The democratic process was this month, as Mount Madonna School (MMS) middle and high school students elected peer representatives to the Student Government Association (SGA). Ballots were shared as Google Forms, and students had from 8:00am to 3:30pm on October 8 to vote.
Sixth through ninth grades each chose a single representative; sophomore, juniors and seniors picked two representatives each. All upper school students could vote on the student body president. Student council representatives will serve for the whole school year.
Senior Grace Timan ran unopposed and will serve as student body president. She presented her campaign speech to the broader school community during the morning community circle on September 23, and said that students’ overall well-being is a priority for her this year.
“I ran for student body president because last year I was in student government and really enjoyed my time and wanted to expand on that,” commented Timan. “One goal is help make the school a more comfortable place for the students; at times school can be really mentally taxing, and I want to try to take away some of that stress. Some of the ways we might accomplish this include creating spaces for student to relax at during our school days, adding some outdoor furniture, and possibly getting a counselor to talk with for emotional well-being.
“I think getting the perspective of students heard is important,” she continued, “because we really see things within our community that adults might not be able to see from their outside perspective.”
Students campaigned by talking with their peers and faculty about their ideas and ways they will bring support to the community. Each candidate self-nominated and created a statement of candidacy that was included on the ballot.
The elected class representatives are: Addy Catterall-Pendleton, Jimmy Bregman, grade 12; Mariah Cohen, Zoey Ocampo-Sobkoviak, grade 11; Bea Miller, Sophia Manzur, grade 10; Mordecai Coleman, ninth grade; Rosemary Konviser, eighth grade; Noa Zands, seventh grade; and Marlowe Yen, sixth grade.
The previous (2020-21) school year was the inaugural year of the MMS Student Government Association with then-junior Liana Kitchel leading as the first student body president. All meetings were held on Zoom due to Covid-19 restrictions but played an important part in connecting student leaders across grades, sharing experiences and working to solve problems.
“The group would often focus on student social-emotional health and well-being,” commented teacher Sara Sobkoviak, faculty advisor to the SGA. “They discussed ways to support students in this area which included communication with teachers, suggestions for fun activities to lift spirits and even requesting more heating options to keep students warm during outdoor class time.
“This year our newly-elected President, Grace Timan, will be building on that work and is very motivated to do even more this year,” she continued. “With students being able to engage across classes and in person, meeting together and creating activities that all students can participate in will be easier. Grace’s priorities include making sure that all students are represented, seen and heard along with finding spaces on campus to ‘spruce up’ that will serve as comfortable and fun areas to support more positive social interactions.”
During their next meeting, the newly elected student representatives will vote for SGA vice president, secretary and treasurer from within the student council. The council will be responsible for forming committees to promote representation and ensuring that all students voices are heard.
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Nestled among the redwoods on 375 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Foun