The Perry Bluejays and Jayettes have further developed their message of teamwork, honor, motivation, and leadership courtesy of the branding and goals set by the leaders in the student activities advisory council. Spilling into all buildings, the council works to bring light to Perry, informing students who haven’t reached high school, and defining the meaning of the “Bluejay Way.”
This year’s board consists of 14 students, ranging from sophomores to seniors in high school. Tom Lipovac, Athletic Director for PCSD, has been overseeing the organization for eight years.
“I tell the students that I will listen to all of your ideas and and I will consider all of your ideas, but I want you to be a voice and I want you to be my ears on what’s going on with students,” Lipovac said.
The group of students meet on the first Friday of each month and discuss ways to improve the school or further brand the district.
In the past, leadership projects from the students have included the creation of the “We Are Perry” sign hung up in the high school, the newly renovated weight room motivational signs, as well as the signs directly below the stands on each side at Dewey Field.
Outside of physical projects, the group has introduced guidelines for parents and students during games, encouraged staff members to “stuff the stands,” and have worked with younger Bluejays to develop leadership skills.
“We’ve evolved into a leadership group,” Lipovac explains.
Those who qualify to be part of the council must be involved in at least two activities, and many easily pass the mark.
“I like big groups of people getting involved in things,” said Holly Lutmer, sophomore member of the student advisory board. “I’m a big supporter of Perry High School, so I like to cheer loud and be involved in everything.”
Sophomore Hannah Peterson is also a first time member this year.
“I like to be involved in a lot of different stuff,” Peterson said. “Since I’m in a lot of athletics and different activities, i thought it was a way to bring different ideas and see what else there is to offer for Perry.”
Both are involved in three sports: cross-country, basketball and soccer.
In efforts to learn more about the development of “The Bluejay Way,” a phrase the student advisory has worked towards, social media platforms have been created for the public as a result.
“The Bluejay Way” can be found on the Twitter (@phsbluejayway) as well as their own website (http://www.bluejayactivities.org/).
Messages for the social media accounts rain positivity.
“We start off almost everyday with a message,” Lipovac said. “We have ‘Monday morning messages,’ ‘Teamwork Tuesday,’ ‘Wednesday wisdom, throwback Thursday with staff members.”
“We want to send a message to our students and adults that follow that this is what our culture is, this is what we believe in, this is our program – it’s all positive.”
The program helps further involve students in the outreach of the school, as well as further develop a positive and comfortable environment for future high school Bluejays.
“Every spring we meet with sixth graders and talk about the benefits of participation and study skills, goal setting, and responsibility as sixth graders enter the middle school program,” Lipovac explains. “We also do that with eighth graders as they prepare for high school: what are the benefits, why should you be involved.”
Outside of the organization, student guidance continues to grow with the addition of a quarterly “Leadership Essentials” assembly geared towards leadership among sophomores and juniors.
“Ultimately, every time they hit their sophomore year, they’re going to get there,” Lipovac said.
The assembly met on Oct. 5, and well continue to meet on Dec. 7, Feb. 1, and Apr. 5.
“Its those values, its making an impact on our school,” Lipovac said about leadership in the PCSD. “We’re not fundraising – we want to make a difference.”