Head Prefect candidates address junior class during preliminary speeches


Will Sherwood/Chronicle

Current Junior Prefect Yoshimi Kimura ’23 answers a question during her speech in Rugby Auditorium about a time when she struggled to do the right thing. Four out of the seven candidates running to become Head Prefect will advance to the second round of elections.

Lucas Cohen-d'Arbeloff

Candidates for Head Prefect gave speeches to juniors in Rugby Theater before the first round of the election March 18. Each candidate delivered a general address to students before answering both a prepared question and an unprepared question.

All four Junior Prefects—Yoshimi Kimura ’23, Simon Lee ’23, Aiko Offner ’23 and Assistant Features Editor Harry Tarses ’23—are running for Head Prefect. In addition, Terence Mathews ’23, Sophia Rascoff ’23 and Carter Staggs ’23, who are currently not on the council, are running for the position. Candidates wrote campaign statements, which were emailed to juniors before the speeches.

Staggs said although he was initially nervous to speak in front of his peers, he ultimately enjoyed participating in the event.

“It was really nerve-wracking before the speech,” Staggs said. “Once I got up there, it got a lot easier to start just saying what I thought. It was actually an enjoyable experience, and I love being able to hear the other candidates’ speeches, and [hearing] the different takes that they had on all the same questions was a lot of fun.”

Offner said she thought deeply when planning her statements after she realized the significance of serving as Head Prefect and leading the student body.

“I almost didn’t realize the difference of responsibility, expectation and presence [compared to] a normal Senior or Junior Prefect,” Offner said. “So I really sat down and thought about why I wanted this and what I could actually bring because I think anyone can run, but then it’s another thing to think about objectively like what you can actually bring [to the position].”

The unprepared question candidates answered was, “What is one lie you tell yourself?” Offner said this question was relevant due the importance of trust among members of Prefect Council.

“Being honest with yourself about what your strengths are [and] what your weaknesses are is really important to becoming a leader that people could trust,” Offner said. “What’s really important is, within Prefect Council and really within anything, being able to trust the people around you.”

Candidates then answered a prepared question about a time they struggled to do the right thing. Mathews said he chose to answer that he has not found it difficult to act with integrity in the past.

“I spent so much time once we got the question just racking my brain trying to come up with a way that I could express myself through the answer,” Mathews said. “I think that was just the best way I could. I feel like as Prefects, we’re supposed to be pillars of the community. And so if it’s hard for us to do the right thing, then what does that say about [the school] in general?”