After a close race, Dean of Students Will Gilyard announced the Student Government executives for the 2019-2020 school year. Junior Jacqui Ouellette was elected as speaker, and sophomores Henry Mandell and Eden Nenshati were elected as treasurer and secretary respectively. English teacher Mela Frye typically organizes this election process and is the head of KO’s Student Government; however, due to her maternity leave, Mr. Gilyard is temporarily filling her position. Students who wished to run had to email Mr. Gilyard by April 17 and speeches were held on April 22 at an Upper School assembly. Jacqui, Henry, and Eden will begin their duties after Commencement and will be effective through the next year.
Mr. Gilyard said he believes the elected officials will do a great job serving the community and that they hold a great responsibility. “Recognize that you are beholden to the people who elected you,” Mr. Gilyard said. “Part of your job is to represent them.”
All three polls were close, especially the poll for speaker, which generated a runoff which Jacqui eventually won. Jacqui has been on Student Government since eighth grade, which allowed her to meet the Student Government participation requirements required in order to run for Speaker. Jacqui said she sees being speaker as a really unique position and has always pictured herself in this role. “I have gone to KO since seventh grade and have never seen a female speaker,” she said, “so I guess that was just added incentive.”
Eden said he knew he wanted to make changes in Student Government, and that is what motivated him to run for the position of secretary. This role in Student Government’s purpose is to keep minutes and write down ideas that have been shared at meetings. “This is important as it allows people to know what happens during our meetings,” Eden said. As articulated in his speech, Eden will, as secretary, help get the community more involved in Student Government’s decisions and meetings. “When I was writing my speech, I didn’t just want to say I was the perfect guy,” Eden said. “I wanted to keep it modest.” Instead, he said he will prove he is the perfect guy. Eden kept his campaign simple, by supposedly screaming “Vote for Eden” around campus. This, combined with his strong and focused speech, was clearly effective as the student body elected him as secretary.
Henry was elected Treasurer. Although he was sick during the day of the assembly when the candidates gave their speeches, he was still able to run by sending a copy of his goals to the student body via email. His writing was strong and persuasive, and the student body elected him as treasurer. “I have always been interested in the monetary part of Student Government,” Henry said. The position of treasurer entails managing money and making smart decisions. Henry said he will do well in this position as he is organized and good with numbers (math being one of his strong suits). Henry even went about writing his speech in an orderly fashion which demonstrates his aptitude for the position. He wrote down three main points that he felt showed he was the quintessential candidate while also remaining modest. His experience in Student Government and his genuine care for the school were just a few of his main points.
Student Government is the perfect opportunity for students to have a say in important discussions and represent the KO community, and the elected executives for next year will do just that.