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Elected ASB officers at Liberty Lake Elementary for the 2014-15 school year include (bottom row) Emily Schulhauser, Sydney Spraggins, Ashley Boswell; (top row) Nick Sadlowski, Rachel Kimberley and Mercedes Whiting.

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In the September Wave: Learning to lead; Perks of caring for pets; It's Fair Time!
8/29/2014 11:21:03 AM

ASB officers look forward to serving students

By Tammy Kimberley
Splash Staff Writer

On the final day of school in June, the baton of leadership was handed off to a new group of students at Liberty Lake Elementary School. And last year's Associated Student Body president Andrew Monson did not miss the opportunity to pass on encouraging words to the incoming officers.

Rachel Kimberley, elected as student body president for the 2014-15 school year, said Andrew gave her a last-minute speech as the final bell rang. 

"He told me, ‘Don't be afraid to speak in front of crowds, and be a good president,'" she said.

The group of incoming fifth graders, who were elected to serve their school in the coming year, received some training from last year's officers who showed them the ropes and passed on some advice during the final weeks of school. During a summer visit in a local park, those same students shared with The Wave their plans to represent LLES and be a voice for students in the coming year. 

Prior to running for office, students had to show their commitment to the position by completing a number of steps.

"We had to sign a paper with the expectations before we ran," Ashley Boswell, who was elected secretary, said. "Then we had to write and present a speech that was under two minutes."

Representatives were randomly selected from each of the elementary classes to listen and grade speeches by those running for office. This helped whittle down each position to four candidates, whose speeches were recorded and played for the entire student body to vote on. 

Some of the students chosen to be officers had been in a class together or played on the same sports team. But the diverse group looks forward to tackling the responsibilities and privileges that come with their positions, the first of which is welcoming incoming first-grade students and making sure they feel comfortable in their new school.  

"Usually first graders are freaked out," Nick Sadlowski, vice president, said. "I want to give them a high five and just talk with them."

A warm, caring personality is just one of the characteristics that the group agreed ASB officers should have. Others mentioned included hardworking, diligent and honest.

"Officers should be kind, patient, a good listener and responsible," Mercedes Whiting, one of the sergeant at arms, said. "We should consider other kids' ideas and be helpful to the student body as well as other officers."

Once the school year starts, the group typically meets once a week during the lunchtime with LLES counselor DM Freed, who serves as ASB advisor. During that time, they will determine goals for the year and work on their leadership skills. Mr. Freed said it's not uncommon for officers to meet as many as 100 times throughout the school year. 

He enjoys working with the group to make ASB an organization where students take responsibility for their school, conduct and attitudes toward learning. 

"Over the past five years, much of ASB leadership at the middle and high school levels was students from LLES," he said. "It makes me so happy to see that they are continuing to make a difference even after they leave the doors of our school."

In addition to the meetings, the group helps with morning announcements, assemblies and fundraisers. 

Mr. Freed said that a "Fun-Raiser" event last spring raised nearly $4,000 for the ASB account and saw more than half of the school participate. It was launched as the result of ASB officers meeting with representatives of all grade levels to determine what students would like to accomplish.

"We want kids to come up and share their ideas with us," treasurer Emily Schulhauser said. "We want to make the fundraisers fun so kids will feel like it's worth their time and money to come."

While these fun things are what interested Sydney Spraggins in running for sergeant at arms, she realizes that a lot of time is spent considering the needs and ideas of the students.

"I want to provide more opportunities for students to be involved in clubs like Math is Cool," Sydney said, "plus I want kids to learn more about ASB."  

The challenge is getting all students to realize they are part of ASB, Mr. Freed said. People also often confuse ASB with PTSA, which is the parent teacher student association that works to fund purchases that benefit the school and teachers. Mr. Freed explained that ASB is its own separate organization with student leadership making decisions regarding its budgets and use of funds.

"When Mr. Freed comes to a class and asks who ASB is, students usually answer, ‘the officers.' But ASB is everyone in the school," Rachel said.

This year's ASB officers were unanimous when asked why LLES is such a great place to learn - the teachers, the staff and an involved group of students.

"I actually thought for a while that ASB stood for awesome student body," Rachel added with a grin.

• • • 

2014-15 ASB officers at LLES: 
"What are you most looking forward to as part of ASB?"

Rachel Kimberley,  President
Daughter of Chad and Tammy Kimberley
"Preventing bullying and helping our school be even better."

Nick Sadlowski, Vice President
Son of Chris and Lisa Sadlowski
"Helping younger kids and doing the announcements."

Emily Schulhauser, Treasurer
Daughter of Eric and Aimee Schulhauser
"Helping kids get more involved in ASB."

Ashley Boswell, Secretary
Daughter of Brad and Katie Boswell
"Doing the announcements and helping others."

Sydney Spraggins, Sergeant at Arms
Daughter of Brian and Rasan Spraggins
"Meeting with and making friends with the other ASB officers."

Mercedes Whiting, Sergeant at Arms
Daughter of Eric and Jinaya Whiting
"Serving the school and making this year one of the greatest years ever."

• • • 

Perks of caring for pets
Compiled by Tammy Kimberley
Splash Staff Writer

Whether it's a dog or cat, fish or reptile, goats or chickens, there's something kids love about animals! A variety of pets are available for families to adopt, whether you desire an inside animal to cuddle with or an outside type to play with in your yard. Many animals that 4-H kids have raised and trained will be on display this month during the Spokane Interstate Fair and the Southeast Spokane County Fair. 

Studies show that close to 90 percent of kids have an animal in their home at some point during their childhood. The reasons people have pets are varied, but research proves that taking care of any animal has benefits for all ages. Read on to learn more about how kids benefit from furry friends. 

Animals help with learning. Kids tend to be more relaxed reading to pets than in front of their peers… and it can give you a lot practice. When you're reading a book, animals are quiet friends who will listen to you and not judge your skills or ability.

Pets provide comfort. Kids more willingly share their feelings with their pets and turn to them for support when they're feeling sad or alone. Also, one study asked kids what advice they would give less-popular kids for making friends. The answer was to get a pet, as an animal gives a shy child something to talk about and a shared interest with others kids.

Animals teach kids to care for others. Whether it's cleaning the pig stalls, giving the dog a bath or feeding a fish, kids with pets learn to show compassion and practice responsibility. And when it comes to pet care, boys are just as likely to be involved as girls. 

Pets can help keep kids healthy. Some studies show that having multiple pets can decrease a child's risk of developing certain allergies or asthma. While researchers are unsure of why this is the case, most can agree that the mental health a pet brings is well worth the investment. Plus having a pet such as a dog encourages kids to get outside more.

Animals help families bond. Since a pet is often considered a member of the family, it gives the group something to do together whether that's taking a walk, grooming or playing with him. It allows the family time to slow down and show unconditional love to the pet and one another. 

• • • 

It's Fair Time!
Ask your parents to check out one of these three fun festivals coming to our area.

Spokane County Interstate Fair
Sept. 5-14 at the Spokane County Fairgrounds
Carnival rides, food, animals and entertainments are all available. Admission is $7 for kids seven to 13 and $10 for adults.

SE Spokane County Community Fair
Sept. 19-21 in Rockford
In addition to rides and plenty of animals, this fair offers a parade, 3-on-3 basketball tournament and fun run. 

Sept. 19-21 in Spokane Valley
This 25th annual event will include a parade, hot air balloons, fishing at Mirabeau Falls, races and many other activities for kids. 


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