(courtesy photo)
Members of Bourgade Catholic High School’s student government display their latest national honor. (courtesy photo)

The nation’s presidential hopefuls might serve themselves well to look to Bourgade Catholic High School for leadership tips.

This marks the third straight year that Bourgade Catholic’s student council has earned national recognition, namely a National Gold Council of Excellence Award. The National Association of Student Councils (NASC) bestows the award to student governments with exemplary record of leadership, service and activities that serve to improve the school and community.

“Receiving an NASC National Gold Council of Excellence Award reflects the highest dedication on the part of the school to providing a strong, well-rounded student council program,” said Ann Postlewaite, student programs director for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

She said the NASC honors the work of student councils while challenging them to continue their leadership and service to their schools and communities.

“At Bourgade Catholic, we learn, lead and serve. So, we take great pride in this third consecutive National Gold Council of Excellence Award,” Kathryn Rother, principal, said.

She recalled the words of Pope Francis who said that those in government must ask themselves “Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?”

“We are very proud that our young men and women have pondered these questions and choose to serve in the capacity of student government,” Rother said. “This recognition is a testimony to their love for and dedication to those they serve through student government at Bourgade Catholic High School.”

National Council of Excellence Award recipients must meet a variety of criteria. Beyond having a written constitution, regular meetings, a democratic election process, and membership in NASC, councils demonstrate things such as leadership training for council members, teacher/staff appreciation activities, student recognition programs, school and community service projects, spirit activities, goal setting, financial planning, and active participation in state and national student council associations.

Those councils awarded the gold level have successfully demonstrated the highest levels of leadership. Bourgade was the only Arizona school to reach the gold level and among six Catholic high schools nationwide.

At the state level, Bourgade Catholic’s student council has been named an Outstanding Council of Distinction every year since 1986.