On Monday, April 20, the Student Government Association (SGA) announced the results of their election for the Executive Committee. These elections appointed junior Eden Nenshati as school speaker, junior Sadie Margolis as secretary, and junior Henry Mandell as treasurer, all elected among well-qualified candidates. Runners-up for speaker this year were juniors Sloan Duvall and Mike DeMio; runner-up for treasurer was sophomore David Shi.
This year’s SGA elections went a little different than usual. Due to social distancing measures, candidates pre-recorded their speeches instead of the traditional presentations in Roberts Theater. “Students running for an executive position probably love speaking and have been looking forward to the speeches for a long time,” English teacher and Student Government Advisor Mela Frye said, “so that could really be a loss for some students.”
The candidates primarily agreed with this sentiment. “I think when you’re giving a speech in person and you have one take; it really shows who you are as a speaker,” Eden said. “You don’t have that same authenticity when you’re online.” While this is true, the online aspect also allowed candidates more creativity in their speeches.
“Even though it wasn’t ideal, online speeches were fun because I got to play around with different things,” Sadie explained. “I even added TikToks to my speech, which I thought was really cool.”
On Thursday, April 16, advisee groups watched the speeches, after which they voted through a Google Form. Another new addition to the voting process this year was a Town Hall through Zoom two days before voting. In this Town Hall, the three candidates for speaker answered many questions about their priorities and plans for the position. The meeting was moderated by senior Jacqui Ouellette, the former speaker.
“I thought the Town Hall went well,” Sloan said. “I think it was a good way for everybody to get to know their candidates better.” Mrs. Frye was also pleased with the Town Hall’s execution. “It actually went even better than I had hoped,” she said. “I was really impressed with all three candidates and how thoughtful they were with their answers.”
Eden also found the Town Hall effective. “The Town Hall showed that SGA would be really strong, no matter which one of us was speaker,” Eden said. “All of us want to do good for the community, and this allowed us each to show that we have really good ideas for the future of KO.”
As the speaker, Eden’s layered position includes mandating all SGA meetings and conversations, as well as running school assemblies. This past year, Eden also had an executive position (secretary), but his main goal was to become speaker. “I decided to run for speaker in freshman year,” he said. “It’s always been my ambition to be speaker, and I’ve always looked up to them.”
Eden also emphasized the importance of balance in a speaker; the speaker should know how to be serious, while still being friendly. “I think a speaker needs to be someone who appreciates everyone and isn’t picky with their friends,” he said.
Last year, Sadie was elected Form Five president, and will now use that experience in her new executive position. Sadie’s role as secretary includes keeping detailed and organized records of SGA meetings while also being a major voice for the school.
“I really wanted to be secretary because I think I can speak out about what ideas we should promote as a school, and especially which ideas we should focus on next year,” Sadie said. “It’s really important for the secretary to be organized, confident, and a team player, and for them to show these qualities to everyone at KO.”
For the second consecutive year, Henry was elected for the treasurer position. In addition to managing the budgets and spendings of Student Government, this position is also involved with the planning of each SGA event.
“I think it’s really important to be open-minded in this position,” Henry said. “Sometimes, something will get proposed that seems too expensive but is really great for the community. The main goal is always maintaining a good budget, but expensive things can also be really important for KO and the students.”
Eden, Sadie, and Henry already have high hopes and big plans for next year, including creating long-lasting, unique traditions at KO. “We all have a similar agenda, which means making things happen will be easy, since we’re all on the same page,” Henry said. “I’m really excited for next year, and I think it’s safe to say it’s going to be one of the best years our SGA has seen yet.”