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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.  In 1932 a Connecticut school attended the first national conference of the National Association of Student Councils (NASC). The earliest written evidence of a statewide organization is a 1939 reference to students from Bacon Academy attending one of the semi-annual conventions 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 NASSP Bulletin (1940 Volume 24; Issue 89) 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.” (CSASC) 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. By 1951 it appears that only the Housatonic Valley League of Student Councils was still in existence, but all references to the league vanish after 1962.

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.

Finally, the first Executive Board of the Federation was created, the positions for students were President, Vice President, Secretary and Assistant Secretary. The positions for adults were 3 faculty members and the Executive Director. 

1953: Regional Meetings

Thursday, May 14th, the first Constitution of the CFSC was approved by a vote of student delegates at Hartford Public High School; it had originally been scheduled to be held in the House chamber of the Connecticut General Assembly. The first two informal regional meetings were held later that year.

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 (North Eastern, South Western, North Western, and South Eastern), held in November.  Second, hosting its first statewide convention at UConn with 250 students and 50 advisors from across Connecticut.  

1956: Membership and Expansion

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

1957: Connecting with Advisors

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

1958: Week Long Summer Leadership Camp

CASC begins holding a week-long leadership camp held in August at the YMCA Camp Mohawk in Litchfield. 

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 the National Association of Student Councils (NASC) with a certificate of appreciation for outstanding work.

1961: Dues

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

1962: State Conventions move to High Schools

For the first time, the statewide convention was held at a High School rather than a university to “provide an opportunity for greater student planning and preparation.” The Convention is hosted by Branford High School with arrangements handled by the Housatonic League of Student Councils.  

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.

1966: First 2 day State Convention Held

The success of the CFSC led to the introduction of overnight Conventions. 

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. The following year CFSC elected its first junior high school president of the newly created junior high school division.

1974: District Realignment

The CFSC 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)

1980’s: A New Crest

Taking inspiration from the 1981 rebrand of NASC, CASC adopted for the first time a crest of its own with the map of Connecticut over an oval globe.

1983: Shoreline Student Leadership Festival

CFSC co-sponsored with the Shoreline Principals association the “First Annual Shoreline Student Leadership Festival” at Lyme/Old Lyme High School. 12 workshops, a swap-shop hour, panel discussions and a dinner dance.  

1995: Dale Hawley Award and New Regions Formed

In recognition of their longtime director of Student Activities, NASC created the “Dale Hawley Award.” Allowing states to recognize outstanding students. To better serve the needs of its members, the association forms three regions based off of the counties:: Eastern (Windham, New London), Central (Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland Counties), Western (Litchfield, New Haven, Fairfield)

1998: On the National Stage

For his work with the students at Woodstock Academy, 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.

2001: NASSCED Recognition

Ron Nedovich, former CASC Executive Director (1974-1998) is recognized as a Lifetime Members of the National Association of State Student Council Executive Directors (NASSCED) following a distinguished career of faithfully serving students and advisors in Connecticut.

2003: Ron Nedovich Award

In recognition of Ron Nedovich, its longest serving Executive Director, CASC rebrands its advisor of the year award as the “Ron Nedovich Advisor of the Year Award.” 

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

CASC joins the digital age with its own social media accounts on Twitter (X) and Instagram. A revised version of the crest is introduced for use on social media.  On May 31, the first “Adventures in Leadership” event was 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 based on the regions that had been created in 1995 (Eastern, Central and Western).

2020: COVID-19

Spring Convention in March became the first student 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

Reacting to continued COVID-19 restrictions, CASC moves to a full virtual program with virtual meetings, virtual Convention, virtual Adventures in Leadership and virtual President’s Symposium.  The Executive Board is reorganized to include District Schools and appointed staff positions. In November the districts were realigned so that they covered the same number of schools in each district.  As part of this realignment the Central District was broken into Northern and Southern Districts.

2022: 70 Years and the Return to In-Person Activities 

In-Person Board meetings return.  CASC celebrates 70 years of leadership in Connecticut, to commemorate this milestone, CASC holds a year long competition to adopt a new crest and color scheme which was unveiled at its virtual Convention.  In May “Adventures in Leadership” became the first live event hosted by CASC since the beginning of COVID-19. 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 Session Day.”  CASC also closes out its 70th year anniversary with the first live Convention since 2019.  The new Constitution and Bylaws are adopted at the Convention formalizing the structure of the association and introducing new elements to the association, including the general assembly and state wide committees.

2024: New Programs added

Two new programs are added to CASC, a Certified Student Workshop Presenter Program as well as a Mental Health night.

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

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

1969-1970:: Raymond A. Paul, Bristol Eastern High School, Bristol

1970-1974:: Larry Bryan, unknown

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

State Conventions

1952 - Constitutional Convention - Hartford Public High School, Hartford

1953 - No theme - Hartford Public High School, Hartford

1954 - No theme - UConn, Storrs

1955 - No theme - New Britain Teachers' College, New Britain

1956 - "Youth Examines Its Citizenship Role" - New Haven State Teachers College, New Haven

1957 - "Youth Evaluates Its Student Council" - Trinity College, Hartford

1958 - “Youths’ Reply to the Challenge of the New Age” - UConn, Storrs

1959 - "Growing Into Our Ideals Through Student Councils" - Yale University, New Haven

1960 - "The Student Council - Inspiration and Promise" - University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport 

1961 - "Responsible Leadership Serves the Community" - Trinity College, Hartford

1962 - "Student Council - Workshop for Citizenship in Today's World" - Branford High School, Branford

1963 - "Unity: Student Councils' Stepping Stone to Success" - Norwich free Academy, Norwich

1964 - "Strengthening Democracy Through The Student Council" - Wethersfield High School, Wethersfield

1965 - "Student Council - Leadership Training for Tomorrow's Citizen" - Danbury High School, Danbury

1966 - "No Man is an Island" - Watertown High School, Watertown

1967 - "Challenge - Twenty -Four Hour Leadership" - Danbury High School, Danbury

1968 - "Think - Before You Lead or Follow" - Norwich Free Academy, Norwich

1969 - "Resolved: To Be Involved" - Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury

1970 - "Be An Individual - Be A Leader" - Bristol Eastern High School, Bristol

1971 - Unknown theme - Rippowam High School, Stamford

1972 - "Student Council: Evolution or Extinction" - Andrew Warde High School, Fairfield

1973 - Unknown theme - Norwich Free Academy, Norwich

1974 - Unknown

1975 - Unknown

1976 - Unknown

1977 - Unknown

1978 - Unknown theme - Hall High School, West Hartford

1979 - Unknown

1980 - Unknown

1981 - Unknown

1982 - Unknown

1983 - Unknown

1984 - Unknown theme - Portland High School, Portland

1985 - Unknown

1986 - Unknown

1987 - Unknown

1988 - Unknown

1989 - Unknown

1990 - Unknown theme - Central Connecticut State University, New Britain

1991 - Unknown theme - Central Connecticut State University, New Britain

1992 - Unknown theme - Central Connecticut State University, New Britain

1993 - Unknown

1994 - Unknown

1995 - Unknown

1996 - Unknown

1997 - Unknown

1998 - Unknown

1999 - Unknown

2000 - Unknown

2001 - Unknown

2002 - Unknown

2003 - Unknown

2004 - "Go for the G.O.L.D. on and off the field." ("Go for the G.O.L.D. - Goals Open Lots of Doors") - UConn, Storrs

2005 - "Stepping Up to the Challenge" - Wesleyan University, Middletown

2006 - Unknown theme - Wesleyan University, Middletown

2007 - Unknown theme - Wesleyan University, Middletown

2008 - Unknown theme - Wesleyan University, Middletown

2009 - "Earn your Stripes to Stardom" - Wesleyan University, Middletown

2010 - Unknown

2011- "I’m A Leader... So Now What? ESSENTIAL QUESTION: WHAT KIND OF LEADER AM I?" - Wesleyan University, Middletown

2012 - Unknown

2013 - "I Am a Leader, So Now What Is Right?" - Wesleyan University, Middletown

2014 - "I Am a Leader, So Now What? You Don’t Need A Big Voice To Be A Big Leader” - Pomperaug High School, Southberry

2015 - "Purpose is the reason you journey. Passion is the fire that lights the way" - Connecticut IB Academy, East Hartford

2016 - "Find your Spark, Be a Spark" - Maloney High School/Comfort Inn and Suites Meriden

2017 - "Leadership Un-Conference" - Wyndham Southbury, Wyndham Southbury

2018 - "Love the Tough" - North Haven High School, North Haven

2019 - No Convention held

2020 - No Convention held 

2021 - "Filling up your Leadership Bucket" - Virtual

2022 - "Unlocking the Keys to Leadership" - Virtual

2023 - "Lights...Camera...Lead!" - Woodland Regional High School, Beacon Falls

2024 - "Leadership out of this World" - Woodland Regional High School, Beacon Falls

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