Arcata Elementary School Student Council visits City Hall

Arcata Elementary School fourth and fifth grade student council members

May 29, 2013


The Arcata Elementary School Student Council visits City Hall on Thursday, May 30 from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. The Student Council meets with City staff and Vice-Mayor Mark Wheetley in the Council Chamber in Arcata City Hall to discuss the importance of community service and explore career opportunities in city government. For more information, contact the Arcata Recreation Division at (707) 822-7091 or visit our website at Like us on Facebook.

# # #


May 31, 2013

Arcata Elementary School Student Council Visits City Hall 

Twenty-two fourth and fifth grade students from Arcata Elementary School’s student council paid City Hall a visit on Thursday to learn about their local government and get ideas on how to further their service to others in the greater community.

Part of being a student council member at Arcata Elementary involves spending time before school, during class and lunch doing service projects on campus. Student council members can often be seen helping kindergartners at lunch time, greeting younger students in the morning and picking up trash and forgotten coats and backpacks from the school playground. Many student council members have already volunteered on City of Arcata service projects as well, pulling out invasive plants and cleaning the creekside that runs near their playground.

“These students give of their own time to make Arcata Elementary School a wonderful place to be,” says fourth grade teacher Shawn Kingstrom. “My goal is to help the students see how they can maintain their service after they graduate to sixth grade and beyond into adulthood.”

City Recreation Division staff member Heather Schmidt let the students know about different summer camp opportunities, including the Leaders in Training program, which prepares young camp helpers to become paid summer camp leaders in the future.

“I heard some students say this was the best field trip ever,” says Kingstrom. “They especially liked being in the vault.” 

Along with touring the Finance Department vault, which houses historic Arcata City Council meeting minutes and where one playful employee turned off the lights to scare the visitors, the student council members got a taste of different work they could do as adults. They saw behind the scenes of the Arcata Police Department, looked at different mapping tools with GIS specialist Brian Kang, and saw photos of fishers, spotted owls and other wildlife taken on City forest lands by natural resource technician Michael McDowall.

“Their jobs are more important to our city than I thought,” says fifth grader Ariana Atkins-Salazar. “Their work is hard but enjoyable,” adds classmate Asher Meadows.

“As a long time coach, I look at building your bench,” says Councilmember Mark Wheetley, who helped organize the visit. “These students are going to be your future Councilmembers.”

Arcata Elementary School is currently registering new students for kindergarten through the fifth grade. Classes at this popular school fill quickly. For more information, call (707) 822-4858 or visit

# # #


Environmental Services Department Director Mark André briefs the Arcata Elementary School student council on current and future City forest and parks projects as City Councilmember Mark Wheetley looks on. “I learned there are a lot of jobs to put into the city,” said fifth grader Briana Turnbull, “and it’s wonderful the way it all comes together.” “I learned the people who work in City Hall have great leadership,” says student Jack Taylor. (Photo credit: City of Arcata.)