On an early February morning, 40 Student Council executive board members from across the district met for their monthly Inter-Scholastic Congress meeting to share what is happening in schools district-wide. While brainstorming ways to improve school activities and events, a senior from SM West proposed the idea of a dance just for SMSD StuCo members. Immediately, East’s StuCo sponsor Hannah Pence was all for the idea.

“It’s something we’ve never done before, and this is my 15th year as a StuCo sponsor,” Pence said. “So on some regards, we have nothing to lose by trying.”

Friday, March 2 was the date for East to host the first-ever StuCo Ball for all students participating in student council in the Shawnee Mission School District. The dance was planned to be similar to drill team and cheerleading’s dance held in the early winter, but be set as a more casual atmosphere. StuCo members also decided to replace a traditional and expensive DJ with one of the students’ iPod. The execs also decided to make it a stress-free dance by recommending against boutonnieres or corsages.

“The upperclassmen talked about doing something casual like ordering pizza or going to Winstead’s and just hanging out there,” senior student body treasurer Paige Kovarik said. “[We did] just something like that, keeping it casual.”

Another reason the StuCo ball is different than the Cheer Ball is StuCo members decided to make the ball for only Student Council members within the district for various reasons.

“We [kept it SMSD-only] purely because SMSD is really close and that’s who StuCo works with directly,” Kovarik said. “It kinda was a given that we do it within the district. It wouldn’t hurt to have other schools, but we just don’t work directly with them.”

The StuCo execs decided to donate the proceeds from the purchased tickets to a familiar foundation: the Johnson County Christmas Bureau. Since the annual fall Can Drive profits are donated to the Johnson County Christmas Bureau as well, StuCo kids decided they would be the best recipient of the donation. This way, the Christmas Bureau could save some money in the spring so they can start stocking up on things that they don’t get when they’re doing their normal drive in the winter.

“It’s a really good foundation and it directly helps people in our community,” Kovarik said. “The money might help some of the kids in our school who need food and the items that they offer.”

As for the non-Student Council members attending, Kovarik assures that there will be little to no awkwardness and the non-StuCo members attending will be able to meet new people.

“I think [non-Student Council members] are going to have a great time,” Kovarik said. “The way I look at it, you’re getting some of the most energetic kids in the school together in one room. So I don’t think they’ll feel left out or awkward or anything.”

For Pence, the StuCo ball is a good way to get Student Council kids together and celebrate all the hard work they put in and all that they do for the schools.

“I think it’s just a way for [StuCo kids] to socialize and have fun,” Pence said. “A lot of the StuCo members from all the other schools get to know each other during the summer ‘cause they go to camps and do things together. I have no problem with giving them an opportunity to spend time together.”

To watch a soundslide about the StuCo Ball, click here.