Jay Knutson assists with student council


Photo by Brady Lau

Jay stands in front of the photos of the student council. He knows many of the members and is excited to learn from them.

The high school student council is gaining a new staff member. Jay Knutson graduated years ago and currently works as a paraprofessional. This year he joined the student council as the assistant advisor.

Traditionally, the student council has been run by one person. Dusty Dennis is the current advisor and has been in his position for 14 to 15 years. After so many years of running student council on his own, he decided to enlist Knutson to assist.

Dennis explained the difficulties of working on his own for a couple of years, “Sometimes you see things one way and there’s always another way to do something.”

The student council is a group of about 30 students who are elected by their peers to represent the student body. Each grade elects about six to eight students. These representatives attend meetings, organize events to boost morale and plan activism events.

Knutson said that the job of student council is “to bring a positive energy to the school” as well as find ways to engage the student body.

The job of student council is to bring a positive energy to the school.”

— Jay Knutson

As a paraprofessional, Knutson handles various tasks around the school like overseeing the media center. Despite being at the school for quite some time, he has only made the decision recently to join student council.

Knutson described his reasoning for joining the team as he knew both the advisor Dennis, the person who resigned from the position he took, as well as a number of students that would be on student council.

Knutson has been helping out with student council for an extended period of time already. In years past he has been helping out by providing resources such as printed sheets and hall passes for the students. While the announcement makes it seem like he’s new to the organization, in reality, he has been assisting for a while.

Senior co-president Amelia Bretl added that Knutson was helping out without the members knowing, and Dennis had not introduced Knutson to the team until this year.

Knutson’s presence will change the way student council functions in a number of ways. Many times the lack of resources like printed fliers or hallway passes slows the process of student council’s jobs. Having an advisor that does not teach classes, but is still staff allows the students to be excused from class whenever necessary for student council meetings or tasks.

Sophomore representative Sam Young said Knutson’s presence offers different viewpoints that would have previously looked past. He said that it is of the utmost importance that the council has many different members so that they may truly represent the entire school.

Knutson and the rest of the team are currently hard at work planning various student activities, discussing current events, and considering things to change in the school. The co-presidents are members of the school board. Not only do they influence the high school but also the district as a whole by representing their school’s student body.