Each year, Montini Catholic student government members return to school enthused and anxious to hit the ground running in planning the year's many social and service events. This year, there's a new leader at the helm, teacher, Laura Medina. Ms. Medina, who was named Montini Catholic's Lasallian Educator of the Year this spring, is not new to the Bronco leadership scene. She has been a class moderator at Montini for several years, moderating the senior class the last few years. She is truly stepping up her game in a big way this year, however, and is hoping to help create a memorable year for Montini students.
"My biggest responsibility will be to engage the student body through fun community-building experiences," says Ms. Medina. "One of the ways we do this is by connecting with our class groups. Each grade level has its own moderator, with its own set of weekly meetings, and we try to gather the students' levels of interest in upcoming events." Before anydances, spirit weeks, pep rallies, or all-school activities are planned, she and her team of teacher moderators always check in with their team to gather their thoughts about how to improve on past events. "The biggest part of this job is listening to the kids' new ideas and helping to turn them into realities."
Ms. Medina is proud to be working with "an especially great group of seniors leading Student Government this year." Officers were selected virtually in May. Glory Ugorji is this year's president, Nora Sypkens is vice-president, Cydney Rand is secretary, and Nick Fisch is treasurer. "These kids stand out as true leaders among their peers and embody the Montini Catholic spirit of involvement. They have been passionate members of Student Government since they were freshmen, and are ready and willing to jump in and work. We're lucky to have them!"
Ms. Medina and her officers are not planning on letting the complications of Covid regulations slow them down at all this year. "I think our school community has done an amazing job trying to create a sense of normalcy in these strange times," she said. "I really missed my students while we were remote learning, so having them back in the building - in our hybrid model - is a blessing."
Although activities may be a bit different, her group of leaders feel energized and are determined to keep moving forward with plans. "We're jumping in with both feet in terms of planning for the first semester." Student Government Team moderators this year are: Mr. Eric Brechtel - Seniors; Ms. Stephanie Kuecker - Juniors; Mrs. Melanie Comella - Sophomores; and Ms. Medina is leading the Freshmen.
"We started meeting over the summer with our individual classes about ways to bring a sense of community to our school in this hybrid model," Medina said. "Currently, we are planning a welcome back spirit week this fall in place of our annual Homecoming spirit week, which will be pushed to the spring season. We're hoping to preserve many of the activities and events we held last year but tweak them, so we can maintain appropriate social and physical distancing." Montini's annual Trivia and Bingo nights will more than likely take place in a virtual setting. "Honestly, I'm just excited to hear all of the ideas that our executive officers, board, and individual classes have because, at the end of the day, Student Government is 100% for the students. This year, more than any other year, it's important for them to dream big about all the things they want to do! We just want to be sure that every student has the best experience possible despite the circumstances."