Chaminade Student Council Receives 2017 National Gold Council of Excellence Award

For its exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community, Chaminade College Preparatory’s student council has been awarded a 2017 National Gold Council of Excellence Award by the National Association of Student Councils (NASC).

“Receiving an NASC National Gold Council of Excellence Award reflects the highest dedication on the part of the school to providing a strong, well-rounded student council program,” said Ann Postlewaite, National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) student programs director. “NASC applauds the work of the National Gold Councils of Excellence and challenges them to continue their leadership and service to their schools and communities.”

“The student leaders that are elected and appointed to positions of leadership on student council work really hard throughout the year to make sure there is a positive culture and family spirit on campus. A lot of their work goes unnoticed, so I am proud that they have been honored with this award,” said Julie La Belle, director of students activities at Chaminade’s high school.

To meet the requirements for the NASC National Council of Excellence Award, a student council must meet a variety of criteria. In addition to basic requirements such as a written constitution, regular meetings, a democratic election process, and membership in NASC, councils must demonstrate things such as leadership training for council members, teacher/staff appreciation activities, student recognition programs, school and community service projects, spirit activities, goal setting, financial planning, and active participation in state and national student council associations. Those councils awarded the gold level have successfully demonstrated the highest levels of leadership.

“What makes our student council so special is the passion that each individual has for the team.  Our members do not see what we do as work, but instead truly want to give back to our community,” said  Kojo Boakye-Nimako ’18, ASB president.

To learn more about the National Council of Excellence Award, visit

Bro. Skip Continues to Inspire Chaminade Students to Serve

After Bro. Skip’s passing in December 2016, several students proposed putting together a Chaminade service project to keep his memory alive. The inaugural event took place on a Saturday in March, and more than 100 students and faculty from both campuses served three organizations, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, MEND, and Heal the Bay.

The day started in Campus Ministry (West Hills), and the group joined in prayer before leaving on buses to their destinations. The Student Council sponsored bus sponsored headed to the Food Bank, the largest in the United States serving several millions of people each year. Students helped by sorting donated foods and checking expiration dates and quality of canned foods before sending them down a conveyor belt for packaging. By the day’s end, they sorted 29,737 pounds of food!

MEND Poverty volunteers cooked meals and worked in the organization’s mailroom. Their work doubled as a cooking lesson, and they had an opportunity to taste the food MEND clients would be served the next day. This bus was sponsored by Chaminade’s Caring Hearts and Homeless Hearts Clubs.

The Key Club and Environmental Eagles Clubs joined forces to sponsor the third bus, which took Chaminade students and faculty to participate in Heal the Bay activities. With more than 1,000 other volunteers, including Chaminade’s middle school students, the group worked to keep Southern California’s beaches clean.

Chaminade Service Day happened thanks to the efforts and commitment of Keegan Coppola ’17, Nick Sederlin ’17,  Monty Balleweg ’17, Cristian Puente-Ortiz ’17, Tina Najm ’17, Erin Fabian ’17, Tina Pan ’17, and Alec Simoni ’18. High School Principal, Bro. Tom Fahy; Director of Campus Ministry, Shawna Sedik; and Director of Student Activites, Julie La Belle helped the students to determine how the day would unfold. The students each took ownership of a specific project, promoted Service Day, led ice breakers on the bus, and served as group leads at each service site on the day of the event.

Each service group had an amazing experience and impacted their local communities through a few hours of service. Campus Ministry and Student Activities hope to continue to offer Chaminade Service Day, work more with the middle school, and double the number of students who will go out and keep Brother Skip’s legacy alive.

Funds raised during Chaminade Gala’s fund-a-need on April 8 will establish the Bro. Skip Matthews Apostolic Works Endowment. This endowment will help fund projects like Chaminade Service Day, which will ultimately enhance one of the most important parts of the educational experience at Chaminade – Apostolic Works.


Annual Food Drive Held by Chaminade’s High School Students

High school students at Chaminade College Preparatory collected and donated nearly 9,000 cans of food for the Guadalupe Center in Canoga Park. An astounding number for sure, but even more significant is knowing this could potentially last the center through to the summer!

Held from November 1 to 22, the food drive was organized by Student Council Campus and Community Relations Commissioners, Nick Sederlin ’17 and Monty Balleweg ’17. Blue Crew helped during D-Block classes, collecting, counting, and boxing cans, as well as packing the 16-foot van rented to transport all the boxes.

A little friendly competition between D-Block classes contributed to the amazing success of the food drive. The first three days were conducted as pool play where classes competed directly against each other to see who brought in the most cans. After three rounds, the class with most wins during pool play were advance to bracket play.

Classes who won their bracket received Jamba Juice, and the top four classes will get a homemade waffle breakfast cooked by high school administration. The top 4 classes were:

  • First Place – Mrs. Melendrez
  • Second Place – Mr. Williamson
  • Third Place – Mrs. Cantwell
  • Fourth Place – Ms. Poole

As a part of Chaminade’s commitment to educate for service, justice, and peace, the food drive is held on an annual basis at the high school, and always benefits the Guadalupe Center.