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Sun Valley wins bid for SASC's 2010 annual conference

Sun Valley’s Student Council advisor Josh Wall, at left, takes a moment to pose with Sun Valley High School Student Government members during the filming of videos that were used in the school’s bid for hosting the 2010 Southern Association of Student Councils’ annual conference.

A delegation of 13 Sun Valley High School student government members made quite an impression in Florida recently, and managed to secure the bid for the 2010 Southern Association of Student Councils’ annual conference to be held in Union County.
   
“We wanted to host a leadership conference and show what Union County has to offer in the Southeast and the nation,” said Sun Valley’s Student Council advisor Josh Wall, who is also a Social Studies teacher at the school.  “It’s the leadership experience the kids get by planning an event like this.”
   
The annual conference, held this year in late October at Ocoee High School near Orlando Florida, has a 75-year tradition that has only graced North Carolina twice. “In 1978 it was held at Hickory High School in Hickory; but 1980 was the last time it was held in North Carolina,” Wall said. “It was at Graham High, in Graham.”
   
The annual conference has more than 1,000 student leaders from 14 different Southeastern states. Students interested in having the conference in their towns and at their schools had to “run for election.” Students presented a skit, a one-minute speech, and three one-minute videos about their schools, their hometowns and what’s available in the surrounding areas.
   
Sun Valley students chose the theme “First in Flight to Leadership, Soaring to New Heights” for the 2010 conference they were hoping to bring to Sun Valley. To demonstrate this, SVHS students dressed up like pilots and flight attendants, and handed out passports to those who attended the 2009 Florida conference. This offered a taste of what would come if Sun Valley and Union County won the bid for the 2010 conference.
   
T-shirts with a North Carolina license plate, and the “First in Flight” motto were handed out to promote the 2010 conference being held at Sun Valley High School.
   
Sun Valley students Marissa Brienza and Mitch Motsinger will serve as the co-presidents of the SASC for this one-year term. Also, the Sun Valley High School student council president, Jesse Hollars, was selected as the SASC Member of the Year for the senior division (10-12 grade) from among dozens of applicants.
   
“Running for president of the SASC was the most exciting, but nerve-racking competition I have ever taken part in,” Brienza said. “I enjoyed every part of it and am very proud of all the members that went. Winning was the best thing that ever happened to me. It's such a great accomplishment, not just for Mitch and me, but also for our whole council. Having the conference here is going to be hard work, but I'm more than ready to take on the task.”
   
“It was an unforgettable experience to compete,” Motsinger said. “Being so far away from home made me dig deeper to be a better leader. I was around more than 1,000 people that I had never seen before. I am almost certain I talked to or greeted almost every single delegate there. I will never forget it, and it has completely changed me as a leader, and a person.”
   
Wall said the most important aspect of Student Council is that it is a leadership organization. “I wanted the kids to learn how to interact and communicate with the other people,” he said. “It will bring collaboration with other student leader organizations in Union County as well, because we won’t be able to do this conference by ourselves.”
   
Motsinger said he feels the 2010 conference will be unforgettable. “I had never accomplished, much less been a part of something this important and this big. I greatly appreciate this honor. Marrisa and I plan to make this an amazing conference that no one will ever forget.”
   
The videos, which starred the students and featured Union County and the surrounding area, were created with the assistance of the UCPS Communications Office. “We thank the UCPS Communications Office for their help in this endeavor, and will continue to seek their guidance and input as this conference approaches,” Wall said. 

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Nov 06, 2009 by Deb Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator

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