As advisor to the Upper School Student Council (USSC), I have observed firsthand the pivotal role our officers and representatives play in creating a strong sense of community and school spirit at Ellis. These students have worked hard all year long to set a tone of positivity and warmth in the Upper School.
Before classes even began, Student Council President Leah Ewers and Vice President Alison Taylor assembled “Welcome Back” kits for every student in the Upper School, which they placed in lockers to be discovered by returning students on the first day of school. This small gesture marked just the beginning of a year that they have since dedicated to acts of generosity and kindness.
The USSC officers kicked off a competition designed to increase participation in Upper School activities; students are rewarded for attending athletic games, theater and musical performances, movie nights, and fundraising events. The goal of the EPIC (Ellis Participation and Involvement Competition) initiative is to encourage Upper School students to support one another in all of their endeavors outside of the classroom and has been met with great success.
Most recently, USSC partnered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise funds for children with various types of blood cancer. Representatives asked their teachers for donations ranging from homework passes to homemade baked goods, which they are raffling off in addition to collecting monetary donations at each grade level. They have worked hard to generate excitement around the fundraiser, even taking over the Ellis Instagram to share their enthusiasm and to drum up support!
These are just a few of the ways in which we see the quality of our students’ character. While these school-wide efforts are the most visible demonstrations, I see it also in their day-to-day interactions and behaviors. Our Upper Schoolers reject the harmful stereotypes that sometimes plague teenage girls; instead, they treat each other with respect, and they value their relationships with each other and with their teachers. I am grateful each day to be able to observe their kindness in action.