The Race for Class President: Who are the Candidates?

7 mins read

Colorful posters, announcements, and Instagram posts bombard the eyes, ears, and phones of M-A students, officially marking class president election season. Although the tradition of campaigning for class president has been rocky in past years, it entails an exciting opportunity for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to showcase their talents and make promises for the next school year. 

At M-A, students have the option to run with a partner or by themselves. In addition to their speech featured on M-A Today, many students create Instagram accounts to showcase their candidacy and attract a following from other students to garner support.

The M-A Chronicle asked this year’s candidates a few questions so that you can get to know them before you vote. Click on the arrows below to learn about students running for class president in each grade level.

Sophomore Class President Candidates

Running for the position of sophomore class presidents are Willow Basta and Andrea Valencia.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor and how does it correlate with yourselves as candidates?

“Cotton candy,” Basta said. “We both have had such different experiences at M-A, and we work very well together to represent the whole student body.”

What is your biggest goal?

“Our biggest goal is to raise the spirit of our class,” Basta said. “We want to bring the sophomore class together and raise the spirit, so we can make our sophomore class the best and most spirited.” 

What do you aspire to do as an adult?

“I just want to help people and have a fulfilling life,” Basta said. 

What is the WORST thing about your opponents?

“The worst thing about our opponents is that they ran in the first place.” Basta said.

What makes you the best?

“As class presidents, we will be in the area, in the middle of it all,” Basta said. “We’re not going be standing back and watching from the outside, we’re gonna be making the sophomore class better from the inside.” 

What is a warning you would give to your opponents?

“Eat my dust,” Basta said. 

Willow Basta and Drea Valencia
Junior Class President Candidates

Running for the position of junior class presidents are Shawnak Shivakumar and Axel Pilette against Molly Gray and Gabby Rothstein.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor and how does it correlate with yourselves as candidates?

“I think our favorite ice cream is probably the double super chocolate fudge—the most amount of chocolate you’ve ever seen, really,” Pilette explained. “It symbolizes how Shawnak and I mesh together and blend to form this one cohesive unit, which compliments one another to form a good team.”

“Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked ice cream,” Gray said. “It represents us as a team.”

What is your biggest goal?

“We want to have more connections and spirit between grades,” Rothstein explained. 

Shivakumar said, “Our goal is to make sure we bring a lot of the great events to campus and make sure that the entirety of the class is engaged.” He continued, “We  also want to make sure that we are satisfying our own personal goals and ambitions.”

What do you aspire to do as an adult?

“It is difficult to predict at this point in our life, but I can tell you for sure, we want to bring as much value to society as possible,” Pilette noted. “Once we are rich, we are going to donate all of it back to charity,” Shivakumar added.

Gray said, “I want to make money and inspire others,” Rothstein explained. “I want to have a good impact on people and make the world a better place.”

What is the WORST thing about your opponents?

“They have big dreams but no execution,” Shivakumar said. “We have to look at reliance and liability and whose goals are achievable. And unfortunately, we don’t really see that in our opponents,” Pilette said.

“There’s nothing bad about our opponents,” Gray said. “We really respect them and wish them the best of luck with everything. And if we win, we will include their opinions. We’re going to value everyone. We think that everybody has something to offer.”

What makes you the best?

“First, we have more experience than any of our opponents combined. We have by far, the largest voter base and the most loyal supporters. We also have various clubs on campus that a lot of people like and enjoy,” Shivakumar explained.

“We absolutely love the spirit and want to increase the spirit on campus to make our junior year fun and enjoyable,” Rothstein said. 

What is a warning you would give to your opponents?

“They should really underestimate us. I think that’s the best way to go,” Pilette concluded.

“It’s Molly and Gabby,” Rothstein said. 

Gabby Rothstein and Molly Gray
Shawnak Shivakumar and Axel Pilette
Senior Class President Candidates

Competing for the role of senior class presidents are Lainey Egnal and Kaitlyn Harding, Pierce McGuire and Mohan Gupta, Nicole Nieva and Daniel Farrell, and Casey Watkins and Noah de Haaff.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor and how does it correlate with yourselves as candidates?

“Our favorite ice cream flavor is caramel because Casey and I are sweet.” DeHaaff said.

“Our favorite is Ben and Jerry’s Milk and Cookies,” Harding said. “We really like it because it has a lot of different flavors and textures, and it shows the depth of our campaign and just how many different things we bring to the table.” Egnal added, “We have so many different ideas that can come together to make the most delicious flavor for senior year.”

“Definitely rocky road,” Nieva said. “We’re ready for the journey. I feel it’s been so long since the [future] senior class has been connected, especially since we started off on the wrong foot with COVID. We think senior year is our chance to get it right, and we will make that happen.”

“Our favorite is Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked flavor because we bring in so many different perspectives and views that we take into account,” McGuire said. “In addition to Half-Baked, I would say we really embody Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz because we are always working so hard and we live pretty busy lives inside and outside of school,” Gupta added. 

What is your biggest goal?

“Probably a soccer goal. It’s bigger than a water polo goal,” Watkins noted.

“Our goals as presidents are to really get to encompass the senior class and make sure it is a special year for everyone. We are trying to incorporate involvement with culture clubs and really include the entire senior class, rather than just keeping it to our friends. We want to make sure everyone gets involved and everyone gets to participate in activities that they enjoy.

Nieva said, “Our biggest goal is school spirit. You don’t really get to have the opportunity in college to dress up in fun colors or do your hair all crazy. This is the time we can actually connect with our classmates.”

“Although the first semester of senior year is difficult, we want to make sure students succeed in their classes and have time for academic work while still experiencing the social part of the school,” Gupta said. “That’s where we’re going to come up with a variety of social events inside and outside of school hours where we have that more fun approach.”

What do you aspire to do as an adult?

While DeHaaff expressed interest in being a dancer, Watkins said, “Being a naval officer would exemplify my leadership skills. It will make me a stronger person and help out our country just like how we’re going to help out and make next year great as presidents.”

“I would love to be a mom,” Egnal said, “I love kids, and I love being artistic and crafty. I love to be involved in little things that make big things special, and I feel like that’s what a mom does. Being someone who’s there for someone who needs me is something I like to do.” Harding said, “ I definitely want to be the type of person to be very open and loving and have a super open home that everyone feels welcomed in. That’s how my mom has made my home, so I want that’s how I want to be when I grow up.”

“I don’t want to be stuck doing the same thing every day, I definitely want something more a little self-led,” Nieva said. “Something in the STEM field would be my strong suit.”

McGuire said, “I have many possible paths that I’m looking at, but most of them relate to policy and economy.” Gupta said, “I would like to become a doctor, preferably a pediatrician. This is because I have an interest in medicine, I’ve always enjoyed chemistry as a subject, and I really wanted to help people.” 

What is the WORST thing about your opponents?

“Some of our opponents are making it out to seem like some events would only happen if they were president,” DeHaaff said. 

“We’ve done a lot of work to make our campaigns strong and a lot of our competitors haven’t done quite as much yet, but we don’t know; maybe they are just getting started, we have yet to see,” Egnal said. “But one way we are getting stronger is through how much effort we put into our campaign: we post every day, we started our Instagram account first, and we put fliers up first.”

“if you look at the other six candidates that are running, there’s honestly nothing bad that I can say about them, they’re all amazing in their own different ways.” Gupta explained. 

*Question declined for Nieva and Farrell

What makes you the best?

“Noah and I have a variety of friend groups, so we can be very influential on how things work with the entire class–and not just specific small groups,” Watkins explained.

“We want to spotlight certain people from different programs like sports, clubs, and academics programs. We want to make sure everyone gets represented and feels like a part of the school community,” Egnal said.

“We want to build connections between our classmates,” Nieva explained. “We are open to hearing from other people and we just want to help our class out.”

“Together we both reflect both the more hard-working, academic, and rigorous side of school as well as the more fun, social aspect,” McGuire said. “With that, we can focus on finding a great balance between the two sides of school.”

What is a warning you would give to your opponents?

“Watch out,” DeHaaff said.

“We started at the top and we’re gonna keep climbing up!” Egnal and Harding said.

“We’ll be coming,” Nieva said.

“I hope every candidate does their best at campaigning, and let the best team win,” Gupta said.

Casey Watkins and Noah de Haaff
Pierce McGuire and Mohan Gupta
Lainey Egnal and Kaitlyn Harding
Nicole Nieva and Daniel Farrell

Isabel is a sophomore at M-A beginning her first year of journalism. She is excited to write about exciting events and subjects. Outside of school, some of her hobbies include playing tennis, water polo and swimming for M-A, and reading, drawing, and writing.

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