Sophomores, juniors elect next year’s Head Prefects


Ryan Stanford ’19 adresses juniors and sophomores about why she should be Head Prefect. Credit: Casey Kim/Chronicle

Casey Kim

Ryan Stanford ’19 and Kevin Chen ’19 will serve as Head Prefects for the 2018-2019 school year. Results were announced after school on Thursday in an email.

Although one male and one female were still chosen to be Head Prefect, following standard protocol, students were able to vote for any two candidates regardless of gender, rather than one female and one male candidate. The data collected will be used to determine if the voting process should be modified.

“I’m so unbelievably excited and honored to have been elected,” Stanford said. “Prefect Council has been such a big part of my life and I can’t wait to represent the school as a Head Prefect. I’m really looking forward to working with Kevin and bringing my ideas to fruition next year.”

In order to promote their campaigns, Stanford and Chen, along with Caroline Cook ’19 and Chase Garvey-Daniels ’19, delivered speeches to the sophomore and junior classes about what their “armor” is and explained how it prepares them to face various challenges Wednesday.

In addition to their prepared question about armor, candidates began with a two-minute opening statement, and were given an unprepared question answering why students should vote for the other candidate.

In her prepared question, Ryan Stanford ’19 opened with an anecdote about how her lack of self confidence was amplified by wearing a brace after a back injury in sixth grade, but ultimately lead to her newfound self confidence,.

“When I look at all six hundred of you and I begin to pick out individual faces, I realize that it’s not just six hundred people,” Stanford said.  “It’s six hundred people who I’ve walked through the halls with, who have held open doors for me, who have run with me through the rain, who have survived As I Lay Dying with me, it’s my teammates, my clubmates, my classmates and my peers. If I can stand in a room of six hundred people and feel that I’m at home, I know it’s exactly where I need to be.”  

Kevin Chen ’19 spoke on inclusion, and said he strives for the school environment to become a more open place.

“Armor is something you wear if you’re feeling vulnerable or if you’re about to fight,” Chen said.  “So why would I wear this in front of my everyday friends and family? I want Harvard-Westlake to be a place where we don’t have to wear armor.  We don’t have to be ashamed of who we are.”

Caroline Cook ’19 focused on her commitment to positivity when handling different situations.

“I am able to acknowledge and accept the imperfections of the situation, but by not allowing those imperfections to make my entire assessment of the situation, I believe that I am able to have the strength to move on and keep going,” Cook said. “By fostering a group really focused on learning from this imperfections rather from allowing them to inhibit our ability to move forward.”

Chase Garvey-Daniels ’19 showed his appreciation for the people in his life that contributed to his armor.

“Luckily for me, I’m surrounded by the most intelligent, caring, genuine, honest people at the school who constantly build up my armor,” Garvey-Daniels said. “Whether it’s sending me support via text or email, even if we haven’t talked in a while, or helping with me through a difficult math problem.  Or even saying ‘hi’ and calling me by my name.”