BRIGHT FUTURES — PNG’s Student Council ready to make positive change

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, August 31, 2021

PORT NECHES — Five representatives of Port Neches-Groves High School’s Student Council recently sat together in the library’s reference room and talked about their roles, goals and what they’re doing to make the school better.

Annalea Sink, senior class reporter; Sarah Swati, student body vice-president; Samara Martinez, student body reporter; Sanaria Butler, student body treasurer; and Yelena Deloney, student body member-at-large, were all wearing the same gray T-shirts with the new student council logo, a smile on their faces.

Sink, Swati and Martinez explained their duties as members of Student Council.

PNG High School Student Council Sponsor and Librarian Candice Curran, right, smiles are she pauses while taking a photo of some of the student council representatives. (Mary Meaux/The News)

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“Basically we are a group of students that tries to make the school a better place,” Sink said, adding the group lifts others up.

Yes, they created upbeat, colorful posters that students could use as a backdrop for photos for the first day of school as well as making other posters and banners each with a theme to stoke student spirit.

But there’s more to the student council.

Their sponsor, Candice Curran, explained there are 21 elected officers with the plan to vote in five more freshmen officers in September.

Curran said she takes all students who want to volunteer as long as they want to work hard and make the school and community better.

“We have an amazing group of senior leaders who are passionate about their school and are willing to put in the work to make our school even better,” Curran said.

“I hold them to a high standard, but it is my job as sponsor to help their ideas come to fruition. Like I mentioned earlier, ‘It’s student council, not teacher council!’ It is all about what they want for our school.”

Swati likes that student council gives students the opportunity to take control because there are so many young people with good ideas that may be afraid to tell teachers but can tell a member of the student council.

Martinez said she understands Curran’s thoughts on wanting the organization to be more student-led than teacher-led. In previous years it was mainly the sponsors speaking for the students and Curran wants them to speak on their own behalf — something the group feels is a big step in the right direction.

“I think this is the first year we’re getting to try and reinvent (the student council),” Swati said. “Typically our student council, it’s there… and now it’s more like an actual student council where we get to take charge and do things on our own.”

School & community love

PNG’s school spirit is well known in the area, and the school has something for everyone, the students agreed.

“I’m glad that everyone has a chance to be involved in something at the school,” Deloney said. “They have so many organizations here for everyone to find something they fit into, and everyone in the community is nice and supports the high school and supports all of the school district. I think we have a good community and good high school environment.”

The five students are involved in many of the same organizations, including the National Honor Society, Indian Press, G-Crew, TRIBE, Indians Give and History Club.

And Butler is a “track star,” the other students said of her track and cross country skills.