Manny Morales Becomes the New Student Council Advisor


Art by Grace Riverson

Sasha Plotniak, Staff Reporter

Student council, the most popular group at South Hadley High, has welcomed a new advisor this year. Previously run by English teacher Amy Foley, student council is now in the hands of Manny Morales. Morales has been working at the high school since 2016, where he started as a para. Now, he is a special education teacher. 

During the spring of 2022, Morales began working with the student council alongside Foley. He fully transitioned to be the student council advisor this fall. When asked how this transition came to be, Morales said, “I share a door with Ms. Foley and every afternoon she’d come by and we’d talk. She had been expressing that she would like to pass on the baton to someone else and at the time it seemed like a nice fit. I took on the role and it seems to be an easy passage of responsibility.” Morales mentioned he has previous experience with event planning and fundraising, which is a helpful skill for a student council advisor to have. 

In past years, there was a limit to how many students could join student council. Eight students from each grade were elected by their peers. Last year, though, that policy changed. Student council became an open council where any student could join. This led to an increase in members, as last year there were around 50 participants, compared with the usual 32. This year, in order to join, members must have turned in a letter of intent. This was to prove their commitment and dedication to being a student council member. This did not decrease the size of the council, though, as there are now 70 members. 

“I was not expecting more people than last year,” Morales said. “That was a shock. We even tried to put in a screening process so that we could see who’s actually dedicated this year. Then we found out that more people than we thought were going to be dedicated this year. So, that was exciting. It is nerve racking because now we’re one of the largest clubs on campus and now I am responsible for the largest club on campus. So, definitely daunting but I’m up for the challenge.”

Obviously, running a group of 70 students is a very challenging task. In order to take a little bit of the weight off, Morales decided to elect ten officers this year instead of the usual four. Typically, there is just one president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. With a 70 member council, Morales decided to double up the officers so there are at least two people covering each officer position. “I need that ten because I need to get them ready to be individual leaders and lead a section of the group. That way it is a one-to-ten ratio instead of one-to-seventy.” Using this tactic, it will be easier for the student council to reach their goals and have a productive school year.

When asked about what goals Morales has for student council this year, he expressed that he is excited to bring back a sense of normalcy amongst the students at South Hadley High.  

“This is our first year where it’s relatively normal. We’re coming in person, we’re experiencing what an actual high school year should look like. A lot of these kids didn’t have that . . . I want to make sure this year is eventful, fun, and we also get to experience what that typical year of a high school year looks like. So, my goal is to bring back normalcy and bring back tradition. We lost a couple things along the way and I want to bring those back and have kids experience the fun parts of school again.” Student Council plans spirit weeks, pep rallies, the homecoming dance, and other events and fundraisers at SHHS. 

This year will be a big one for student council, with many traditions and events making a comeback. It seems as though Morales is ready to take on the role of student council advisor and make this year memorable for student council.