VCS student council full of ideas to improve school, impact community

Members of this year's elected student council at Viera Charter School include Victoria Wolfe, left, Alexandra Guevara, Kaetlyn Fackler, Casey Taylor, Sebastian Cordova and Ari Camejo.

 

Casey Taylor had a simple reason for wanting to run for vice president of Viera Charter School’s student council.

“I’ve been here since the first year the school opened,” Taylor said. “It’s just a really cool opportunity to be able to represent the school and make it better.”

Ari Camejo came to VCS last year, but he had a lot of friends telling him he should run for president because they thought he would be a good fit.

“I just thought about all of the ideas that I had planned for the school to help improve it,” he said. “I just thought of it as a way I could get those ideas up to the school board.”

Elected by their classmates in mid-September, the eighth graders are two of six members of this year’s Viera Charter School Student Council.

Victoria Wolfe is the class representative, Alexandra Guevara is the secretary, Katelyn Fackler is the historian and Sebastian Cordova is the council’s treasurer.

“We’re a group of people who are basically representatives of the school — our eighth grade and pretty much all of middle school,” Camejo said. “We have meetings at least twice a month to discuss plans for the school.”

Those plans can include helping to organize a school dance or helping to set up for graduation.

“We design and organize fundraisers and events for the school,” Taylor said. “We have community service (projects). We’re planning on doing beach cleanups this year. And we’re going to have a basket brigade during Thanksgiving.”

In addition to the basket brigade, which helps provide food for needy families in the community, the council also helped organize a trunk or treat even for Halloween.

The group often works with the school’s National Junior Honor Society, which has much bigger numbers, to help with the events.

One thing Camejo did this year is to provide a suggestion box for fellow students to submit ideas.

“There are definitely a lot of good suggestions that people come up with that I bring up during meetings,” he said.

One such suggestion has already born fruit. The school now has a reading club that meets after school.

“As the year goes on, something will pop up,” said VCS World Geography teacher Mary Rabun, who advises the student council.

“There will be an animal shelter drive, or something like that. I kind of let them come up with ideas as the year goes on and do service projects they’re interested in.”

The student council has been around since the year after the school opened and Rabun has been the advisor every year. There is one aspect she always enjoys:

“Watching them enjoy the community service work, mostly, and seeing them get a sense of responsibility, understanding that they’re now the spokesmen for their classes and they represent the entire eighth-grade class, if not the whole middle school,” she said.

“That’s a big responsibility to take on, to know everyone’s looking up to you and you set the tone. You’re the model.”