By Katelyn McKinney
Lafayette Middle School Student Council members Elliott Clark and Claire Anne Pugh were recently recognized for being leaders amongst their peers.
Clark was recently named as a member of the NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Committee and Pugh was selected as one of the top volunteers in Mississippi.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student
Clark had a list of requirements in order to be accepted into NASSP. She visited Washington, D.C. and participated in advocacy training, lobbied on Capitol Hill, and discussed Global Campaign. She applied in September and found out about her acceptance in November.
“It was a lengthy process, but it was worth it in the end,” said Elliott Clark, a seventh-grade LMS student. “I always knew I wanted to be a part of this, so I could graduate and put it on my applications. This is something that could further my education. My favorite part was getting to go to the Lead conference, being able to represent a workshop, and meeting so many nice new people. It really was a dream that you don’t want to wake up from.”
Pugh was named one of the top runners-up in The 2020 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards in Mississippi. Her project, “Circle of Friends,” along with her leadership earned the Bronze finalist. Since 1997, 91 Mississippi students have been named Bronze Finalists and only 8.7% were middle-level students.
Claire started “Circle of Friends,” a club in her school district that pairs students with and without special needs. Her efforts include gaining administrative support, securing grants, recruiting volunteers, pairing “buddies,” and organizing a field trip to see an ice show. “Circle of Friends” has impacted the lives of more than 80 students in grades three through 12.
“I took the lead, and I was on this nonstop,” said Pugh, who is in the eighth grade. “I didn’t expect an award for it because I was just following a passion. I didn’t want the award to take away from the cause.”