Head Monitor Election Results
by Rebecca Chernick on Friday, April 25th, 2014
The Upper School elected its Head Monitors for the 2014-2015 school year on Wednesday, April 16th. Current head monitors Cameron Park (I) and Liam White (I) announced on Thursday, April 17th that Caroline Wall and Louis Demetroulakos would succeed them in office. The Head Monitors were elected through a recently modified election process, which both the candidates and the student body seem to think is beneficial.
The election process began back in March, when Class II students were asked to self-nominate for the position. These students then delivered speeches at a Class II assembly, where their peers narrowed the field to eight finalists — four boys and four girls. Finalists Jared Turner, Adam Friedberg, Jake Daniels, Louis Demetroulakos, Alison Garber, Caroline Wall, Kiana Mendes, and Erika Lamere participated in Question and Answer sessions with the student body, and each delivered two minute speeches to the entire student body. Students were able to cast their votes online through myMilton on Wednesday. Similar to many other Milton elections, a ranked ballot — a system where voters rank the choices in order of preference from first to fourth — was used.
The election process this year reflected a change implemented last year that allowed the junior class alone to narrow down the candidates. Associate Dean of Students Mr. Heard explained, “A few years ago, we questioned whether or not the system produced informed voting. The S.G.A. identified aspects of the process that they felt were not effective, and since then, they have been attempting to craft a system that meets their goals.”
This year, through the Q&A sessions and speeches, each head monitor candidate got the opportunity to distinguish himself or herself. Alison Garber commented, “I think Milton students are looking for lots of different criteria in the candidates, from humor to drive to school spirit.” Jared Turner added, “Sadly, I think most students look for the funniest candidate. However, I do believe that students also look for who they could see leading the school.” Alison showed her dedication and work ethic, while Jared presented his vision for next year. Like Jared, Adam Friedberg had big ideas for the 2014-2015, one of which was starting a new school tradition: setting a world record. Erika Lamere hoped to increase attendance at sports games and plays, while Jake Daniels wanted to strengthen bonds between the classes. Kiana Mendes drew from her experience as the Class II S.G.A. representative to show confidence as a leader. Both Louis Demetroulakos and Caroline Wall blended humor and approachability, ultimately winning the election.
While reflecting on the election process, Adam Friedberg said, “The election process definitely helps the school get to know the candidates, [but] the final speech being shorter took away from the depth of the speeches.” Grace Stanfield (III) called the process “short and effective,” yet Jodie Mustin (II) thought the entire process was “a bit dragged out.” These opposing opinions may stem from the fact that Class II students who already have a familiarity with the candidates feel that all the speeches are excessive, but Yoav Segev (II) observed that “the process is beneficial for underclassmen and seniors,” since Class II students already know the candidates fairly well. Hannah Nigro (III) agreed, stating, “It’s difficult for the underclassmen who don’t know the candidates to get a good sense of their character.”
The Head Monitor candidates also found the process helpful. Jared Turner (II) said, “I believe that the new election process really forces you to think about what you want to do for the school. I did not enter last week with a clear idea of what I wanted to talk about. Yet, at the end of week I knew exactly what I’d want to implement on the school.” Alison Garber also commented, “Even though the process is very long and time-consuming, I really appreciate how it has given me so many ways to talk about who I am, why I’d want the position, and what I’d do.” Overall, students seem to think that the election process, even if too time consuming, is necessary in choosing the student leaders of the Upper School.
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