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2011-12 Chester County Student Forum officers take the helm

Downingtown, PA – The Chester County Student Forum has officially kicked off its 2011-12 year, resuming its monthly meetings 2011 Student Forum and announcing this year’s officers who are leading the way for the countywide student organization. Taking the helm at this year’s meetings is: Mark DiMonte, Great Valley High School - president; Zena Saleh, Downingtown High School West – vice president; Andrew Hoffmann, Downingtown High School East – treasurer; and McKayla Swearer, Coatesville Area Senior High School – secretary.

The Chester County Student Forum, which is organized by the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU), works to strengthen bonds between Chester County high schools and the community and to encourage student leadership. It is made up of student leaders from the county's public, private, and non-public high schools.

This year, there are 11 Chester County high schools represented with roughly eight students per school. The schools include: Avon Grove High School, Center for Arts & Technology (CAT) Pickering Campus, Coatesville Area Senior High School, Downingtown High School East, Downingtown High School West, Great Valley High School, Octorara High School, Oxford Area High School, Phoenixville Area High School, West Chester Bayard Rustin High School, and West Chester East High School.

“When I heard about the student forum, I thought it would be a great opportunity to unite with students from across the county,” said DiMonte, who is this year’s president and is taking part in his second year with the organization. “You don’t always get the chance to share your ideas and opinions with students from other high schools, and hear what they have to say on the issues.”

Student forum members meet monthly to discuss current issues which are of interest to them and which confront their age group. DiMonte explained that the topics range from issues as small as cell phone usage, to issues as large as foreign policy.

In addition, members participate in a variety of volunteer and community service projects, of which this year’s vice president, Zena Saleh, is especially fond.

“I hope to see this year’s group become even more involved in community service,” said Saleh. “I like hearing everyone share ideas, then go out and incorporate them into the community.”

DiMonte added, “It’s also important for us to get in the habit of volunteering while we’re still forming as young people so it becomes a part of who we are as adults.”

After each student forum meeting, the students share the issues and projects discussed at the meeting with their schools' student councils and other pertinent groups at their home schools.

“Being involved in the Student Forum is a great way to be active in the community and help foster and explore ideas with other students,” said Andrew Hoffmann, this year’s treasurer.

Upcoming Chester County Student Forum meetings that will be held at the CCIU Educational Service Center from 9:00 until 11:00 a.m. include: Thursday, January 5; Thursday, February 2; and Thursday, March 1.

The dates of the April meeting as well as the annual Student Forum Banquet will be announced at a later time.

For more information on the Chester County Student Forum, please contact Mary Jeanne Curley, student forum advisor, at 484-237-5171, or click here.


Photo Caption: Pictured above (from left to right) are the Chester County Student Forum officers for the 2011-12 school year: Seated - Zena Saleh from Downingtown High School West, vice president, and McKayla Swearer from Coatesville Area Senior High School, secretary. Standing - Mark DiMonte from Great Valley High School, president, and Andrew Hoffmann from Downingtown High School East, treasurer. The Chester County Student Forum, which is organized by the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU), works to strengthen bonds between Chester County high schools and the community and to encourage student leadership. It is made up of student leaders from the county's public, private, and non-public high schools.