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A first for Carson High School

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer
Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Student council members Elia Bell, 18, left, and Kendra Jones, 17, hang paper vines on the ceiling Friday afternoon at Carson High School for the leadership conference.
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Since 1967, the Nevada Association of Student Council’s state leadership conference has never been held at Carson High School.

Until this year.

“I would say it’s an honor,” said Cheryl Stoddard, CHS director of student activities. “It’s something we have really looked forward to. It’s our opportunity to showcase our school and all the great things we have. We have a great reputation in the state, as far as having a fantastic student council, so, yes, we’re really excited about it.”

This week’s conference will bring more than 700 students and 100 advisers from 70 high schools for the three-day event.

“It occurs every year about this time. It rotates from region to region each year – the south, west and north,” said CHS senior Tiffany Halen, 18, conference chairwoman. “Next year it will be in the north.”

Planning began about two years ago, when Stoddard and some CHS students found out this year’s conference would be in the Western region. They made a bid to the executive council to be the host this year.

“Our selling point was that this is the state capital,” Tiffany said. “And on one of the days, we’ll be taking a tour of the Capitol grounds, the Legislature and the Capitol.”

There are 42 students in the CHS leadership class, and they are the class representatives and officers. They meet daily before school at 7 a.m. to plan various activities and work on leadership skills. Leadership students put on the assemblies, run homecoming, are in charge of dances, and recognize teachers on their birthdays.

“I’m excited to see all of our hard work coming together,” said senior class president Molly Fronapfel, 17. “I don’t think any of us really comprehend what it’s going to be like.”

The opening ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday following mid-afternoon registration. The ceremony includes the singing of the national anthem; comments by Tiffany, Secretary of State Dean Heller, Carson City School Superintendent Mary Pierczynski and CHS Principal Fred Perdomo; and a performance by the Western Nevada Performing Arts Dancers.

Friday includes several workshops, presentations, and league and regional meetings. (Carson High students do not have school Friday because of an institute day). That evening, conference students will see “Seussical, the Musical” at the community center.

“I’ve really learned to love community service,” said Tiffany, talking about the effect of four years in CHS’ leadership class. “We do so much in our class inside and outside of high school.”

Saturday morning, leadership awards will be given out, new state leadership officers elected, and a tour conducted of the Capitol grounds and buildings. A closing candle-lighting ceremony will be followed by a dance.

“My favorite part of the conference is going to be the candle-lighting ceremony,” Tiffany said. “It’s kind of a sentimental thing – we’re closing off the conference with reflection and how you’re going to take (the experience) back to your school.”

Area leadership teams attending the conference include Galena High School from the Washoe County School District; all of the Lyon County School District high schools of Dayton, Fernley, Silver Stage, Smith Valley and Yerington; and Whittell High School from the Douglas County School District.

— Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

If you go

WHAT: Nevada Association of Student Council’s State Leadership Conference

WHEN: Thursday-Saturday

WHERE: Carson High School, 1111 N. Saliman Road

CALL: Cheryl Stoddard at 283-1770