Class of 2026 student government announced, sets goals for upcoming year


Deepa Gautam

Students listen to speech from president Kate Kelly prior to voting in the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Deepa Gautam, Features Editor

This year’s student council leaders and class officers for the Class of 2026 have been revealed after freshmen elections were held on Oct. 12, 2022. Kate Kelly was voted  president, Srisai Vuppuluri was voted vice president, and Joanna Finney and Sabah Chatiwala secured the positions of secretary and treasurer, respectively. 

Anushka Chikuluri, Payton Swepson, Srikar Navuduri, Eesha Gowda, Hansen Shieh, and Lauren Flaherty were all elected as student representatives as well. In addition, serving on the legislative council will be Pranav Yellanki and Rohan Kaushik, while Aanya Krishnamurthy will be on the Student Advisory Committee. The competition was pretty high, with a total of 23 candidates running, and only 13 elected.

For the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year, these elected officers will work with their class advisors, Michael Towers and Melanie Jozokos, to plan events for the freshman class. In doing this, they will also be responsible for logistical tasks such as t-shirt distribution, recruitment for Spirit Week events, and promoting fundraisers and events.

“One of my biggest priorities for this year is being transparent with the class and finding a way to reach out so that everyone can have a say in the events we are doing,” Kelly said. “Also, fundraising and having a bunch of opportunities for people to make school more than just an academic setting.”

According to Kelly, she ran for president because of her experience with organizing community service projects and leadership roles throughout middle school. Describing herself as a “people-person” during her speech, Kelly also believes that her communication skills will be valuable in making sure that every voice feels included.

Creating an environment that values more than just a student’s academics will also play a large role in the class’s planning process as well, according to co-advisors Towers and Jozokos.

“Our class motto is ‘More than a number,'” Jozokos said. “So, our goal for the class is to get as many people involved as possible and to let them know that they are a part of something special. We want every student to feel as though they belong.”

Unifying the class and sparking bonds, however, may not always be an easy task, according to secretary Finney. Considering that the class of 2026 had their middle school experience cut short in sixth grade due to the pandemic, all officers have highlighted the importance to compensate through spirited class events such as ice cream socials and class competitions.

“I would also like to plan a fun trip with the freshman class, as many of those experiences were unable to happen during the covid years,” Finney said. “We missed out on a lot of team building activities where we all got to interact face to face, so my utmost priority is to help my class let loose and build a strong school community.”

Along with Kelly, Finney, Vuppuluri, and Chatiwala, the freshman class will also be represented through Krishnamurthy’s elected seat on the student the Student Advisory Committee, which meets regularly with the school committee. With this position, she will strive to introduce solutions to the longstanding social issues that have surrounded WA.

In particular, Krishnamurthy hopes to propose the idea of providing menstrual products in girls’ bathrooms, as well as share methods to promote diversity and inclusion within the school.

“Our school is very diverse compared to other school systems, but there are still some generalizations that adults and students make that are hurtful because they are merely assumptions,” Krishnamurthy said. “These moments seem so small but to the people who face this daily, it’s a complication just waiting for a solution.”

Ultimately, the class officers and advisors alike are working to set a strong start to the year, addressing prominent issues, unifying students, and most of all, fostering an environment where all students know they are “more than a number.”

“Whether its’ a GPA, grades, salaries, ranks, weights, and more, numbers cannot define us as human beings,” Towers said. “We are committed to communicating our philosophy on embracing and enjoying the journey, having fun, celebrating each other’s successes, and picking each other up when we fall down.