RUSSELLVILLE - Student council has been part of Jacob Robertson's life since sixth grade.
He lost the junior high presidential election by six votes. Yet, his disappointment didn't deter him from staying involved.
Last year as a junior, he was elected by the council as vice president. So he knew he would advance to serve as president this year.
"Jacob is a no nonsense type of guy," said librarian Susan Bell. "He has strong opinions, which reflects his sense of right and wrong, and he is not one to embrace anything frivolous, such as a fad.
"If something makes good logical sense, he is for it; if it sounds contrived or sounds like it is about someone's selfish agenda, he is against it, or at least, wary.
"I think it explains why he is such a respected school leader."
As president this year, Robertson speaks at assemblies, gave the welcome at the Veteran's Assembly and announced the carnival royalty.
He presides over the council meetings and leads them in planning fun activities for the student body.
One initiative Robertson is concentrating on is developing community involvement.
"There's a community outside that supports us with their taxes and our fundraisers," Robertson said. "It's important we reach out to them, to thank them and let them know we care about them."
Other projects he hopes to accomplish during his leadership is refreshing the school landscaping, hosting a "drive-in" movie, and developing a joint projects with area school student councils.
"I see a tremendous potential in Jacob as far as leadership is concerned," said teacher Christina Hess. "He has really stepped up to become a rock-solid student council president."
He's learned to overcome the instinct "to do it my way," he said. And he's realized one can't
do everything by himself.
"You will have two or three sides to every argument," Robertson said. "I'm the person in the middle to keep the discussion in check."
Robertson has debated whether to pursue his interest in government and history or sports management for a possible career.
"I'm a huge sports fan," Robertson said. "If I'm doing anything with sports, I'll be happy."
His college selection will depend on the institution having a sports management program, he said.
With that degree he could be a college-level athletic director. But what he'd really like to do is work on the business end for a professional team.
His top three choices each have internship agreements in place with professional football or baseball teams.
"I enjoy being a leader; I like things to go my way," Robertson said. "I also enjoy working with sports teams and could eventually be influential in those decisions."
Throughout his seven years in student government, he has learned the value of consensus.
A few years ago, Robertson didn't like a suggested homecoming theme.
But he recognized that reaching a decision was more important than his personal opinion, he said.
"If there's something everyone agrees on at the end of the day, it's better than nothing," Robertson said.
Taking on a job at Papa Murphy's nearly two years ago, he also has gained public speaking and money management skills.
"I like being part of a team and working toward the same goal."