Student Council Starts Anew


The StudCo Executive Board was announced on Sept. 30. From left to right, Advisor Penny Giamoni, Junior Sydney White as the Board of Education student liaison, Sophomore Meredith Dufner as secretary, Senior Renee Simeus as vice president, Senior Julia Bisse as president, Senior Brandon Artega as historian,and Senior Connor Farrington as treasurer. (Photo by Bailey VanOrman)

Bailey Van Orman

At the start of the new school year, Student Council (StudCo) had a new start as well with the introduction of a new advisor, Mrs. Penny Giamoni, who strives to implement a change in the way our school community is run. 

Giamoni, who also advises Debate Team and Peer Leadership, said she considered taking on Student Council after the former advisor, Mrs. Emily Kablis, stepped down from the position to become the district’s new Testing Coordinator. 

“As I have coached the Debate Team for over twenty years,” Giamoni said, “I have always loved the government aspect of Student Council and thought about ways we can use the organization to serve as the ‘voice’ for the student body.”

Giamoni said that her main goal for this year was to have the school community split into four core parts. 

Before I applied for the position, I wrote down everything that the Student Council has done in the past and everything that the group wanted to accomplish for the 2022-23 school year,” she said. “The list was overwhelming and really quite difficult for ONE organization to facilitate. It seemed that we needed to break the events into categories.”

From there, Giamoni collaborated with other advisers to determine that Student Council will be the voice of the student body, while Streak Nation will instill school pride, Key Club will provide volunteer service and Peer Leadership will promote a safe and healthy school community.

With these objectives in mind, members of StudCo traveled to The College of New Jersey in October to attend the New Jersey Association of Student Councils’ (NJASC) Fall Conference.

This day trip included the Keynote Speaker Chris Collins, whose goal was to inspire student councils to take on their roles as leaders within their respective school communities. 

“Mindset is everything,” said Vice President Renne Simeus, “I learned from Collins that believing in yourself is the best path to success. You control who you want to be and who you become.”

Secretary Meredith Duffner agreed.  

“I learned how to be more inclusive with our entire school,” she said, “and work on involving all different kinds of clubs and members of the student body with our work.” 

But what was the first big event for StudCo   this year? Homecoming.

And according to StudCo Treasurer, Connor Farrington, planning and preparation for the Homecoming Dance was no small task. 

“It’s a lot of work to plan, and I give so much credit to our Homecoming Committee who did everything to make sure the dance was perfect,” he said. “They put in a lot of work to make Homecoming a great experience for all.”

President Julia Bisse was also pleased. 

“It was bigger this year and better than ever,” she said. “I’m so proud to see how interactive the underclassmen were to make Homecoming great for not only the seniors, but for the entire student body.”

      Aside from Homecoming,  StudCo has plenty more planned, including fundraising for the IMAGINE program, a grief support center for children, young adults and families. 

According to Giamoni, StudCo would like to “…continue meeting with administration once a month to propose changes and improvements to the school district, continue to work collaboratively with the aforementioned four groups, and to win the NJASC School of Excellence Award and the NJASC Smiles Award by raising thousands of dollars for IMAGINE.”

Said Bisse, “The rest of the events for this year will be just as good, so stay tuned!”