Student Voices at LHS


The senior members of student council, Sam Chen, Fatima Elemenshawy, Luis Correa, Paige Regan and Sophia Califoux along with advisors Ms. Lara and Mrs. Comeaux, work closely with the administration to both put on events and reflect the opinions/needs of the student body.

As Principal Dr. Thomas Koulentes considers ways to improve the high school; he relies on the students who are a part of the principal advisory board, one of three groups making a positive difference to the school community.

Student Council
Student council is “a group of students who try to represent the wishes of the whole student body,” according to senior Paige Regan, a student council executive board member.
“[Students] advocate for all groups and really gather the school community through spirit and participation,” Regan said.
Student representatives are elected for each grade level and upperclassmen make up the executive board. Non-student council students can get involved by coming to student voice meetings where they share ideas to the executive board.
Regan joined student council her freshman year because she thought the older kids seemed really cool. “
It was such a fun community,” she said. “Spirit is a passion of mine, so it was really a good way to sort of carry that out.” Her work continues as a spirit coordinator on the executive board, where she focuses on getting peers involved.
“I’ve had a lot of good experiences,” said Regan. “The canned food drives [is] my favorite because I feel like that’s just where you can actually give back and make a difference the most.”
Student council has taught Regan “how to work with adults as well as work with students and gain a lot of life skills even just like emailing adults, but also listening to other people’s ideas.”
Student council executive board member senior Fatima Elmenshawy joined her sophomore year during Covid.
“I just thought it’d be a fun way to get to know my community and the student body a little bit better,” Elmenshawy said. “I thought it was a really fun way to get to know people and make an impact. [It] allowed me to participate in more leadership roles, plan events, and I love planning things like that.”
As the outreach coordinator, Elmenshawy reaches out to underrepresented clubs and classes to help them get more involved in events.
Like Regan and Elmenshawy, freshman Cecily Hamburg joined student council to make a positive difference.
“I decided to join student council because I wanted to help make a difference in the community in the school,” Hamburg said.
She has been a part of events including assemblies, bake sales, and food drives.

Principal’s Advisory Board
The principal’s advisory board is open to all grades and has an equal amount of students from each grade level. Students can apply by filling out an application at the beginning of every school year. It is a diverse group of students — from sports, fine arts, clubs and academics. There are five subcommittees: stability, health and wellness, aesthetics, learning experience, and cafeteria.
The principal’s advisory board has multiple different roles and functions within the LHS community.
“They give me, as the principal, a good understanding of the student experience at LHS,” said Dr. Koulentes. “It is a way for students to talk directly to me about the way the school is operating and for me to understand the student perspective on different things to understand what students are feeling about the school.”
The student’s role is to give feedback so changes can be made. Some issues that the principal advisory board has worked on include policies for Halloweeen costumes, hats, carpooling and retakes and redos. Other projects include redesigning the cafeteria, making transfer students feel more welcomed, keeping students excited and engaged during Covid, making the cafeteria more sustainable, and innovative furniture for the library and classrooms.
“My goal is that the students feel empowered to bring ideas or complaints to a forum and that those things get heard,” said Dr. Koulentes. “If it’s an idea, it gets put into action, and if it’s a complaint, it gets responded to in a way that makes the school better for students.”
Each committee has a different goal to accomplish. For example, the environmental group is working to make the cafeteria more sustainable, while the health and wellness group is working to make students happier and healthier during the winter months.
Dr. Brenda Nelson leads the health and wellness committee and her goal is to listen to what students need regarding their health. One example of her work was that she realized that students can struggle in the winter months, so she used the red and yellow ribbon weeks for “an opportunity to look at how we can bring resources and attention to wellness.”
Mrs. Uliks, the aesthetics committee leader, said, “I like [the students] creative ideas, and I also like to hear how they want to make LHS a better place and brainstorming ways that we can do that.”

Student School Board Representatives
Along with the student council, Elmenshawy is also a student school board representative.
There are three from LHS and three from VHHS. The representatives from LHS are Sarah Wuh, Jasmine Lafita, and Elmenshawy. Student board representatives meet with District 128 Board of Education members and the superintendent during monthly lunches. In addition, they share current events, provide updates and advocate for the student body at monthly District 128 Board of Education meetings.
“We’ll do student interviews and ask for opinions and give [the school board] quotes and show them different parts of the student body because we’re representing the school, Elmenshawy said.
A major issue that they have worked on for a while is the finals schedule and the calendar at large, which they hope the board is going to act on soon.
Elmenshawy’s favorite part as a student representative is interviewing different people and seeing the variety of opinions on the topics.
All of these groups give students the opportunity to make an impact for the school and community. Elmenshawy said, “I like just being able to give back and I also like [to] see how the things I’ve [done] come to life and how people can enjoy them. So it’s fun seeing your work having meaning at the end of the day.”