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James Clemens SGA earns state honors at its first convention

At their state convention, Student Government Association members from James Clemens High School donated paper goods to Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham. (CONTRIBUTED)
At their state convention, Student Government Association members from James Clemens High School donated paper goods to Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – For the first time, Student Government Association (SGA) members from James Clemens High School attended the Alabama Student Council Convention. Even in their first appearance, the Jets leaders earned honors and a state office.

SGA delegates gathered in Birmingham at the Wynfrey Hotel on March 15-16. During the two-day convention, students networked with other councils, attended sessions led by national speakers and submitted projects that showcased the school’s service and leadership, advisor Melanie Turner said.

James Clemens delegates were seniors HaeLin Oh and Aly McKaig, juniors Sydney Turner, Raleigh Schmidt, Laurianna Beibide and Joey Manzo; sophomores Jennifer Farner and Elisia Alampi; and freshmen Sophie Guo and HaeGi Oh.

James Clemens Principal Dr. Brian Clayton helped the SGA connect at the state level.

“I suggested we participate as fully as we could, even though this would be our first year. The kids were all in,” Turner said. “This was a whole group effort. Our project submissions were a culmination of a full year.”

Oh won second place in the oratorical contest. For their leadership project, James Clemens won first place for “Give Back Homecoming Parade.” They also entered the scrapbook contest.

The Jets won silver for “Outstanding Student Council.” James Clemens was recognized as a gold membership school.

For the state project, James Clemens collected more than $250 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and paper goods for Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham. As presenters, Schmidt, Guo and Oh were elected to the state office of parliamentarian.

SGA members’ proposal was approved for adding a leadership class to Madison’s curriculum in 2015-2016. SGA members and students wanting to develop leadership skills can enroll and perform service locally and nationally.

Jets SGA members will attend the southern convention in Houma, La. in October. They will apply for “National Outstanding Student Council.” Individuals will complete prerequisites for national recognition.

“Since Madison City Schools’ motto is, ‘Empowering Students for Global Success,’ we want to be active and contribute on a local, state and national level,” Schmidt said.

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