COLORADO SPRINGS. The 2021-2022 school year has brought various new additions to daily student life at St. Mary’s High School, including the introduction of a reworked Student Council system that incorporates the new house system.
All students, faculty and staff were sorted into four houses: Gallavan House, Loretto House, Monsignor Kelly House, and Father Myers House.
“The house system provides more ways to build faith and community and encourage relationships across the classes,” said principal Robyn Cross.
Student Council is led by a male and female co-consul, positions that are filled this year by seniors Owen Barton and Lily Delgado. With implementation of these student leadership roles, Barton and Delgado reflect on why they decided to run for the position of co-consul, goals they would like to accomplish this year, and what they wish to express to the student body as they assume their position.
Barton said he ran for the position of co-consul because he saw the need for proper direction within the student leadership.
“We had a tough year last year with COVID and the school has a fresh start this year, Barton said. “My hope was that I could create the community that St Mary’s has always intended to have. This, of course, is the emphasis on equality and love of one’s neighbors despite our differences.”
Delgado is also passionate about heading in a new direction this school year as well. She is involved in various aspects of the school and pursued running for the position of co-consul with the confidence that she could be a good leader.
Despite change being a difficult feat, Delgado sees it as something to embrace, and she is eager to work toward making the student body’s ideas and hopes become a reality. She said, “I am passionate about this school, and shaping a new leadership council sparked something in me. I really do want the best for this school, especially when I’m long gone. I’ve had ideas for years now and never had the courage to run for council in previous years.”
This year is unique for St. Mary’s in the sense that it poses challenges for bringing the community together again. Each co-consul has goals to overcome these challenges.
“I want the student council to listen to the concerns of students and set up the house system so well that it runs effortlessly in the years to come,” Delgado said. “I want to bring back the level of school spirit we had before COVID shut everything down, as well as a couple of the most-loved traditions and plenty of new ones. A normal high school experience is important, and I want everyone to be involved and a part of a community. I want to get others to want that for themselves too.”
Barton recognizes that there are key components missing for what the year should look like in terms of events or how the house system and Student Council function together in the midst of the systems’ implementation. However, what he sees is opportunity.
“I also intend to be the pioneer of the student council,” Barton said. “Our year is the year to work out the kinks so the classes to come are able to have a fun year without all the hassle of working from scratch. Long story short, we’re going to create a loving community and the groundwork for the years to come.”
The student-council leaders concur that what they want the student body to know is that they are in their respective positions to carry out students’ wishes.
“For the seniors, this is our last year and it is going to be a hit, but I need everyone to help. When we all join together there is nothing we can’t do,” Barton said. “For everyone, the student council will fight for you all so please never feel intimidated to talk to us. I want to thank you all for putting me in the position to lead, I will not let you down.”
Delgado, in addition to hoping that students will be able to reach out to the co-consuls to make their voices heard, encourages students to participate in activities at school.
“Please be active in activities through the school, whether it’s a club, sports, class activities, or a trivia night. I want to encourage everyone to reach out to others as well. I am slowly making my way around the school to get to know more and more of the student body,” Delgado said. “If you have an idea, bring it up to anyone in your house or Owen Barton and myself. I believe I speak for both of us when I say we want what the student body wants. Nothing would work without you.”
(Maria Therese Barry is a student journalist at St. Mary’s High School.)