High School
OVARIAN & PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS CARNIVAL
This EDUCATIONAL project was a new experience for the South Brunswick Student Council, intended to raise awareness about an important cause as part of a "Cause of the Month" school wide program. September's cause was Ovarian & Prostate Cancer. Students would wear Teal to raise awareness for this cause, whch would gain them admission to a Carnival which would be fun while raising awareness further. Donations would also be collected to support the American Cancer Society.
The Student Council came together as a group to brainstorm ideas for this carnival; games included Cornhole, Ring Toss, Ladder Ball, Trivia, and a Spinning Wheel. Each game had facts to inform students about Ovarian & Prostate Cancer. Student Council members manned the game stations, collected donations, gave out prizes and thanked the students who supported the cause. In just one day, over $300 was raised for the American Cancer Society, not to mentioned the awareness raised throughout our student body about Ovarian & Prostate Cancer.
A total of 1500 out of 2823 (53%) students, 14 out of 14 (100%) Student Council members, and 2 out of 250 (1%) teachers became involved. In the words of Principal Peter Varela, "I believe that this event taught some important lessons to our students. Besides learning about prostate and ovarian cancer, students engaged in activities that challenged their limits by playing different games, interacting with students outside their immediate circles, and taking risks to experience success. I am proud of our Student Council and their continuous growth."
For more information, contact South Brunswick HS Advisor Kelly Boyer.
Allentown High School
HOMECOMING TAILGATE PARTY
This SCHOOL SPIRIT tailgate event was started last year by Student Council. Our second annual tailgate party helped celebrate Spirit Week and the homecoming games of each of our teams, especially our football team, and raise money for the chosen charity. Our Student Council transformed the parking lot closest to the football field into the celebration area. There were games such as Frisbee, hamster balls, and an outside video game truck to provide entertainment. The cheerleaders performed and a DJ was hired to play music that helped set the mood. The celebration started with the breaking of the football piñata by freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior class members, each taking a turn. The football parents donated food and drink for the tailgate while the cheerleading moms chaperoned. The tailgate added another aspect of spirit to a fun-filled week which ended in our pep rally, parade, and football game. This event allowed students and members of other groups in the school community to come together in a fun and safe way to celebrate the success of our school’s fall sports.
A total of 93 out of 1283 students (7%), 26 out of 48 Student Council members (54%), and 2 out of 138 (2%) of Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Vice Principal Lynn Folino, “this project went off without a hitch, generating school spirit and providing a fun outlet for students to socialize and enjoy activities they would not typically be doing on a Thursday night.”
For more information, contact Allentown advisor Mary Johnson (JohnsoM@ufrsd.net).
Columbia High School
THE GOAT PROJECT
This SERVICE project came from Dr. Beth Dalzell, CHS Student Council advisor. Her daughter, Jenni, has traveled to Haiti and worked as a volunteer since the 2010 earthquake. While there, Jenni met Colin “Baba” Augusnor, a veterinarian and leader in the community of Bassin Bleu. He shared his desire to begin a program of raising goats to enable the community to learn to feed themselves and become self-sufficient. Student Council was enthusiastic about the project; the target was raising money to purchase 60 goats at $100 each. Flyers were made and students spread the word throughout the community as local businesses, houses of worship, families and friends offered donations. Students and staff members generously contributed to the cause. It became a service project for the entire South Orange-Maplewood community, raising nearly $10,000! Dr. Dalzell and her family traveled to Haiti in May 2014 to deliver the donations along with clothing, school supplies and toiletries collected by our students. Student Council felt great pride in successfully providing such life sustaining support for the Bassin Bleu community!
A total of 1700 out of 1913 (89%) students, 22 out of 22 (100%) Student Council Members, and 160 out of 160 (100%) Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Principal Elizabeth Aaron, “The Haiti Goat Project is truly an example of the way we can join together for positive social change.”
Fair Lawn High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is an annual event hosted by the Student Government Association, designed to inform and enlist students into the 67 active clubs of our school. At the beginning of every year, after meeting with representatives from each club, SGA creates the Club Fair to highlight the broad interests offered at Fair Lawn High School. Held in the gym, each club is assigned a table where they construct a display to attract students with similar interests. The clubs hang posters, hand out literature and have sign-up sheets so interested students may receive additional information. During lunch periods, all students are invited to visit, browse and find clubs that interest them most. Council members distribute pamphlets which include a description of each club as well as when and where they meet. Whether it be pursuing a current interest or finding a new one, Club Fair is the perfect opportunity to showcase all that the school has to offer. This event truly displays that there is something for everyone, allowing students to find their place in a welcoming and friendly environment. Praised by students and administration, Club Fair is SGA’s must successful and thriving event.
A total of 1000 out of 1465 (68%) students, 25 out of 25 (100%) Student Council Members, and 8 out of 120 (7%) Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Principal James Marcella, “students have a voice through our clubs and they use that voice to make our community a better place.”
For more information contact advisor Marco Infante (email@example.com).
Hunterdon Central Regional High School
This SERVICE project called Survivors’ Celebration was inspired by the courageous battle 14 million people fight per year, cancer. We took our annual PinkOut football game and elevated it to acknowledge and celebrate the strength that local cancer survivors have. In addition to our annual PinkOut shirt sale and donation boxes at the Snack Shack, where the money collected goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the HC Student Council collected names of those who are fighting and who have fought cancer throughout our school and community. These people received free admission to the game, VIP seating, and a touching tribute where they were honored by the entire football game audience. During halftime, members of the Student Council escorted the survivors onto the field with large bundles of pink balloons, and proceeded to hand out bouquets of pink flowers as a gesture of thanks. A touching tribute was read as the audience applauded widely. It was a memorable moment for everybody as we honored and celebrated those who have been through a horrific ordeal. Members of the community were also involved as our opposing team for that game, Phillipsburg, wore pink in support of breast cancer awareness. The Hunterdon Medical Center also came and handed out educational materials to spectators. Overall, the Survivor’s Celebration was a huge success, and the HC Student Council is looking forward to continuing this new tradition.
A total of 30 out of 3100 (1%) students, 25 out of 110 (23%) Student Council Members, and 2 out of 120 (1%) Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Principal Suzanne J. Cooley, “as those survivors took the field, an entire stadium stood together in support and unity. The message to all that were present was profound and much needed in a time of such uncertainty and pain.”
For more information, contact Hunterdon Central advisor Elizabeth Rosen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project was intended to breathe some life into school dances and make them more fun by renting a photo booth. Upon researching, the students found out the photo booth was too expensive and the council wouldn’t make a profit. Instead, as a team, they put their heads together to come up with a different spin on the photo booth idea. The students decided on a photo backdrop, placing a large themed drop down the hall from the dance. For the first dance, the students created a photo backdrop by soliciting donations from different local party stores, one of which donated a large backdrop and a few parents volunteered to transport it to the school. A photo backdrop wouldn’t be complete without some fun props; some resourceful students created many different props for the backdrop as well. The students at the dance loved claiming props from the prop table before jumping in front of the backdrop to pose. Each photo was $1.00 and all money raised will be donated to the NJASC State Charity. Students were able to take their picture home with them before the dance ended. It was a great project and we are looking forward to continuing this project at the remaining 2 dances this year!
A total of 282 out of 300 (94%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 30 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 10 out of 12 (83%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Kevin Davis, “the Student Council came up with a fun and exciting way to raise money and make the school dances even more fun!”
For more information, contact Knollwood advisor Kelly Fogas (email@example.com).
Ocean City High School
RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE
This SERVICE project begins in December and January with preparations for the annual Blood Drive that will take place in March. Red Cross representatives come to our school to assist us in informing the students and faculty of the Blood Drive and answer any questions that we might not have been able to answer ourselves. Weeks of signups, advertising and logistics keep the event successful every year. Our Red Cross Blood Drive is more than just our typical event; it’s a commitment that’s carried out by the biggest organization in our school. It requires exact times and calculations to ensure that it runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Student Council members who participate in this event feel that it’s more than just putting on an event and cleaning it up after; during the event you see the pints on pints of blood that you know are saving three lives each. We get to see all of the effort that we've put into the event right in front of us which all pays off in the end.
A total of 500 out of 1200 (42%) students, 30 out of 110 (27%) Student Council Members, and 40 out of 125 (32%) Teachers participated in the project.
For more information contact Ocean City advisor Matt Purdue (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Parsippany Hills High School
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project run aims to help freshmen feel more comfortable in the new high school environment by having them work with their peers and seniors as a team to complete in certain events. This annual event, filled with plenty of fun activities, has always been successful in creating a positive school atmosphere and is conveniently held the same night as Freshman Parent Night for the convenience of the entire family. During this night, teams with ten freshmen and five seniors each compete against each other in a series of competitive games and activities judged by the members of the Student Council. The teams bond and prepare for the competition, fostering a feeling of camaraderie among the students participating. The events challenge team members, who must use teamwork and communication skills to accomplish their goal in each five minute rotation. At the end of the night of competition, all the scores are tallied and the team with the most points wins Frosh Night, but everyone is a winner after having a great time with friends new and old. Frosh Night brings the entire school community together, the students participating bond and create memories with friends to make the night unforgettable for all involved.
A total of 175 out of 1100 (16%) students, 15 out of 50 (30%) Student Council Members, and 2 out of 150 (1%) Teachers participated in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Christian Keegan, “this year’s attendance at Frosh Night was a true measure of how popular the event is, as the school becomes a major community gathering place…it undoubtedly strongly contributes to our school climate.”
For more information contact advisor Danielle Portella (email@example.com).
Randolph High School
SENIOR TAKE OVER DAY
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project was created to unify staff and students. Randolph High School’s first annual Senior Take-Over Day in April of 2014 was much more than a student government fundraiser, it was an opportunity for the senior class and staff to collaborate. Seniors tried to outbid one another for the opportunity to take over a staff member’s position for the day. Staff members volunteered in advance to participate; it expanded beyond high school teachers to administrators in the building, the head of technology, and even the assistant superintendent and superintendent. Students and staff members were encouraged to meet prior to the day to ask questions, prepare lessons and begin to comprehend the serious responsibility this type of shadowing entailed. Students were also required to dress the part, and therefore dress for success! The student leaders that day were also asked to work together and host our spring pep rally. They unified to plan, execute, and manage a very successful and fun filled, well attended celebration of RHS! Randolph High School invites the entire student body of 1,600 to all pep rallies. This project increased unity among the student body and staff; it was well received thanks to the student government’s passion and dedication. Passionate students working together create excellent opportunities; Randolph High School is lucky to have started another outstanding tradition on behalf of the graduating class of 2014.
A total of 50 out of 350 (14%) Seniors, 20 out of 20 (100%) Student Council members, and 50 out of 150 (33%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Superintendent Dr. David M. Browne, “I had one of my favorite Randolph days today hosting Ms. Anna Conklin as Acting Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent Ms. Jennifer Fano hosting Mr. Luke Wright as Acting Assistant Superintendent. We appreciated the chance to get to know these two fine members of the RHS Class of 2014!”
For more information, contact Randolph advisor Lindsay Brinkerhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Seneca High School
BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT SNACK GRAMS
This SCHOOL SERVICE project marks the first student council event of a very busy year. Not only does it help our new members accommodate to student council event, but also it sets the council off on the right foot with the parents. We help guide the parents throughout the school often escorting them if needed. We work with the National Honor Society and the AFJROTC Kitty Hawk Air Society on guiding the parents to their student’s classes. The Student Council also uses back-to-school night as an early fundraiser. We have tables set up at the intersection of every corner to sell snack grams. Snack grams are candy and other snacks such as chips, which for a dollar, parents can buy for their children. The parents then handwrite a message onto a blank label, which is attached to the snack gram. The next morning the snack grams are delivered to the students during homeroom. The students, unaware of why they are receiving a snack gram, are overjoyed when they see that their parents have bought them a snack gram the night before. Overall, selling snack grams at back-to-school night is an easy way to not only make money to start off our year, but also an easy way to brighten a student’s day.
A total of 16 out of 28 Student Council (57%) members participated in the planning and running of the project. In the words of Principal Jeff Spector, “the purpose of this event is to let students know their parents care; getting a supportive note and snack from their parents was a wonderful way to start the school year.”
For more information, contact Seneca advisor Erica Maira (email@example.com).
South Brunswick High School
HUGS FOR BRADY BLACKLIGHT DANCE
This SERVICE project was created in 2012 for the Hugs For Brady Foundation, which supports various aspects of the fight against childhood cancer. The Wells family, who started this foundation, raises money for supplies for children struggling with cancer, tools and resources for families who are dealing with their children’s illness, and works with hospitals to be more accommodating for these patients and their families. This cause was particularly close to our heart since the organization was close to our HOME! The Wells live in South Brunswick, miles from South Brunswick High School and we were thrilled to work on different ways to fundraise and spread awareness about their mission. The South Brunswick Student Council sent letters to local businesses to inform them about the Hugs For Brady Foundation and to ask for donations of door prizes. Students could pay or donate to attend the event, and the Wells family was invited and were able to come and experience the event. Now in its third year, The Hugs For Brady Blacklight dance continues to grow! The Student Council takes the time to raise awareness about childhood cancer in the form of morning announcements, bulletin boards and lunch activities. The end result is an event that celebrates life and good time with friends after the hard work of fundraising and spreading information has been done.
A total of 300 out of 3000 (10%) students, 16 out of 16 (100%) Student Council members, and 15 out of 250 (6%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Peter Varela, “this project stands out because it helped a local charity raise monies while it engaged our students in a community building activity, and what better way to do it but through the art of dancing!”
For more information, contact South Brunswick advisor Kelly Boyer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bayonne High School
THE SANDY GROUND
This SERVICE project was in memory of the twenty-six individuals who lost their lives in the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. This project, also known as “The Sandy Ground: Where Angels Play”, chose several counties across the tri-state area to construct a playground dedicated to a Sandy Hook shooting victim. Last year, the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association of New Jersey asked Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan to adopt a Sandy Ground playground. However, Bayonne was not funded for the construction of this playground. Dr. McGeehan gave the Student Government both the honor and responsibility to raise the funds necessary for the construction of this playground. The Student Government named this task Operation Playground, and expanded the project to include a memorial garden in memory of those who passed away while working in or attending the school district. In order to complete a task of such great magnitude in just a little over a year, the Student Government compacted 2014 with events and fundraisers designed to both strengthen the community and achieve our goal while reaching out to elementary school student councils and encouraging them to participate in Operation Playground events.A total of 800 out of 2700 (30%) students participated in the project, 40 out of 40 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 12 out of 231 (5%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Richard Baccarella, “I have no doubt that the Student Government leaders will work endlessly to succeed in this endeavor and stand together in pride as they watch their hard work pay off, culminating in creation of the park and garden by the end of the year.”
For more information, contact Bayonne advisor Martin Gurczeski.
Columbia High School
THE RYAN BURBANK PROJECT
This SERVICE project was dedicated to former student Ryan Burbank, who was left paralyzed from the chest down in a 2012 swimming pool accident. The accident came as a painful shock to his family; added to the emotional toll was the financial burden of medical treatments. Our project was to raise money to help the family with these costs. The Student Council launched its campaign by selling blue & white "Ryan’s Hope” wristbands to students and community members. We placed collection cans in as many local businesses as would allow them, while encouraging student participation in the “Maplewood in Motion” 5k dedicated to Ryan's recovery. Students worked as waiters at a Community Dinner for the family, inspired and helped advertise a benefit magic show in the school. The project ran approximately three months and was a resounding success. Not only was our Student Council fully involved, but also the entire school and the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange. We are extremely proud of the manner in which our student council and the community at large rallied around Ryan and his family.
A total of 2000 out of 2000 (100%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 30 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 200 out of 200 (100%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Kirk Smith, “our students and the community rose to the occasion to let Ryan and his family know that the concept of family extends beyond bloodlines to a caring community that wants to make a positive difference.”For more information, contact Columbia advisors Beth Dalzell and Hannah Edelman.
High Point Regional High School
MAD DASH FOR MADDIE 5K
This SERVICE project directly benefited one of High Point’s very own students, Mandie DiCarlo, who was diagnosed with Gray Zone Lymphoma about a year and a half ago. During her sophomore year, while she was undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Health, her classmates were constantly thinking of her and her family. Although we were all focused on the current health status of our beloved classmate, we couldn’t ignore the idea of hospital bills being so detrimental to her family’s financial state. After some brainstorming, we decided a local 5K was our best bet to draw the community together. Soon after, the event was named “Mad Dash for Mandie” and we commenced planning. Funds were raised by registration fees as well as donations from local businesses; each Student Council member was responsible to find two sponsors to join the effort. A shorter “Fun Run” was also organized for younger attendees. We set a monetary goal of $10,000 dollars; the event took place on June 15, 2013. Soon afterward, a check for $10,000 was proudly presented to the DiCarlo family. We take remarkable pride in the fact that “Mad Dash for Mandie” was successful on all levels. Since then, her positive attitude and touching smile has managed to pull a school community together in ways that will last forever.
A total of 300 out of 1120 (27%) students participated in the project, 120 out of 120 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 30 out of 100 (30%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Acting Principal Jon Tallamy, “the Student Council turned a hardship into a school wide event to help Mandie and raise awareness of cancer.”
For more information, contact High Point Regional advisor Christine Henry.
Kinnelon High School
This SERVICE project involved a donation drive during Spirit Week. Each year, students eagerly anticipate Spirit Week, which includes a series of events for which points are awarded for first, second, third and fourth places. As part of Spirit Week, the Student Council conducts an annual food drive for charity. Spirit Donations takes advantage of high participation and elevated school spirit as an opportunity to give back to the community. This year’s food drive was extended to include a variety of new items including winter coats, toys, games, books, bicycles, and clothing. More than 3,700 non-perishable food items and more than 5,000 other items were donated. With a student population of just 690, the average student donated more than 12 items. The food items were donated to the Interfaith Food Pantry, Rockaway Food Closet, and the Jersey Battered Women’s Services (JBWS). Winter coats, toys, clothing, etc. were donated to a community in the Bronx. Students were involved in every step of the process, from the planning of the event to the donation of the items and from the packaging to the delivery. In its fourth year and still evolving, Spirit Donations achieved tremendous, unprecedented success our school and Student Council will work to repeat next year.
A total of 600 out of 690 (87%) students participated in the project, 67 out of 67 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 9 out of 72 (13%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Scott Rosenberg, “we are extremely proud of the great work and community service efforts that our Student Council is doing at Kinnelon High School.”
Neptune High School
PTA BABYSITTING & COMMUNITY EVENTS
This SERVICE project encompasses providing babysitting or child care services at the local elementary schools for PTA Meetings, District Wide Parent Meetings, and assisting at Township Recreation Events. During babysitting we play with the kids; the games can range from kickball and basketball, to tag and jump rope. Student Council members also read to the kids and do arts and crafts projects with them. We also provide babysitting services at district wide parent meetings where the activities are similar. In addition, we assist at Township Recreation Events. The responsibilities of Student Council members include working with parents as they interact with their children. The purpose of the project is to overall help enable parents to be more active in their children’s schooling and taking part in community events. In the Neptune School District it is difficult for many parents to make these important meetings because of child care concerns. This project helps to make it a little bit easier.A total of 52 out of 72 (72%) Student Council members were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Richard Allen, “parental involvement has increased…these dedicated Student Council members have been a steady influence, source of inspiration, and tremendous role models for our elementary school aged students.”
For more information, contact Neptune advisor Catherine Crelin.
Parsippany Hills High School
HALLOWEEN AT THE HILLS
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project is an annual event run by the Student Council where the high school is transformed into a safe and fun trick or treating environment. Parsippany Hills High School prides itself on bringing the students and community of Parsippany together through this event. The event is targeted towards the children of the town as well as their families and friends. Not only do the participants wear costumes but faculty and students participate as well. Each room is run by a different club which is supervised by a club advisor and interfaced with club members. Clubs are each assigned a room in which they choose a theme that can vary from scary to friendly. Each room typically consists of games, contests, and crafts. Being a Halloween event there is plenty of candy and the children are delighted by the sweet rewards they are given after completing a game. Parents are given a map designating the rooms and outside each room there are signs stating whether it is scary or friendly. In addition, the Student Council runs the Cafeteria which is the hub of the event: there are pizza sales, games, and an information desk as well. Halloween at the Hills is an event that allows children and community to come together and celebrate in a safe environment while still maintaining the thrill of the holiday.
A total of 250 out of 1200 (21%) students participated in the project, 30 out of 50 (60%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 35 out of 150 (23%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Christian Keegan, “our Student Council spends a tremendous amount of time preparing and organizing this event…Halloween At The Hills is one of their most notable moments of the year.”
For more information, contact Parsippany Hills advisor Danielle Portella.
Randolph High School
TIMELINE OF TEES
This SERVICE project involved creating a unique and energetic project to display the rich history our school offers. Students, teachers, coaches, and alumni from Randolph were all approached and asked to donate t-shirts to the "Timeline of Tees". Various clubs, sports, academic teams, and honor societies, all donated their respected t-shirt for the project. To obtain funding, the Class of 2012 and the 2013 Student Council donated money to buy frames for the project. The shirts were framed and hung to create a timeline of events at RHS; the maintenance crew hand bent the metal strips that enclosed the frames on the wall. Over 100 shirts were framed and hung for viewing with many RHS activities represented, increasing student collaboration and involvement in school and community events. The most important part of this project is that the timeline is endless; more shirts and memorabilia can continuously be collected and changed to reflect the ongoing groups at RHS. Feedback from this project has been terrific, many students and parent groups whom visit the school pause and reflect at the wall.
A total of 75 out of 1700 (4%) students participated in the project, 12 out of 36 (33%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 45 out of 200 (23%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Vice Principal Lee Hackney, “these shirts are truly a testament to the rich traditions here at Randolph High School.”For more information, contact Randloph advisor Kelly Fogas.
River Dell High School
RD MOBILE APP
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project brought together students, teachers, parents, and alumni in the River Dell Regional High School community. The idea of a school mobile app for smartphones was born out of a need to create an accessible high school “guidebook” to help new students. Since then, the RD Mobile App has been adopted by students, teachers, parents, and alumni to give quick and easy access to news, upcoming events, and more. For students, this app will be most helpful in remembering the drop rotation schedule, important dates, or even the cafeteria menu. The app also features club descriptions, teachers’ page, special bell schedules like half-days or delayed openings, and quick access to e-mail and the online grade book. Teachers and coaches are able to use the app for its notes feature and sports schedules. Parents and other community members can get this app if they are interested in the dates and times of athletic events, concerts, plays, and board meetings. More students have joined the RD Mobile Project Team not only to expand its functionality but raise more awareness as well. As of the end of November, over 300 students have downloaded the app representing around 30% of the student body and this number continues to grow every day. The app was a huge success, thanks to the advertising and enthusiasm by the student council members. Above all, the RD Mobile App allows anyone to be connected to everything River Dell – all in the palm of your hand.
A total of 10 out of 1086 (1%) students participated in the project, 19 out of 19 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 5 out of 95 (5%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Lorraine Brooks, “the influence of the RD Mobile App extends beyond our school; it provides faster and more efficient communication to our school community and allows all River Dell stakeholders to stay connected to the school.”
For more information, contact River Dell advisor Jennifer Cuccio-Morris.
Seneca High School
SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAYS WEEK
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project brings Seneca High School together; this year it fell the week before Thanksgiving, giving it perfect timing for a Christmas drive to help families affected by AIDS. When students donated items needed by these families, they received Spirit Points towards their class. These items were given to families in need at our Thanksgiving Pep Rally, which culminates Spirit Week. Immediately following Spirit Week is our homecoming football game on Thanksgiving Day, where the school spirit continues with a banner parade of all school teams and clubs along with each class presenting a dance or skit with their float that corresponds with their class theme in order to win Spirit Week points. During Spirit Week, every class also was assigned a hallway and theme to decorate; the best decorated hallway earned points for their grade. Theme days for Spirit Week are chosen by the students well in advance as part of the planning process, based on what they believe will best engage the student body. Seneca’s spirit week is a perfect example of what school spirit and unity stands for, and is one of their most anticipated events of the school year.A total of 320 out of 1245 (26%) students participated in the project, 28 out of 28 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 75 out of 200 (38%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Bradley Bauer, “giving back to our community is extremely important; Spirit Of The Holidays was extremely successful and brought our school and community closer together.”
For more information, contact Seneca advisor Erica Maira.
Somerville High School
THE SPIRIT TREE
This SCHOOL SPIRIT project was created to help raise students’ school spirit along with their holiday spirit. The Spirit Tree is placed in the main lobby of the high school during the month of December. It is decorated with ornaments that represent the purpose and goals of the various clubs, sports, and organizations of Somerville High School. The ornaments are handcrafted by each club, sport, and organization and can sometimes turn into a friendly competition over who can create the best ornament. Student Council Representatives also get involved by creating Somerville High School themed ornaments representing the school as a whole. The Spirit Tree brings the Somerville student body, which comes from both the towns of Somerville and Branchburg, together while building pride within the student body for all the programs and activities offered at the school. The activity culminates with the annual tree lighting before school while the choir leads the school in songs, and the tree remains lit through the holiday season.A total of 500 out of 1200 (42%) students participated in the project, 75 out of 110 (68%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 30 out of 100 (30%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Assistant Principal Scott Hade, “the Spirit Tree is a model of how students can unite a school comprised of two communities.”
For more information, contact Somerville advisor Andrea Keller.
West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
SUPER SAMARA DAY
This FUNDRAISING project involved students of West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, coming to support a teacher’s daughter, Samara Sheller, who had been recently diagnosed with childhood cancer. Between concerts and sporting events held to help the Sheller Family, the Student Council organized a Super Samara Day; Samara’s favorite color is pink and council members designed pink shirts with “Super Samara” on the front. With profits dedicated to the Sheller family, the shirts sold quickly and soon enough the entire school was filled with pink shirts that read “Super Samara”. When Super Samara Day came, Samara unfortunately could not attend because she was not feeling her best. The school gathered to take a giant group picture and sign a get-well card. When she felt better, two additional Super Samara Days were designated to keep her spirits high. Inspired by the Student Council, the Volleyball Team held a match dedicated to Samara and a recent alumni dedicated two concerts to the Sheller family. At the end of the fundraiser, well over $4000 was raised from shirts and donations alone. The students and teachers of West Windsor Plainsboro-South are truly a family, and came together to support a fellow Pirate.A total of 1216 out of 1622 (75%) students participated in the project, 40 out of 40 (100%) Student Council members were involved in the project, and 117 out of 117 (100%) teachers were involved in the project. In the words of Principal Dennis Lepold, “Samara’s mom told me how much it meant to Samara when she was given the picture of so many students and teachers wearing the pink shirts and sending her thoughts of good will.”
For more information, contact WW-P South advisor Brandy Moncada.