Marauders in Focus: The Moderator

by Dmitry Steesy

She’s the face of the Hanover High School student body. Generally recognized as one of the most powerful people on campus, her influence as Council Moderator wields much farther than simply handling a gavel. Megan Pattison is responsible for the general functioning of Council, a task made more onerous by the fact that Council is one of only a dozen democratic bodies of its kind in the entire nation. She attends meetings with peers, advises the Administration, and acts as a liaison to the faculty. In addition to her duties as Moderator, Megan also studies three languages, plays Varsity Soccer, rows for the Crew team, and sings with Hilights. Surprisingly, Megan is unashamedly modest about her influence and many achievements.
Friends as well as teachers describe Megan as very charismatic. There is a certain
charm to her that can instantly transform a room. I first met Megan at a new student
orientation. Scared and nervous about this new transition in my life, it was comforting
to see Megan, smiling and tanned, introducing herself and the various responsibilities of
Council. Megan would later become my inspiration when I decided to run for Council.
Not unlike George Clooney, her quick smile and friendly demeanor help to make people
feel comfortable around her immediately. Notoriously private, many students don’t know
too much about their own Moderator. I managed to catch up with Megan and ask her
a few questions about her life, the Council, and the impact that family has had on her.
Not surprisingly, Megan was graciously humble during our interview. What follows are
excerpts from our interview:
Hi, Megan. Thank you for sitting down with me to talk about you! We’ll start with some
easy questions: Do you have any siblings?
Yes, I have a sister, Kate. She’s a sophomore. I also have two little brothers who are in
7th grade and 5th grade. So, I’m the oldest of four.
Do you like that?
Well, I do. Sometimes it’s frustrating because I have to pave the path for them, [laughter]
so to speak. They’re entertaining. [Laughter] Kate’s the least entertaining one. No, I’m
I know that you play Varsity Soccer. Do you play any other sports?
I row crew in the spring. Oh, I’m also one of the captains of crew.
What has the impact of soccer been on your life?
Soccer the sport has not been an influence. However, the people I have played with have
been more of an influence. I have stuck with soccer because of the girls that play it. I’m
not playing soccer to be on the US Olympic team. [Laughing]
How long have you been involved with Council?
I started in 8th grade. That was more planning of dances, event planning, if you will. I
ran for Council in the spring of my 8th grade year and had to give a speech. I’ve been on
Council all four years for High
For those readers that aren’t aware, could you describe the process of getting elected to
First, I had to be reelected to Council for my senior year like every year. Then the old
Council and the new Council vote on leadership position. The first meeting is to have
nominations for all 6 leadership spots. The next meeting, nominees make speeches. Then
there is a vote.
So, you find out the results that day?
Yes. It was stressful. I gave a speech in front of people. But, I don’t really mind talking in
front of people, especially because it wasn’t a long speech. So then the votes come in and
I got my gavel right then. Oh, his happens in May.
Are you proud of Council?
Yes, I am proud of Council. That sounds so cheesy. [Laughter] I like being able to talk
about this. Its hard explaining to people that do not have Council at their own schools.
Because, perhaps- their Council doesn’t do as much. It takes a little time to persuade
people that we actually do things at Hanover. And we do have jurisdiction over important
matters. I am very proud of Council. A lot of members step up to the plate and become
really good representatives. It’s always the unexpected people that surprise me. They get
voted on and then do such a good job representing.
What do you dislike about Council?
All right. I really wish that more students would come to Council meetings. There’s a
problem with students not understanding how much influence Council does have. Even
though we come to Civitas classes, students don’t really understand that we can change
things. Little things changed become big things. Like the bullying motion, the Academic
Integrity Policy, etc. These can be done. A lot of times, Council is made up a group that
is not representative of the entire school. For some motions, the Council is not the best
representative body. Sometimes, myself included, we forget whom we are supposed to
be representing and that we have to not only think of ourselves, but other people in our
grade. They don’t always share the same viewpoint.
What are you doing for College?
I find out if I got into Middlebury this Saturday. My fingers are crossed. I don’t want to
do any more applications. I applied there at the end of October. If I don’t get in, I’ll apply
to 6 other New England schools.
Where do you picture yourself in 10 years?
Oh, wow. In 10 years, I’ll be 27. Wow. That sounds so old [laughing]! You know, I have
no idea. I have no idea of what I want to do. Some days I want to be a doctor. Some days
I want to be an architect. And there’s not really a hybrid career for a doctor-architect.
In 10 years, it’s weird to think I might have a kid. I will have graduated from college.
Maybe I’ll be in Med School. I don’t really know.
Here are some personal questions. What do you consider to be your biggest success?
I think that I’ve been very successful in high school. Freshmen year, I would never have
thought that I would have done so well. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. And I know so
many people and I really, really love this school. I’ve gotten to love the teachers and the
classes I’ve taken, and that’s a big aspect of my life. It’s been a great four years. Hanover
has been instrumental in helping me to succeed and get me ready for my future.
Here we go with a cliché question– if you could have dinner with anyone; who would it
be with and why?
That’s a difficult question. There are so many people. I think it would have to be
some old relative. Genealogy interests me and I think that we don’t talk to even our
grandparents enough. When they’re gone, that’s when we realize that there is so much we
didn’t know about them. My grandmother is great. I’ve done several papers on her. It’s
always surprising at how funny and how modern she is. It’s funny to hear about her high
school stories and realize that they’re not very different from mine. But I think it would
be cool to go out to dinner with a very distant relative and ask them questions about their
life and culture during their era.
What has the impact of family and friends been on your life?
It’s been absolutely huge. My family is a huge influence because I’m very close with all
of them. They’ve been a huge support group. I have moved around a lot. As cheesy as
this sounds, with each move, your family are your only friends. This is the groundwork
for a very stable family environment. I’ve transferred that into very strong friendships
that I have now. I don’t think I would be who I am without my friends and my family.
Do you have any advice to give for students interested in student government?
Talk to people. Get your voice out there. Get your friends; there is truly power in
numbers. If you have an idea, talk it up. Then things can be done. Students can always
talk with me. I’ve had only a couple of people come up to me. I don’t know if it’s the
senior thing that makes me intimidating, but I would love it if people came up and talked
to me about Council more often. It’s funny because freshmen year, I never thought that I
would be Moderator. So, just talk, and be confident! Get your ideas heard.

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