The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 20, 2013

Oakwood teen heads to Vegas


OAKWOOD — Lane Bennett might have just finished his junior year at Oakwood High School, but he is already looking forward to an action-packed senior year.

In fact, his teen life just became a little busier when Lane was elected May 10 as president of the Illinois Association of Student Councils.

Next month, Lane will represent Illinois at the National Association of Student Councils’ national meeting, which is June 22-24 in Las Vegas. The National Association of Student Councils is a program of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Having been just elected to the statewide post and with only a month to go before the national meeting, Lane has sought donations to cover his airfare, hotel and meals during the conference.

“The state organization will pay the $400 conference registration fee, and I’m rooming with students from Collinsville High School, but I still need to raise $720 to cover everything else,” he said.

“I’ve talking to businesses and organizations,” Lane said, adding that he has collected about $400 of the $700 or so that he needs.

“If I receive more than what is required, then I’ll donate whatever is left to the Oakwood student council.”

Lane was the corresponding secretary of the Oakwood student council this school year and will be the Oakwood student council president his senior year. He also was president this school year of the Kickapoo District Association of Student Councils, which encompasses high school student councils in central and east central Illinois.

Lane said he first became interested in student council his freshman year of high school.

“The older students pushed me to get involved because they saw I had an interest in it,” he said.

When Lane ran for state student council, he was uncontested.

“It’s upsetting that no one else in the entire state ran,” he said. “I would rather that people have a choice (of candidates).”

Lane said other high school students in the state told him they didn’t seek the state post because they didn’t have the time that is needed for the commitment.

As president of the state organization, Lane will spend his yearlong term overseeing the state’s 13 student council districts and hosting either workshops or board meetings every month.

The workshops cover topics such as parliamentary procedure and leadership skills that student council members can take back to their high schools.

“I’ll have to get guest speakers and motivational speakers, and make sure everyone stays in contact with each other,” he said.

Lane said he is looking forward to the national student council conference next month.

“The leadership conference is open to all states. Twenty to 30 student council members are going from Illinois,” he said. “I think the conference will be a great experience for me.”

To donate

Anyone wishing to donate to Lane Bennett’s National Association of Student Councils’ conference trip may do so at the Oakwood Village Hall, 106 S. Scott St.