Council Votes for New Leadership – Council Update (5/1/19)

Council opened in the auditorium with a flurry of nervous activity. The change of setting was due to the likely conflict between a 4th period chorus class and a meeting expected to last long past activity period, nonetheless, the setting added a sense of importance to the proceedings.

Moderator Seigne announced at the beginning of the meeting that there would be no time limit on Leadership Election Speeches, but reminded nominees to attempt to keep their words concise so as to allow the meeting to progress quickly. Other notable reports included Student Life’s discussion about the Hand Sanitizer motion recently brought to Council, and the Religious Ad-hoc committee’s preparation of a survey to be sent out to teachers soon.

With the conclusion of reports, the speeches by moderator nominees began. All of the nominees focused on their growth throughout their time on Council, their relevant experience, their passion for Council, and the ways that they would make new members feel welcome. Noah Phipps, who will be a Junior in the fall, kept his words concise and focused on his youth as an asset, rather than a detriment. His reasoning maintained that a youthful moderator would be able to connect the various classes better than a Senior. Ian Nolon, who went on to win the position, focused primarily on his goal to improve the execution of passed motions. The idea of action plans pervaded throughout the meeting, and nominees who had plans tended to receive a better reception from the body.

In the Assistant Moderator speeches, nominees focused on their organization and love of committees. Clay Kynor won the position, coming back for a second speech just seconds after he lost the Moderator race. In his moderator speech, he used a story of his growth as a member (and non-member) of Council. Although it was extremely lengthy and repetitive, he created the sense that he cares deeply about Council, and will continue attempting to make HHS a better school. He kept his Assistant Moderator speech short, briefly reminding members of his points, and affirming that he would be honored to hold the position.

The Secretary nominees focused exclusively on their note-taking abilities (the relevant skill for the preparer of the minutes), and their passion for Council. The focus on a passion for Council throughout the speeches of all nominees suggests that nominees felt they could sway the body by playing with their emotions. Stephen Wang won the Secretary position after a speech in which he focused on the importance of the position.

All four DSB nominees focused on their experience advocating for their ideas in front of adults, and it will be Noah Phipps who next represents the interests of Council to the Dresden School Board. He explained in his speech how he has experience representing youth interests to a local nonprofit, Trout Unlimited.

After the election of Phipps, former Assistant Moderator Romaney Granizo-McKinsey awkwardly half-joked that men should refrain from running from other positions, as all previous 2019-2020 Leadership roles had been filled by men. The comment was met with a pause, and then some uneasy laughter.

Tom Lyons, who would go on to win the Treasurer role, began his speech with the phrase “I’m sorry I have a Y chromosome.”. Lyons had a very strong speech as he outlined his dearth of relevant experience in working with the budget and associated members of HHS Administration as the SAC Chair.

The PR election included several specific action plans to improve Council’s social media presence and the Council board in the atrium. Sage McGinley-Smith, who is currently at The Island School in the Bahamas, sent in a video of her speech, which the body watched on the large projector. Alice Garner won the position, in the end, easing concerns about total male domination on the 2019-2020 Leadership. Her speech was forceful and determined, as she pledged to engage the student body.

The CPP Representative position is in its first year of being a leadership position and thus required an election for the first time. Nonetheless, the position had only two nominees. Andrew Chen won after a brief speech about his ability to represent the views of the body, and his ability to attend meetings that are inconveniently timed for many students.

After a roughly two-hour-long meeting, Council adjourned. In short: the new Moderator is Ian Nolon, Assistant Moderator Clay Kynor, the Secretary role will be filled by Stephen Wang, Noah Phipps will represent Council to the DSB, Treasurer Tom Lyons will manage the budget next year, Alice Garner will share Council with the community as PR rep, and Andrew Chen will be present at CPP meetings conveying the perspective of Council.

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