Lake Dallas Middle School STUCO’s Rylee Garrison steering state goals at retreat
Each year, the Texas Association of Student Councils holds a steering retreat to set a collective platform for schools to work toward across the state. This year, one of the few middle school students serving as a state representative at the retreat was Lake Dallas Middle School’s Rylee Garrison.
Through the retreat, STUCO representatives across Texas voice their beliefs about issues student councils can work together to address. A select group of student leaders attend the conference, representing the 19 council districts across the state.
To attend, student representatives must come from a president school for a council district, with all 19 districts sending high school representatives. Just three middle school representatives attend the retreat, however, making Rylee’s inclusion a rare accomplishment.
“Watching these young leaders work cohesively to identify causes that are meaningful, then develop a why, a how and put together a master plan is extremely impressive,” said John Fabro, faculty advisor of the LDMS STUCO. “It is amazing what these student leaders have accomplished in only two days. I am so proud to be working alongside and coaching our LDMS leaders such as Rylee.”
The retreat took place in New Braunfels from June 13 to 15, with Rylee and other students providing their guidance on topics that will potentially affect tens of thousands of students. Their work will later advance to the state board in August for approval for implementation in the 2021-22 school year.
This marks the third year its peers have elected the LDMS STUCO as a president school, signifying the respect the program has earned across the state. In her role accepting that recognition, Rylee presented about the importance of mental wellness to a statewide group of both student and adult council leaders.
Rylee, who was recently named the LDMS STUCO vice president for the 2021-22 school year, said the retreat provided her with valuable leadership experience.
“Being a part of student council has given me the opportunity to expand my limits of what I thought a leader needed to be,” Rylee said. “I went to this conference ready to work hard and come up with a plan on how to better myself and my Falcon classmates. The high school student council members treated me like one of their own, and it was fun hanging out and learning from others. Applying what we worked on together at the conference will help each of us as Falcons, making ourselves and those around us a little better this upcoming school year.”
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