Nashoba Takes on MASC Annual Spring Conference


Hannah Feakes, Editor

There seemed to be a couple empty seats in class last week, or maybe half of the class was absent. Not only were the Sports captains away reading to elementary school students, and DECA students away for their State Competition, but Nashoba Student Council attended the Annual Spring MASC Conference.

According to the official MASC website, The Massachusetts Association of Student Councils is comprised of member schools representing the four regional student councils of Massachusetts: the Southeast, Central District, Northeast, and Western Councils.

MASC provides one of the nation’s most highly regarded programs of activities for both middle and high schools, providing a major opportunity for students to learn and apply leadership skills.

The MASC Mission Statement reads as follows, “The MASC is committed to motivating and providing student leaders across the state with opportunities to develop leadership skills so that they can better serve their schools and communities.”

The group of twelve left Wednesday, March 11th at 8am and drove the two hours to the Hyannis, Cape Cod, Conference Center in the brand spanking new “Nashoba” mini bus. Upon arrival, STUCO participated in the second annual “Polar Plunge” to raise money for the Special Olympics charity.

Student Council President, Alexis Shamsi, says, “Participating in the polar plunge was a great experience and I really felt as though our council bonded while we plunged into absolutely freezing water. We will all look back with fond memories of our legs going numb.”

The three conference days were filled with fun and informative workshops, activities, motivational speakers and of course, great food! Students participated in four workshops, and learned from trust exercises and sharing Student Council stories.

MASC delegates heard from two keynote speakers, Houston Kraft and Mike Smith. Both emphasized the importance of love, community service and helping local people and organizations in need. In his lecture, Smith says, “Speak for the silent, stand for the broken.” Once he had the attention of all 1,200 students in the room, Smith challenged delegates to tweet about their legacy and use the hash tag, “MASC”. Ten minutes later, #MASC was trending worldwide.

STUCO veteran, Ana Martinez describes what MASC means to her. “The vibe that MASC brings is extraordinary. Because everyone around us are leaders have the same roles as in their own schools, we’re able to present different ideas and get a perspective of how to accomplish things.”

Beneath the dance battles, raps and chants, a real underlying message came through and rattled the delegates. Small actions have enormous impacts.

First year Student Council member and MASC attendee, Jaque Manyak, shares her experience in a recent interview. “I had an incredible time at MASC. We went days without sleep but what kept us going was the hype of inspirational speakers, dance battles, and karaoke. I will never experience those three days!”

The club came back from the conference with a new attitude about how to change Nashoba Regional High School, one small step at a time.

Student Council Secretary Tina Sidopoulos has big ideas for the future. She shares them in this recent interview. “After attending MASC our student council has been exposed to new ideas and inspired to make changes. We have realized that student council should be more than planning dances. We are a group of student leaders who should be putting our brainpower towards making our school and community a better place. We intend to become more involved in the community and plan to visit local shelters in order to find out what they need and plan fundraisers for them accordingly.”

She continues, “We are also looking to start breaking unsuccessful past traditions like spirit days and replace them with new things that will hopefully excite the school and encourage students to be proud to be called Chieftains!”

The delegates, and keynote speakers of the annual Spring MASC Conference opened the eyes of Nashoba’s Student Council and they are taking action to make this school a more spirited and helpful institution. Keep your eyes out for STUCO sponsored activities, change for NRHS is just around the corner.