By Meagan Pruitt
Transitioning from set school community service days each year, students now are required to complete 12.5 hours per year on their own.
Those who complete over 100 hours will receive a gold metal, 75 to 100 a silver metal and 50 to 75 a bronze metal. These awards will be given out at the end of the year.
“We feel that community and cultural awareness is a critical part of the education here at North Cross,”said Alex Hash, community outreach coordinator. “Like Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘to educate a human being only in academics and not educate in morality is to educate a menace to society.’”
The school finds that 12.5 hours of free time could be estimated as nearly two days of outreach in the community.
While this new requirement is controversial amongst some students, the school continues to emphasize the importance of community outreach. Not only will the recipients benefit from the proceedings, but students will have a greater impression on colleges from the extracurricular activity.
“Although it is a small amount of time, it’s enough time for each student to receive a certain amount of awareness,” Hash said.
Not all outreach opportunities are off campus though. Vincient Arnold’s (‘16) Tutoring Club gathers students after school nearly every Tuesday to tutor at Jackson Middle School and help with the Community Youth Program (CYP) at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
“It will definitely help the club, and overall, I think it will be a good thing for the school,” Arnold said.
By Meagan Pruitt
Alex Hash, community outreach coordinator, started the Affinity Group to bring students of different diverse backgrounds together to learn and understand one another’s cultures.
There are 20 students in the group representing a wide range of interests and backgrounds, whether they’re black, white, Muslim, Catholic or atheist.
“We hope Affinity Group can be something that can have a more meaningful and longer lasting impact,” said Nitza Fernandez-Plaski, who is the assistant group organizer.
About five years ago, there was a student run diversity group called VIBE, but it disbanded once all the essential members graduated. Since then, there has been talk of starting up a group, and there have been presentations to the student body, especially around Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, until now, nothing big had taken root.
“I think that the Affinity group is a good thing for North Cross because it allows students to make sure their school is a place where everyone is happy,” said Caroline McGimsey, who is a member of the student-run group.
By Tanner Smith
Within a student run organization such as the SCA, leadership is a fluid thing. When a gap opens someone should always ready to step up and get the job done.
The gap in this case was created by the absence of Robert Robillard, who has been the advisor of the SCA for two years. To fill the void, Susan Wenk and Susan Card, leaders of the Parents Association, have teamed up with Sterling Moskal (’15), president of the SCA. Wenk specifically has made sure her presence and her voice have been announced with authority.
“Mrs. Wenk has added a lot of energy,” Moskal said. “She was the head of SCA at Fleming so she knows what she is doing, which helps a lot with Mr. Robillard being out of town. Her experience has guided us a lot in telling us what we need to do.”
Card has a long history with Wenk, as the two have known each other for twelve years. During that time, Card came to realize that Wenk is a go-getter.
“She is someone who has a lot of experience with the SCA,” she said. “She has so much energy and determination to what she is doing and loves working with high school kids. That is her passion.”
Vincient Arnold (’16), junior class president, has been very impressed with the Parent’s Association in general.
“Mrs. Wenk and Mrs. Card have been very instrumental in having all the ideas and implementing them throughout the year,” he said. “Ever since Mrs. Wenk came in, there has been so much more energy. She is the kind of person who doesn’t take no for an answer and she also brings a lot of creativity to the table.”
That creativity was brought front and center with this year’s Homecoming dance, as she and the SCA decided to depart dramatically from the traditional dance in the school gym. Instead, they decided to move the event to a small nightclub downtown called Metamorphosis. Arnold sees only one main issue with the changes to Homecoming.
“We had approximately 40 students actually come and stay at Homecoming last year,” he said. “This year there is seemingly vastly more interest, which is almost becoming a problem because we can only have 120 people at Metamorphosis.”
Moskal likes the fact that Metamorphosis will seem crowded.
“We wanted to move it to Metamorphosis because it was a smaller place,” he said. “It will feel like more people are there. It will just be a better overall atmosphere.”
SCA is far from a one-event organization, as it has been planning many other projects and initiatives.
“We are trying to have themed games like whiteouts and Hawaiian themed games,” Moskal said. “Also for basketball we are trying to get a cutout of Bennett Holley’s face like they have at college games.”
Looking big picture, one change in the SCA organization from past years has been an opening of SCA meetings. Any student – regardless of whether they are a member of the SCA or not – can go to any SCA meeting and participate. Arnold is seeing a shift of the SCA away from being a members-only exclusive club.
“The goal is to have a more interactive class with the SCA,” he said. “We want the classes to communicate better with the SCA and the SCA to communicate better with the administration.”