By Liz MacDavitt, 3/4th grade teacher
I have learned a lot in my seven years as a teacher at NSCS. Most of what I’ve learned has been from watching my students be bold, daring, and confident. I have seen countless students ask big questions, persevere through challenges, and dream without limits. In these moments, the students truly have become the teacher!
I’ve always enjoyed teaching students in 3rd and 4th grade about government and politics. I’ve been interested in government and politics from a young age, and I grew up participating in Student Government activities in school. I once had big dreams of working for the US Government, but felt a stronger call of teaching on my life. I’ve been delighted year after year to share this passion with my students in the classroom, and my hope has always been that students will share in this passion with me.
It seemed as if my dreams were coming true when a student approached Mrs. Heintz with the idea for starting a Student Government on the Beverly Campus last winter. This student asked me to advise, along with Mrs. Heintz, and admitted that some of this interest was born out of studying government in my class. We worked tirelessly last winter and spring to flush out this idea and make a concrete plan for putting it into practice. Students in grades 3-8 would be able to run for President and Vice President, by formally submitting an application and participating in an interview with the Faculty Advisors. President and Vice President elections were held in late May, and Class Representative elections were held this October. Candidates prepared speeches and campaigned by hanging posters, making buttons, and meeting with prospective voters – their peers. As a result, we have elected a team of eight students and appointed two faculty advisors to participate in the first ever Student Government on the Beverly Campus!
President Daniel Gardner (grade 5) and Vice President Emma Hickey (grade 6) had the opportunity to meet with Massachusetts State Representative Jerry Parisella (of Beverly) early this fall. Daniel and Emma sought advice from Mr. Parisella about how our school’s Student Government could serve the Beverly community. Next week, Student Government members will be removing Veteran’s Day flags from the North Beverly Cemetery, right behind our school. In the spring, we plan to partner with community members for an Earth Day cleanup project around public places like parks and beaches in Beverly. These are just two examples of community service projects in which we plan to be involved. This group of young leaders is excited to serve!
Not only is this a dream come true for me, but also for the students involved, too. At our first Student Government meeting of this school year, President Daniel Gardner shared the following: “This is super amazing. I never thought this would be like this. Looking around at everyone, I’m just really happy. I can’t believe this just started as an idea. I think God really wanted me to do this. I felt like this school needed something special like this.” I wholeheartedly agree with Daniel and I wait in anxious anticipation of what awesome things we’ll see God do through this new program. The excitement and eagerness flows like a mighty river during our meetings, as we brainstorm ways we can work together to improve our school and community. I know we’ll keep asking big questions of God and each other, persevere through challenges that come as we grow and learn together, and continue to dream big things for our school and greater community. Stay tuned for an amazing year of Student Government projects, and keep dreaming with us!