Freshman Class Election: Meet the Candidates

Freshman Class Election: Meet the Candidates

September 15, 2022

The Devils’ Advocate reached out to all running for class office prior to the election. The responses to each question on the officer application is provided for each candidate. Candidate profiles are organized in the following manner: by office they are running for (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer) and within each sub-group, candidates are featured alphabetically by last name.

(Candidates were contacted via school email and via text on 9/12 and texted about the opportunity to provide a picture to accompany their responses.)

Matthew Donio For President

Matthew+Donio+For+President

Why do you want to run for this position?

I want to run for Freshman Class President because I love being involved in my school and community. I know a lot of people in our class, and I would be able to represent a variety of opinions.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

I won the Hammonton Middle School Service to School award last year at graduation, and I am very involved in the Town of Hammonton and I would like to serve my school as well.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

I think the biggest challenge our class faces is the jump from the Middle School to the High School. It can be tough for some people and building a welcoming environment where anyone can talk to their class president would be one of my goals.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

I would like to establish a student government that listens to all students and not just a select few. I also want to help plan school events to make them amazing for all that attend.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position.

I would be the best candidate for Class President because I know most of the people in our class, and I am friendly to everyone. I am also very open minded and will listen to suggestions and feedback. If anyone has any questions or concerns you can always reach out to me!

Sanaa Johnson Gray for President

Sanaa+Gray

Why do you want to run for this position?

I want to run for this position because I want to help the freshmen class by being an advocate to them. If they need help with anything or have any questions, they feel comfortable to come to me and ask without feeling embarrassed or scared. I want to be the voice of the class of 2026. If someone has an idea and they don’t feel comfortable to share on their own, I can stand up for them and tell everyone their idea and let it be known. I don’t want this position to have “power” or “rule the student body;” I want it to show people that you too can be a leader. That doesn’t mean the next time there is a election going on you have to try, you can be a leader anywhere. The classroom, the football field, even the cafeteria. Being a leader starts from within you. Everyone has the potential of being a leader and I want to be the person who shows them they can be.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

I have had plenty of experience with elections and leadership. The main one I’d like to acknowledge is me going to the Jr. National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. for 4 years in row. I was nominated by my 4th grade teacher one year and ever since then, I’ve been nominated again every year. This summer I was there once more and we had a presidential election for our focus group. I was running against one other female in my group and I ended up winning the President of the United States title and had a badge that I had to where everywhere. So as you can see, I’ve already had practice and experience with having to learn to debate, communicate, and campaign with another candidate. I’ve also been told that I’m very fast on my feet when it comes to making decisions. When it comes down to something important and a decision needs to be made, I can make the right decision and know how to handle it if it goes wrong. I’m also good at solving conflicts between anyone. The key is compromise. I would always try my best to make sure things don’t elevate, but if anything every got too serious, an adult figure from the school would be notified immediately. These are my qualifications for this position along with my experiences that would benefit.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

The biggest challenge I believe my class faces this year is being the babies of the school now. We went from being on top, 8th graders, biggest in the school, to now being the lowest grade in the building. Most students are nervous, scared or confused because we don’t know the building that well and if we meet new people, we shut down and don’t know how to talk to them. I would address this challenge by having more in contact events to where all of the freshmen get an opportunity to meet, greet, and having conversations with each other and spark new interests. It would not only help the school as a whole, but the freshmen students a lot.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

As an officer, I would like to have fun but stay on track as well. For the fun element of freshmen year, I would like to keep up with social media and websites. Like Instagram accounts for the freshman class. Also things like spirit days, help with ideas for HOP, pep rallies, and making a better student section at the Friday Night Lights Football Games. All of the fun elements can be collaborated with Student Council and other presidents. To keep us engaged with our work, make it a safe environment to ask for help. Another is the help people make friends without making it awkward.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position.

“Why would you be a good president?” Everyone says the same things over and over. They say that they will change the school for the better or they have this goal in mind that will help everyone. I agree. I have those things too, but it’s about what your going to do with them that makes you good. A good president isn’t just one who makes decisions or runs things. I want to be the president that does it all. I would make a great president for the freshmen class because I can separate my presidential mindset from my teenage freshman mindset. A lot of us freshmen came in nervous not knowing what to expect. I want to get rid of that fear. I want my class to be able to ask me questions when they are confused or don’t know what to do about something. I want to be the voice for the class of 2026. Some people can share things with people no problem, but on the other hand there are still a good amount of people who can’t, and that’s where I come in. I can help them come out of their shell and help them speak their mind. Like I said before, I am still a teenage freshman. I still want us to have fun. If I become president I can collaborate with other presidents and student councils and plan fun events for us all. That’s why I would like and would make a great president.

Arman Temple For President

Why do you want to run for this position?

I want to run for class president of 2026 because I want to be prepared for public speaking, and I would represent our school well.

 Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

I do good in school, I participate in school activities, I try to help people when I see something wrong. I’m a good leader/influence to my friends and other people that look up to me.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

Getting along with each other. This challenge can be addressed by having us all having a bonding time event or spreading awareness through posters/speaking on it.

 What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

Getting along with each other. This challenge can be addressed by having us all having a bonding time event or spreading awareness through posters/speaking on it.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position. 

Dear Class of 2026,

I feel like I would be the best president for the Class of 2026 because I have great leaderships skills. I want to bring everyone together and have a great school year which means everyone getting along, no physical fighting, and helping people know right from wrong. I would put together great school events for my class. I’m a good listener and a very honest person. I’m a very hard working person I put effort and time in stuff I really like to do. I want to make sure this upcoming school year runs organized and well put together. I also love to making new friends, as your friend I want to make sure your voice is heard, making sure you’re doing the right thing, and you have the best school year possible. Also I want to make sure everyone is treating others how they would like to be treated. I am very committed to this position and taking this very seriously.

Samantha Grubb for Vice President

Samantha+Grubb+for+Vice+President

Why do you want to run for this position?

I want to test my limits and get out of my bubble as well as meet more people within the school. As Vice President, I will be able to help a lot of students and satisfy their needs.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

I do not have much experience in school and out of school activities, however I plan to fully commit to this position and will be very grateful if I can get in. If not, whoever the winner may be will receive my full support.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

I think the biggest challenge that my class faces this year is adjusting to the school. I am part of the freshman class, so I want to make it my job to help them feel comfortable and support them if they ever get lost, whether it’s with academics or fitting in. I want my class to know that there’s always someone that’s going to be there for them.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

I want to ensure everyone in the school has more pride in themselves and make the school a happier place. I will enable everyone to feel more confident and comfortable in the building and just have fun. I don’t want anyone to be sad miserable. I want to see smilies on everyone’s faces. I want everyone to be aware that if you’re feeling down someone is always going to be there for you, and I would like to stop bullying to and make the school a safe and happy place.

Miley Kelsey for Vice President

Miley+Kelsey+for+Vice+President

Why do you want to run for this position?

I want to run for Vice President so that I can be involved with the student body as an incoming freshman.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

I am on senior company at my dance studio where I lead intermediate as well as beginner dancers and overall serve as a person they look up to.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

The biggest challenge I think my class will face this school year is the adjustments of transitioning into high school. This challenge can be addressed by making sure everyone is aware of the availability of resources that will support them during this time.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

As an officer I am excited to participate in yearly traditions such as hallway decorating, pep rallies, and more! I hope to have the freshman class engage and want to participate to better their first year experience.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position.

I feel that I am the best candidate for this position because I am very enthusiastic about this school year. I am a very hard working student and care about the well being of my fellow peers. I am a good listener and communicator, and I believe that this will help my fellow classmates feel comfortable coming to me with any concerns. I believe that my positivity will influence others and increase their involvement in our class. I demonstrate my school spirit as a varsity cheerleader. Being apart of the cheer team helps inspire others to join in. I really look forward to this school year and look forward to the opportunity to lead my classmates.

Mia LaGuardia for Vice President

Why do you want to run for this position?

I want to run for freshmen class Vice President to truly get involved in all of the activities HHS has to offer. I believe I can represent my class over the next few years here at Hammonton. I’m interested in playing a big role in organizing activities and events such as hallway decorating, hop, and more.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

Over the past few years, I have participated in numerous sports teams, which taught me teamwork. Prior to the pandemic, I have had experience in working with student council.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

During the upcoming school year, I believe that the biggest challenge we will face is the shock from returning to a normal school year again. Since the pandemic hit our school experience hard, I believe students and teachers may run into some trouble trying to get back into the typical school experience. The 2019-2020 school year was cut short in March, the 2020-2021 school year was stuck between hybrid schedules and mask wearing, and the 2021-2022 school year started off somewhat normal with the removal of masks towards the end of the year. Hopefully this school year will be completely normal.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

As class vice president, I would like to try and keep this school year as normal as possible, due to years past being quite the opposite. Also, I would like to raise as much money for the class by organizing multiple fundraisers and events to benefit the class of 2026.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position.

My name is Mia LaGuardia, and I would love to be elected for class vice president. I believe I am the right choice for Vice President because I am very hardworking and determined. I am looking forward to having a great school year with countless successful events and activities benefiting our grade.

Marymae Lampron For Vice President

Marymae+Lampron+For+Vice+President

Why do you want to run for this position?

I would like to run for this position to help and advise the Class of 2026. To start, I would listen, hear, and communicate with the freshmen. I would also speak on behalf of their concerns/problems. To continue, I would help the president make decisions and help everyone else apart of the office. Lastly, I’m always determined and positive.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

My qualifications for this office is that I have a leadership role on my softball team, the Lady Brawlers, as captain and starting pitcher. Also, I’m a leader on my volleyball team. To continue, I have volunteered and donated my time to the homeless shelter by giving out sandwiches to them. I also am a aunt of two boys who are giving me experience for responsibility.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

I think the biggest challenge we will face during this year is actually coming back to school full time. In the past two years we went from going virtual to now coming back to school full-time. I feel as though a lot of people struggled during the pandemic going to school virtually. Most kids learn better when it’s hands on other than through a computer. This challenge can be addressed in case of another variant of COVID-19 by making sure everyone is being smart about keeping your distance, and if they aren’t that they are washing their hands, staying home if they are sick, and doing everything they can to stay healthy so we don’t reach another outbreak.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

Some things I would like to accomplish as an officer this school year is to update the dress code and for it to be more flexible for the girls. These dress codes don’t fit the new styles and trends going on. Our stomachs aren’t distracting, neither is our shoulders. I just think it wrong that the guys can wear shorts shorter than their boxers, but girls can’t wear ripped jeans or tank tops. Another thing I would like to accomplish is a school that doesn’t bully or harass people. Bullying people is a horrible things that can cause many people to think negatively about themselves and their self-esteem. By getting rid of bullying can help students mental health, grades, and even their hobbies and activities.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position. 

The reason why I would be the best candidate for vice president could be answered in so many ways. I would first communicate with the freshmen and ask them how the student body will be able to improve this school year. Then me and the student body will do everything that we can to make everything better. Another reason why is that I work great with everyone and I will hear them out. Being the vice president means you need to know how to hear from the lower student body, and also having to listen to the president.

Rachel Nartey for Vice President

Rachel Nartey for Vice President

Why do you want to run for this position?

I want to learn what it is like to be part of a leadership and what responsibilities it takes to be a good leader.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

I’m a junior coach for the peewee squad for the Hawks Organization. Although I’m not head coach I’ve had to step in and take some of the responsibilities of being head coach.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

I feel the biggest challenge my class suffers from is being too judgmental on others and even our peers. To accomplish this problem I feel we should come together and unite as one.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

I would like to have a Culture Day this school year. When I was little I used to feel embarrassed about where I came from. I’m sure there are many people who have felt that way before. One way we can show appreciation to all cultures is by having a Culture day.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position.

This year I plan on uniting all of us together and celebrating one another. We all come from different backgrounds and have many similarities and differences. I think that is pretty cool and we should be able to celebrate or differences. It is important to respect others and their differences. It’s also important to feel good about where you come from. The more we do together the better. I would like for this school to have “Culture Day,” where students can wear attire that represents their country/culture. This is your future Vice President, Rachel Nartey.

Elissa Perna For Secretary

Why do you want to run for this position?

Most importantly, I’d like to be a part of the student body. I want to be involved and play an integral part of the class of 2026. Also, my organizational, note taking, and writing skills would make me qualified and a great candidate for this position. In conclusion, I feel that I can serve best in the secretarial position.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

My qualifications for this position include previous enrichment level courses and extensive community service hours. Furthermore, my extra curricular activities, such as softball and field hockey, have forced me to become highly organized which is a skill that qualifies me for this position. Also, I am very good at maintaining a schedule and meeting deadlines. To add on, I really enjoy people and have a diverse group of friends. I feel that my interpersonal skills will also assist in qualifying me.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

Finding normalcy after the pandemic is something I feel that the class of 2026 will struggle with. It is a fact that reading and math scores have dramatically decreased for most students due to school closure. This causes a lot of stress and anxiety on top of the normal stress going into high school. Students are also very stressed over the intensity of their schedules. I would like to work with the student body to bring in activities that would alleviate the stress that students are feeling. Also, I would like to see the student body come up with activities that bring the students together where they can have fun and blow off steam in a positive way.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

Firstly, I would like to work together with the rest of the student body to create a school environment that brings our diverse class together to enjoy activities that encourage a positive school spirit. On top of that, I would like to instill, not only a love for our great school, but for each other.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position. 

As a member of the Class of 2026, I have a strong desire to help make high school the best possible experience for the entire class filled with fun, learning, growing, and excelling in everything we do. I promise as secretary to serve within the best interest of everyone in the class of 2026. I will do my best to keep things organized, attend all meetings, and bring positivity to the student body. To add on, I promise to give each task one hundred percent. Also, I will be a team player and work with whoever is elected to the student body. I will always be open to constructive criticism and encourage it. The student body is a very important and integral part of high school. In conclusion, I will take my position seriously and work hard for the class.

Juliana Lily Davidson For Treasurer

Juliana+Lily+Davidson+For+Treasurer

Why do you want to run for this position?

I’m running for this position because I want to help my class to ensure we make smart financial decisions that ensure a great school year for all.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

Overall, I have many qualifications for this position. For one, I’m exceptional with budging myself when it comes to spending. Being a teen girl, you need to budget yourself when it comes to shopping. I’m great at this and make sure I always get the best deals. To add on, I’m on our schools amazing tennis team. If you don’t know tennis, there’s double and singles. With both, you need to take charge and accurately keep score to ensure that your team wins the match. With these two fantastic skills, I can ensure that my class will have a leader who knows how to take charge, well also budgeting and making sure we get the best deals possible to make all happy.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

A big challenge for freshmen is the new gain of independence. Transitioning from middle to high school can be very overwhelming for students. Extra activities such as school benefits and dances can help students feel more at ease. These activities would give students something to look forward too, but it would also give back to the school by giving funds for many more activities to come.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

There are many ideas that I have that I would love to help implement. For one, I would love to help set up fundraiser to help places or people in need. For example, one idea that I had was to donate books to kids in need. Everybody should have access to reading material, this fundraiser would give students the option to donate used books to kids who need them most. We could also sweeten the deal by adding in a reward to students if we donate a certain amount. Moreover, I would love to help implement fundraisers that give back to the school. This could be raising money for new sports equipment, getting new art supplies for the art room, or simply giving money towards the theater department. This can be done with raffles, candy bar bingo, or coin wars between grades.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position.

Dear faculty and students,

I would love to be the next freshman class treasurer. There are many reasons why you should vote for me. For those who don’t know me, I’m hardworking, reliable and always want the best for my fellow classmates. If you vote for me, I will promise to give 100% to my class to insure many activities and fundraisers. For example, I would love to set up a candy bar bingo night, that’ll give back to the arts and theater department. Moreover, I would also love to set up a coin drive that will donate to people in need. To add on, I have many other fundraisers in mind that’ll help the students get the most out of their school year, we’ll also helping out others. Ultimately, don’t be fools, vote for Jules!

Aaliyah Harris For Treasurer

Aaliyah+Harris+For+Treasurer

Why do you want to run for this position?

I want to run for this position because I’m good at finance and very responsible.

Please list your qualifications for this office. What kind of experience have you had that would help you with this position?

I have a voice and will use it to speak up when something is wrong, I’m good with financial stuff; I’m neat, and organized. I manage my friend’s hair account and handle her money.

Officers are leaders of the student body. Please state the biggest challenge you think that your class faces during this school year. How should this challenge be addressed?

Bringing enough money for snacks. I feel like kids will ask people for money when they don’t have enough for themselves, which can be rude/annoying to others (or not). To solve this problem we can spread awareness by telling them the prices so they know what to bring instead of using others money.

What are some things you would like to accomplish as an officer this school year?

I want to make sure I am maintaining budgets and keeping track of receipts.

In 250 words or less, write an explanation to your peers on why you would be the best candidate for the desired position. (Think of this as a speech to your peers)

Dear students, I am the best candidate for treasurer because I will put my time and effort into this position. I mange my friend’s hair business and I handle her money and have very good experience with money. I would make sure I keep everything inside the budget and find quality things that benefit the school and freshmen class at a good cost. “Behind every great school is a great treasurer.”

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