Speeches and runoffs take place in 2021-2022 Junior Prefect elections

Natasha Speiss

Aiko Offner ’23 and Staff Writer Harry Tarses ’23 were voted as two of the four Junior Prefects for the 2021-2022 school year. The runoff election results for the remaining two Junior Prefect spots will be posted after school May 10.

Fifteen students competed for the four Junior Prefect slots available, two students were elected and six now compete in the runoffs. The runoff candidates are Simon Lee ’23, Aariz Furniturewala ’23, Yoshimi Kimura ’23, Brandon Aghnatios ’23, Staff Writer Will Sherwood ’23 and Mac Bailey ’23. Unlike prior years, the four final Prefects can be of any gender rather than two boys and two girls.

Sophomores will receive an email once voting is over announcing the winners

Offner said she feels honored and excited to help lead the school through the return back on campus from the pandemic.

“This election being in person and having both the privilege and the stress of addressing so much of the class live reminded me that being a representative is truly an honor,” Offner said. “I want to make the transition as manageable as possible and maintain the same level of understanding and collaboration we had with the administration while also creating moments where we can hopefully make memories that were lost from our past year apart. I hope to start brainstorming and planning initiatives at the end of this year so we can go into next year knowing what we want to accomplish.”

Tarses, whose candidate speech focused on his ability to see things from a fresh view, said he looks forward to his first year on Prefect Council.

“I just feel so honored to be selected from these amazing people,” Tarses said. “I’m really excited to get to know this school from a different perspective and represent this awesome class.”

Candidates wrote personal statements about their leadership qualities

Each Junior Prefect candidate wrote a statement about their qualifications and how they intend to serve the school community. The statements were sent to the sophomore class the night before the election, giving voters the chance to get a sense of each applicant’s leadership experience, personal qualities and ideas for the coming year before the speeches. Suggestions included an open-note test policy, a grace period for assignments and more communication between the administration and students.

The fifteen candidates gave their speeches to their class in the Taper Gymnasium during a sophomore in-person school day May 6 that was streamed also available as a webinar for students who did not come to campus. In addition to their prepared speeches, candidates answered a prepared question about silver linings during the virtual school year and an unprepared question on how they would advise students to vote for their Prefects.

Head Prefects Jonathan Cosgrove ’21 and Cleo Maloney ’21 introduced each candidate, helped keep track of speech times and moderated the questions. Sophomores were given 23 hours to indicate their top four choices in a survey sent after school.

Mateo Ahmad ’23 said he was pleasantly surprised by how interesting the speeches were and that the competition for the Prefect spots seemed very tough this year.

“It was nice to see some humor in the speeches because that made [listening] a lot more interesting,” Ahmad said. “I found myself wanting to vote for most of the candidates for one reason or another but ultimately I had to think deeply about who I believe in.”