In early March Lincoln Academy students elected a new Student Body President. Junior Jupiter Rose Solorzano of Alna was elected out of a pool of three candidates, “any one of whom would have made an excellent president” according to Lincoln Academy history teacher and student council advisor Brian O’Mahoney.
Solorzano attended the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb during elementary and middle school, and then spent two years at High Mowing, a boarding school in New Hampshire. “I was ready to come home to my community and my local school,” she said in her campaign speech before the student body on March 3.
Solorzano succeeds outgoing Student Body President Elise Dumont, who was an “Absolutely, definitely wonderful president,” according to Mr. O’Mahoney. “Elise set a great tone, and really brought some great ideas to the position. She will continue to be involved in the student council in an advisory role until she graduates in June. We are grateful to her for all the work she did over the last year.”
Dumont has reason to be proud of her record, which includes two successful blood drives, two school dances, and the 2016 Winter Carnival as well as other, less tangible accomplishments. “I am proud of the the intelligent discussions about the advising system, physical education credit, and the dress code at Lincoln Academy; and building better ties between the Student Council and the teachers and administration.”
Dumont leaves Solorzano with big shoes to fill, and the new President welcomes the challenge as she assumes office this week. “I ran for president because I knew the students needed somebody who was not afraid of dealing frequently with adults and possibly tricky issues,” says Solorzano. “I am very interested in politics, and I loved being on Student Council at my old school. I was thinking of running for a while, but I only really decided to run after a few of my friends told me they wanted me to be their president.”
She has some very concrete goals for her presidency. “During my term, I would like to implement an easier way for students to give teachers feedback anonymously by way of a Teacher Recommendation form; something a student could fill out with suggestions or requests for a teacher that would be screened by student council, and then passed on to the teachers. Also, I have read many studies of schools that start later in the morning that are very beneficial to the health of teenagers, so I would like to start that conversation in the student council. Finally, I want to learn the names of every student in the school.”
The Lincoln Academy Student Council meets weekly and is made up of elected officers from each grade at LA. The Council organizes events like the Winter Semi-Formal Dance and Winter Carnival, and discusses issues that concern students, including discipline and academic policies, in hopes of improving communication and advocating for positive change in the LA community.
What advice does Dumont have for her successor? “Have a clear goal, but let the Student Council find it’s own passions. Do not let the time of year distract from your potential accomplishments. Do not be afraid to just dive in and make change that matters.”
As for Solorzano, she is ready to begin her term. “I care greatly about the people of Lincoln. All the students deserve a school where they feel safe and at home, and I hope to help make that the reality for everybody.”