Election 2013: High School Student Government Candidates

As OHS students prepare to decide which candidates they will choose for the Student Government elections, the “!” will be providing exclusive coverage of the race.

Student Body President Candidates

Faith Cheng

Please introduce yourself.

Greetings earthlings! I am Faith Cheng, a senior returning for my 4th year at the OHS. I was born and grew up in the Bay Area, about 30 minutes north of our lovely Stanford campus. A year and a half ago, our family moved to Hong Kong, and it was only then that I realized exactly how good OHSers are at socializing across geographical boundaries. 16 hours’ difference did not hinder us from keeping in touch, peer-editing essays, and sharing our favorite #OnlyAtTheOHS memes. My passion for the OHS and what it represents has only grown since I entered this school in 2010, and I hope to channel this passion into a thrilling and productive year for the Student Government.

FaithChengIf elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year?

As your potential Student Body President, y’all, I want to be careful about my promises. I don’t want to waste my time in office tinkering with negligible details that were okay 6 updates ago (thanks for the lesson, Facebook), but if there is a legitimate need or concern coming from YOU, that need or concern needs to be addressed immediately. For example, the fact that the school assembly schedule is so unfriendly towards students with b&m during the day, or towards students outside the United States (heh)– the school has been getting better at this over time, and I want to make sure that this continues. For those of us with truly, truly messed up schedules, we’re lucky that we go to a school with such a vibrant student body with so many different points of connection, from ! and NAPtime, to Facebook/Twitter/Skype/Google+/Tumblr/Instagram. From my position as Student Body President, I want to make sure that ! and NAPtime reaches every student, so that regardless of whether you’re full-time, part-time, or single-course, you can feel like you’re a part of our very big, very happy, and very nerdy family. Oh yes, and from my position as admin of OHS Loons, our largest school Facebook group to date, I’ve gotta say: I’m proud of who we are and who we’ve become over the past 4 years, and so one of my favorite goals this year will be appointing a new leadership for this group so that I can leave this school with the peace of knowing that I, and future OHSers, can and will be proud of Loons (love you guys!).

What sets you apart from your opponents? Why should OHSers vote for you?

I think the biggest thing that sets me apart from my opponent is the extent of my experience in both OHS and OHS leadership. Like mentioned before, I’m 4 years old in OHS years, and yes, that’s old enough to remember the legendary Jared-Jasmine-Elgarico team. I was in NAPtime during my sophomore year, and yes, that’s old enough to have been around NAPtime’s founders, Nick Benson and Chis Cannella. I was in StuGov for two consecutive years during my freshman and sophomore years, under Josh Singh and Thomas Nielsen, Student Body Presidents, respectively. The time I spent mingling with these OHSers accounted for a rich, well-rounded experience of the student body- I became intimately familiar with the OHS culture. And I loved it! I was mesmerized by its quirkiness, its shameless geekiness, it’s sheer passion and vibrancy. This is something I’m proud of and want to pass on. The best way I can do that, I believe, is from a student leadership position, elected by students who share this love of the OHS, who share the experiences that have shaped us as OHSers.

Brendán McDonnell

Please introduce yourself.

Hi! My name is Brendán and I am Irish-American.

BrendanMcDonnellIf elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year? 

My job as Student Body President is to be a leader of our community. But, what does it mean to be a leader? As Student Body President, my job is to not have an agenda. The way I see it, my role in Student Government is to encourage the ideas of Class Representatives. Taking these ideas and creating one cohesive set of goals for the 2013 2014 Government is the fundamental essence of this role.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

I think that leadership and responsibility are many times entirely linked. Being a Starbucks barista, while not a traditional leadership experience, gives me invaluable experience in being a part of a team. In such a stressful work environment, it is important to be able to set a tone of calm and cohesiveness; I hope to use this skill in maintaining camaraderie as Student Body President.

Why should OHSers vote for you?

While I believe in the community OHS is, I also see a future of what OHS could be. I believe in the ideas of others, the importance of articulating a single voice of the Student Body, and the boundless potential our voices have to effect positive change.

Student Body Vice President Candidate

Daniel Sutkowski


Please introduce yourself.

Hello, I am Daniel Sutkowski and I am running for Student Body Vice-President.

If elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year?

This year, if elected, I plan to first support various measures to make Student government more accessible to the students. I also plan to support student meet ups and school hosted events such as a debate. Concerning the constitution I would support a change that would allow students to run, officially, on slates for office in Student government. All this said my main concern is to do what you think should be done and as representative of the student body I would support ideas expressed to me through email.

Senior Class President Candidate

Caroline Korndorffer


What do you plan to accomplish this year?  If elected, I want to continue our monthly class meetings, organize senior class apparel (hopefully working with Henry’s clothing company), and put together a senior meet up at my house in New Orleans during Mardi Gras (which conveniently falls post college apps). Additionally, I plan to actively involve the entirety of the senior class in plans for graduation in which there is student input. I would be thrilled to be a part of making sure our senior year is the best it can absolutely be. Regardless of whether or not I am elected, I am exceedingly proud to be a member of the Pixel Class of 2014.

Senior Class VP Candidates

Vladimir Kulchitsky

Please introduce yourself.

I am Vladimir, an OHS Senior and 5th-year who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, the place where it is now snowing, yet the leaves haven’t really started falling off the trees. My academic interests are around math and physics, but I am also a musician and play the alto saxophone.

If elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year?

As class vice president, I plan to completely secure the achievement the goals of the president, which are likely to include a plan for graduation, including the prom, as well as making these things possible. I am also for making the Student Government truly supportive of each individual in the student body. This means that the Student Government should always be available for each individual student to talk to if they are having problems that teachers are either refuse or are unable to resolve. The Student Government should address these problems, and make them visible to everyone.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

As specified in the guide for running for an office, I am not allowed to mention opposing candidates while campaigning. Therefore, I’m not allowed to say, “I have this, while my opponent(s) doesn’t.” Yet there are unique aspects that distinguish me in general. This is my fifth year of OHS, which means that I know very well about the student experience at this school and the problems that students face.  I am very familiar, from the perspective of an observing student, what the Student Government is usually doing and how it needs to improve. (That is, it is doing nothing, and it needs to be doing something in the interest of individual students in our magnificent student body.)

Why should OHSers vote for you?

If OHS seniors want the Student Government to continue being completely useless and non-influential for their posterity, then they definitely should NOT vote for me. DO vote for me if you want current and future OHS students to benefit from the student government officials putting their soul in the game. I stand with Student Body presidential candidate, Faith Chang, that the Student Government should be more effective than it has always been. I additionally believe that the Student Government should enhance the experience of each OHS student by making it more useful, entertaining, and enlightening.

Cassandra Sonne

Hello, senior class! I have attended the past two graduations, and they were amazing. Stanford campus is a beautiful place, and all of the events are a fantastic way to meet our OHS friends and teachers, who we cannot often see. I would love to help plan this graduation, taking the senior class’s input, and turn it into another great graduation!

Junior Class President Candidates

Zach Shuster

If elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year?

Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” A true leader is a servant, and a courageous representative must learn to sit down and listen before standing up to speak. And that is just what I will do. If I am elected Junior Class President, I will listen to your thoughts and voice them loud and clear. I will make sure they are heard among both the student government and the administration. I have two major goals for this year:

1. To voice the opinions of those in their Junior year at the OHS.

This is my most important job as Junior Class President. Everyone’s opinion is important, and I do not want one person to go unheard.

2. To strengthen and widen student government’s influence and effect on the OHS.

In past years, I noticed that student government did not do as much as an active and dynamic student government could do. Everyone who ran was overqualified for the job. I want to make sure the OHS student government is always doing something that brings together the school in creative and effective ways.

Our Junior class deserves a leader who seeks to lead it by being a servant, and to speak for it by listening with attentive ears. Vote Zachary Shuster.

Lewis Thomas

If elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year?

Having spent last year studying both with OHS and a school in my home-town, I see the office of Class President as having to be open and communicative. I would hold regular meetings with the Class; and be available for one to one meetings on any specific questions or issues any Class member might raise. I realise that questions and issues must be heard on a strictly confidential basis and would be guided by my your interests at all times.

I suggest we establish a Junior President’s Skype group, for the whole Class, in which I will participate actively and to which I will pay close attention. My goal will be to bring the Class closer, to add to our contribution to OHS and enable us to derive as much as possible from our participation in OHS. I promise not to lose sight of the fact that the office of President exists to serve the Class, not the Class to serve the President.

Over the last year I have realised that the OHS gives us all a huge opportunity. Only by communicating with and listening to each other and the OHS can we all make the most of that opportunity.

Junior Class VP Candidates

Chloe Clougher

Please introduce yourself.

ChloeClougherMy name is Chloe Clougher, and I’m running for the position of Junior Class VP. I was born in Boston and I live on Cape Cod, MA.

If elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year?

If elected to office, I plan on firstly acting as an effective and approachable mediator between the kids of the junior class and the junior class President. Secondly, I plan on listening to any requests or comments Juniors have to offer throughout the year: if the class wants a spirit day, I will consult with the President to accomplish that goal. I would also like to hold fundraisers that provide a donation to class funds in order to provide money for activities during summer session. I also would like to start a reach-out group of upperclassmen to actively listen to and introduce new students to the OHS. In my last school, I was an active member of the National Honor Society, and thus was part of a special tutoring program. I understand that there is already a tutoring program at the OHS, but perhaps it can become more centralized, so that tutors can set up special office hours, perhaps even to tutor whole groups of students at a time, so that group studying can also become more centralized and regular. Lastly, after these speculative ideas (and I will have many more to offer throughout the year), I would like to say that I will always be a big supporter of clubs at the OHS, and listen to them when they want to host a certain class-wide or school-wide event.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

I was the founder and president of several clubs at my last school and a member of varsity girls’ cross-country, so I have a lot of experience with leadership, forming effective strategies, listening, and teamwork. I have been home schooled, gone to a private school, taken classes on college campuses, and now I’m attending an online high school, so I will be able to relate to any kids having adjustment issues or those that need particular, individual guidance. I’ve also acted as NHS tutor in many subjects, so I have also had much experience with both one-on-one communication and guidance, and group work. I realize that leadership is about reaching out to you, not enforcing my own standing in the school, and I believe that my determination, work ethic, and care for others make me a unique individual that is not necessarily more qualified than my opponents, but that certainly sets me apart and makes me a perfect candidate for Junior Class VP.

Why should OHSers vote for you?

OHS voters, I’m asking for your vote because if I am elected Junior Class VP, you will be heard. I’m want to be your voice, so cast your vote for Chloe Clougher!

Costanza Razi

Please introduce yourself.CostanzaRasi

Hi, my name is Costanza Rasi.  I live in Houston, Texas, and some of my interests are Latin, English, running, swimming, and traveling.

If elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year? 

My plans focus mainly on firing up the OHS social life and making sure that all juniors’ opinions can get through to Student Government meetings.  I believe that the friendships formed in this school, though across states, countries, and seas, are some of deepest possible, and I hope to promote social exchanges and meetings both online, in person, and in the mail.  I aim to foster a comfortable, open environment, where class members can voice their opinions, which I will carry through to Student Government meetings.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

This is my fourth year attending the OHS, and I have been a part of its community ever since 2006.  I have seen the school evolve and know what attitudes and actions have been successful in the past, and plan to put this knowledge to use for the betterment of the Junior class and the school as a whole.

Why should OHSers vote for you?

I am well connected within the OHS community and believe I will be more than capable of reaching out to both new and returning juniors.  I have experience bringing the online school to life (at Summer Session, Graduation, Latin Convention, and numerous other meet ups) and aim to organize more of such events this year.  I am comfortable talking to people, and aspire to be an approachable leader who will take everyone’s opinions into deep consideration.

Sophomore Class President Candidate

Jonathan Saitta

JonathanSaittaPlease introduce yourself.

Hey guys, I’m Jonathan Saitta and I’m running to be your Sophomore Class President.

What do you plan to accomplish this year?

Last year, as Freshmen Class president, I made it a priority to come up with new ideas to help connect our class. Leveraging my 2 years of experience in Student Government, my plan is to build upon the momentum from last year and further my efforts to connect the class of 2016:

– Movie Nights:  One every other month, featuring movies selected by the students

– Class Blog:  A source of news, dates, and a general platform for sophomores to connect

– Skype Group: Create an informal, social group where sophomores can relax and have fun together

– eRoses:  One of the most successful programs initiated last year

– Surveys: Additional efforts to solicit feedback and get your voices heard

And many more!

Sophomore Class VP Candidate

Nathaniel Mahlum

What do you plan to accomplish this year?

Has anyone ever asked you if you knew about the brilliant CBS comedy called HIMYM? No? What about White Collar? Psych? Maybe even Doctor Who? Yes? No? I’m sure there are many people out there that have each response covered, but my goal is to make sure EVERYONE here knows these examples of genius comedy, crime, or Scifi shows. You don’t have to like them, but I‘d be shocked if you didn’t like one or two. And regardless of the show, there isn’t much out there that beats laughing about it with friends from your grade.

You like chess? Checkers? Sitting in front of a computer and cheering for fantasy football stars? Maybe you’re a bad boy, and like poker. That’s fine! These games can now be accessed thanks to the ever-distracting internet, and why not be able to 😀 after you destroy your friend in chess. These never-tiring experiences can be found in our pizza-less sophomore grade pizza parties. Don’t forget, there will be be virtual cake too.

Have you always had that special person that’s always on your mind? We’ll show them your secret anonymous 3000-mile away appreciation and send them an e-Rose through our completely reliable service. Your card will be in their inbox, completed with a picture of a nice rose, in no time.

Want to listen to good music? I’ll help the elected president with planning dance nights, where there will be music, games, and ending with a big movie or a TV show half/full-marathon.

And last but not least, have no fear, if you want to read all about the crap we do behind the scenes, check out our blog, which will probably share space between important surveys, reports, and announcements and the random stuff I post up. Like dancing Llamas? They’ll be there.

So, since you don’t care, you’ll love it, vote Nathaniel Mahlum as Sophomore Class Vice President.

Freshman Class President Candidates

Ogla Aristova

Hello everyone, my name is Olga Aristova; I’m a new freshman at OHS and I am running for president because I would like to be involved in the Stanford OHS community. Every student at this school is a dedicated member of the academic community and we all come from a variety of diverse and impressive backgrounds and I would like to support this wonderful environment.

My goal for the class of 2017 is to not only participate in the OHS community, but also improve it for the following years. I would like to provide the freshman with an opportunity to broaden their connections and friendships with the community and make their experience high school experience a remarkable one. Many students have already assimilated into OHS and are enjoying their school year, but many are still getting familiar with the online high school environment. I would like to assist with this transition and help strengthen the sense of the community at our school. Every student at this school deserves a chance to have their voice heard this year because we all belong to this diverse, wonderful community. Together we can all make this a fantastic year and leave our imprints at this unique school.

Luke Kwong

Hello Fellow OHS Freshman and Class of 2017! Now that we have experienced almost a month of enriching teaching at the OHS, it is time to rise up and make positive contributions to student life and the whole school. If elected as your president, I will ignite communication and initiate collaboration in this intellectually compelling community. Communication through Google Hangouts, Skype calls, Skype groups, and Saba meetings is an amazing way to develop Freshman class connections. In order for us to meet one another, I will organize movie nights, movie discussions, and game nights. These opportunities will allow us to meet each other in a fun and stimulating environment.

Another great way to develop community is through collaboration, which binds us together. Borrowing from a successful fundraiser in my area called “Thanks a Latte,” every Freshman would give up a certain number of lattes a month and give that money to the campaign. If you don’t drink coffee, you can choose whatever it is that you buy on a regular basis (i.e. sodas, smoothies, movie tickets, etc.) The money raised can be determined by the administration to go towards Summer Session, Graduation Weekend, Clubs or another area that would benefit the OHS student body. If this Freshman class collaborates together for a common cause, it will make us willing to make a positive impact on this school’s community. As your class president and fellow student, I am open to your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and even complaints. I will actively and zealously present and communicate your ideas to student government.

Paramita Modha

ParaModhaPlease introduce yourself.

Hey guys, I’m Para, and I am running for 2013-14 freshmen class president, and I can make this year crazy awesome. 😉 I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

If elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year?

OHS students are scattered all over the world, and especially as the year progresses, the students may feel lonely and disconnected from their classmates. I aim to prevent this the best I can, by holding monthly class meetings for activity announcements, in which the freshmen can provide suggestions (criticism encouraged!) I shall also start a freshmen blog for memes, gifs, announcements, and awesomesauceness in general. The sort of activities I plan to hold include frequent movie nights, the Secret Santa program (for anonymous gifts to a randomly selected person), and last years’ successful e-Roses program for virtual valentines.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

A height difference (I’m 4’11).

I’ve been at OHS for 3 years, and know what works in our student government. I am the leader of the freshmen Skype group this year, and have organized informal teacher appreciation days. I understand that OHSers have a rigorous workload, and need to have fun once in a while. I am dedicated to providing the freshmen with activities such as movie nights, which are not only relaxing, but also provide a great way to connect with peers.

Clarke Patrone

Why should I be your class president? Simply because I am dedicated to improving the quality of life for the OHS student. Consider the absurd cost of textbooks that OHS families must buy every year. By embracing etextbooks we can dramatically reduce cost while bringing our reading into the 21st century. Consider the vast distances between classmates. We can further our sense of tight-nit community by starting a “Geography Wars” competition. People in different regions of the world would join on a team to compete for points in different events through out the year. Social media is an invaluable tool for OHS students. The applications for these tools are limitless. I propose a homework helpline, where you can post question to the OHS community for instant help.

These ideas are not however why you should vote for me. As your president I pledge to be available to listen to the ideas and concerns of all members of our class. I pledge to work tirelessly to solve the any problems that arise from the OHS. And above all I pledge to do my best for you. Please vote Clarke Patrone for Freshman Class President.

Owen Xu

Hey guys, I strongly believe in the power of social networking. There are a lot of smart and talented kids at OHS that we should link up with. How cool would it be to look back 20 years later, and find that we’ve all become CEOs and Founders of huge start-up companies. I mean in our class, I’m willing to bet that we have the future Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Salman Khan who will shape the future of the world. These are the group of amazing classmates that we sit in class with everyday.

We, the OHS, represent the world and such a diverse group of passionate individuals all wanting the same thing: happiness and success. I believe that two heads are better than one, and if we can cooperate, collaborate, and communicate across different cultures and from thousands of miles away on Saba, that will give us the opportunity to develop a strong friendship that will last years to come. In fact, in order to make this happen if elected Class President I want to host our entire class (whoever wants to come visit) to get an insiders look at life in my home country, China. I plan to host a week-long party at my house in Shanghai. I have a swimming pool and a BBQ facility in my back yard, and I am willing to take you all on a trip to see what Shanghai and China is all about.

Vote Owen Xu for Class President! Cooperate, Collaborate, and Communicate! See you in Shanghai!

Freshman Class VP Candidates

Sirena Allen-de Guzman

Please introduce yourself.

My full name is Sirena Allen-de Guzman. I am a freshman new to OHS this year, and loving almost every moment of it! I currently live in Sydney, Australia and my extracurricular pursuits include debating, sailing, martial arts, playing guitar and hiking. I could also be described as a foodie, perfectionist, music enthusiast and laughaholic!

If elected into office, what do you plan to accomplish this year?

In my ideal world our entire class would undergo a transformation across the year. We would go from being an assembly of students, spread across the globe, pursuing each our own passions, to a close knit group of friends where our geographic position on the planet and our personal interests are things that excite us and allow us to cultivate more unique relationships.

I firmly believe that the best way for this to occur is through innovative thinking, persistence and a strong sense of community. Hence, I’ll ensure that we start off high school in an environment where everyone’s voice is heard.

If all goes according to my plan, it’ll be you choosing what student government achieves this year. That being said, my agenda includes having fun, meeting friends and making great memories, however YOU decide is best!

What sets you apart from your opponents?

To say I’m unique or different would be ridiculous, because the reason that we are at OHS in the first place is because we share this characteristic.

What differentiates me from the crowd is that I’m honestly passionate about my goals for student government. I’ve had enough experience leading large groups to know that the best ideas come from the student body, not the overruling and overachieving student leaders. What sets me apart is that if I’m elected, OHS freshmen are going to be interactive, with just as much say as President and VP, and we will accomplish what we set out to do!

Why should OHSers vote for you?

I want our freshmen year to be the start of four of the best years of our lives. We have a lot to learn; at least goodness knows I do!  I know this year will be a learning curve, but I also want it to be a year that we look back on with tears in our eyes, love in our hearts, laughter in our voices and great memories. I also want to set the bar so high for the rest of our high school experience that we are forced to push ourselves to make each coming year a better, more exciting, more memorable year! Vote for me to make 2013-2014 be that kind of year!

Cyrus Crockett

Hi guys, my name is Cyrus and I’m running for freshmen vice president! At OHS it isn’t always easy to stay connected with your friends and peers. There are a variety of factors that make staying connected troublesome. OHS students are from all around the world, which means each individual has a completely different schedule, not to mention time zones. Many times it is difficult to keep up with what is going on. I plan to keep the 9th grade connected, not only their peers, but to the rest of the school and student government as well. Blogs, movie nights, Tumblr, Twitter and more will all be added to the list of ways to stay linked to your friends and peers.

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