FHN StuCo Members Gear Up for Officer Elections


By Chloe Horstman

This week, posters of classmates’ faces hang along the halls of school as the campaign season reaches it’s climax. On March 6, the big election takes place for the Student Council officers that will lead the organization through the next school year. Freshman, sophomores and juniors can cast their paper ballot during lunches on Friday to vote for the six officer positions to be filled: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chief of Staff and Parliamentarian. 

The candidates that have made it onto the ballot include Caroline Blanke who is running for President, Ben Ell and Bree Ammons who are running for Vice President, Sydney Giacomarra and Laurnen Holzwarth who are running for Secretary, Manisha Muthukaruppan who is running for Treasurer, Natalie Abanathie who is running for Chief of Staff and Maddy Brewer, who is running for Parliamentarian. 

Each of the candidates had to serve on StuCo for at least a year, with an additional requirement that those running for President and Vice President be going into their junior or senior year. Candidates had to be approved by principals and teachers to evaluate their character, and their guidance counselor to prove that they had a GPA of 3.5. Once the students obtained all of the signatures, they had to submit an intent paper detailing their grade and the office they planned to run for. 

After this process, the real work begins. Candidates then must receive 30 signatures from students ninth, tenth and eleventh grade in order to be eligible to campaign. When the petitions have been filled and turned in, the campaigning commences. 

Junior Ben Ell joined StuCo last year as a representative from his homeroom, and this year decided to run for the office of Vice President. 

“I joined StuCo this past year and I actually had so much genuine fun, I liked the impact I was seeing that I had on the school,” Ell said. “However minor or major it was, it was like I did something, and I really enjoyed that.”

Though new to StuCo this school year, Ell is not a stranger to fulfilling leadership roles. He serves as Chief of Staff in HOSA, which allowed him to experience the responsibilities that come with running a massive club. Through his experiences, Ell believes that a lot of components make up a good leader, including personality, drive and communication skills. 

“I think that looks more like having an outgoing personality, kind of thinking things through, and being able to devise a really solid plan with steps [that are] logical, that you can give to other people so that way the rest of the general members and the cabinet members can help you succeed with that,” Ell said. “I think being able to communicate well with those people and with the advisors is really important too. I think being an organized person, and [making] sure you can execute all of your plans and all of the things that you want to see happen, and have those happen.”

English teacher Jani Wilkens has been a StuCo advisor for 17 years, and she has a positive outlook on the candidates that are running. She believes that the future of StuCo lies inevitably in good hands, especially with the current President, Caroline Blanke, running for a second term which will allow her to grow even more as a leader and continue serving, as well as new faces. 

“I think we have a lot of strong candidates,”Wilkens said. “A lot of them have experience, whether it’s in StuCo or other areas. Having new faces I think also brings new ideas, which is a lot of fun.”

Wilkens believes that to be an officer, one must have a heart dedicated to service, as well as the time and room for StuCo to be high on his or her priority list, all while managing school work. 

“Usually the people who run for officer positions are the people who want to put Student Council as their first club group priority,” Wilkens said. “It doesn’t mean that it can’t be a person  who’s involved elsewhere, but if you’re serving as an officer you really need to be willing to make this at the top of your list. There are people who are good at managing lots of tasks, because usually these students are good students academically, so they have to be able to manage school work with all these extra committees and things that they are serving on and helping with.  I think probably the last most important thing is that they really care about their school and community, because a lot of what we do either affects our school student body or our community. It’s a lot of people who care about leaving behind a good legacy.”