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CATA site of state student council convention

Allie Edwards, 18, a senior at Central Academy for Technology and Arts, shows NCASC president Thomas Lee Hill, at right, the poster she and other CATA students hung in preparation for the 2009 NCASC State Convention held at the school Saturday, Sunday and Monday (March 9, 2009).

Hundreds of high school students from across the state came to Union County for a three-day convention that focused on student council issues and aimed to help shape the leaders of tomorrow.
Approximately 70 North Carolina high schools sent almost 400 student council members to the 82nd annual convention of the North Carolina Association of Student Council (NCASC), held this year at Central Academy of Technology and Arts (CATA) on March 7, 8 and 9.
Student Council organizations oversee and organize a variety of academic and social activities in high schools, such as homecomings, school spirit events and fund-raisers. These student-led organizations also coordinate various academic endeavors such as the Scholar’s Walk, which allows students to pledge money for laps walked at school for college scholarships given to students in need.

The theme of this year’s convention was “Road Trip to Leadership,” offering student-taught workshops on everything from time management, community service, how to plan an effective homecoming, and fundraising – to “What is a Leader?”     

This year’s convention had 17 different student-led workshops on topics such as pubic speaking, fund-raisers and community service – all geared to help strengthen a school’s student council organization.

“The whole point of the organization is to help school student councils,” said Thomas Lee Hill, a CATA senior and this year’s state NCASC president.  “All the schools come together and feed off each other’s ideas to take back to their home schools.”
Hill organized this year’s convention with help of CATA’s 60 student council members and its advisor Ted Gehring, CATA’s student council teacher advisor. Hill said the biggest challenge was finding host homes where approximately 300 students from schools around the state could stay locally.
This year’s convention featured international motivational speaker John Beede, author of “Climb On! Success Strategies for Teens.” Other speakers included NC Sen. Eddie Goodall, and United States Army Col. Danny Ray Hill, (Hill’s father) who directed Emergency Operations for the Foreign Army Training Command in Iraq with mission responsibility to train the Iraqi Army and Iraqi National Police.
The Union County Performance Ensemble and the CATA Theater Academy did a special presentation of “The Wizard of Oz” for the convention Sunday.
Hill, chosen as president-elect in 2007, became president of the organization March 2008. He turned over the gavel today (March 9, 2009), the last day of the convention, to Kara Dough, from Asheboro High School in Asheboro.
Hill said he has learned a lot of valuable skills in the six years he has been a part of NCASC. He took on the role as president to give back some of what he’s learned. “I just wanted to give back to the organization that has helped me so much over the years,” he said.
Those leadership skills should come in handy, as Hill wants to pursue a career in the US Army Reserve and eventually serve his country as an elected official, maybe even holding the country’s top job. “I’ve always wanted to be president of the United States,” he said. “My life goal is to be president, but I hope to serve in some public office in North Carolina.”
Hill has been accepted in the engineering program at UNC–Charlotte, but is also hoping to get an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He plans to become a Civil Engineer.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: Mar 13, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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