Durango's student leadership program earns national recognition

(Courtesy of Durango HS)

For its exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community, the Durango High School student council has been recognized as a 2020 National Gold Council of Excellence by National Association of Student Councils (NatStuCo).

“Receiving a National Gold Council of Excellence Award reflects the highest dedication on the part of the school to providing a strong, well-rounded student council program,” said Nara Lee, National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Director of Student Leadership. “NatStuCo applauds the work of the National Gold Councils of Excellence and challenges them to continue their leadership and service to their schools and communities.”

The 2020 Gold Council of Excellence was earned by 261 high schools nationwide and 16 high schools in Colorado. More importantly, Durango was also 1 of 13 schools in the country to be recognized for a Decade of Excellence award. This honor is bestowed on councils who have received a NatStuCo Council of Excellence award for at least 10 years.

“It’s a huge honor receiving this award and means so much more hitting 10 years of recognition,” said Miles Bronson, Durango's co-student body president.

Added Kaylan Wait, Durango's DHS co-student body president: “This award helps recognize all of the countless hours spent by student council members in their efforts to promote the welcoming environment of our school, and we are incredibly proud to be a recipient!”

Wait also thanked the StuCo parents and Durango community for their ongoing and continual support of DHS Student Council.

“We would also like to thank our parents and community members for their constant support and encouragement of our program,” Wait said.

Durango student body secretary treasurer Laura Clark expressed how this award has helped her grow as a leader.

“I can’t express the extent to which this program has influenced my growth and success in high school,” Clark said. “By following the guidelines for recognition of this award, our student council class and myself personally have become better leaders and hopefully impacted many lives throughout our school and larger community. Leaving DHS, I could not be more proud to say that I am an alum of both Durango High School and the student council program.”

Finally, Durango student body vice president Lilah Hwang offered thoughts on how receiving this award motivates her.

“Receiving this award makes me all the more proud to be a part of this council and family,” Hwang said. “To be able to show the community and other councils around the state all of our hard work is not only an amazing accomplishment but a motivation to continue to strive to be better than the year before.”

To meet the requirements for the National Council of Excellence Award, a student council must meet a variety of criteria. In addition to basic requirements such as a written constitution, regular meetings, a democratic election process, the councils have demonstrated successful sponsorship and participation in activities such as leadership development and service to the school and community.

Councils awarded the gold level of the award have successfully demonstrated the highest levels of leadership.

For more information on the Durango HS Student Leadership program, contact DHS Leadership advisor Dale Garland (dgarland@durangoschools.org) or the Durango High School Athletics/Activities office.