CLOVER -- For the last five years the Clover High School Student Council has been judged best in the state.
In fact over the last 13 years since the state started keeping track of such things, the Clover High Student Council won the top honors 10 times, the other three years it came in second, according to Bobbie Mikaels, one of the council's faculty co-sponsors.
"I think part of it is Mrs. (Rhonda) Morris' leadership," Mikaels said. "She expects each class and each committee to do so many projects each nine weeks.
"She has high expectations for them to produce."
Students involved with the council, both elected class officers and "walk-ons" coordinate, schedule and run events both on campus and off. Many are community service projects, and some are fundraisers used to pay for other projects.
"We've just got a good core of students that enjoy doing service projects for the school and the community," Mikaels added.
Approximately 40 students are involved with the council, Morris said. She credits the students and their advisers for the group's success. She's been the head faculty co-sponsor of the group for the last 19 years, and has been involved with the student council since she started teaching in the district 22 years ago.
"I wanted to be involved with the students other than just in class," Morris said.
Each year Morris sets a goal for the council of winning another best in the state gold award.
"We have to have a certain number of projects, so we require each class to do one each nine weeks," she said. "Most of the kids involved want to help anyway, so it's not hard to motivate them."
The council is required to document its projects and events in a scrapbook for the state competition, and Mikaels works with the students to create the book each year. The competition period runs from March to March, overlapping two school years.
In addition to events focused on campus life like the Ms. Clover High pageant and talent competition and a battle of the bands, the group has branched out into the community. It hosted a dance to raise money to help pay for a fellow student's cancer related medical bills, organized a craft show and collected toys at Christmas for children living in poverty.
"Anybody can be part of it, you just have to come to meetings and participate in projects," Morris said.