Officer candidates deliver speeches on election day

May 7, 2023


Shefali Meagher

LIKE TO LEAD. After the candidates give their speeches at the officer assembly, they sit together. Then they anxiously waited for the results to be posted at the end of the day. “This is so exciting, but stressful at the same time,” freshman Carys Hsiung said.

On Thursday, May 4, the Upper School officer elections were held in the Huss auditorium. The candidates lined up at the side of the stage, eagerly waiting for their turn.

First were the people running for Upper School Council. USC had many open positions, including president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Two pairs were running for co-president, co-vice president, and two people were running for secretary and treasurer. A central theme that the USC candidates all spoke about was increasing transparency between the council and the rest of the school. They want to ensure everyone in the school is involved and represented in their decisions and the activities they plan. Some other areas of change included shorter lunch lines, better female hygiene products, and more House Cup games. “I had a lot of fun running for USC secretary, and I think that a lot of the candidates had many good ideas, so I’m excited to see what USC is going to do next year,” freshman Carys Hsiung said.

On Thursday, May 4, the Upper School officer elections were held in the Huss auditorium. The candidates lined up at the side of the stage, eagerly waiting for their turn.

Student Activities Committee elections were right after USC. There was one pair running for co-presidents, two people running for secretary, and one person running for treasurer. Surprisingly, no one ran for vice-presidents. The SAC candidates spoke about increasing the number of activities they plan and organizing events other than just dances.

C3 was the next group. One person and another pair ran for co-presidents, and one ran for secretary. They didn’t have much to say, and that’s because they openly admitted that they hadn’t done very much in the school year. Many candidates stated that they haven’t been active enough to accomplish much, but they plan to work with the administration to re-establish the group.

Finally, it was Student Technology Committee’s turn. Kate Lockwood is the faculty advisor for STC and gave a brief introduction on stage. The STC speeches garnered many laughs; because the STC candidates ran unopposed, speeches felt unneeded. However, freshman James Welsh said, “Despite STC having no competition in the elections, that does not mean that our dedication is any lower, and we will continue to serve the student body as required.” The candidates gave insightful ideas on what they want to change in the community, such as more tech resources and tutorials on using them. The main theme was making the school’s technology more accessible to all students.

After the speeches, Dean Tepp encouraged students to vote and announced that the results would be posted after school. The election ballot was sent in a Google form right after the assembly and was open until 3:15 pm. In a Google Classroom message, Dean Tepp announced the winners at 3:17 pm.


Shefali Meagher

VOTE FOR ME. Rishi Bhargava and Humza Murad speak during X-Period assembly May 4 about their qualifications to become the new co-presidents of STC. A voting form was sent after assembly, and Bhargava and Murad will rise to the co-president position this month for next year.

[BREAKING NEWS] Student leadership announced

Officer speeches and the election began the process of securing student leadership for 23-24. Representative voting will take place May 11 in class meetings.

Co-Presidents: Henry Choi and Audrey Senaratna
Co-Vice Presidents: Cerena Karmaliani and Annie Zhang
Secretary: Rita Li
Treasurer: Thomas Chen

Co-Presidents: Kate Hanf and Wafa Naqvi
Secretary: Aarushi Bahadur
Treasurer: Natalie Waibel

Co-Presidents: Clara Ann Bagnoli and Andy Allen
Secretary: Charlotte Goings

Co-Presidents: Rishi Bhargava and Humza Murad
Co-Secretaries: James Welsh and Lorenzo Good

This was originally posted May 4. The story behind the campaigns was published May 7. The story will continue to update as more election results come in.

Class meetings hold speeches for representatives

As the end of the school year approaches, the time came for the highly anticipated class representative elections for next year. The elections took place during X-period on May 11. Each grade had its own class meetings where the candidates would give their speeches. 9th grade was in Huss, 10th grade was in the choir room, and 11th grade was in the math commons.

The candidates were all very hopeful as they campaigned continuously and some hung up posters in the hallways. There are three open spots for USC, four for SAC, three for C3, and one for STC.

As the time for speeches arrived, the candidates became eager, nervous, and excited as all of them had to give a speech in front of their whole grade. USC representatives went first, followed by SAC, C3, and STC respectively.

Most candidates talked about their qualifications and goals for the next school year. Some went with more compelling speeches, while others took the humorous route. After each speech, the grade gave a round of applause and then the next candidate spoke.

For 9th grade, it was a relatively competitive election as there were multiple candidates for each spot. However, in the 10th and 11th-grade elections, most people ran unopposed.

Taylor Barkwell, a sophomore running for SAC rep, ran unopposed and actually decided to spontaneously run the morning of. However, Barkwell still had many goals she wanted to achieve. “I want to make the dances more inclusive so everybody feels comfortable […]I know that a lot of people choose to skip the dances because they don’t always enjoy them or because of the price,” Barkwell said.

Freshman Violet Pitcher ran for SAC rep among many others. It was her first time running for SAC and had many things she wanted to accomplish. “I really want to work with the students in making decisions and planning because it’s imperative that people’s voices are heard, that we get feedback from the community, and that it’s not just the committee themselves making decisions,” Pitcher said.

Zain Kizilbash, a 9th grader, ran for USC representative. It was also his first time running and he had a lot to say in his speech. “I mentioned the lack of transparency as well as the ability to execute things, both problems I saw with USC and problems that I thought could be reasonably fixed relatively easily while making a big change,” Kizilbash said. He also added that he hoped that it resonated with people.

Right after the speeches, election ballots were sent out in Google forms and were open until 3 PM. The winners were announced by Dean Tepp five hours later at 8:44 PM in Google Classroom.

[ELECTION RESULTS] Class Representatives Announced


ELECTION SHOWDOWN. Many of the freshman candidates for USC rep stand together after delivering their speeches in Huss. The process was new, exciting, and nerve-racking for a lot of them.

Class representative speeches and elections took place on Thursday, May 11 in class meetings, for the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. Results were announced on Thursday evening.

Class of 2024: Leo Benson, McKinley Garner, Henry Hilton
Class of 2025: June Dalton, David Schumacher
Class of 2026: Carys Hsiung, Shefali Meagher, Evan Morris
Co-Vice: Siri Pattison & Clare Kimmel
Class of 2024: Ellis Mebrahtu, Lucy Shaffer, Drew Barker, Tysen Hayes
Class of 2025: Ezra Straub, Taylor Barkwell, Mason Hang, Liam Sullivan
Class of 2026: Violet Pitcher, Raina Heidkamp, Zoe Huelster, Nijah Johnson
Class of 2024: Annie Hlavka, Poppy Ploen, Halle Cowgill
Class of 2025: Elliot Cooper, Sawyer Danielson
Class of 2026: Charlotte Talbot, Luwam Mebrahtu, Laura Kimmel
Class of 2024: Sandro Fusco
Class of 2025: Milan Mishra
Class of 2026: Cutler Crook

Students meet for SILC and CLC interviews

Interviews for the selected committees took place on May 18 during X-period. The selection process consisted of filling out an online application and then attending the interview.

There are two main committees: Student Intercultural Life Committee (SILC) and Class Leadership Council (CLC). SILC is a committee focused on promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at SPA. Each grade has their own CLC committee. 9th grade has 9CLC, 10th grade has SoCLC, 11th grade has JCLC, and 12th grade has SCLC. Each CLC represents its grade level and works on planning class meetings and activities.

For the SoCLC interview, the current freshman gathered in a room and introduced themselves. They talked about their goals for next year. Two common themes that came out of that discussion were: finding more opportunities for service hours and increasing connectivity in the grade.

On the topic of volunteering, many people stated that they wanted it to constantly be on sophomores’ minds so people wouldn’t leave it for the last moment. They also wanted to get 10th graders more excited and enthusiastic about it.

For connectivity, freshman Nora Mckoy who attended the interview mentioned that there is a little bit of disconnect in the current freshman grade because, “there was COVID so most people only talked to their friends and people you knew,” McKoy said. Therefore, SoCLC wants to plan activities and events where you can mingle with all students to combat the problem.

For the rest of the meeting, the SoCLC candidates brainstormed ideas for next year. JCLC and SCLC also met and discussed similar topics, however, the 9CLC interview has not been held yet. It will be held next year when the current 8th graders become new freshmen. The candidates all had great ideas the CLC’s will surely hit the ground running next year.

SILC also met during that same time. There were about 11 people at the interview, out of which 7 were new candidates. Everyone jumped straight into the discussion.

The first topic was jokes about race. They talked about who gets to make them, when, and the impacts on other people who are not of the same race. After that, an idea that was brought up by Sonia Kharbanda, a freshman candidate, was “getting SILC involved with affinity groups to improve inclusivity or making new spaces if necessary,” Kharbanda said.

Another topic that was brought up as well by Delaney Devine, a junior candidate, was that “there are many different religious backgrounds at SPA, so we should all work on recognizing, respecting, and being aware of that,” Devine said.

The group interviews ended and selection was up to the faculty advisors: Alexis Irish, Naomi Taylor, and Stacy Tepp for SILC, and the specific advisors for the CLC’s.

Everyone who applied was chosen so everyone was very happy, and SILC will be much bigger for the next school year compared to the small, single-digit, group this year.

Even though the selection results aren’t publicly out to the SPA community, the new committees have already met at least one time already and are very eager to start planning for 2023-2024, so look forward to engaging and informative activities and presentations from all of the selected committees next year.

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