Interview conducted by Matthew Lindzon, Esther Eisen & Ethan Blumberg
WHO IS HE?
Favourite Subject/Course: English
Favourite movie, book or TV show: Die Hard
Best quality or skill: Leadership
Activities: a member of the Minister of Education’s Student Advisory Council, AA Baseball for North Toronto, Baseball Coach, Social Action Club, Video Games Club.
WHAT THEY VALUE MOST
- School community
- School spirit
Forest Hill C.I. is a very diverse group of students, with over 900 individuals. How will you ensure that you are representing all of these various opinions and voices?
One idea is through short online surveys that can be an easy and effective way to canvas opinions and ideas. These surveys could potentially be accessed through the Golden Falcon. Another idea is to organize in person Q&A sessions whereby students can ask questions and provide input to council.
In one sentence, what do you think is the number one thing and/or most prevalent issue that students at Forest Hill CI want changed, fixed or introduced?
What makes you different than all of the other candidates?
I come to the election with a lot of experience. I was the student council president at my former school. Also, I was recently appointed to a position on the Minister of Education’s Student Advisory Council, a group of students that works with the Minister of Education to provide student’s a voice in bettering the public school system in Ontario. As well, for 6 years, I have lead a community fundraiser that has raised over $18,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
The following questions and responses took place during live in-person interviews featuring Golden Falcon editorial staff. The responses are practically identical to the candidate’s responses.
What is your definition of leadership? What is your overarching purpose as a leader?
“Well, my campaign, first of all, is based on getting as many students involved [as possible], improving school spirit, and creating opportunities for junior students specifically to get involved. So, leadership is all about communication, cooperation, and teamwork. Getting many people involved into situations that they are not as comfortable in or are not used to is a win.”
What might cause you to fail as a vice president?
“Am I allowed to say nothing? Well, I’m supposed to be a liaison between the council and the junior student body, and if junior students aren’t willing to get involved, and they don’t share ideas or contribute, I guess that’s the only thing that could bring my campaign down. [But if I tried my best, I wouldn’t] necessarily [consider it a failure].”
What, if anything, are you going to do to improve school spirit?
“Well, I think it’s important for us to look at local and global issues in the campaigns that we run in, and I’m going to be trying to connect with the grade nine and grade ten representatives in planning fundraisers, spirit weeks, and campaigns. You’ll hear more about my initiatives in the speech, but I have a bunch of great ideas that I’m ready to share.”
In one year from today, what do you hope you have achieved? Be specific.
“I hope to find a group of students that are passionate about getting involved, and passionate about making a difference in this school, because I find [that] this year, I haven’t really found a large group of people who are so [enthusiastic like that].”
What are the keys to translating your vision for Forest Hill’s future into action?
“Well, obviously just a positive attitude will get as many people involved as possible, but I’m thinking more social events, intramurals, clubs, and tournaments. I believe [that] a way to get more junior students involved is to have junior and senior representatives for clubs, because this year I applied to be the leader of the Social Action club, and they picked the senior students [instead] – the club’s not existing anymore. So, I think junior and senior perspective in clubs is going to lead to more success.”
Why did you decide to run for this position?
“Well, at my elementary school, I was student council president, so I come with a lot of experience and I generally enjoy getting involved and making an impact wherever I go. I have experience in my community, and I want to find a way to get involved in my new school.”
What makes you suitable for this position?
“I have a lot of experience. Once again, I was the student council president, and I’ve run a community fundraiser for seven years that has raised thousands of dollars for cancer research. I’ve [also] been playing in a baseball team for many years, and I know what it’s like to be part of a team and how to work with different people – and I enjoy new opportunities.
You said that you value communication the most, why is that? Can you expand on that?
“I think that all good leadership springs from communication. I want to be able to connect with and communicate strongly with as many junior students as I can, and I want to get to know the upcoming grade nine class, because if I don’t have a connection with them and don’t communicate well with them, I don’t think we can achieve anything.”
You said that you value community second, why is that? Can you expand on that?
“I came from a really small elementary school – very tight-knit group of people – and I was the student council president and helped achieve great things with the student body. I think that if I can build relationships with many junior students as possible, we can achieve amazing things.
You said that you value school spirit third, why is that? Can you expand on that?
“I wrote school spirit down as a thing that I think junior and senior students want to see more of, and I think it’s extremely important in building school community – they’re all connected. With the more school spirit we show, the more school community we will be able to create.”
Many of the decisions in the student council won’t be consensus decisions. What or who will inform your decision making?
“The general population of the junior students. I think, as part of my online application, one of my ideas to get everybody’s ideas heard was through online surveys, and I think we should take advantage of the technology that we have. Simple polls that people can fill out in five or less minutes are a quick and efficient way to get answers from people.”
STATISTICS AND DATA
Improvement of Events and Activities
The candidate stated their opinion on each of the following activities, events and initiatives performed by the previous Student Councils in the last few years. They rated each initiative from 1-5 | 5 means the activity was perfect, and they would not like to change anything about it. 1 means the activity needs to be changed, it is a high priority for them and they are highly motivated to change it.
|Number of Dances||No preference|
|United Way Week||3|
Editor’s note: Transcriptions of interviews were almost identical to candidate’s live responses. Filler words, such as “like” or “uh”, were removed for clarity.