The 2016 NASC Warren E. Shull Advisers of the Year took to the stage to accept their awards at the NASC National Conference this past June in Portland, OR.

About the Winners

Daniel Bailey from Pine Ridge Middle School in West Columbia, SC, was named the Middle Level Adviser of the Year. He consistently nurtures two specific qualities in his student leaders: a love of service and a need for commitment. He feels it is important for a council to have a strong presence in both the school and community.

Martha Goza from Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, LA, was named the High School Adviser of the Year. She has served as student council adviser for more than 30 years and her leadership and the work of her student council have been recognized at the local, state, and national levels. Under her guidance, the Captain Shreve High School council has been very successful hosting a wide variety of activities that improve school spirit, support needs in the community, and help develop students as leaders.

Sage Advice

Whether this is your first year or you’re a seasoned adviser, there’s value in learning from these exceptional leaders. We spoke with Daniel and Martha to glean some helpful advice for you.

Q. What do you think are the top qualities a successful NASC adviser should have?

Daniel: Being student focused—listening to their needs and acting as the mediator between them and your school administration. You also need to be flexible and ready to adapt to changes at the last minute.

Martha: Patience, positivity, and commitment to the job. Not every child comes into the council with leadership skills, so be patient as they’re learning the type of leader they can be. Try to look on the positive side and don’t be afraid to laugh. Being committed to the job means having a willingness to do whatever it takes (i.e., conferences and trips) for your council and students to succeed.

Q. What are the most important qualities to instill in students?

Daniel: Understanding the value of community service, having integrity and respect for themselves and others, and having confidence in themselves.

Martha: Responsibility, respect, commitment, integrity, organization.

Q. What would be your top tip for advisers when planning a big project?

Daniel: Start early. Stay organized. Know who is responsible for what. Let the students be in charge and let them learn from it. Get parental involvement however you can—it can open so many doors.

Martha: Don’t be a dictator—allow students to learn from their experiences. Not every project is going to be perfect and your students need to learn how to evaluate and learn from their mistakes.

Q. When serving as an adviser seems overwhelming, what would you say to advisers to get through it?

Daniel: Keep putting the kids first and check your personal baggage at the door.

Martha: Put the responsibility on the students and just be an adviser.

Q. How do you feel about being given the Shull award?

Daniel: I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m so humbled that my parents, administrators, and students took so much of their personal time to make sure I was recognized. Never in a million years did I think that something like this would happen to me so soon. I still can’t wipe the smile off my face.

Martha: I feel like I represent all the advisers who put in a lot of work. I’m excited in that I have achieved this not only for myself, but for my school and my state. It awarded me for the time and effort I put in, even though I’ve loved every minute of it.

Congratulations to these two fearless leaders who are shaping the leaders of tomorrow. To learn more about the Shull awards or to make a nomination, visit