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Portledge in the Now.

Empowering Leadership and Inclusivity: Unveiling the New Portledge Student Council and Honor Council

Shelly Kaye, Upper School Dean of Students
Discover how Portledge is revolutionizing student leadership through changes in the Student Council and Honor Council, shaping a dynamic and empowered future for the entire school community.
At Portledge, we believe in nurturing well-rounded individuals who not only excel academically but also embrace leadership, kindness, honor, and respect. One of the cornerstones of our commitment to fostering holistic growth is the Upper School Student Council, an elected body that embodies the spirit of collaboration, service, and positive change within our student community. This year, we're thrilled to introduce some exciting changes and leadership opportunities that promise to elevate the impact of the Student Council and Honor Council, making them more inclusive and student-centered than ever before.

A Fresh Perspective on Leadership: The Student Council's Evolution

With the start of the 2023-2024 academic year, we're launching into a new era of student leadership at Portledge. Our Student Council has always been a vital bridge between the student body and the school's administration, but this year, we're taking things up a notch. Our overarching goals for the year are to promote a stronger sense of purpose and responsibility among students, embrace a more student-centered approach, and encourage diverse forms of leadership that go beyond titles.

In pursuit of these goals, we've introduced changes to the structure and protocols of the Student Council. The entire incoming ninth-grade class will now actively participate in the election process, choosing their representatives in October of their freshman year. This change not only promotes inclusivity and representation but also empowers incoming students to engage with our community's decision-making from the start.

Welcoming All Types of Leaders: The Power of Committees

In the spirit of fostering an environment where leadership is not confined to formal titles, we're thrilled to introduce Student Council Committees. These committees provide a unique opportunity for students who may not hold elected positions to contribute significantly to student government. With committees focused on Culture and Inclusion, Community, Events, and Student Life, there's a place for everyone to make a difference.

The Community Committee plays a pivotal role in modeling and nurturing a strong sense of community among students. From facilitating class meetings to supporting traditional Portledge events, these students actively contribute to the fabric of our school.

The Culture and Inclusion Committee is at the forefront of promoting our school's values and ensuring a welcoming atmosphere for all. Collaborating closely with our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, this committee fosters inclusivity and service within our community.

The Events Committee takes charge of planning and executing various student life events, contributing to the vibrant and engaging campus atmosphere we all cherish.
Lastly, the Student Life Committee channels its energy into boosting school spirit, supporting athletics, and organizing activities that keep the student body engaged and excited.

Honor Council: Fostering Growth and Reflection

Our commitment to personal growth and ethical conduct extends to the Honor Council, a faculty/student body designed to ensure fair and equitable treatment during the disciplinary process. The council's purpose is to guide students who have made serious breaches of community standards to reflect on their actions and their impact, ultimately helping them move forward positively.

This year, we're thrilled to announce that Honor Council members will undergo a minimum of four hours of training to better equip them for their essential roles within our community. In addition to their involvement in hearings, they will also serve as advisory board members, engaging in discussions with administrators to shape our disciplinary practices and contribute to a more welcoming and inclusive school culture.

Embrace the Journey: Your Path to Leadership

As the new academic year approaches, we invite each and every student to embrace the journey toward leadership. Whether you're a class representative, committee member, or an active participant in our vibrant student life, your contributions matter. Remember, leadership is not confined to a title; it's about fostering positive change, embodying our values, and leaving a lasting impact on our community.

Let's rally together, embracing inclusivity, innovation, and collaboration as we embark on this exciting new chapter at Portledge. The Student Council and Honor Council are your platforms for making a difference—join us in shaping a brighter, more empowered future for our school.
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