September 22, 2020

Forget the GOP: Meet the most recent elected officials

From left to right: Matt McKenna '19, (Class President), Chris Bonis '19 (Class Treasurer), and Ashwini Vytheswaran '19 (Class Secretary), and Rachel Ip '19 (Class Vice President) (Photo by Rachel Landau '16)
The Class of 2019 has spoken, and their votes are in. After a day of speeches from the candidates, voting, and a run-off election, the new class officers were finally announced on September 22.
The leadership lineup includes Matt McKenna ’19 as president, Rachel Ip ’19 as vice president, Chris Bonis ’19 as treasurer, and Ashwini Vytheswaran ’19 as secretary.
The newly elected officers’ excitement is palpable as they hit the ground running, going right into event planning. They already held their first meeting the first Thursday and then again on the Sunday after their election to begin planning their fall grade-wide breakfast event. In addition to planning the breakfast, the officers began a Facebook group as well as an Instagram account for their class.
The officers each reflected similar motives for running. They said they all had previously been in leadership positions and wanted to expand that experience as well as be a part of something larger for their class.
Bonis had particular excitement for his role as treasurer. “I think it’s a great thing to do,” he said. “I’m really interested in money and finance, and I like to be involved– I stay after school every day.” Bonis credited his interest in running for class office to his role as a member of the student leadership council in elementary school, which gave him a similar job of organizing events for his peers.
The role of treasurer was only fitting for him given his interest in finance. “I love organization,” he said. “Money is very interesting to me, so I feel like this job would be great practice and build up great skills in finance for the future.”
All the officers explained their shared sentiment and goals for the year to unite what they perceive as a currently un-unified class. “My goal is to bring the class together because I feel like we’re not one group yet,” said McKenna. “We are a bunch of different groups that don’t come together.”
Ip expressed the same sentiment as McKenna, saying “I want the class to be a lot closer and for everyone to know each other on a personal level. I hope we can have a supportive environment where people feel like they can do things and act certain ways without feeling like their classmates are judging them, and it’s our first year of high school,” she added, “so it should be fun for everyone!”
The officers have many ideas in the works for class events and fundraisers over the year.  Vytheswaran was realistic in pointing out that the year ahead won’t necessarily be all easy for the class. They currently have no money, and the federal restrictions on bake sales make the quick cash, which they need to get the class more comfortable financially, a little more challenging to obtain. However, Vytheswaran was not discouraged by this, mentioning the possibility of a car wash and that the officers will continue to brainstorm fundraising ideas.
As most freshman, the event the officers are most excited for is their end of the year semi-formal dance. “I am really looking forward to the end of the year,”  Vytheswaran said. “Our semi should be really fun, seeing everything we’ve done all year come together.”
McKenna added that he as well is looking forward to that event because “We’ll be closer at that point than ever before.”
The class is also required to hold a community service project as one of their events. McKenna highlighted this as something he is looking forward to for the year. “Even though we are not making money in community service, we’re all coming together to help,” he said. He added that he envisions the class working together on the community service project, citing the blanket making project his brother (who is a class officer for the junior class) helped organize, which he says he liked because it was far more collaborative than alternative community service activities like food drives.
The officer’s excitement and organization has not gone unnoticed by their peers. Ellie Meara ’19 is looking forward to seeing her classmates come together through the class events. “I think it is going to be a good year. We have really good class officers, and I’m excited to see how they work together.”
McKenna shared this same interest in seeing how the dynamic of the group will unfold over the course of the year.“I’ve never really worked with these kids before,” he said. “We got a really good start [in the first meeting], so I’m looking forward to working with kids I’ve never really worked with before.”
Vytheswaran also said she is looking forward to collaborating with a different group. “We work really well together, and I think we’ll succeed if we try to all go towards one end goal,” she said, adding “I really like the group.”
For the year, McKenna envisions successful events and collaboration of the class and has a clear modus operandi to reach this goal. He said, “I think we’ll have a good year if we work together as a group rather than try to break up tasks and do them by committee. I think we really should focus on collaborating to get things done.”
(Olivia Gieger ’17, Associate Editor)

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