Welcoming new leadership

Excitement fills the air as ASB candidates step into new positions


Emma Steinburg

Current ASB Clubs Coordinator Addy Wynkoop (11, left) works with ASB adviser Laura Lehni (right) in the leadership class.

Semai Hagos, Features Editor

The Associated Student Body (ASB) plays a large role in the planning of vital school events such as school dances, assemblies and spirit weeks. As the school year approaches a close, students are allowed the opportunity to be part of next year’s leadership. 

Students interested in running for an ASB position must fill out an application form and get signatures from students and teachers. Depending on which positions applicants are running for, the application process is different.

“We have elected positions, [which] are positions that students run for,” ASB adviser Laura Lehni said. “And students have the opportunity to speak in front of their class or school to get elected by their peers.”

Candidates gave their ASB speeches in the Performing Arts Center on May 19 in front of their class. However, students interested in running for appointed positions go through a different selection process, which involves being interviewed by Lehni and the ASB vice president.

“The team interviews everyone who’s interested in the positions and then makes recommendations,” Lehni said. “Those recommendations are then confirmed by myself, Ms. Hunt and then the ASB vice president.”

Lehni explains that the ASB constitution states the current vice president as the Chair of Elections.

Clubs’ Coordinator Addy Wynkoop expresses her joy in her involvement with ASB. 

“Sophomore year I joined for the first time and I just fell in love with all the work that we do,” she said. “Whether it’s spirit weeks or dances or any of the nitty gritty societal change that we’re trying to [accomplish], I felt like ASB was a place where I could really be myself and thrive.”

Now a rising senior and the ASB president for the upcoming school year, Wynkoop places an emphasis on the relationships she’s built beyond the students in leadership. She describes the connections between the student body as the most rewarding part of her participation in leadership.

“Standing in front of the entire school at an assembly or giving a speech…I don’t think there’s anything else like that at Ballard,” Wynkoop said. “Just because there’s no other way to get in front of all of your peers and help them to have that connection with you.”

With efforts being made to increase inclusion, Wynkoop hopes to increase student participation.

“For things like the Multicultural Assembly, [it’s important to be] making sure that everybody from every class is being there in that space in a respectful manner,” she said. “I feel like it’s really important and being vulnerable in those spaces as well and being able to get up on your feet and be expressive and cheer everybody on.”

Junior Chase Edwards went about the election in a unique way, giving a rap rather than a standard speech.
“I didn’t want to do anything too bland,” he said. “I knew I had to grab the crowd’s attention in some way, [as] I was going up against some good competitors.”

Edwards, with underlying leadership experience from baseball and basketball, plans to take on the role of senior class president through communication and collaboration with next year’s ASB and admin.

“I want to help make all the big events the best they can be, and have them be as memorable as they can be,” Edwards said.

Junior Bridget Donnelly, with her organization skills, will be stepping up as secretary in the following school year. 

“I did ASB in middle school and I really like this team spirit [of] organizing assemblies,” she said. “I definitely wanted to get involved in ASB and I felt like secretary would be a good place to do that.”

Donnelly has gained much leadership experience from being captain of the cross country and lacrosse teams.

“That’s been fun because I do a lot of the same things that ASB does, like planning spirit days, but just [on] a smaller scale,” she said.

Donnelly’s goals as secretary involve motivating school spirit among the student body, through inclusivity and spirit days.

Izzy Rampersad, ASB’s treasurer to-be, has an interest in pursuing a finance-related future.

“I’m in the business classes here and the Academy of Finance,” she said. “So it felt like a natural fit for me to step into that role.”

As a current junior class ambassador not enrolled in the leadership class, Rampersad highlights the importance of making time in her schedule to take the class next year.

“From running last year and participating this year, I see a lot of potential with all the school leadership with all these different wonderful students,” Rampersad said. “And I’m excited to see what we can do [next] year.”

In recent months, the Black Student Union has hosted two panel discussions in the PAC for students to hear about successful black figures, which Rampersad wants to promote further. She also notes her goal to increase inclusivity.

“I’m excited to get the experience,” Rampersad said. “I’m excited to be in the class and learn a lot more from people.”