Meet your officers

Introducing the 2021-22 ASB and class officers

“I was actually talking to my mom about it, and she was like, ‘Kayley, don’t worry you’re going to be fine,’ and I genuinely didn’t think I was going to win, so when I checked [the results], I didn’t even have any high hopes. I was kind of just like, ‘Whatever happens, happens.’ And then when I saw it, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ I was just sitting there in shock because I couldn’t believe it.”

In March of 2021, ASB and class officer elections took place, where students were given the opportunity to voice their opinion and vote for the next school year’s officers. After a three-day time frame for students to cast their votes, results were released via email. Next year’s Class of 2024 President, freshman Kayley Kim, shares her excitement after being elected, as becoming Class President has been her childhood dream.

Graphics by Matthew Yoshimoto

“I ran for Class President mainly because as a kid, Class President was always a dream because in ‘High School Musical,’ I always looked up to those characters in TV shows, so I kind of wanted to be like them,” Kim said. “But also, I think President is also a good position to learn things from because there’s so many upperclassmen that you can really learn from and the things I want to learn from that position and the leadership that went into it.”

Sophomore Justine Garcia, who was elected as Class of 2023 President, had a similar experience, sharing that her passion for leadership came to her while in her middle school’s leadership class. Since Garcia is a rising junior for the 2021-22 school year, she emphasizes her hope to prioritize students’ well-being, which she expressed in her campaign statement. 

“So in the beginning, I was in Kennedy Leadership, and that really just sparked my interest in like, ‘Oh, this is so much fun. I love helping out at the school,’ all of that,” Garcia said. “And I think another reason was because I saw a lot of problems that I wanted to have fixed and I wanted to be able to help out and do my part at school. I just wanted to make the year be fun and go smoothly because I feel like a junior year shouldn’t just be all stressful and focusing on classes, it should be like, ‘Oh, there’s this event that we can go to where we can just relax and de-stress.’”

In addition to preparing their campaign statement, the candidates were asked to send a video and any promotional material to MVHS Assistant Principal Mike White, all of which were then put on the voting ballot next to each student’s name. Most of the candidates’ advertising, however, was done through Instagram — specifically Instagram posts, stories and direct messaging

Elected as Class of 2022 President, junior Cindy Zou recalls posting a reminder of the class elections on the first day the ballots were released, following up with occasional reminders throughout the next few days. However, due to remote learning, the campaigning process this year has been limited to communicating through social media, whereas in previous years, candidates had the ability to campaign in-person around MVHS’ campus.

“During that week specifically, when campaigning was going on, versus before, I think it was more nerve wracking, because it was happening and then people actually could see what you posted,” Zou said. “And even though there wasn’t as much activity as there would be in person, it’s just how people would perceive your video, what people would think about, it’s like, ‘Oh, is this just like any other campaign video or is this interesting?’ With everything going on and being online, I think it wasn’t as exciting, it was just a matter of posting something at a certain time.”

Likewise, Kim explains that during the week of and before the election, she felt nervous due to not being able to interact with as many of her classmates as she would in person. 

“I didn’t think I was gonna win,” Kim said. “I know this is kind of weird to say, but class office elections are really based on popularity — people will vote for their friends no matter what happens. So I was kind of just like, even if I display my goals, display what I want to do, I think the majority of the time, people will just vote for their friends, so I was a little worried. Also, because of online school, I didn’t know a lot of people, so it was hard seeing who would vote for others.” 

Junior Ajit Chamraj, who was elected ASB President, describes the moment he found out the election results as a “huge sense of relief,” as he hopes to use his platform to make the transition next year onto campus as simple as possible.

“I thought I could do a good job because I was experienced [with] leadership before,” Chamraj said. “And I always wanted to do it because I had a lot of ideas about things to do, the small things and big things. I think that I want to make sure that we can transition smoothly back to on campus, whether that be like, maybe keeping the same bell schedule, at least at the beginning of the school year, so people have a smoother transition, and things like that — just things we can do to make it not so jarring.” 

Garcia also expresses her enthusiasm for next year, since she plans to continue working on and improving her officer team’s current objectives, viewing the election as “another chance to implement the ideas [she] want[s] to see.”

Although uncertain of what the COVID-19 restrictions may be like in the future, Zou hopes to offer as many in-person events as possible, as she believes that many students would be excited to attend an in-person event. Yet Zou also believes that the leadership team must be careful not to pack in too many events throughout the school year, wanting to make sure they only host events that the school would “find memorable for [their] first year of high school back.”  

“Being a part of Leadership, I think that it’s our job to make next year as amazing as possible to compensate for what happened this year,” Zou said. “And I think that ASB, all the class officers and commissions, will do their very best to make everyone’s experiences go really smoothly, including relieving any stress or anxieties that come with school or ensuring that we have multiple events and activities planned for the student body — just really focusing on making next year as enjoyable as possible for everyone on campus.”