He’s not your average Joe [UPDATED]Published 8:41am Monday, July 16, 2012 Updated 12:47pm Monday, July 16, 2012
“I’m not your average Joe,” was one of the slogans in 14-year-old Joe Swenson’s campaign that led to him being elected president of the North Dakota Middle Level Student Council.
Swenson’s father, Kurt, grew up in Fergus Falls and his grandparents Wayne and Glorianne still live in the area. Swenson finished eighth grade in Beulah N.D. this spring.
Swenson is involved in football, hockey, golf and more. His favorite school subject is math.
His journey to becoming president of the NDMLSC began when he was selected by his peers to represent his school at the statewide convention in April.
The event was held in Bismarck where 12 representatives from different North Dakota schools gathered to compete against one another.
The first night consisted of campaigning and getting to know the other candidates through ice-breaker games, Swenson said.
After two rounds of voting on the second day, six candidates were eliminated. The remaining six participated in exercises to test their leadership skills. After one last speech from the candidates, the final election was held. When the votes were tallied, the two vice presidents were called first. There was a break followed by a drum roll and then the president from the previous year read the name, “Joe Swenson.”
“I was really pumped up,” he said. “I was sitting there thinking, and my hands were shaking, and then they called my name.”
After being elected president, Swenson started to get to know the vice presidents. It will be their job to plan two events in the upcoming year, including next year’s NDMLSC election.
Swenson said he thinks it is important for students to be involved in their schools and communities.
“I think student council is important because we’re the adults of the future, and we need to have good leadership,” he said. “We need to have some way of showing and expressing (leadership), and I think student council is a good way to do that.”