Democracy in action: 88 students vie for 18 spots on Allen Elementary’s first Student Council

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Democracy is alive and well at Allen Elementary, where 88 students vied for 18 spots on the school’s first Student Council.

“It was so inspiring to see our students taking risks, public speaking, and for all these students to learn about civic and democratic engagement by voting afterwards,” said Principal Charles Chalfant.

On Friday, the third, fourth and fifth-graders running for Student Council gave their campaign speeches in front of their peers, teachers, and families at an assembly that lasted just over an hour. (See snippets from nine of the speeches in the video above.)

The goal was to have representatives from each grade level (two per class in Grades 3 and 4,  and three per class in Grade 5) for a leadership group of 18 students.
“Because it’s our first try at this, we hadn’t plan for ties in voting, so we ended up with a group of 20,” Chalfant said.
Student Council will serve as a student leadership advisory group and plan special events such as spirit week and more.The council  is expected to meet bi-weekly.
Chalfant said the Student Council will serve as a focus group to help him ensure that Allen fosters student agency and student voice in school-based decisions.

“I send out surveys to staff and families frequently throughout the year,” said Chalfant, who is in his first year as principal of Allen. “This is just one way to effectively get student voice included in our initiatives and decision-making process.”

Candidates gave their campaign speeches in front of their peers, teachers, and families at an assembly that lasted just over an hour.

He said he’d grateful to fourth grade teacher David Mattie for his organization and diligence in the production of the campaign and to all of the teachers who pushed their students and allowed them to practice and enhance their speeches in class.

“This was a team effort and I’m excited to begin meeting with our Student Council and seeing what initiatives they are interested in tackling this year, said Chalfant. “Families and staff alike were impressed with not only the event, but also with the maturity and creativity of all of our students’ speeches. The future is bright!”


The AAPS District News welcomes thoughtful comments, questions and feedback.

All comments will be screened and moderated.

In order for your comment to be approved:

  • You must use your full name
  • You must not use  profane or offensive language
  • Your comment must be on topic and relevant to the story

Please note: any comment that appears to be spam or attacks an individual will not be approved.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.