South Lakes Leadership: Recipients of the 2020 Gold Excellence Award


Maddy McFarlin, Student Life Editor

The South Lakes Leadership program has received the 2020 Gold Excellence Award. This award is the highest level of leadership determined by the National Student Council. Leadership has received this award for the past three years. 

In order to earn this award, the Leadership program had to fill out an application and keep track of all of the work done in the past year. There is a long list of requirements including submitting a project for each of the five initiative strands. The strands that must be met are equity, civic engagement, positive social change, empathetic actions and wellness and awareness/perceptiveness. The application had to be presented to Ms. Retzer, who approved it. 

Leadership worked very hard to have a successful year and make the school the best place it can be. Ms. Pellerin, one of the Leadership teachers, stated, “​I’m proud of the work we are doing on multiple levels. From the service projects to the large, school-wide events, to the daily projects, we continue to make a great impact on our school community.”

The award does not offer any benefits to the school, however, according to Jeff Sherrill, associate director of National Student Council, “Winning the National Gold Council of Excellence Award is testament to the highest standards of quality that your council consistently demonstrates in its operation, and its projects and activities. NatStuCo Gold Councils of Excellence are the models of quality for which other student councils should strive to become.”

Only 22 other schools in Virginia have received the Leadership gold award. Also, South Lakes was the only school in Fairfax County to receive this award, until this year when Lake Braddock Secondary School also received it. In addition to the 2020 Gold Excellence award, Leadership has also received The VSCA Achievement Award from the Virginia Student Council Association

In order to receive this award next year, Leadership needs to keep track of all of the things they have done through distance learning to try to unite our community. When we come back to school, Leadership will charge forward to put into action their ideas to encourage school spirit. Congratulations to Leadership for working so hard to achieve this award!