While hard at work learning the three “R”s, a number of Sir John A. Cumber Primary School students are also honing their political and leadership skills as members of the school’s student government.
Launched in 2009, the West Bay school’s 28-member Student Council is made up of student representatives from each of the 24 classes from Years 1-6, with Year 6 having one male and one female representative from each room.
The members are selected by a class teacher in the Infant Department and elected by their peers at the Junior Level. Council members work in partnership with school management, staff and parents to improve the school experience for all.
After the council members were selected in October, an intense six-week campaign began for the positions of president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary and public relations officer. The candidates were a select group of 10 nominees in Years 4 through 6. On Nov. 13, the 28 councilors received special ties and were officially installed in a formal ceremony, ready to take on the their roles as colleagues and leaders.
Guest speaker, YCLA Recipient for 2015 Kellie McGee, challenged the councilors not to be afraid of hard work nor to put a limit on the size of their dreams.
Ms. McGee shared her life story and challenges, encouraging the student leaders to fight through difficult situations and to find a mentor to guide them along the way. She noted also that as leaders, council members need to be humble and appreciative to God and family, but most of all, never to underestimate their potential regardless of personal or family issues.
Ms. McGee was also excited about the fact that Sir John A. Cumber is an International Baccalaureate School, as she too is a graduate of a similar school background.
Upon the installation of the council, the school body then moved on to the task of choosing their leaders.
The elections were held at the school on Nov. 27, following speeches from the nominees who presented to almost 400 students early that morning.
Some of the ideas put forward by the nominees included working with administration to make the school a “Bully-free Zone,” and to use cooperative means to solve problems. The nominees also proposed starting clubs to build student confidence and leadership skills, as well as calling for ways to improve the quality of play at the school.
After the votes were tallied, Year 6 student Mathias McLean was elected as Student Council president for 2015-2016.
Fellow Year 6 student Janani Kumar was elected first vice president, while Year 5 student Erin Parchment earned the position of second vice president. Joel Sutherland was chosen as secretary and Nathaniel Hurlston-Anderson was selected as the public relations officer.
Principal Joseph Wallace said he was very impressed with the candidates’ performance in the election process, particularly, the section where questions were posed and nominees were able to think on their feet and give responses of high quality.”
School counselor Elysia Murray, who directly oversees the council, said this year’s team is excited, energetic and filled with workable ideas, making for what she is confident will be a promising year.