MVHS ASB: The new faces behind the election

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ASB President – Juliane Tsai
Time served in Leadership: 3 years

Photos used with permission of Juliane Tsai.

During ASB campaign season, junior Juliane Tsai created a campaign website with a spot for the student body to send in questions or concerns. She was surprised to see that some of the questions addressed her approachability and how she came across as intimidating. Now, as the newly elected ASB President for the 2017-18 school year, Tsai wants to break that illusion.

“[I want people to know] that I’m very friendly,” Tsai said. “Anyone can approach me, and that I’m really happy to talk to anyone.”

When Tsai first joined Leadership as the 2018 class president in 2014, she didn’t know what she was getting herself into. She recalls almost embarrassing misunderstandings during homecoming in her freshman year that are now just memories to look back upon and laugh at. Since then, she has learned how to work better with her Leadership team, manage her time and improve her communication skills.

“I was really lucky to start early,” Tsai said, “because I learned so much just about working with people, communicating and how to be an effective leader. It has played a huge role in my life. It’s like I have another family.”

This year, as part of ASB, Tsai hopes to make a real impact on the MVHS community. She seeks to increase the transparency of Leadership by putting daily agendas on the SchoolLoop bulletin, increasing spirit through spirit days and getting more feedback about school events directly from the student body. But, more than anything else, cheesy as it seems to her, she wants to continue to foster her values as the good person Leadership has prompted her to become and continue giving back to the MVHS student body.

ASB Vice President – Santosh Sivakumar
Time served in Leadership: 3 years

Photo used with permission of Santosh Sivakumar. Photo taken by Bill Cheng. 

Backed by three years of experience as class vice president, junior Santosh Sivakumar is now ready for the next step in Leadership even though disengaging from the class he has always represented may be a bit hard at first.

“I think the toughest part will be taking an impartial stance,” Sivakumar said. “I’ve really gotten devoted to our class during rallies and events, and I think taking an impartial stance, helping all the classes evenly, and taking it from a broader scope and not affiliating yourself with 2018 [is important for the future].”

Sivakumar’s role will be expanded from his previous role of class Vice President to ASB Vice President. He will now be in charge of facilitating Legislative Council, which convenes every two weeks during tutorial to discuss student concerns brought forth by representatives of each fifth period class.

If it’s one thing he’s learned from campaigning, Sivakumar has realized that talking to people and being genuine is one of the most effective campaigning strategies out there.

“People really appreciate when you have genuine conversations with them,” Sivakumar said. “Make the most out of campaigning and meet some people and have good conversations.”

ASB Secretary – Stacy Park
Time served in Leadership: 2 years

Photos used with permission of Stacy Park.

Junior Stacy Park recalls helping out with quad decs in her freshman year before she was involved in Leadership. It was then that she discovered that helping out her class was her passion. She had always wanted to lead and engage in whatever her class was doing, and joining Leadership helped her accomplish that.

In her sophomore year, Park ran for the position of class secretary, which she currently holds as a junior as well. She thinks of ASB as a great learning experience in order to become more involved in school affairs and politics. She found her involvement with Leadership to be fulfilling, and she decided that running for an ASB position was the next natural step in furthering her career.

Park has had good and bad experiences in Leadership, especially in terms of class participation. According to Park, the rallies have been fun, but the class of 2018 has the lowest participation out of all four classes, which is one thing she hopes to remedy this once she is in ASB.

“[One of my goals is] facilitating discussions in a way that people are more involved,” Park said.

Building her own social skills is one of Park’s many personal goals, and she also hopes to work on better communication with the rest of the ASB team. Specifically for her role as secretary, her goal is to stay organized.

In terms of personality, Park believes that she is very open and she hopes that students know about her and are able to approach her, but she admits that sometimes her attitude may make it seem somewhat aloof. Despite her carefree attitude, she is passionate about Leadership and hopes that the student body knows about this.

“Even though sometimes I’m really goofy, and I seem like I don’t really care, I do really care,” Park said. “And I love doing what [I do].”

ASB Treasurer – Ashley Chang
Time served in Leadership: 3 years

Photos used with permission of Ashley Chang.

As the 2018 class treasurer since her freshman year, junior Ashley Chang has handled numerous budget report and accounts, and, this year, as ASB treasurer, she will continue that task while hopefully being able to make a larger impact on her school community by giving advice to other commissions about all she has learned in the last three years.

“I’ve learned a lot, met a lot of new people, spent a lot of time doing a lot of things,” Chang said. “After three years, you learn that there are a lot of cool activities around the school and you hope that people go to them and enjoy them.”

Chang’s experience on Leadership has allowed her to meet new people and experience new things. Her favorite part of it has been all of the unique people she has met, and she hopes to continue that with her final year on Leadership. Equipped with three years of experience, Chang is prepared to take on new challenges in her new role as ASB treasurer.

“I feel like if I hadn’t been in Leadership, I wouldn’t have been as open to joining other activities,” Chang said. “Because through Leadership, you find out about what kind of things happen at our school.”

ASB Social Manager – Sara Nordby
Time served in Leadership: 1 year

Photo used with permission of Sara Norby. Photo taken by Bill Cheng.

This year was Nordby’s first time campaigning for a position at MVHS, but since she was running unopposed, she wasn’t too worried. Nordby decided to run for ASB due to her admiration of this year’s ASB team. After seeing the impact that they had on the MVHS community, Nordby was eager to continue this change in her next year in Leadership.

Junior Sara Nordby first joined Leadership for the 2016-2017 school year, prompted by encouragement from her friends. This year Nordby was a part of the Bull Spirit Commission. With a team of other first year Leadership students and a completely new homecoming structure, Nordby has had the opportunity to really experience the ups and downs of Leadership and to see everything that Leadership has to offer.

“In the Leadership class itself, we do a lot,” Nordby said. “And I didn’t realize that before I joined the class. We do just everything behind the scenes. Everything that’s going on in school, Leadership probably has a hand in it. It’s a lot of experimenting, taking risks, trying your best and hoping for the best.”

Though to her it’s cliche, Nordby is excited to make the 2017-2018 school year a solid, memorable year, not just for her senior class but for all MVHS students and staff, especially in the academically rigorous environment of MVHS.

“I really just want people to be more happy and smile more,” Nordby said. “I know admin has been trying to do more, but I really hope this next year we can make everyone just a little more relaxed, even though it is a school environment.”

ASB IDC Representative – Andrea Chang
Time served in Leadership: 2 years

Photos used with permission of Andrea Chang.

Junior Andrea Chang has been a part of Leadership since sophomore year. She enjoys the fact that her position as ASB IDC Representative will blend a wide variety of roles into one.

“I like the fact that, as IDC, I have the responsibilities of a class officer, so I would just do what normal class officers would do,” Chang said. “And on top of that, I meet with other IDC reps of different schools, and I really like that as well because it’s just getting to know more people and things like that.”

Chang has had some great experiences with Leadership. One of her favorite memories is the California Association of Student Leaders event that MVHS Leadership attended last year. The students who went on the trip were able to bond, which was a really valuable experience for Chang.

“Last year at Disneyland, it was a really interesting week,” Chang said. “Everyone got sick, but it was one of the best memories I’ve had in Leadership.

Chang wants to emphasize the fact that being a part of ASB does not grant her any major political powers, and that her original goal of serving the student body still lies true.

“I’m just like everyone else. I’m not some special person really in any way, I’m just everyone else who has a passion for Leadership,” Chang said. “Honestly I’m just here for whatever people want. I’m here to serve the student body and that’s what I want to do.”

Student Board Representative – Samantha Millar
Time served in Leadership: 3 years

Photo used with permission of Samantha Millar. Photo taken by Bill Cheng.

Junior Samantha Millar was a class officer freshman and sophomore year, but she didn’t make class office in her junior year. She did remain involved in the Student Life Commission, however, and she originally planned to run for ASB Social Manager. That changed once she heard about a new ASB position — Student Board Representative. This position appealed to her because she saw the connection with the community and local politics, which really interested her.

“It’s really like the next tier of Leadership that I wanted to get into,” Millar said. “As I joined Youth and Government this year, which is [an]outside of school program, I started learning more about community politics and hearing about this position that combined [it with school]was super interesting to me.”

Millar looks forward to interacting with the board on a personal level, and wishes to find more ways to improve its ties to the school. Millar hopes to work on a better method of communication so there is stronger correspondence with the schools.

The responsibilities that Millar’s new positions bring may seem daunting at first, but she is determined to use her time effectively to accomplish her goals.

“I’m going to have to collect board presentations every two weeks, I’m going to two board meetings a month, and then IDC board meetings every other week, as well as keeping on top of ASB responsibilities, which sounds like a lot,” Millar said. “But I am prepared to work on managing my time so that it’s not as difficult as it sounds.”

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Bill Cheng is a junior and a part of the entertainment section. This is his second year on staff.