& Updates

April 2023

VSCA officers for 2022-2023 pose for a photo with guest speaker Heather Schultze at the 96th VSCA state convention.

New Officers Elected

Congratulations to the new officer schools for 2023-2024:

  • President School: Courtland High School (Spotsylvania Division), Meredith Stapleton, student representative and Ms. Amy Thorne and Ms. Bobbie Almassy, advisors
  • Vice President School: Buckingham County High School (Buckingham Division), Gabrielle Gunter, student representative and Ms. Mary Stearrett, advisor
  • Secretary School: Grassfield High School (Chesapeake Division), Spencer Cocuzzo, student representative and Ms. Alicia White, advisor

VSCA: Saving the Day with Leadership 2023

More than 450 student leaders and advisors from 37 middle and high schools around the Commonwealth gathered at Massaponax High School March 17-18 for the 96th VSCA State Convention. 

Activities Friday afternoon focused on helping delegates become acquainted with each other, their regions, and the candidates for office with icebreakers and candidate speeches in region meetings and an opening general session. The evening featured a catered recognition banquet where Achievement Award winning schools were recognized. Dr. Donna Weingand, principal of Hickory High School, was recognized as the VSCA Administrator of the Year, and Ms. Alicia White, of Grassfield High School, was recognized as the VSCA Advisor of the Year. Following the banquet, a leadership carnival of games that required students to work together in small groups to earn spirit points was held. 

Guest speaker Heather Schultz started Saturday off with a keynote presentation, then delegates chose from a variety of topics for three Learning Lab sessions presented by student leaders. A forum with Virginia Board of Education representative Ms. Anne Holton gave delegates an opportunity to express their opinions on several topics. During lunch, each school’s voting representatives voted for new officers (see sidebar).

The day concluded with a spirited pep rally and closing session, where the new officers and region representatives were installed. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend next year's convention March 15-16, 2024.

Interested in Serving on the VSCA Advisory Committee?

Getting involved in the statewide Advisory Committee is a great way to network with schools around the Commonwealth and give your student leaders opportunities to lead outside your own school.  Members of the Advisory Committee plan the annual convention and conduct such business of the association as selecting the state service project, determining award winners, and conducting election of officers. All that's required is membership in VSCA and a willingness to serve!

Applications are available now on the VSCA website for students interested in serving on the VSCA Advisory Committee for the 2023-24 school year. Applications are due by May 1 this year.

Anyone planning to serve as a state officer or region representative must have served on the Advisory Committee prior to running for office. Meeting dates have been set for September 16, November 18, and February 3. For more information on Advisory Committee, visit our website at https://www.scaleader.org/advisory-committee. The direct link to the application is: https://bit.ly/vscaadvisoryapp

VSCA to Host National Activity Advisor Clinic in August

Veteran student council advisors know that one of the things that keeps them going year after year is a support network of other like-minded activity advisors. Sharing ideas, reaching out when issues arise, and just the camaraderie of people who know the importance of developing student leaders through activity participation all contribute to longevity in their positions. One more opportunity to build that network and learn some new skills to get the school year off to a good start is the National Activity Advisors Clinic (NAAC), which will be hosted this year by the Virginia Student Councils Association on Saturday, August 5.

To keep the experience affordable and allow participation for advisors from across the country, the clinic will be held virtually from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm Eastern time. With sessions that appeal to all types of activity advisors—clubs, class council, student council, leadership class, and more—attending this clinic is a great way to SPARK a successful start to the school year for both veterans and beginners. It will be a great opportunity to bring a team of advisors from your school who perhaps don't have an organization like VSCA to help them develop their advising skills. For registration information, visit the National Association for Student Activities. Registration opens May 15.

VSCA is looking for presenters to showcase the best of Virginia student activities! Presenters will offer a 30-minute breakout group on topics for both beginner and veteran advisors. Consider those listed here or suggest your own: 

  • Setting up for a successful year
  • Goal setting and calendar planning
  • Leadership strategies to build an officer team
  • Culturally responsive student activities
  • Project planning bootcamp
  • Communicating with members & others
  • Teambuilding tips & tricks
  • Group development and conflict resolution
  • Leadership development
  • Meeting management
  • Useful tech tips for running an organization
  • Working with community partners
  • Family and community engagement
  • Creating support among faculty & staff
  • Hands on leadership lessons
  • Evaluating events to maximize success
  • Service projects 
  • Developing/maintaining a positive school culture
  • Fundraising
  • Developing district-wide programs
  • Recognition and appreciation ideas

If you are interested in presenting, either alone or with a partner, please reach out to VSCA Director Lyn Fiscus at [email protected].

Update Your Membership Before Summer Break

Don’t miss out on back-to-school communications from VSCA! Be sure you have submitted your membership application and dues for the 2023-24 school year before you leave for the summer. Membership information is available on the website at https://www.scaleader.org/membership. The direct link to the membership application is: https://www.scaleader.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Membership-Form-21-22-fillable.pdf Don’t delay, renew today!

Virginia Student Councils Association is a leadership learning program of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals, Inc., 4909 Cutshaw Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23230

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