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History

Proudly serving the student leaders and advisors of Connecticut since 1952.

History of CASC

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BACKGROUND

The beginnings of statewide associations of student councils in Connecticut are lost to history.  The earliest written evidence of an organization is a 1939 reference to students attending one of the bi annual meetings of the Eastern Connecticut Federation of Student Councils (ECFSC), meaning that the organization was already well established. In 1940 a second organization, the “Robert H. Early Memorial League of Student Councils in the Housatonic Valley” is referenced in a publication of NASSP as serving most of the student councils in Connecticut.  The next reference comes in 1945, which states that councils in Connecticut belong to the “Connecticut State Association of Student Councils.”  This same source says that this organization, much like the rest of the other state associations, had suspended operations during WWII and struggled to reactivate once wartime restrictions were lifted; its last reference is in 1947. At the same time the CSASC was collapsing, the ECFSC was thriving, hosting a conference of 14 schools in 1947. 

 

In 1948, records show that two statewide associations were serving the needs of Connecticut's student leaders:: the “Housatonic Valley League of Student Councils” (possibly the successor to the earlier 1940 organization. Five schools are listed as members of the league: Derby, East Haven, Seymour, Shelton, and Wallingford) and the ECFSC. In 1951 it appears that only the Housatonic Valley league was still in existence, but all references to the league vanish after 1954.

1952: Origins, formation of the CFSC

In 1952 the Connecticut High-School Principals Association appointed Arthur W. Kairott, principal of Glastonbury High School, to make plans for organizing a Connecticut association of student councils. Working with several Connecticut principals and Susan Jennings, a student council member at Glastonbury HS, they met at Hartford High School on April 7 to draft a constitution of what would become the Connecticut Federation of Student Councils. (Direct precursor to CASC)

The first organized meeting between Connecticut schools to discuss the constitution of the newly formed “Connecticut Federation of Student Councils” was held 10 days later again at Hartford Public High School on April 17, 1952.

1953: Regional meetings

The first two informal regional meetings were held.

1954: First Statewide Convention

The Association grew steadily, this year saw the greatest expansion of the association culminating in three milestones.  First, the state was broken into four regions to hold regional meetings.  Second, hosting its first statewide convention at UConn with 250 students and 50 advisors from across Connecticut.  Finally, the first Executive Board of the federation was created, the positions for students were President, Vice President, Secretary and Assistant Secretary.

1956: Membership and Expansion

All secondary schools paying dues to CAS automatically became members of CFSC.  Four regional conferences and a statewide conference were also held.

1957: Connecting with advisors

The first Newsletter was published, this would ultimately grow to 4 a year by 1970.

1960: Statewide Leadership Training begins

The first statewide leadership training workshop was held. The rapid growth of the CFSC did not go unnoticed and was recognized by NASC (NatStuCo) with a certificate of appreciation for outstanding work.

 

1961: Dues

Dues from all member schools were collected for the first time.

 

1962: State Conferences move to High Schools

For the first time, the statewide conference was held at a High School rather than a university to “provide an opportunity for greater student planning and preparation.” 

 

1963: Districts Organize

To better support the work of student councils in Connecticut the CFSC began to organize districts and league councils.  At the same time CFSC embarked on a three year constitutional revision.

 

1967: More Growth

By now the association had grown to 140 member schools and boasted a robust program including summer workshops at UConn, a state convention hosted by a different high school from across Connecticut and a winter one day workshop.  

 

1969: Handbook

CFSC publishes a student council handbook for member schools.

 

1970: Junior High School Conference

In addition to the normal program, the CFSC adds a statewide leadership conference specifically for Junior High Schools..

 

1974: District Realignment

The Federation formalized its structure with 6 districts based on the 6 federal congressional districts in Connecticut.

 

1977: A New Name

To bring its name into conformity with the other states, the CFSC becomes the Connecticut Association of Student Councils. (CASC)

 

1995: Dale Hawley Award

In recognition of their longtime director of Student Activities, NASC (NatStuCo) created the “Dale Hawley Award.” Allowing states to recognize outstanding students.

 

1998: On the National Stage

Al Cormier, then Executive Director of CASC, is recognized by NASC as the Warren Shull Adviser of the Year for his exemplary character, leadership, and commitment to young people and their development as student leaders.

 

2003: Ron Nedovich Award

CASC created the Ron Nedovich award to recognize advisors.  In recognition of Ron Nedovich, the long time Executive Director of CASC.

 

2009: On the National Stage again!

Sarah Jones, then Executive Director of CASC, is the first person to receive the Keeper of the Flame award from NAWD. (NA4SA)

 

2011: Hosting a National Conference

CASC hosted the NASC/NHS LEAD Conference at the Stamford Marriott. 

 

2019: New Districts and Events Added to CASC Calendar

May 31, First “Adventures in Leadership” event held at Winding Trails in Farmington. In September, the newsletter returns and the first “President’s Luncheon” event is held at CAS in Cheshire.  Also announced in September is the return of Districts with the state reorganized as Eastern, Central and Western districts.

 

2020: COVID-19

Spring Convention becomes the first event in Connecticut shut down due to COVID-19 lockdowns.  “Adventures in Leadership” was canceled and the association moved online. Due to COVID restrictions, the President's Luncheon became the President's Symposium and is our first virtual function.

2021: Lockdowns and Expansion

Virtual meetings and events, including a virtual Convention, Adventures in Leadership and President’s Symposium.  The Executive Board is reorganized before Convention to include District Schools and appointed staff positions. In November the Central District was broken into the Northern and Southern Districts so that all districts had the same number of schools in them.

 

2022: 70 Years and the Return to Live Activities 

Live Board meetings return.  CASC celebrates 70 years of leadership in Connecticut with its second virtual Convention in a row.  In May “Adventures in Leadership” became the first live event hosted by CASC since the beginning of COVID19. In September CASC began the process of writing a new Constitution and Bylaws.

 

2023: CASC Closes 70th Anniversary 

In cooperation with the Non partisan staff of the Connecticut General Assembly CASC hosts its first “Mock Legislative Day.”  CASC also closes out its 70th year anniversary with the first live Convention since 2019.  Constitution and Bylaws are adopted at the Convention formalizing the structure of the association and introducing the associations general assembly as well as state wide committees.

 

CASC has come a long way since 1952 and we continue to grow each year.

CASC: Executive Directors

1952-1953:: Arthur W. Kaircott, Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury

1953-1955:: Joseph J. Feher, Seymour High School, Seymour

1955-1960:: Martha L. Hanf, Hartford High School, Hartford

1960-1961:: Kenneth R. Petersen, Andrew Warde High School, Fairfield

1961-1964:: Russell T. Harrington, Edwin O. Smith School, Storrs

1965-1969:: B. Audrey Dayton, Farmington High School, Farmington

1969-1973:: Raymond A. Paul, Bristol Eastern High School, Bristol

1974-1998:: Ratomir ``Ron'' Nedovich, Avon High School, Avon

1998-2002:: Al "Chief" Cormier, Woodstock Academy, Woodstock

2002-2005:: Mary Leger, East Hartford High School, East Hartford

2005-2012:: Sarah Jones, Manchester High School, Manchester

2012-2018:: Jennifer Buckley, CAS, Cheshire

2018-2019:: Russ Crist, Farmington High School, Farmington

2018- Present:: Christopher H. Tomlin, Woodland Regional High School, Beacon Falls

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