Behind the scenes of school assemblies


The senior student council officers (Student Council Student Body Co-Presidents Peter Messervy and Casey Shay, Secretary Maggie Wallace -Taylor. Co-Emcees Robert and Rachel Garofalo, Treasurer Cameron Brisky.) PHOTO/Jane Shay

Graziella Vezza, Staff Writer

   Each year, the senior student government is faced with the task of organizing school-wide assemblies for Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, or just another Friday afternoon. With all of the performances, games, and questions, students have the opportunity to shed the weight of their school work as they enjoy an hours worth of school-wide fun.

     Hours of time and planning are dedicated to assemblies by the senior student government. Senior Rachel Garofalo estimated that assemblies usually take about five hours of script writing, following protocols, meetings, and scheduling.

     “We plan for upwards of a week before the assembly. This includes meetings with the student council officers, thinking of fun ideas, coming up with people to be involved and creating the script,” Garofalo said. “It’s a lot of work, but Robert and I both enjoy working as emcees and it wouldn’t be possible without the extensive work behind the scenes.”

     Being a part of the senior student government takes lots of hard work and is not for those who are hoping to have an easy last year of high school. Senior Student Council Advisor Paula Gearan stressed the great amount of work that elected officers are responsible for taking on.

     “Senior year is a whirlwind of responsibilities, deadlines, and hopefully socializing and family time, so the commitment it takes for a position of an elected officer should be taken very seriously,” Gearan said. “The student government officers are asked to represent the senior year for a large number of diverse students, which is a giant undertaking.”

     As for games, Garofalo stated that they use activities from past years for inspiration. While there is always a brand new game in the mix, fan favorites have made repeat appearances.

     “We often look back on schedules and scripts from past years to plant the seeds for our ideas, but most of the brainstorming is from meetings with the student council officers,” Garofalo said.  “We like to keep some of the ‘traditional’ assembly games, but definitely like to change it up.”

    The activities students have the opportunity to participate in serve as a stress reliever.

     “I like the little games that people play during the assembly as they are a good way to take off some stress and have fun at the same time,” junior Nikki Liu said.

     While the senior student government works hard on these assemblies, the school community also plays an important role in supporting them.

     “I think that there is an increase in school spirit this year from the student body and I would like to hope that this is in part because of the work we do at assemblies,” Garofalo said. “I would say that we have a strong support system from a lot of the senior class and that enthusiasm at assemblies drives interest from the other grades. We wouldn’t have as much fun or success without the support from students.”

    Generally, the school responds very well to these assemblies as they are a source of stress relief for many. However, the student government welcomes feedback from the student body in order to improve their assemblies.

     “We get positive comments from teachers, especially after the Pep Rally, but do receive and value constructive feedback as well,” Garofalo said.

      Although there are teachers who aid in putting on assemblies, the majority of the work is done by the student officers. Gearan spoke about her role in helping the assemblies run smoothly.

     “I am there to advise them and guide them to make their ideas come to fruition.  I act as a referee to veto things that are not going to get approved and to remind them of deadlines, and time limits, etc. The activities and feel of the assemblies are student lead,” Gearan said.

     As the school emcees, the Garofalo siblings have successfully engaged the school with their well-timed jokes, amusing costumes, and entertaining activities.

     “It’s been a great year and both Robert and I have loved being emcees,” Garofalo said. “Our main goal was to foster an accepting, entertaining and spirited environment and hope that everyone had as much fun as we did.”