Moffat County High School Student Council: Creating leaders that serve |

Moffat County High School Student Council: Creating leaders that serve

Lauren Blair
Student council activities committee leader Rebekah Bird debriefs successes and needed improvements in regards to the Sadie Hawkins dance with fellow committee members and advisor Evan Gaffney. Moffat County High School student council members are responsible for planning not only the homecoming dance and other fun events for students, but also fundraisers to support local community organizations.
Lauren Blair

— High school student councils can often be either a glorified popularity contest or an easy resume-builder for overachievers. But Moffat County High School Student Council is a group of students that know how to get things done and are learning to practice leadership in the spirit of service.

Led by science teacher Evan Gaffney, the robust student organization is always busy. From planning dances and activities to organizing fundraisers for the community, every student has a job.

“A lot of student councils are social clubs, they put on a great homecoming dance and for the rest of the year, it’s something to put on resume,” Gaffney said. “I envisioned a group of students that has an actual effect on their school and community culture.”

This month, student council raised $430 for the local chapter of Special Olympics Colorado. The group also donated funds and organizational assistance this year to the adopt-a-family drive — organized by MCHS student Ashley Derick — to help local families in need during the holiday season. Last year, student council raised more than $2,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

“We have a system that functions really well,” Gaffney said. “My job as of recently is pretty much to sit back and watch my kids accomplish things that they wanted to do.”

Rather than just a handful of officers doing all the work, the students divide and conquer. Dance, activities and humanitarian committee leaders delegate tasks to committee members, while council officers oversee the committees.

“Student council’s taught me a lot about being motivated and staying organized when you have lots of people depending on you,” said activities committee head Rebekah Bird, a junior at MCHS.

Bird is running against junior Wes Atkin for president next year and said she is proud of the work that student council accomplishes.

Though several of the organization’s leaders are, in fact, straight-A students, Gaffney praises members for being involved out of a genuine desire to help.

“When I got here, it was all straight-A students. We have a much better representation of the demographic of the student body than we used to. And that’s a good thing because they come with good ideas,” Gaffney said. “I’m really proud that… every one of our kids is there because they actually want to accomplish something. There’s no one there for a college resume.”

Current student council vice president Calden Scranton, a senior at MCHS, is preparing to move on from his four-year tenure in student council with a strong ethic for leadership.

“It’s about being in the sense of leadership with service,” Scranton said. “We’re serving our school, we’re trying to get events for them and doing community service… I hope to go into any field in my life and be a leader… Not leading to be in charge of things but knowing I’m giving the best help that is possible.”

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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