Community Council elections to be decided today


Naomi Yaeger, Staff Writer

This weekend, the 49 ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade students running for positions on the Community Council (CC) will find out if they have won their campaigns. There are currently 20 spots available to all candidates, eight for the rising senior class and six for each of the other grades. The final six spots, open to the rising ninth graders, will be filled in late September, Dean of Students Michael Dalo said. “Polls will close at the end of the school day on Friday, and announcements will go out on Friday, early evening,” he said.

Candidates had a week to craft page-long platform statements, where they explained why they want to serve the school community and what initiatives they hope to pass, Nicole Au (10), who is running for the first time this year, said. “I definitely want to vouch for a ‘Bring Your Pet to School’ day,” she said.

Although students advertise their platforms in statements published online, the school asks students to avoid hanging or distributing posters that advertise their candidacy, Dalo said. “[In past years] we had students who were able to have posters done professionally, because they had the economic means to do a bigger publicity blitz,” he said. Eliminating posters from the school ensures that all students have an equal opportunity to win their grade’s vote, Dalo said.

Having an influence in the community that he has been a part of for years is what pushed Henry Stevanovic (9) to run, he said. If elected, Stevanovic hopes to implement changes in many different areas, from food access to student teacher relationships, he said. “I want to emphasize mental health and awareness during testing weeks,” he said. “Whether it’s with animals or revised testing schedules or horticulture on the HM campus.”

As he is running for reelection, Dylan Greenberg (11) points to successful initiatives he led this year in his current campaign, he said. “I helped make the ping pong tournament a reality,” he said. 20 students competed in the tournament, which was limited to the junior grade, Greenberg said. “For next year, we’re thinking about expanding it to the entire Upper Division.”

Students who did not previously serve on the CC also have the experience necessary to make them successful student leaders, Aden Nathoo (9) said. The former class president of his middle school, Nathoo aims to amplify student voices. “One thing I want to create is a system where two times every ten day cycle, students vote on lunch menu items,” Nathoo said.

The current CC voted on which two of the rising seniors should be named chair on Thursday, a shift from previous years, CC member JoJo Mignone (11) said. In previous years, the CC chairs were appointed by the new CC and could be anyone, as long as they were a rising senior, she said. “This year, you are only able to run for chair if you were on CC junior year,” Mignone said. There are four candidates running for the chair position: Mignone, Jorge Orvañanos (11), Erica Jiang (11), and Nate Chiang (11). 

If he is elected to the CC, Brian Puma (11) hopes to create more opportunities for students to show off their artistic creations, he said. “In the studio tech classes, we submitted music to be played at the collage concert, and I thought we could do something like that,” he said. Puma hopes to create grade-wide events for the rising senior class where they could show off their work to their peers.

The job of a CC representative is to both support their grade and to make the school more fun, first-time candidate Kofi Boadu (9) said. Already, Boadu has come up with ideas that he wants to implement, such as creating a field day event for his grade and providing sports equipment to his peers for everyday use. More broadly, Boadu wants to make a lasting impact on the school, he said. “When I’m elected, I’m going to be for the people, of the people.”

Looking forward to next year, Mignone has proposed policies that focus on creating more school spirit. “I don’t think people really rally around the idea of loving the school that we go to, and I think that there’s so much to appreciate that people look past,” Mignone said. “One thing for me is that I want to make Horace Mann a place the people want to be and are proud to be at.”