Get to Know the Student Government Candidates
As student government elections approach, get to know more about the candidates.
Every year in September, The Sweet Home Student Government Association (SHSGA) holds elections at the high school. They hold elections for Student Body President, Vice President, and Senate positions. This year, speeches took place on Tuesday, September 20th and Wednesday, September 21st during first through fourth periods.
On Friday September 23rd, everyone in the student body will receive a ballot to vote for their representatives. Shortly after, the results will be released to the school. The candidates have many fresh ideas for the upcoming school year, and it is important to get to know them before they are elected!
There are six seats open for the Freshman Senate election with eight student running for those positions.
Kayla Collins is running because she has a lot of new ideas for changes within the school. She believes that all students should feel safe and happy in the school, and she hopes to win a senate seat.
Genevieve Miceli is running for senate because she hopes to give the student body a voice and speak up for them. If elected, she won’t be afraid to speak up for what is right.
Benny Bosch-Krug is an honors student running for a senate seat, he loves science and wants to give students a voice and make the school a better place.
Zamyah Adams, Savannah Farr, Brinlee Greco, Sofia Guadagna, and Anya Sprauge are also running, but did not comment before the publishing of this article.
Like the freshmen, there are six open Sophomore seats in the election. There are seven candidates running for those seats.
Jake Ferrari is a sophomore who plays two sports and participates in honors classes. He wants to make the school a better place, and is willing to fight for anything his peers want.
Matthew Spence is another sophomore candidate. He was a former freshman senator, so this would be his second year participating in Student Government. He is a part of the swim team and a part time producer for the morning show. He is also involved in ACLC and the sophomore class council.
Connie Chen is also running for sophomore senate. She is a high honors student and athlete who always strives to go above and beyond expectations. She has been a part of the Sweet Home Community for three years, and spent her two years in middle school involved in a variety of leadership roles. Her freshman year, she took part in the Freshman Class Council. She hopes to continue to make a difference in the Sweet Home Community and encourage her peers to do the same.
Jacob Brand, Lily Fisher*, Jordan Mercado, and Haley Starr are also running, but did not comment before the publishing of this article.
The junior senate holds five seats. 10 candidates are running to fill them.
Hunter Tryloff* is running for junior senate, he is the Editor-in Chief of the Panther Eye. He has been involved in the SHSGA for his entire high school career and has served as a senator for the last two years. If elected, he hopes to make sure students’ voices are heard and that there is a policy of transparency between the district and students. He hopes to work with both the district and SHSGA to create a better school environment for all students.
Erica Chan has been at Sweet Home for thirteen years and has seen the district grow ever since. She has been a part of Student Government for two years as a senator, which means this will be her third year running. She has been a part of the girls swimming team for three years now, and in the Chemistry Club for two years. She hopes to be a voice for the student body. From her personal experience, this association is made up of diligent and dedicated individuals, and she wants to contribute with every asset she has to offer.
Isabella Vega is another junior candidate who has gone to Sweet Home since kindergarten, and is a part of the Varsity Cheerleading Team. She loves having a voice for the school and wants to encourage others to become involved. If elected, she wants to work on having more spirit weeks, more unity as a school, and organized school events.
Labiba Chowdhury is also running for junior senate, she is new to Sweet Home but is aiming for great change. She recently moved here from New York City, and is still adjusting and finding her place in the community. She strives for excellence. She is running for the senate seat because she thinks it is a great way for her to get involved with the school community and make her voice heard. She wants to decorate the school and put up a large panther sign to show school pride. She wants to host events, such as fundraisers, to raise money for a prom for the class of 2024.
Katherine Elmedawar, Margaret Gembala, Isabella Klein, Megan Orgek, Tyler Phillips, and Brandon Busch are also running, but did not comment before the publishing of this article.
There are also five open seats for the Senior Senate, there are seven candidates running.
Lexi Herrmann* is a senior who has held a senate seat in Student Government since her sophomore year. She is involved in many extracurricular activities, and is very hardworking. She hopes to improve student life by organizing more events and work on food and nutrition within the Sweet Home Community. She works to give every student a voice.
Olivia Weissenburg* has also been in Student Government since her sophomore year. She also wants to work within the Food and Nutrition Committee as she did last year. She enjoys making positive changes in the school, and hopes that the Student Government can organize spirit weeks and school dances. She wants more fun events throughout the school year.
Alison Gauld, Derek Richards, Tyler Travis, and Natalie Zwelling are also running, but did not comment before the publishing of this article.
There are nine candidates running for Vice President, as the seat can be held by either a junior or senior.
Derek Woodford is a junior and a two sport athlete who sings in Concert Chorale and plays in Symphony Orchestra. He wants new changes for the school. He feels that if he wins the election, he will get the school back to the way it was before COVID by bringing back pep rallies.
Shannon Wilkinson, a senior, plays tennis and works very hard. She is determined to make the school a better place and wants to have more school functions. She wants to be the voice for students. She wants to bring back pep rallies and functions like the Boo-Benefit and Spring Olympics. She hopes to open the courtyard for seniors during lunch time on nice days, and update the vending machines.
Afifa Roja is another senior running for Vice President, who is Co-President of the Debate Club. She is on the tennis team, ACLC and many other extracurriculars. Last year, she was the Chairperson of the Diversity and Inclusion committee and also participated in district wide DEI meetings. Outside of school, she loves painting. Throughout her school years, she has always been interested in leading and being involved with the things that hope on around the school. She knows she can bring many fresh ideas to the table and desires to continue improving our school. She was the Vice President of her former middle school, and works great with others and loves to help in any way she can.
Fatima Hasan is a senior who was the former Chairperson of the Academic and Student Life Committee. She started the peer tutoring program with the AAC, helped with culture week, and handed out candy last year to brighten students’ days. She was also involved in the Student Leadership Group. If elected, she wants to make the school a safe and fun environment for all students. She helped out a lot last year and got a lot done, and hopes to do the same this upcoming school year!
Makayla Wilson is also a senior running for the Vice President. She has been in the Sweet Home District her whole life, and was in Student Government her freshman and sophomore years. She enjoys creative outlets including painting and drawing. She is also the President of the Chemistry Club and loves science. She is running for Vice President because she thought it would give her the chance to connect with students. She cares deeply about bettering the school and wants to see improvements and more community among students. If elected, she hopes to build students’ relationships with their peers, make them feel welcome at school. She also hopes to get an ice cream truck in the spring for students to enjoy something during midterms to ease stress and anxiety.
Elizabeth Cusack, Daniel Fried, Rosalise Kowalewski, and Gianna Miceli are also running, but did not comment before the publishing of this article.
There is one Student Body President and only seniors are allowed to run for it, this year there are three candidates running.
Tadiwanashe Nigel Tigere is from Zimbabwe. He was a part of the senate his sophomore year and recently joined the United States Army. He wants to teach leadership skills to his younger colleagues and make this year the best it can possibly be. He hopes for a greater atmosphere throughout the whole school.
Katelyn Bechtel is a senior who has been on the varsity tennis team for four years, and taken a captain role for two of them. Last year, she served as the Vice President of the Sweet Home Education Foundation (SHEF)’s Student Council, and is the President this year. She has been the Lighting Director of Stage Crew for four years. In 2021, she received the Leon C. (Sid) Oberacker Award for outstanding service to her school and community. She believes she has great ideas that will benefit the student body. She hopes to give the school a new face in student leadership with fresh perspectives. If elected, she would like to establish more communication between Student Government and all students. She will work to bring back events everyone loved such as the Boo Benefit and Multicultural Night, and would also like to work on opening up courtyards for lunches and plan spirit weeks that students will enjoy.
Musab Abrar is also running, but did not comment before the publishing of this article.
There are an enormous number of candidates running for all Student Government seats this year. A total of 43 students will be running against each other for 24 available seats in the SHSGA. Best of luck to all the candidates!
* These candidates are members of The Panther Eye. The Eye is not affiliated with their campaigns in any way.
Olivia is in her senior year at Sweet Home High School. Her writing will focus primarily around sports in the Sweet Home community.