Wasylyshyn glues the class in his four years at WA


Photo provided by Matt Wasylyshyn

Matt Wasylyshyn, the Senior Class President, poses for a photo.

Kristen Su, Staff Writer

Three syllables, five letters: unity. That was all Matt Wasylyshyn hoped to accomplish going into his four years as President of the Class of 2020.

Wasylyshyn sought to bridge the gap in his class after noticing a distinct divide going into his freshman year.

“My main goal as a freshman was to bring the grade together. […] [In my grade] we kept the ‘if you went to Blanchard, you went to Blanchard,’ and ‘if you went to Stony Brook, you went to Stony Brook,’ and I wanted to break those boundaries and make it more inclusive,” Wasylyshyn said.

In order to boost morale and show support for the class as a whole, Wasylyshyn and the other officers aimed to find ways to get students to participate in fundraisers and activities together, particularly through the power of choice.

“The way we [encouraged class participation] is that we took a more democratic approach and we let the class pick a lot of things. […] It sometimes works out for the better and sometimes for the worse, but when it comes to class trips, class songs, class t-shirts—everything—we wanted to let the kids vote. That was kind of our main thing—let them decide, and let them work behind the scenes with us,” Wasylyshyn said.

The hard work of the officers paid off, and in trying to get the class to fundraise, they were able to host several major events throughout their four years.

“Through different activities he [Wasylyshyn] helped raise almost $30,000, which was used over the four years for activities like our MCAS ice cream celebration, our senior year back to school BBQ, and will be put towards a future rescheduled ‘prom’ that we are planning, as well as class reunions down the road,” Class Co-Advisor Wendy Croteau said.

In the end, Wasylyshyn believes that this approach worked out for the officers, and they were able to help form bonds between many fellow classmates.

“I think I succeeded a little bit, especially by now, and I think a lot of people are friends in between schools. I think there’s a big, big community behind the class of 2020, even before COVID, which is pretty cool,” Wasylyshyn said.

Senior Class Vice President Shelly Singhal recalls an instance recently when administration put them in charge of overseeing the handing out of lawn signs as a symbol of unity during COVID-19.

“We [the officers] were told that we wouldn’t have to hand out anything and we didn’t have to make contact with anyone, […] but he [Wasylyshyn] dove right in. […] He was waving to everyone and handing out the signs to cars, and he really just took the initiative there,” Singhal said.

Wasylyshyn also provided comfort to the senior class in a recent Q&A session run by the class officers in an attempt to bring together the class and address concerns during quarantine.

“He was there asking people for ideas, bouncing off our ideas on them, and getting responses. He’s just really made it clear that we’re there for the rest of the class […] and it’s a tough time for everyone. He’s just been very supportive to everyone,” Singhal said.

Aside from his involvement as a class officer, Wasylyshyn cites his involvement with DECA as another factor that helped him develop his skills as Class President.

“[DECA] really helped me hone my leadership skills and […] get ready for the real world. […] I learned a lot, and I’ve used all those skills in my presidential escapades or campaigns,” Wasylyshyn said.

Alongside partner Aidan Timlin, Wasylyshyn has competed in DECA tournaments during all four of his years here at WA. The duo has advanced to the State Conference all four years, where they were finalists three years in a row, qualifying for the International DECA Conference (ICDC) during their sophomore year.

Timlin acknowledged the fact that even though they both contributed in their own ways, without the partnership of Wasylyshyn, he may not have accomplished what he did in his four years in DECA.

“I can confidently say that I may not have made States every year as an individual and definitely would not have made the International Conference at all if I didn’t have Matt as my partner every year,” Timlin said.

Wasylyshyn has yet to commit to a college, but one thing is certain: his involvement in DECA has led him on a path to a future career in business.

“I would like to pursue a degree in finance and maybe a minor in business analytics. […] It’s a really cool field, especially a very essential field—you know, ‘money makes the world go ’round.’ Unfortunately, some people won’t agree, but it is necessary for every company; they need people that know how to budget forecasts and use all the essentials of the company in the right way,” Wasylyshyn said.

Ultimately, whether through DECA or in his role as Class President, Wasylyshyn has made a mark on the senior class during the past four years.

“He’s outgoing, funny, and a fun person to be around, so I think almost everybody from the Class of 2020 will remember Matt when they think back to their time at WA,” Timlin said.

Read this article to learn more about the Senior Class officers’ involvement in finding a new date for graduation.