Northside Elementary student council earns prestigious TEPSA Student Leadership Award

group of 11 students pose in 3 rows

Row 1: Adrian Vielma, Reese Wright (president), Gracie Partin

Row 2: Kambrie Daniels, Cash Styles, Kayson Weyrauch

Row 3: Isabella Jackson, Ellie Perez, Alicia Garfias, Rylee Richardson, Andrea Rosas


The Northside Elementary student council has been recognized for the fifth time by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association with the prestigious Student Leadership Award.

The campus has a thriving democratic student council that leads the student body through community service projects and maintaining a unified atmosphere.

“Your student leaders were required to demonstrate how their leadership has impacted the stakeholders as well as how they serve their campus and community,” read an email from the TEPSA directors. “It was clear from the application that Waxahachie ISD encourages student voice through leadership opportunities.”

The student council conducts several service projects and fundraisers throughout the year.  One goal this year was to raise funds toward the purchase of a “Buddy Bench” for the playground. The purpose of the bench is for students to friend their peers who sit on the bench.

Student council officer Rylee Richardson exemplifies the type of student who represents the ideals of Northside and was one of 12 recipients of the Warrior Award of Excellence. She said that “some of the new students coming in hadn’t made a lot of friends at first, so we thought it would be a good idea for them to sit on the bench and someone would, out of the kindness of their heart, go sit with them.”

The organization was able to raise over $600 toward the bench.

One of the most successful community service projects of the year had students exchanging face paintings for canned goods, which were later donated to local food pantry Waxahachie CARE.

In January, the student council encouraged students to recognize their teachers uniquely. Students purchased cotton balls for 25 cents that would be posted on teachers’ doors to create a snowman.

“I learned how important it is to help out the teachers because of how much they do for us,” Rylee explained. “It’s really good to know that we need to give back to them. I really enjoyed doing that.”

Other community service projects included a blanket drive, Val-O-Gram sales, and the Souper Bowl of Caring food drive.

“I think it’s important to provide leadership opportunities for our students,” said Northside counselor and student council advisor Claire Thornhill. “It has allowed our students to serve while also giving them a voice in the leadership of the school as they make decisions about how to respond to student requests.”

The Northside student council abides by the TEPSA guidelines, which qualified it for this award. The council consists of fourth- and fifth-grade student leaders.

“It means a lot to get the award, and I am proud to be a part of providing this opportunity to our students,” Thornhill said. “Student council members work hard to serve the community, teachers, and students.”

Reese Wright served as the president is confident, well-spoken, and is a kind friend to everyone who sets an example of respect and integrity you see in a person. When her mother shared the news about the award, she thought to herself, “Yay, we won this award. We did really good this year and I’m glad that we could help out so much.”

As Wright moves onto the sixth-grade, she provided this advice for the next president of the student council. “Always do what’s right for the school and try to be the best leader you can.”

Typically, principals would be recognized at TEPSA’s summer conference. Unfortunately, that event was canceled due to COVID-19.  Northside’s student council will be presented with the TEPSA Student Leadership trophy for their work this year at the annual TEPSA Leaders ‘R’ Us Workshop in October.

The Northside student council members are Adrian Vielma, Reese Wright (president), Gracie Partin, Kambrie Daniels, Cash Styles, Kayson Weyrauch, Isabella Jackson, Ellie Perez, Alicia Garfias, Rylee Richardson, Madison Noe, and Andrea Rosas.