Superintendent's Student Advisory Council » The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council

The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council

Mission of the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council
The mission of Southwest Independent School District is to provide opportunities for all learners to be confident, resilient, and successful global citizens. The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SSAC) is one of many opportunities for our students’ voices to be included in major district decisions while also providing powerful lessons about organizational management, civic engagement, and collaborative decision-making.  Allowing students to voice their opinions and candid feedback on a variety of topics that are important to the SWISD Community.
The purpose of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council is to develop and work with students in an effort to support school conditions for student learning to ensure that SWISD students are safe and healthy. 
Return on Investment
Through monthly sessions with the Superintendent, the Student Advisory Council will address and discuss the following areas. 
  • The Importance of Violence Prevention and Fostering a Positive School Community Spirit
  • Empowering Students: Teaching, Coaching, and Enhancing Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution Skills
  • Raising Awareness about Human Trafficking
  • Building School and Community Connections through Service Projects
  • Empowering Youth: Developing Programs and Activities that Promote Volunteerism and Community Engagement
  • Understanding the Consequences of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, and Similar Substance Use
  • Early Identification of Mental Health Symptoms, Substance Use, and Violence, and Navigating Appropriate Referrals for Individual or Group Counseling Services from School-Based Mental Health Providers.
Meeting Dates & Times
Unless advised otherwise, the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council will meet each month on the selected dates below from 12  to 1:30 p.m. Lunch and transportation will be provided.
  • October 13, 2023 - Portable #1 
  • November 10, 2023 - Portable #1
  • December 8, 2023 - Portable #1 
  • January 19, 2024  - Portable #1
  • February 9, 2024 - Bldg 201 Cafeteria
  • March 22, 2024 - Bldg 201 Cafeteria
  • April 12, 2024 - Bldg 201 Cafeteria
  • May 10, 2024 - Bldg 201 Cafeteria
Student Advisory Session Descriptions & Goals
October: Ten Commitments of a Great Leader
To become a truly exceptional leader, you must make certain commitments. We refer to these as the Ten Commitments of a Great Leader. While each of these ten commitments holds its own importance, you can simplify them down to one core principle: "WE BEFORE ME." This also serves as a useful memory aid for the ten commitments, which are: Work Ethic, Empathy, Belief, Energy, Friendship Over Fandom, Open-Handedness, Responsibility, Effort, Motivation, and Excellence. To become a great leader, always keep in mind: "WE BEFORE ME."
GOAL: Provide students with ten valuable tools they can utilize to lead both themselves and their peers, setting them on the path to becoming servant leaders. Servant leaders are equipped to handle crisis management and conflict resolution effectively. Additionally, this session will incorporate the importance of violence prevention and fostering a positive school community spirit. As part of the program's pre-test (survey), data will be gathered to assess students' abilities in conflict resolution, crisis management, building positive relationships with themselves, others, and the community, leading a healthy and safe life, as well as their capacity to identify violent practices and contribute to the prevention of violent situations and human trafficking.
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November: Building Your Core Values
What forms the firm foundation upon which great teams are built? Your core values. When leaders, teams, and organizations know who they are and what they stand for, it provides an unshakeable foundation. On this solid ground of your core values, your group can develop talent, skills, and strategies, to achieve success. However, before you can lead a team or organization to discover its core values, you must first establish a strong foundation for yourself.
GOAL: Provide students with a framework to construct their core values and enable them to leave with a rough draft of their first three. Through this session, students will learn how to create programs and activities that align with their core values and promote volunteerism and community involvement.
December: Self-Care for Leaders
Life and leadership are fast-paced. Sometimes, the pace is so rapid that you might feel you don't have time to rest. However, if you neglect self-care and fail to recharge, you won't be able to sustain the journey. Think of it like a truck on the highway—if you don't stop for gas occasionally, you'll end up stranded on the side of the road. To endure the long haul in life and leadership, you must learn to prioritize self-care.
GOAL: Provide students with a practical plan to care for their mental, emotional, and physical well-being as they dedicate themselves to helping others. During this monthly session, we will also educate students about the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, smokeless tobacco, and other products, as well as raise awareness about the dangers of human trafficking.
January: Tough Leaders Win
We live in a world that values convenience, but leadership isn't always easy. Resistance is what builds strength and makes achieving our goals possible. If we consistently shy away from difficult situations, truths, or conversations, we are essentially rejecting our own goals. Instead of avoiding challenges, let's learn how to embrace them.
GOAL: Provide students with a fresh perspective on adversity and equip them with tools to harness the power of difficult experiences. During this monthly session, we will also teach students how to recognize early signs of mental health symptoms, substance use, and violence, and guide them in seeking appropriate referrals for individual or group counseling services, which may be offered by school-based mental health service providers.
February: Healing Hurt, Building Unity, and Overcoming Adversity
Whenever people gather, differences of opinion and occasional conflicts are inevitable. Leadership can be challenging due to these differences. How can leaders handle such situations? How can we bring people together and recognize that our differences are sources of strength? Drawing from my Wall Street Journal bestselling book, "The Locker Room," and its companion guide workbook, we will explore real-world situations involving differences, conflicts, and divisions. We will discuss how leaders can promote healing and unity.
GOAL: Provide students with the tools to respect, celebrate, and leverage the unique qualities of each team member for the benefit of the team. During this monthly session, we will teach, coach, and build capacity within students to address crisis management and conflict resolution.
March: Having Difficult Conversations
Leaders call out their peers because they care too much to allow them to perform below their best. Love is the reason why you should hold your friends to the highest standards. As uncomfortable as it may be, if you genuinely care about your teammates and friends, you must call out behavior that falls short of the standard. You must speak up.
GOAL: Equip students with a structured approach for having challenging conversations and address the barriers preventing them from addressing behavior that doesn't meet the standard. During this monthly session, we will also teach students how to build school and community relationships through service projects.
April: Self-Talk Mastery
No matter who you are, the words you choose matter. Your words can move others to tears, inspire personal growth, encourage teammates in tough times, or steer them away from harm. Words hold immense power, whether in speeches, books, or everyday conversations. As leaders, how we speak to ourselves about our circumstances shapes our leadership style and the experiences of those we lead. Leaders must learn to engage in positive and accurate self-talk to lead effectively.
GOAL: Empower students to improve the quality of their self-talk. During this monthly session, we will guide students in building their self-esteem to establish programs and activities that promote self-positivity, volunteerism, and community involvement.
May: Building Confidence
Confidence and humility are two sides of the same coin. The key is understanding what your team needs from you. Do they require your confidence and charisma, or do they need your humility and support? Learning how to adapt your leadership style to meet your team's specific needs involves surrendering control, gaining experience in confidence and humility, and gaining self-awareness. These elements will help you become the kind of confident leader your team needs.
GOAL: Provide students with guidelines and markers to understand how to adapt their leadership style and lead with confidence. As the culmination of the year-long program, a post-test (survey) will be administered to measure students' abilities in conflict resolution, crisis management, building positive relationships with themselves and others, leading a healthy and safe life, and contributing to the identification and prevention of violence and human trafficking. This data will be compared to the pre-test conducted at the beginning of the program.