Plans are on track for the Missouri Association of Student Councils State Convention to be held at Washington High School this March.

Taylor Straatmann, Student Council president and state convention chair, and Aaron Meyer, co-chair, agreed that the key details, including the schedule and guest speakers, are complete.

More than 800 high school students, representing over 200 schools from across the state, are expected to participate. Registration is ongoing.

This year’s theme is “From Country Roads to City Lights, STUCO Unites!”

During the convention, the group will host guest speakers and teach workshops on motivation, leadership, increasing school spirit, communication and other topics.


Students will arrive at Washington High School Thursday, March 14, at about 4 p.m. At that time, students will be able to get dinner from a vendor fair and food court and enjoy some free time.

Rocky Sickmann, a Washington High School alumnus and former U.S. Marine, will be the guest speaker at the evening’s general session.

Sickmann, who was held hostage in Iran for 344 days during the Carter administration (1979-80), will speak about being a hometown hero.

“We’re really excited to have him back at the school,” said Julie Weindel, Student Council adviser.

Students also will listen to other students who hope to host the 2014 state convention. Members will vote for the school using actual election equipment, Weindel said. Debbie Door, Franklin County clerk, is helping with the election portion of the convention.

The following day, students will listen to speaker Tina Meier, a St. Charles mother whose daughter committed suicide after being bullied online.

A special ceremony will be held for the Special Olympics, the state charity for the Missouri Association of Student Councils.

Students will have the opportunity to attend workshops hosted by other Student Council members with event ideas they can bring back to their schools, as well as learn leadership skills.

After lunch, former WHS Student Council adviser and Student Council leader, Karen Dawson, will speak.

The Washington Rotary Club will cook dinner for the students Friday evening at the riverfront. The club also will sponsor trail rides for the students.

Straatmann said there may be line dancing classes as well.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the community,” Weindel said.

After dinner, a dance will be held at the high school.

Straatmann and Meyer thanked the community for its support.

“We hope we can make this the best convention ever,” Meyer said.

The final day, Saturday, students will listen to another guest speaker, Monte Selby, a school principal and musician.

Selby will host a workshop where students will help him compose a song unique to the Missouri conference. The song will be performed at the end of the convention.

Straatmann said she’s excited to see all the pieces of the convention come together, as well as to show off the school and community.

More than 100 students are helping plan for the convention working with various committees like housing, spirit, technology, decorations and others.

“I’m excited to meet new people and get to know everyone and enjoy the experience,” Meyer said. “This is a great opportunity to learn a lot of cool stuff and it will be helpful to use in my future and carry on in my life.”

Host Families

So far, housing has been secured for about 650 of the 900 to 1,000 students expected here. About 350 host homes are still being sought.

The host family will be responsible for providing a place to sleep for three to six students and feeding them breakfast each morning.

Forms for families interested in hosting can be found at the district office, the high school and on the school district’s website.

People also may call Weindel, 636-231-2200, or email

Students also are seeking items to put in welcome bags each of the Student Council members will receive.

Items could include food coupons, pens, pencils, magnets or other items.

If any business would like to donate, they can contact Weindel.

Before leaving, Student Council members will learn which school will host the 2014 state convention.