California Association of Student Councils

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California Association of Student Councils (CASC)
CASC logo.gif
Motto Change the future
Formation 1947
Legal status non-profit 501(c)(3)
Headquarters Oakland, California
  • 1212 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612
Executive Director
June E. Thompson, Ph.D.
Board Chair
Sue Dykema
Affiliations National Leadership Institute

The California Association of Student Councils (CASC) is a non-profit, student-led, student-run youth leadership and advocacy organization.


The California Association of Student Councils is a youth training/mentoring organization that also lobbies for youth-oriented legislation. It runs over sixty student leadership training events a year training students from elementary, middle, and high school students in leadership and team-building skills. All trainings are peer-to-peer, and thus all directors and counselors at the conferences are students.

In addition to leadership trainings, CASC serves as an advocate for youth in Sacramento, lobbying continuously through the year. CASC holds two conferences each year at which students create formal proposals to the California State Board of Education and California State Senate or California State Assembly Education Committees.

CASC programs are hands-on experiences that demonstrate the power of peer-to-peer teaching, with students as mentors and instructors. CASC works toward the principles on which it was founded in 1947: “to give students actual experiences and involvement in decision making and democratic experiences.” Their student officers, trainers and alumni are consistently recognized for their professionalism, competence, and adaptability.[1]


“The mission of the California Association of Student Councils is to provide leadership development for elementary, middle and high school students that emphasize authenticity, ethics, and collaborative decision-making through peer counseling. Our primary focus is the training of students, advisors and organizations in California and across the world. CASC enhances the quality of education by involving students in activities and programs outside the classroom that build citizenship and encourage self-esteem. CASC serves as an advocate for youth, provides a channel for student views, and empowers youth to take action."[2]


"The purpose of the California Association of Student Councils is to improve the quality of life in the world by developing skilled, ethical and sensitive leaders of diverse backgrounds and cultures."[2]


State Council[edit]

Most of the work done by the California Association of Student Councils is completed by the members of the State Council. The State Council is made up entirely of high school students that are appointed in the spring of each year to serve a one-year term. The positions are:

  • State President - Nandeeni Patel
  • State Vice President - Olivia Nouriani
  • State Secretary/Treasurer - Bridget Lee
  • Government Affairs Policy Director - Julia Greensfelder
  • Communications Director - Perah Ralin
  • Outreach Director - Paulina Anzaldo
  • Development Director - Maya Roshandel
  • Director of Technology - Chris Yeon
  • Special Projects Director - Shilpa Gummadi
  • Education Policy Director - Sam Goidell
  • YASC Director - Kelly Tam
  • Governmental Operations at the Local Level Director - Anthony Chen
  • Elementary School Programs Director - Noella Park
  • Region 1 President - Vacant
  • Region 2 President - Sindhuja Vaidhyanathan
  • Region 3 President - Vacant
  • Region 4 President - Cole McCann-Phillips
  • Region 5 President - Anais Tsai
  • Region 6 President - Mylah Smiley
  • Region 7 President - Vacant
  • Region 8 President - Jadrian Teunissen
  • Region 9 President - Robert Margossian
  • Region 10 President - Jennifer Yi
  • Region 11 President - Delaina Castillo
  • Region 12 President - Shyama Yallapragada

[3] **Last edited on Friday, January 6th, 2017 by Nandeeni Patel**


Each region has its respective president who appoints a cabinet from students between the grades of 9-12 from that region. The positions available on Region Cabinet include but are not limited to:

  • Vice President
  • Secretary/Treasurer
  • Development Director
  • Outreach Director
  • Government Affairs and Programs Director

Board of Directors[edit]

The CASC Board of Directors is composed of eleven adults and five students elected by the State Council. Students and adults on the board share equal permissions and responsibilities as board members.

The current members of the board include:

  • Dr. June Thompson (PhD) - Executive Director
  • Sue Dykema - Board Chair
  • Kevin Roy - Vice Chair
  • Peggy Skiles
  • Lili Wang
  • Jamal Andersen
  • Alicia Ausara
  • Ramona Chavez
  • Shawn Ahdout
  • Nandeeni Patel
  • Olivia Nouriani
  • Maya Roshandel
  • Bridget Lee

CASC Programs[edit]

Summer Leadership Conferences[edit]

  • High School
  • Middle School

CASC summer leadership conferences bring together students and advisors at multi-day training conferences held on college campuses such as University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Santa Barbara. All of the curriculum is taught through hands-on activities in small groups led by high school and college students. Skills are taught in areas including.[4][5][6]

  • personal goal setting and time management
  • project planning in a team setting
  • working collaboratively and resolving conflicts
  • presentation skills
  • facilitative leadership and meeting skills

One-Day Leadership Workshops[edit]

  • High School
  • Middle School
  • Elementary School

One-day workshops throughout the state focus on individual and group skill development. Working with trained high school and college students who serve as role models, students meet in small groups with peers from other local schools to practice meeting and presentation skills and to engage in collaborative problem solving exercises.[4][5][7]

Staff Development Program[edit]

Students (sophomores and older) who have successfully completed the CASC basic high school summer leadership program become eligible to attend a three-day staff development program. Upon completing the training they may be recommended to serve as a trainer at any CASC conference. Additionally, selected college-age CASC trainers are invited to attend Advanced Skills Training. Trainers of trainers and international staff are selected from this group.[4][5]

ASB Advisor Workshop[edit]

This two-day workshop focuses on the role of a Student Council/ASB, structure, selection and training of members, team-building techniques, evaluation of performance, coaching and feedback. Participants have an opportunity to share best practices as well as address current challenges.[4][5]

Leadership Educators Workshop[edit]

This two-day program is focused on curriculum for training current and aspiring student leaders. Topics covered include: units of study, principles of design, integration of lessons with event planning, and grading. Participants develop skills in meeting planning and management, situational leadership, team development, and project planning. Time is allocated for exploring resources.[4][5]

Student Advisory Board on Education (SABE)[edit]

At this multi day conference, students from all over the state learn about education policy and have an opportunity to influence it. The SABE conference has been held annually since 1966. SABE proposals are presented to the State Board of Education. SABE is run by the Education Policy Director

Additionally, delegates at the SABE conference elect the top six of twelve candidates for the student position on the State Board of Education. These six are then sent to the State Board to be narrowed down the top three.[8]

Student Advisory Board on Legislation in Education (SABLE)[edit]

High school and middle school students throughout California gather in Sacramento to discuss educational issues of common concern and prepare proposals for the Assembly Education Committee and the Senate Education Committee. SABLE is run by the Education Policy Director.[8]

Youth Action Summit of California (YASC)[edit]

Held during the school year, this multi-day conference for high school and middle school students attracts participants throughout the state. Participants are trained in skills including project planning, meeting skills, resolving conflict, lobbying, collaborating with adults, attracting media attention and surveying student opinion. Opportunities for action at school and in the community are explored in elective workshops. YASC is run by the YASC Director on the State Council

Student Board Member Symposiums[edit]

These one-day interactive workshops bring together serving and aspiring student board members together with adult board members and consultants. The program focuses on training in areas necessary for these students to serve effectively, including responsibilities and roles, best practices and techniques for surveying students.[9]

Student Accreditor Program[edit]

In cooperation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, CASC selects students to be members of school accreditation teams.

Custom Designed Programs[edit]

CASC designs full school leadership and personal development programs, differentiated instruction opportunities, conflict management training, meeting skills, workshops and team building for individual student councils, schools, districts, departments, and organizations. Custom Designed Programs are called Special Projects, and are run by the Special Projects Director.

CASC 2020[edit]

CASC 2020 is CASC’s vision for the ideal state of education in California by the year 2020. This program rests on four main goals:

  • Student Board Members on every School Board
  • Student evaluation of teachers
  • Awareness of Student rights and responsibilities
  • Development of effective student councils

With these four goals, CASC has created benchmarks and guidelines for schools to work to accomplish these goals.


(Taken from literature published by the California Association of Student Councils)


  • In 1996 CASC facilitated establishment of the Westside Leadership Magnet School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Currently, student leaders conduct classroom lessons in leadership three times a week for primary and elementary students.
  • CASC trains peer mentors for the summer enrichment program for “at-risk” entering ninth graders in the Compass Program at Menlo-Atherton High School. The program serves as a catalyst for the development of class, club, and ASB leaders.
  • CASC designed special workshops for Gifted and Talented students in the Mountain-View Whisman Elementary District and the Mt. Diablo School Distrist.
  • Over a four-year period, CASC conducted training for classes, the staff, and the entire student body at Menlo-Atherton High School. The result was a more unified and respectful student population.
  • Each year, CASC runs a school-wide team development workshop at Hillview Middle School for the entire eighth grade class.


  • CASC provided small group facilitators for the Educational Planning Forum for the Sequoia Union High School District. Meeting skills training was also provided for parent groups.
  • CASC designed leadership lessons and trained staff for Sacramento START that conducts after-school programs in 40 low-income elementary schools.
  • CASC designed a project planning and personal development program for students enrolled in the Jefferson Awards program in the Bay Area.


  • CASC leaders served as facilitators and recorders for small group sessions at the 2002 Family Re-Union Conference sponsored by Al and Tipper Gore at Vanderbilt University.[10]
  • The Executive Director is serving as the “architect for leadership development” for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. CASC Trainers are currently working with the staff, board, and members to augment their leadership skills.
  • in 1995, the Corporation for National Service selected CASC as one of three organizations to collaborate in designing and conducting training for the national service executives.
  • CASC youth leaders staffed the 1992 Earth Train project and conducted environmental forums in Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago and met with United Nations and Congressional leaders.


  • In 1987 CASC student leaders worked with Russian and Finnish counterparts to develop and Agenda for the 21st Century. The document was presented directly to Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan and led to the first youth exchange program between the U.S. and Soviet Union.
  • CASC training and support led to the founding of the Association of Young Leaders (AYL), the third non-profit organization formed in the newly independent former Soviet states in 1992.
  • CASC youth staffed three Global Youth Conferences at the 1992 Earth Summit and the 1995 and 1996 State of the World Forums.
  • In 2004 CASC and AYL staff trained Japanese youth to serve as facilitators for an environmental forum in Aomori, Japan.


See also[edit]


External links[edit]