Q&A with Freshman Officer Candidates


Credit: Isabel Gitten

Pictured above is a photo illustration of someone casting a vote. WSPN interviews the Class of 2020's newly elected officers.

Nathan Zhao and Kevin Wang

Why are you running for class president?

Freshman Keren Dahan: “Why not? We need a president and it looks nice on your college application.”

Freshman Aidan Keenan: “Yesterday, I asked myself in the mirror and it came to me. I realized that this school is good right now, it’s great. But it needs some changes, and I know exactly how to change things. I know 100 percent that I can make it better than it is right now.”

Freshman Philip Koechling: “Because I’m absolutely the best person in this school for president.”

Freshman Ciara Murphy: “I’m running because I love doing fundraisers and organizing things. For example, a semi or a prom.”

What do you hope to do for your class if you win?

Dahan: “I would make the freshman class great. I’d prevent them from crowding the hallways at 7 a.m. in the morning, which keeps angering everyone. I’d also organize more social events and such, because that’s what the president does.”

Keenan: “My class and I, we’re all friends with each other. They’re all good people, and I want to relate to them. Whatever they want, I’ll see what I can do for them. I’m going to put all my effort into the satisfaction that they will get because they’re in a safe place. Because of this, they’ll get a good education and they will be happy. I know I will win, it’s just happening. I want to be known. I want my face to be on the one-dollar bill. I want to be known for making this school so great that they hate me for it.”

Koechling: “I hope to organize a lot of fun events and fundraisers for our class. Like selling cookies – I really like cookies.”

Ciara Murphy: “I really just want to get some good fundraisers in, one of my plans is to sell donuts, because who doesn’t love donuts? I would use it through the Krispy Kreme fundraisers, and that is really my main target for fundraising.”

Why do you think that you are better than the other candidates?

Dahan: “I don’t actually think I’m “better” because I see everyone as equals, and thinking that I’m ‘better’ would make me conceited, which I’m not. However, I do feel that I have a chance to win.”

Keenan: “Honestly, that’s just right in front of everyone’s face. I have the charisma, I have the skills; I have everything a great president would need to run this school, with the teachers’ help of course. I’m not going to make this a dictatorship. I love everyone who will vote for me.”

Koechling: “I’m way more friendly and I know people. I can get [the class of 2020] lots of connections.”

Ciara Murphy: “Honestly, I don’t think I’m better than the other candidates. I think that everyone who’s running is very qualified. Everyone here is pretty organized and they all have a passion for running. I respect them just as much as anyone else. If I did have to have one advantage, it’d be my passion for getting things organized.”

What is one unique quality you believe you have that puts you over the top?

Dahan: “I pride myself on being kind and generous.”

Keenan: “My unique quality is that I’m quick with decisions. I can make decisions with a snap of the fingers. If something’s happening, I can make a decision right away.”

Koechling: “I have courageousness. I will do stuff for our class. I will make our class the best class of 2020 in all of the USA. We will be the best class of 2020 in the world.”

Ciara Murphy: “I just want to get everyone [in the school] involved. That’s not really a quality, but I really want to get everyone in the spirit.”

What are one or more of your core values that you think are relevant to this race?

Dahan: “Honesty, respect, kindness, generosity and intelligence.”

Keenan: “I think honesty is very important to this race. What people are hearing should be the honest-to-God facts, and that is exactly what I am offering to this race. I believe that my values are very good.”

Ciara Murphy: “I really respect leadership and teamwork. I believe that you can’t get to the top of the hill by yourself, you really have to have a team.”

Vice President:
Why are you running for class vice president?

Freshman Aarushi Aggarwal: “I’m running because I feel that as a Vice President, I can make a difference. I can support the President and their duties while also putting in my opinion.”

Freshman Jasper Hsu: “I’m running for Vice President because I want to make everyone’s high school experience the best it can possibly be.”

Freshman Charlie Moore: “First off, it’s a really good resume builder. But it’s more than that; I’m definitely running because I feel my grade isn’t as close together as it should be. We can lift off some of the stress that freshman year brings. I think we can improve just how people feel about high school in general.”

Freshman Ryan Urato: “I’ve always wanted to have a presidential position. I think I’d be very valuable to the Class of 2020, and I think I represent the class well in a bunch of different ways. I believe I’d make a very good vice president.”

What do you hope to do for your class if you win?

Aggarwal: “I will assist the President in whatever they need to do and put in my personal opinion. I am also really good at organizing and planning things.”

Hsu: “If I’m elected, I hope to set up a lot of fundraisers to help raise money and also organize events. This leads to that awesome high school experience which will be unforgettable.”

Moore: “If I win, I’m definitely going to bring up some things out of school as well as in school. I want to have events that bring everyone together – this can include doing things out of school like maybe a freshman dance, I know that’s been a prospect but I think that could definitely be a possibility this time around. I just want to make sure everyone is happy this year. We only have four years here, so we definitely want to start the first year off with a good time.”

Urato: “There’s not as much responsibility for the vice president of Wayland High School, compared to, let’s say, the Vice President of the United States. However, there is stuff to be done and that includes just being a face that represents the class. There’s fundraisers and trips and stuff like that, and I just want to make sure that everyone gets their own opinion and we’re all in this together. While the Vice President, President, and the rest of the government are kind of running, or guiding [the grade], I hope that the entire class gets to make the decisions.”

Why do you think that you are better than the other candidates?

Aggarwal: “I’m a hard worker and a good learner. I also take other people’s ideas into consideration. I try to get a deeper understanding of what we are doing as a grade and individually.”

Hsu: “I understand that everyone has their own friend group, or clique. But my understanding is, if we’re able to put friend groups, cliques, or any other obstacles that prevent us from having a future together, we’ll really be able to bond or connect with each other. I believe that the united class of 2020 will be a great one.”

Moore: “I definitely don’t want to say that I’m better, maybe instead that I’m more preferable of a candidate. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time; I’ve been planning this campaign for a long time and I have given this a lot of thought. I think that my knowing of everyone in the grade and my ability to have a conversation with almost anybody in the grade will help me.”

Urato: “In the race for Vice President, we have three very excellent candidates who would all be very excellent in their own way. However, I think that I have the advantage of doing a bunch of different activities, like sports, music, and school stuff. I do think that there are a whole lot of people that feel comfortable having a conversation with me, and they feel like that I’m almost a part of their friend group. I think I could say that about almost every person in this grade.”

What is one unique quality you believe you have that puts you over the top?

Aggarwal: “I’m really optimistic all the time.”

Hsu: “I have many big ideas of my own that will benefit our class. I also just love bringing people together, which is one of my goals.”

Moore: “It’s definitely the fact that I can hold a conversation with almost anyone. I can try and talk to everybody, and if somebody thinks there is an issue I can definitely talk with that person about that issue.”

Urato: “Something that I’ve been trying to focus on the last few years is that when talking to people, I try to really make sure that they enjoy talking to me and that everything is really light and fun. I think that when people feel that way when they’re talking to [me], when they don’t feel pressured at all or anything, that makes it easier for them to actually be able to say what they want [to say].”

What are one or more of your core values that you think are relevant to this race?

Aggarwal: “Respect, honor, trust, success, being the best person you can be and always being true to yourself.”

Moore: “One would definitely be that my work ethic is impeccable, I always work hard, and school is very important to me, so I try to balance being social and school. I personally think that you can never have enough friends, and I’m always open to having a conversation or hanging out with anyone.”

Urato: “Democracy. Making sure that everybody gets to make decisions, and that everybody gets a say, [instead] of just the people running. Another core value would definitely be staying true to stuff that you promised. Also, make sure to be ‘nice’ to other people. I mean, some people are just, not, at least on some occasions.”

Why are you running for class treasurer?

Freshman Gavyn Davies: “I am running for class treasurer because I feel that I would be really good at it and that I could make a difference as our class treasurer.”

Freshman Brendan Ho: “I think my skill set would be pretty good for the job. You know, I’ve been counting since the third grade. Other people that are running for Treasurer, they really can’t count. I have to make sure that I can up my math game so that I can count the best I can for the job.”

Freshman Amanda Michelson: “I want to be part of the school and I feel that as the treasurer I can make a difference.”

Freshman Kayla Poulsen: “I am running for class treasurer because I think it’s an important role to ensure that in our future years at WHS, we can participate in fun events as a class. I’m running because I believe I am organized and responsible, and have the skills to excel in this position.”

What do you hope to do for your class if you win?

Davies: “If I win I hope to help run class fundraisers so we will have the money to fund any class outing we want to do. I will also work with the Class President, the Class Vice President and [executive] board to make the right financial decisions for our class.”

Ho: “If I win, I’m going to use the money from fundraisers efficiently and effectively, so that everybody in the grade gets full use of the cash we will be making.”

Michelson: “I want to help plan and organize events. I will take other people’s ideas into consideration to figure out the best ways to help.”

Poulsen: “If I am elected, I hope to benefit the Class of 2020 by diligently managing the class’ finances. Organizing funds raised in upcoming fundraisers will be essential to planning successful and fun events such as Sophomore Semi and Prom. I hope to make sure all students’ voices are heard, and plan to ensure funds are divided for a variety of events that all students will enjoy.”

Why do you think that you are better than the other candidates?

Davies: “I believe that I am better than the other candidates because I will put in the extra time to make sure we are making the right financial decisions for our class.”

Ho: “I really think I can count very nicely, the other candidates really got nothing on me. I can count very, very, well. I’m very good at organizing money and I will make sure that everyone gets their fair share.”

Michelson: “I’m really good with numbers, I’m hardworking, and I have experience with organizing and planning events. I helped my parents plan a 200-person bat mitzvah, and I did a community service project in seventh grade where we earned over $800.”

Poulsen: “I think I am a step ahead of the other candidates because I have previous experience handling finances. My older brother recently ran a fundraiser to buy solar powered lights for villages in Peru. I was deeply involved with organizing raised money and exchanging emails with companies to negotiate prices. I made decisions about where funds should be spent and worked with my brother to make sure he could afford everything he wanted to purchase. I think this experience puts me in a better position than other candidates to manage the finances of the Class of 2020.”

What is one unique quality you believe you have that puts you over the top?

Davies: “A unique quality that I have is that I am taking an elective than teaches you how to run a small business, and I believe that it will help me to run our class like a small business.”

Ho: “It must be my ability to talk about money. Most people just do it, but I talk about it the best.”

Michelson: “I’m hardworking.”

Poulsen: “I believe the most important quality that I possess, that students look for in a class treasurer, is trust. When money is involved, it is important that the student body can trust who is handling their money. I think I already have a trusting relationship with the majority of the student body, which puts me in a better position than other candidates to assure the Class of 2020 that they can trust me with their money.”

What are one or more of your core values that you think are relevant to this race?

Ho: “I’m not going to [misappropriate] the money. I’m going to use it to further the interests of Wayland High School and my current student body. A core value I have is understanding. We have to make sure there is a good connection between the executive branch and the student body, so we know what they want and they know how we’re trying to help them. Another core value I have is belonging. The students really need to belong here. Some students are not accepted in the mainstream. We need to make sure that everybody is included and that everybody has a say in what the school does with its money.”

Michelson: “Hardworking, honesty, listening to other people, and being true to yourself.”

Poulsen: “One core value that I think is important in this race is thoughtfulness. I think that whoever wins should always have the students values in their forethought. The Treasurer should always consider all the students perspectives before spending any of the Class’ money. Another value I think is important is leadership. The class treasurer needs the leadership skills to know when to step up and make tough decisions. A final core value I believe is relevant to this race is reliability. The class treasurer should never be doubted to do their job well. The elected candidate should be dedicated to their position and to managing the finances of the Class of 2020.”

Why are you running for Class Secretary?

Freshman Angela Chi: “I would like to be more involved in this school, and I think I can contribute to meetings in the council and make this a better place for my grade.”

Freshman Jenna Cook: “I’m running for secretary because I feel that I can use my skills to benefit our Class of 2020 in positive ways. My organizational and time management skills will help me be a secretary. I take all honors classes, play field hockey and piano, and also have a Chinese exchange student from Beijing. All of these things [help] make me have good time management and organizational skills. I’m very happy that I possess those traits and I think I will do a good job as secretary.”

Freshman Cecelia Murphy: “It seems like an interesting and new thing to do. I like to try new things, and it’s high school, so it’s a fresh start!”

What do you hope to do for your class if you win?

Chi: “I want to make sure we organize fundraisers to make money for our grade so we can have events and things for the Freshmen to enjoy. I think I’m very good at organizing, and I can type really fast. My major purpose would be to make sure that the president’s ideas are organized fully and that we follow through fully with our plan.”

Cook: “I hope to improve our class a lot. To a lot of people, [being a] secretary is just taking notes. That’s what a lot of people think, but for me, being a secretary is something more. I would allow other students that aren’t class officers voice their ideas. I would present those ideas to higher class officers to be carried out. I think that would improve the class a lot by letting everyone have a voice.”

Cecelia Murphy: “I’ll help organize the fundraisers to raise money for class events. I’ll try to make it fun, because fundraisers can be boring, but they could be fun if we found a way to make them fun.”

Why do you think that you are better than the other candidates?

Chi: “I don’t think the [other candidates] have any overreaching goal or [have] thought this out as much as I have, because I have been thinking about this for a while.

Cook: “I think that I am better than the other candidates because instead of just taking notes and that sort of thing, I want to express the ideas of those who aren’t class officers. Of course, I’ll also take notes and organize things, which I think I am very good at. But that other element of expressing other students’ ideas is something that separates me from the other candidates and makes me a better [one].”

Cecelia Murphy: “I’m super organized and I will devote a lot of time [in order] to getting the job done.”

What is one unique quality you believe you have that puts you over the top?

Chi: “I think I will make a better candidate to be secretary because I am very organized and enjoy planning things.”

Cook: “The aspect of being able to share the other students’ ideas and making it possible for everyone to express their ideas [instead] of just the class officers. Everyone [will] feel like they’re part of how our class is run and what decisions are made for us.”

Cecelia Murphy: “I’m pretty enthusiastic so I’ll be really into the class secretary thing.”

What are one or more of your core values that you think are relevant to this race?

Chi: “I believe that intelligence is important, and I also consider myself smart so that’s good for organizing. I have a busy schedule, so I know how to make things fit and if things are busy how to make sure everything is planned out and results in lower stress levels.”

Cook: “I value respecting and being honest with everyone’s ideas. I want to make sure that everyone feels included and a part of what our class does.”

Cecelia Murphy: “I value hard work. I feel that in order for our class to do things that we want to do, we all have to work together. It can’t just be a few people doing the work, it has to be everyone. I think that being nice to everyone is important, because if people feel bad about what the class government is doing, it’s not really gonna give [off] a good vibe. So be nice, work hard, and have fun.”