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Sun Valley High site of regional student council conference

Sun Valley students help fill care packages that will be sent to US soldiers abroad. Pictured, from left, are Matt Russell, 16, a junior at Sun Valley; Logan Debord, 16, a Sun Valley junior and junior class president; and Mitch Motsinger, 17, a Sun Valley senior and the co-president of the SASC. Not pictured, is Marissa Brienza, SASC co-president.

More than 1,100 high school students from 15 southeastern states converged on Sun Valley High School Friday, (Nov. 5, 2010) for a three-day conference aimed at helping to shape the leaders of tomorrow.

This is the first time in more than 30 years that the Southern Association of Student Council (SASC) conference has been held in North Carolina. Student councils traveled from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

This year’s conference (the 76th one held since SASC began in 1932) was titled “First in Flight to Leadership.” In line with the conference title, students were able to take advantage of the Warriors and Warbirds 2010 Air Show held at the Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport.

After the air show, students returned to the Sun Valley campus and held “Salute to America,” which honored US veterans and featured soldiers (who had fought in a variety of wars) in the “Walk of Veterans.”

Other activities over the three-day event included visiting the US National Whitewater Center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and learning folk dances at the Charlotte Convention Center, all in Charlotte.

Even though the conference was quite an undertaking, Mitch Motsinger, a Sun Valley senior and the co-president of the SASC, said for the most part everything went smoothly. “There are always going to be a few problems in an event this large, but I think the council has done a tremendous job of adapting and getting done what needed to be done.”

The goal of the SASC conference is to provide leadership training, practical experience in democratic principles, and an exchange of ideas among student leaders from around the Southeast.

Josh Wall, the Sun Valley High School Student Council advisor said SASC delegates attended a variety of leadership workshops and seminars, and heard a variety of motivational speakers.

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. But their scope of influence also reaches outside the school campus.

SASC schools across the nation have hosted various events this year to raise money to help send World War II veterans to the WWII memorial celebration in Washington DC.

Students from across the southeast who were attending the conference were asked to bring non-perishable items that were then collected Sunday and placed in more than 1,000 boxes that lined the Sun Valley High football field. The boxes, which will be sent as care packages to US soldiers abroad, included items such as candy, socks, paper, writing utensils and packages of moist hand wipes.

The SVHS Student Council is a recipient of the National Gold Council of Excellence award and been recognized as a North Carolina Association of Student Councils Honor Council. Marissa Brienza, 17, a senior at Sun Valley High, is the SASC co-president.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Nov 10, 2010 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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