2019-2020 Class Officer Candidates

Senior Class Officer Candidates

Emily Afriyie

I think that I would be a good candidate for class representative because I have had experience on Council for the past 2 years. During that time, I have learned ways to help the community and I have learned the importance of working with a group of people to accomplish a task that everyone can enjoy. I have dedicated time to Council’s many events and I love to help participate and be a part of these many events throughout the year. During my time on Council, I have heard some concerns from my grade and I always try to address them in a timely fashion to the people who can best help us settle those concerns and I find that that approach can usually be helpful. I would be ready and willing to represent the grade in the best possible way that I can.

I have contributed to the Hackley Community as a member of a few different sports teams namely the tennis team in the fall, and the indoor and outdoor track teams in the winter and spring. I have also been grade-representative for the past two years.

My goals, if elected, would be to encourage spirit at sporting events like the Stings but also at performing arts events like plays and orchestra concerts. I think we all can benefit from supporting our classmates in those different areas. I would like to increase unity between the student body and the council. I think steps towards that have been forged this year with the creation of a suggestion box but I also think it would great to encourage students to attend open council meetings if they feel they want more transparency within the Council or making some of our ongoing ideas public so the student body can be able to approach their respective representatives to acknowledge the fact that they like or do not something. I would like to see the House system becoming more popular amongst the student body because I do think it can become the source of some great events but the key with accomplishing that is getting students to be open with us on where they feel we can improve. I’m looking to seeing the ways in which we can grow as a community and accomplish some very great things.

Gabe Baez

I would be a good candidate because I’ve been a part of the Hackley community for a while and I’m quite social. I have made connections with many students in our grade from varying friend groups so I feel that I could bring a diverse opinion to student council while presenting eclectic feedback.

I have contributed to the Hackley Community through various activities, clubs, and leadership opportunities. I have spoken on many student panels, given many families tours, represented Hackley as a delegate at MUN, overseas in Berlin, and at the Round Square Conference, I helped organize Hackley’s recognition of Hispanic Heritage month this year, I co-lead the Soup Kitchen club and co-lead Unity. What I feel most strongly about contributing, though, are my opinions as to how we can make Hackley a better place for any teachers who will listen. On my Toronto trip, I talked all about improving/diversifying the curriculum with Mr. Bileca and Mr. Sternberg. I’ve spoken with Mr. King about some of the problems facing Hackley in terms of inclusion and safe spaces. I even suggested a slight change in a Bio project’s requirement to make it highlight figures not always given spotlight, which was a suggestion Ms. Johnson actually took. Whether my discussions have any change or immediate impact is not what I’m proud of, though. I’m just happy contributing an opinion that faculty don’t always get to hear.

I want to incorporate more student feedback into what goes on at meetings. I think that a student census could be really useful for gauging how the students feel about the events and activities planned. I think the use of surveys is great for gathering feedback from the student body. I would also really want to incorporate the student voice into who we have come to speak at assemblies.

Jenny Canoni

I believe I would be a good candidate for this position because I am a natural leader with the ability to listen to and collaborate well with those around me. I have good relationships with my peers and would use this position to listen to my peers and do my best to advocate for the student body’s need.

I have been at this school since 2nd grade and like to think of myself as a leader in the community. Aside from playing on field hockey and basketball, I also manage baseball, and throughout the year go to as many other games and performances as I can. I have loved seeing the drama performances and always recommend my peers take the time to go see. I have often made posters for teams and reached out to my grade to go to support teams and make time for performances. Although I often have a busy schedule I try my best to make time to support my peers and appreciate the work they put into their events.

If I were elected one of my main goals would to make sure council has more transparency with the student body about what goes on during meetings, because often times I hear students ask what council even does, however I know they’re working hard. Something we could try is sending out push pages along with the weekly announcements about what council has discussed and their plans, as much as possible without getting people’s hopes up. I also think student engagement needs to be increased all around campus and our spirit could be greatly increased. By using the new House system, I think we could reward students for going to events across campus including performances and athletics.

James DiStefano

Everyone has already heard my testimony. You all know what I’m about.

I contribute great contributions.

We will win so much, people will be tired of winning.

Kireeti Josyula

The Class Officers plays an important structural role in the Community Council by providing a backbone to help provide the respective grades and community with great events. Such a role requires a student who is dedicated and is ready to take on the responsibility of serving the community. I believe I have what it takes to fill such a position. As a grade representative on the Council over the past year, I have both seen and supported the crucial role the Community Council plays in organizing events and activities that bring the student body together. My goal is to find ways in which I can continue to contribute back to a community that has helped provide me with so much over the years. If I have the opportunity to serve the community as Vice President next year, my passion and love for the Hackley community will allow me to effectively serve the Hackley community with the best and most responsible of intentions. Further, during my years at Hackley, I have developed a strong sense of sincerity, integrity, and loyalty, that will stand me in good stead in serving the Hackley community.

This year, I served on the Community Council as a grade officer for the Junior class. At my first Council meeting, I learned that “there is a difference between being a council member and being an effective council member.” Being effective, for me, has meant finding all possible ways to distill and support the best ideas and proposals. Even though I have not been able to implement some of my own ideas, I participated in all Council meetings and have worked hard to ensure that the events and activities agreed upon by the Council are executed successfully. Some examples include contacting and setting-up judges for the Advisory Fashion Show, organizing – a rather unsuccessful – apple bobbing contest, and helping set up / take down bigger community events such as Snowball. I have found that, while I have not been able to implement my own ideas, my contributions in terms of putting my shoulder to the wheel have created enjoyable experiences for the Hackley community.

If I get an opportunity to serve as the class officer of the next year’s senior class, I will ensure that there is ongoing communication between the student body and the Council in terms of planning and executing school-wide events. I will continue to ensure that polls are taken (using Google Forms, for instance), to get a better understanding of the student body’s needs, which will help the Council and me better serve the community. In addition, I will continue to make sure that successful events from past years, such as Snowball, The Advisory Fashion Show, and fun activities at Field Day, continue to expand into the next year. These events are really important for unifying the student body, and I will ensure that such events can become much more varied and inclusive in the options offered to every student. Lastly, I want to ensure that every student has the ability to express themselves freely. I would like to help organize spaces and areas that – obviously optional – that can help to provide students in our grade with a space to express their creativity and interests outside the conventional classroom, during universal frees or community times.

Junior Class Officer Candidates

Sebi Docters

I think I would be a good candidate for this position because everything that I take part in I put in 110% of my effort. In addition, I think that my experience as a leader on the soccer field, and in the classroom has prepared me for this leadership position in student council.

I am currently a Hudson Scholars leader and I attend almost every reunion and go to all the meetings in which we try and prepare fun and educational days for the scholars. I think that this experience has prepared me to take part in council because council spends lots of times creating fun and action-packed days for students to have fun, and being a Hudson Scholars leader requires that I generate fun and new ideas.

My goal for class rep is to change several little things in the lives of the students rather than trying to establish a few large, unlikely events. These little things can be subtle but make a huge difference in the lives of students. I also seek to work my hardest and use my hard-working mentality to generate new ideas and make differences.

Winslow “Hashtag” Griffen

I think I would be a good candidate for the 11th-grade student council because of both my experience and my plans for the future. I have served on upper school community council for two years now, once as representative and once as president. This experience has taught me both the responsibility of being on council and the extent to which our power run. I have learned the ins and outs of council, and because of this, I know the types of events that we are able to plan. I have also seen the inside perspective of each event, what works and what doesn’t, and I can use this knowledge to make future events better. Also, I have several original ideas that I think would better our grade’s experience.

Not only have I been a member of council for a couple of years, but I have also done some separate activities to benefit our community. For example, the fabled Hackletes for Change club. In addition, I have served as a part-time ambassador.

I have a couple of ideas and goals for next year; however, I would be very open to everyone’s proposals. For example, I did try to get a field trip to sky zone this year, which did not happen. However, I would really love to try to get this done as our junior field trip next year. A second idea that I had would be a grade-wide march madness tournament where the top three finalists would receive prizes at the end of the tournament. Also, during exam period, I would try to create a minimal stress environment through both methods we have used before and a couple of others. Finally, I would love to use the new house system to a fuller degree, implementing different sporting event and competitive activities through the school year.

Hadassah Henderson

I think that I would be a great candidate for this position because of my drive and persistence but also my love of the Hackley Community. When I set my mind to doing something I commit to it. This year as the 10th-grade president I have had many meetings with Ms. Crepeau, Mr. Bileca, Mr. King, and Mr. Arnold about my ideas that would better the 11th grade or the Community as a whole. I also tried my best this year to follow through with the goals that I had for last year. Two of the most important ideas that I had were snacks during exams, and the student chose speakers, and I am happy to say that I followed through with both of these goals. When I first approached Mr. McLay with the idea for snacks during exams, he said that it wasn’t possible because of the budget but also because of complications with Flik, so I had to take a different approach. So, I went to Ms. Crepeau and Mr. King, and we came up with a budget and I went out the night before exams to buy snacks for the class and my family, and I put them in bags so I could bring them to school the next day. The response from the grade was widely positive, and it filled me with pride that I was able to relieve some of the stress of exams. At the beginning of the year, I organized a meeting with Mr. Bileca, Mr. King, and Mr. Arnold to discuss the possibility of student chosen speakers. While we were unable to implement this for the 2018-2019 school year, next year we will be putting a committee in place with students elected by the student body to act as the voice of the students and their choices for student speakers. I believe that just because you are a grade officer, you shouldn’t think small. You should think as big as possible because you never know what administrators and teachers are willing to help you accomplish if you show your passion for something.

I think that I have contributed more to the Hackley Community this year than all of my previous years. Being your 10th-grade president has given me access to many different resources as to better the 10th grade and the Hackley Community as a whole. Aside from this, I am very involved in the Hackley Community. I do my best to represent Hackley in my three sports Tennis, Wrestling and Track and Field and even though I don’t do the plays because of sports, I would like to think that I am a representative of the Performing Arts community from my years in Chorus, Musical Theater, Acting, and even Coffeehouse. I compete in the debate program at Hackley when I can and try to go as many meetings as possible in UNITY and Fem Club. I am also a part of the ambassador program at Hackley and have enjoyed getting to know prospective students and their families while also sharing the gifts and opportunities that attending Hackley has given me. I think that your contribution to Hackley is measured by how much you give back to the community through participation and representation and appreciation.

If elected, I will continue with the established events like snacks during exams and my surveys that I know everyone loves! I also want to work on the junior trip next year as we were unable to do one this years. Three new ideas that I am very passionate about are Hot Topics, Awareness presentations and working with Flik to establish a program in which parents or even students can have a lunch that they want to share with the Upper School. Hot Topics will function as a group discussion during community times in which the community can submit certain topics that the Upper School will discuss. I think that this will help the community to understand our values better and stay conscious of what is going on around us. I would like to also establish voluntary presentation in classes like English and History which deals a lot with issues of race, gender and sometimes sexuality so that the community can be conscious of how to approach these topics. Things like Curry Chicken and Stew Chicken are family recipes in my house that I enjoy regularly. I think it would be cool to have a program in place that teaches the kitchen how to make these dishes and share them with the community similar to what we used to do with Trip Around the World. Next year I want to think big and bettering the community by making it more conscious and aware while also implementing each student’s individuality is a great place to start.

Henry Knapp

I would be a great candidate because I do not care about Community Council, I care about the community and I wish to make it great.

I was an ambassador once, I want to contribute more by running for this position.

To make community council be in more active communication with the student body, and to advocate for the values of the student body.

Sophomore Class Officer Candidates

Tanner Benedetto

I feel like I would be good for this position as I have a good understanding of the different personalities of the grade along with their wants. Armed with this knowledge I think I will be able to represent and incorporate the voice of the grade effectively.

In all honesty, I do not really think I have contributed all that much to the community, despite this what I have done is always been available for people to bring their concerns to and try to help them through it, and if elected I will try to keep myself available.

I don’t have any specific goals in mind yet for things to bring to the class, but what I will try to do is always remain open to ideas and suggestions from other classmates. Also, I will, if elected, try to organize class events that will incorporate as many interests throughout classmates as I can.

Kami Lim

While I didn’t start at Hackley in Kindergarten, I have enjoyed growing up here as a student. Through this time, I have been a part of and watched the school change. It has changed with not just its students but also learning together. I want to represent the good I see in learning together and to make our experiences a part of this community. I would be a good candidate for this position since I am a good listener, and when I don’t understand, I will ask questions. It is important to me to represent our class since being your representative allows me to extend from my experience as the class agent this past year. This experience gave me a foundation to do more and have a larger input from the class onto the community.

My enjoyment in contributing to the Hackley community comes in part from representing the class as agent. Every week, fall, winter, spring I participate in going to the Tarrytown library to help tutor some of the Tarrytown middle schoolers for Hudson Scholars. As a part of giving back to Hackley, every cycle for the last three trimesters I go to the lower school to be a student teacher. This entails being a part of the lower schooler’s classes and overtime, forms a relationship between some lower schoolers and an upper schooler. Continuing to be a part and working for the Hackley community is meaningful to me not just because of the good done, but the permanence done on both sides.

If elected to this position, I plan to keep those interested involved in council related activities that can use participation. By allowing the community to lead Hackley along with council, this participation will allow for events (such as field day and snowball) to be more meaningful, enjoyable, and catered to the ideas of the whole community. Additionally, it is in our class’s interest to have a page for our class that shows pictures and updates on club events and sports. As a representative, these changes can become plausible and create a more enjoyable school year.

Sophie Miller

I think that I would be a good candidate for class officer because I am a hard and perseverant worker, I have previous leadership experience, and I am a good listener. I never give up. I play on a premier level soccer team a year above my age group, I biked 700 miles through the mountains last summer, and I work hard at everything I do. The experiences that I’ve had taught me to keep working for something if I believe it is possible, even when others stop trying, and to have fun while doing it. I think of myself as a very determined person, and that quality is very beneficial in a leader. My previous leadership experience includes being a Hudson Scholars coordinator here at Hackley, leading a house similar to the ones here at my middle school, and being the captain of my soccer team outside of school. These three positions are all very different, but they have all taught me a few of the same important things: it is important to be respected, not only can you work hard and be laid back at the same time, but it is crucial to do so, and leading is not about the leader, it is about those you lead. To elaborate, these qualities allow me to do what needs to be done, but in a non-stressful and fun way, and in a way that is supported by those around me. Lastly, I think that I am great at not only hearing the ideas of the people around me but truly listening as well. I’ve grown up having a brother with a very strong personality and a few mental issues. It’s not always easy, but I think that it has benefited me in many ways too. For as long as I can remember, I have been learning how to deal with people, how to easily figure out what they want, and how to make compromises. I think that this will help me both when getting suggestions from people and working and planning events with the rest of the council.

I am new to Hackley this year, but regardless, I think I am an active participant in our community. I play 3 seasons of sports, I am a Hudson Scholars coordinator, and I attend school events like Stings and Snowball. In the past 8 months, I have really gotten to know Hackley, and I understand what is possible to execute and what needs improvement in our school.

In addition to anything that people bring to my attention, I would have 2 major goals if elected as class officer. First, I want to do an even better job serving the community around Hackley, but to have fun while doing it. Hackley has lots of amazing community service clubs like Abbot house or Hudson Scholars, and they do amazing work, we always can, and should do more, and there are lots of enjoyable ways to do so. Hackley can host a fundraiser movie night, camping trip, or ski trip that can help the many people in need in our community. We could have a bake-off where any student who wants to can bring in a certain baked good, and the best could get a prize. Afterward, the food could be sent to a food pantry, senior home, or homeless shelter. I have lots of similar ideas to this that can be fun and engaging while also helping out the people who need it. I understand that certain ones might not be realistic, but there are others like the bake-off I’ll that require minimal planning but would still be fun. Second, I think that the kids at Hackley are way too stressed, and I hope to find a way to change that without taking away from Hackley’s academic environment. To accomplish this goal, I would need input from students across many grade levels to figure out what to do, so I’m not exactly sure how to accomplish this yet, but there must be a way, and I’m determined to find it.

Michael Potanin

I would be a good candidate for this position of class officer because I am hard working and willing to put the communities’ ideas into effect. I am willing to advocate for my peers and always am ready to contribute to council in any way possible, whether it be big or small. I have been on council for two years in the middle school and was freshman class president last year. I can see myself continually growing and developing my skills and knowledge to become a valuable member of the community council. I also bring a lot of passion to community council and care about the community’s desires. This year, the Freshman class was able to be a contributing factor in helping to run Snowball, and more. This year, I believe that if I am elected as class officer, the sophomore class and I will be able to make great things happen. I bring motivation, positive energy, and a smile to every meeting and I will be willing to take risks and strive my hardest throughout the year.

As mentioned above, I was on council this year and I was able to help organize and plan many events. I have also been a counselor at the Hackley camp over the summer for the youngest members of our community. I have also volunteered at multiple soup kitchens. With the opportunity of serving on council next year, I will be able to contribute to the Hackley community more than ever before.

If elected as one of the sophomore class officers, I hope to:
1) incorporate more field trips into the school year
2) incorporate the new house system more frequently in more fun events to promote school spirit
3) help organize events that can happen at night for our grade alone, similar to the activity nights we had in middle school because it was totally optional and usually was enjoyed by most people
4) add more fun into our days at school by adding mini-contests (like whichever homeroom gets the least amount of lates gets a dress down day or an ice cream party).
5) get feedback from my peers about changes they would like to see made at school.

Emily Rossman

I would be a good candidate for this position because I have great organizational and planning skills; these are essential when planning school events whether they be large or small scale. I also think that arguably the most important aspect of my role as ‘class representative’ is to do my best to not only take other students into consideration but also to collect their ideas and bring them to the attention of council. Additionally, I would be a good candidate because I care about Hackley, and specifically about making it the most stress-free and positive environment for the student body that I can.

The main way in which I have contributed to the Hackley Community has been through community council this past school year. I have also been a member of Hudson Scholars, played soccer, led the Abbott Club, first as vice president, and now as president, and attended an ambassador’s event to welcome accepted students. The bulk of my contribution to our community has been through interpersonal interactions; to me, that is the best way not only to learn from others but to have a real impact.

My goals are first of all to focus on our grade (10th). I think it is important that we all focus on how best to manage our workload and the stress that comes with it, especially as we start a year of not only more advanced classes (for some), but more choice, and thus more responsibility. I also want to encourage others to share their ideas, so that more people can contribute to our environment, and possibly make those a reality. My final goal would be to work hard in finding more community service and other opportunities to act as a community for students who are passionate about such.