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The National Student Council (NatStuCo) is recognizing student councils at Blythewood, Richland Northeast, Ridge View and Westwood High schools for their exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community. Blythewood and Richland Northeast earned a National Council of Excellence Award. Ridge View and Westwood were named a 2021 National Gold Council of Excellence. 

According to the NatStuCo, there are two levels of recognition: A student council achieves a National Council of Excellence Award when it has demonstrated that it meets all the National Student Council requirements, and the National Gold Council of Excellence award is awarded to those councils that demonstrate the highest levels of leadership as well as meet additional standards as set by NatStuCo.

To meet the requirements for the 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, the councils have demonstrated successful sponsorship and participation in activities such as leadership development and service to the school and community. Councils awarded the gold level of the award have successfully demonstrated the highest levels of leadership.

Each of the schools took on multiple projects throughout the year. Blythewood addressed racial issues within their school and community through its student-led, Blythewood Racial Issues Committee. Richland Northeast addressed hunger in the community by having drive-through community dinners. Ridge View delivered treat baskets to three local facilities during National Assisted Living Week. Westwood delivered COVID Care Packages to nurses and doctors at Prisma Health Richland Hospital. Each of the schools also collected non-perishable food items, toiletries, clothing and other items through their winter service programs. 

This is the first time Blythewood and Richland Northeast have won the award, thirteenth time for Ridge View and seventh time for Westwood.

At the state conference in March, the South Carolina Association of Student Councils presented Richland Northeast, Ridge View, Spring Valley and Westwood High schools with an Honor Council Gold Award. Blythewood received a Merit Silver Council Award. All schools placed in the top three in a variety of categories such as video, school recognition, community service, and school spirit.

Blythewood Senior Class Secretary Talia Textus and Ridge View’s Student Body President Yazmine Latimore were inducted into the Terry McCoy Leadership Hall of Fame. Richland Northeast Student Body President Ebony Christie and Spring Valley Student Body President Makayla Ball won the Terry McCoy Leadership Hall of Fame Award.