I’m a Tulsa Kid: Sophia Short – Jenks High School Student Council President
Jenks High School Student Council President Sophia Short embraces her role as a liaison between her fellow high school students and the school’s faculty and administration. A member of National Honor Society, the Pre-Med Society and a captain of the girls’ cross country team, Short said Student Council keeps her “plugged in” at school, whether she is challenging the student body to raise money for the Jenks Food Bank, organizing the Jenks Homecoming Dance or rallying student spirit at a school sporting event.
TK: Did you have to give an election speech when you ran for Student Council President and what was your platform?
Sophia: Public speaking used to terrify me before this year, so fortunately I didn’t have to give a speech when I ran for president, but I did have to introduce myself at a meeting. Later, I had to share my ideas for Student Council in an interview with the current officers and sponsor. My goal for the year was to involve more students in Student Council’s activities, whether they were members or not, to bring new ideas and talents to Student Council’s projects.
TK: What is your role as Student Council President?
Sophia: As a president, I have to make sure everyone is on the same page! Facilitating clear communication and making sure everyone’s ideas are heard between our sponsor, my fellow officers and the rest of the council is my biggest job. Also, maintaining enthusiasm for all of our projects is important to me, because leading by example is the most effective way for me to gain support.
TK: How do you and your council get your student body involved in school issues and activities?
Sophia: This year the other officers and I set a goal to try and involve students outside of our usual circles. We held an event at the beginning of the year called “Mudfest” to recruit new members, and over 90 were accepted!
Next, Student Council organizes the homecoming dance for Jenks. This year, Student Council asked for help from other clubs in our school like yearbook, drama and the art department. Jenks has such talented students, so we had really creative decorations, a unique photo booth and our own commercial.
Finally, our fall service project is called “Turkey Challenge” and it raises money for the Jenks Food Bank. With the help of Jenks FCCLA we were able to give the building that raised the most money free cookies one day, and the three classes that raised the most money [were awarded] off-campus lunch. Jenks’ students are motivated with food, because we raised over $11,000 in two weeks!
TK: Are there meetings or events that you attend to represent Jenks as Student Council President?
Sophia: I get to attend several Oklahoma Association of Student Council events including Basic Summer Camp, Officer Training, District Convention, and State Convention.
TK: How does your involvement in student government help you in your academic work?
Sophia: Serving as Student Council President has taught me a lot about group work. Group projects in classes used to stress me out, but Student Council taught me to use others’ strengths instead of trying to do everything myself. While Student Council fills as much of my time as any AP class, it serves as a great creative outlet. Our sponsor, Mrs. Mullins, lets us try out new ideas, which lets me stretch my imagination. This attitude of improvement is helpful to transfer to schoolwork, because it is harder to settle for an average grade now. Finally, Student Council has kept me so plugged in at school that I have been able to escape “senioritis” at least for first semester!