Junior and Senior Election Interviews

by Domenic Hoxholi, Class of 2022

With school coming up in just under a month, we must not forget about our Student Council elections. This is a time where we make our voices heard and elect officers who can create positive changes for our Matignon community. Even though this article is aimed at Juniors and Seniors, everyone is welcome to read about our next upperclassmen leaders. Sophomores, stay tuned for your candidates’ interviews!

The Junior Presidential race, the Senior Secretarial race, and the Senior Presidential race are the only three contested races. Over this summer, I reached out to every candidate who is running in these races about an opportunity to answer some questions about their campaign. Although each candidate was given the opportunity to be featured in this article, not all of them participated.

Starting off with the Junior Presidential race, we have 5 candidates running: incumbent President Dylan Griffith, who is running for re-election, incumbent Intermediary William Carroll, Representative Shania Rimpel, Representative Sydney Rosa, and Mr. Steven Lee. Out of these five candidates, President Griffith, Intermediary Carroll and Representative Rimpel took the opportunity to answer questions. Below is the interview with President Griffith: 

Matignon Mirror: Mr. President, you have four challengers vying for your seat as President of the Class of 2021. Why do you think you deserve another term? 

Dylan Griffith: As we enter another school year at Matignon, it is imperative that our elected officers are able to organize, rally, and energize our fellow classmates. In order to do so, it takes a true leader who is able to connect with their classmates. In my view, a leader is one who understands the problems and concerns that fellow classmates voice and is able to find the appropriate solutions in a timely manner. Being this leader, I will continue to be one of diligence and hard work that gets the job done. I will fight to earn another term from my classmates for us and for our school so that we may continue the tradition of “Expect Excellence”. I believe that I am the leader to help to unite our school in forming a real sense of pride which has been lacking therefrom. It takes experience, understanding, and dedication to lead and that is what I promise to do. 

MM: In order to execute his/her vision for their class and Matignon High School, the Junior President must work with their fellow Council Members. What is your vision for Matignon High School and if elected, how will you execute it?  

DG: Matignon is a high school of great tradition. This tradition to me is one to build on and to bring continuity of its fruition. As a student council, we are tasked with ensuring that the events we organize are not only enjoyable but also reflective of the bar of excellence that we as Warriors are held to. Beginning with Homecoming in the fall, we will be rededicated in our commitment to each other and to our school. Holding tag days to bring awareness to the countless issues, such as breast cancer, that affect so many people, allows us to extend a helping hand to those who need it most. During Catholic Schools Week, I plan to introduce the first-ever Throwback Thursday Disco Night where we can go for a skate and finish off our celebrations strong. In order to do all of this, we will need to organize collectively as a council. With our leadership, I know we can get the job done. 

MM: One of the driving questions in the 2020 American Presidential election is, “How are you going to pay for that?” What fundraisers do you have planned and how will these funds be used? 

DG: Preparation for events is critical, as is paying for them. If I am elected, we will balance our budget so that all of the events we organize are not outweighed by the financial burdens. What I mean by this is that as a council, we will need to fundraise beforehand so that events are not as costly. Because we are students and are given some independence from our parents, we understand that not everyone wants to put out $20 for every event, or they want to, but simply can’t. We must take this into consideration and begin by holding bake sales, working with the administration for tag days, and for events like Homecoming, selling themed t-shirts. Through these means, we will fundraise enough money so that prices will be feasible, the focus of our events shifts away from the price tag, and we as a student body will also benefit. Thank you very much for the questions and remember to vote #Griff4Prez!   

Now, here is the interview with Intermediary Carroll: 

MM: Not only are you challenging President Dylan Griffith for his seat as President, you also have three other opponents, why do you deserve to be elected?   

William Carroll: I have run for president since my freshman year and have served on the council for the past two years as our Class Intermediary. Interacting with my fellow council members and students has given me experience that would aid me in serving as a friendly and focused president. Out of my opponents, with the exception of President Griffith, I am the only one who has chosen to serve both years on the council despite my initial defeats in the presidential elections, going on to take the role of Intermediary both times. This proves that it is not in my character to give up, and if elected president, my loyalty will only grow. I am absolutely dedicated to my class, having done and will do anything in my power to improve the quality of our school life. Freshman year, I participated in MIT’s Leadership Training Institute, a competitive program designed to improve the skills of young leaders. For my service project, a part of the program, I chose to research and work on ways to make school lunches more affordable. The mentors advised me that this was a difficult project that few students in the program have succeeded in before. However, I do not believe in giving in to what’s considered impossible if I have the chance to help others.  

MM: In order to execute his/her vision for their class and Matignon High School, the Junior President must work their fellow Council Members. What is your vision for Matignon High School and if elected, how will you execute it?   

WCBecause my sister was a part of the Class of 2017, Matignon High School has been a part of my life for the better part of six years. I have witnessed the progression of our school, and I have heard complaints and praises from students. Matignon’s strength has always come from the students’ diverse interests and qualities. In order to create an environment appropriate for that many students requires feedback. I want to work more closely with my peers to ensure they get what they want in our school. Junior year is very important and I want to stress teamwork among our Class of 2021 council. Having worked with them for the past few years, I know what skills they have and what we can accomplish by dividing up tasks between us. My goal is to use my leadership training from MIT Leadership Training Institute to improve Pep Rallies, school spirit, dances, long blocks, the lunch, and other important aspects of school life.

MM: One of the driving questions in the 2020 American presidential election is, “How are you going to pay for that?” What fundraisers do you have planned and how will these funds be used? 

WC: Well, Matignon certainly does not have the same budget or issues as the United States! However, we still need money to run. Of course, our seasonal bake sales are a class favorite and I would want to continue that. One fun new idea I would want to bring to Matignon is a penny drive war. There has been talk in student council to hold a penny drive and, as someone who had it at their school for many years, I would be able to organize it. Every Christmas, we sell candy cane grams. I think we can spread this to Halloween, letting students send their friends “Trick or Treats” in the form of their favorite (or least favorite for the trick part) Halloween candy.  In the past, people have wanted to have Vine Day as a part of Spirit Week, but this has been difficult to do because of the seasonal dress code and Mass. I believe we can have a Vine day dress down earlier or later in the year so those pesky shorts would be an option. I have so many ideas that could spice up Matignon and earn us extra money for dances, and being elected president would mean helping to see these ideas come to light.  

Finally, the interview with Representative Rimpel: 

MM:  Not only are you challenging President Dylan Griffith for his seat as President, you also have three other opponents, why do you deserve to be elected?   

Shania Rimpel: I deserve to be president because I have been in positions of leadership in the past. I was the president for all my years in middle school. During my freshman year, I was part of the Leadership Training Institute for MIT, where I decided to tackle the issue of racism. Even as a sophomore, I was chosen as Vice President of SOCA. I am persistent, and love to see all of my projects finish. I created my “EQUALITY” shirts as a way to unite students of all races. I sold them in school and donated all of the proceeds to SOCA.  

MM: In order to execute his/her vision for their class and Matignon High School, the Junior President must work their fellow Council Members. What is your vision for Matignon High School and if elected, how will you execute it?   

SR: My vision for Matignon High School is to create a more united front. People of color make up a minority at our school and I feel that we could make more of an effort to acknowledge this during certain months. For instance, the month of October is Hispanic History Month. That can be taken as an opportunity to learn more about our peers and their history. Black History Month is more well known, but we can use it to further our education and learn about historical figures that we may not learn about in our history books. I believe by learning about each other’s backgrounds, we can better understand each other and become more united. 

MM: One of the driving questions in the 2020 American presidential election is, “How are you going to pay for that?” What fundraisers do you have planned and how will these funds be used? 

SR: From my experience, bake sales seem to do the best in terms of fundraising. Raffles also seem like a good way to fundraise, as people may be more inclined to buy a raffle if the prize is appealing. I would use the money to better our school dances, like Homecoming, and to make our Pep Rallies more entertaining. The money is really to benefit the entire student body and making the high school experience a memorable one.

Next on the agenda is the Senior Secretarial election. This election has two candidates, incumbent Class of 2020 Secretary Christina Fallon, running for re-election, and Representative Mia Wieczorek. Both candidates took the opportunity to answer questions. We will start with the challenger, Representative Wieczorek: 

MM: Christina Fallon is the incumbent Class of 2020 Secretary, what makes you a better alternative?  

Mia Wieczorek: I am a part of several clubs at Matignon and have many leadership roles in our school, such as Captain of the Girls Varsity Soccer Team and a member of the National Honors Society. Outside of school, I volunteer as an ice-skating instructor for young children. I also have experience on Student Council as a Representative last year.    

MM: The Secretary of the Senior Class is delegated the responsibility of taking notes at meetings and drafting project proposals to send to the Administration, but they are also representatives of their classes ideas. What is the first project you will propose to the council if elected? 

MW: If I am our Senior Class Secretary, I will collaborate with the rest of the Student Council to make improvements. I take others ideas or suggestions into full consideration, even from students who are not in Student Council. I have the energy to brighten our school, which it needs. I am also creative.  

Now, the interview with Secretary Fallon: 

MM: Madam Secretary, you are running for re-election, why do you feel you deserve another term?  

Christina Fallon:  Experience.  I have been honored to fulfill the role of secretary for the past two years, and I am prepared to carry my classmates into our final year.  Those two years have given me a full understanding of how Student Council should be run, as well as what not to do. I have seen many of our proposals succeed in the Matignon community, but I have also seen many fails.  These failures have taught me how to go about propositions and who to bring them to in order for our class to run productively. With a new secretary, our class would be in a setback that would see far more failures. But, with me as secretary, I can assure you that my experience will make our final year together successful and memorable.   

MM: The Secretary of the Senior Class is delegated the responsibility of taking notes at meetings and draft project proposals to send to the Administration, but they are also representatives of their classes ideas. What is the first project you will propose to the council if elected?  

CF: Since my first term, I have been envisioning many ideas for our class that would make Matignon a more exciting place. Mentioned years ago, I plan on arranging a movie night for all Matignon students to enjoy, that will serve as a break from the stresses of school and allow students to connect outside of class. With delicious snacks and refreshments, students will be able to remember a Matignon that not only accomplished activities during school, but also joined students together outside of the restrictions of class. Another issue I plan on addressing is the water fountain crisis. Students have to bring their own water from home, causing an unnecessary accumulation of plastic water bottles. Students have to rely on the nurse for clean drinking water, which is completely unacceptable. I plan on issuing new water fountains that filtrate water so that everyone can access clean drinking water. As secretary, I will enter my third term steadfast with determination in order to make these ideas, as well as many others, turn into realities.  

Now for the race we all are looking at, the Senior Presidential Election. As custom, the Senior Class President is the leader of the Student Council as well as the de facto Student Body President. With incumbent Presidents Patrick Stanton and Ahn Nguyen both deciding not to run for re-election, they have let a field of four candidates looking to fill the open seat: incumbent Class of 2020 Vice President Frentzhermann Solidaire, incumbent Intermediary, Jacqueline Lemieux, Representative Natialie Bett, and Mr. Xichang He. Out of these candidates, Vice President Solidaire, Intermediary Lemieux, and Representative Bett responded to the questions. Below is the interview with Vice President Solidaire: 

MM: The role of the Senior President is the most important position in the Matignon Student council. Why do you believe you are the best candidate for the position? 

Frentz Solidaire: Over the years I have noticed the students and staff emit this feeling apathy, sort of like a “Miserable Matignon.” It is been a curtain drawn on Matignon for quite some time. My future staff and I know we can help change this attitude. By becoming Senior President, I aim to introduce a real sense of school spirit and overall pride in being a Warrior. 

MM: The Matignon Student Council meetings are where the ideas of our fellow Warriors are discussed and implemented. If elected, what will be the first project you propose before the council and how do you plan on executing your vision?  

FS: The first project to be proposed before Student Council will be Homecoming. Getting a headstart on this social event will make it all the more worthwhile. This will be supported by fundraisers and individual items that Student Council sells. An event such as this will be just one out of many others where people will experience a great time.  

MM: Data from the “Outside the Classroom” Public Forum survey indicated that Pep Rallies were one of the least favorite assemblies of the 2018-2019 school year. How will you work to enhance the experience of Pep Rallies and other Student Council events? 

FS: While it is disappointing to know that the pep rallies were subpar, the members of Student Council aim to fix that. We will be surveying the students on what they liked, didn’t like, and or would like to see in them. From there we can make the changes needed. Our hope is that the pep rallies, among other Student Council events, will be lively and increase school spirit. 

MM: One of the driving questions in the 2020 American presidential election is, “How are you going to pay for that?” What fundraisers do you have planned and how will these funds be used to execute your vision for Matignon? 

FS:: Fundraisers are a big, if not the main, part in running multiple events throughout the year. Some of our most successful fundraisers will be bake sales. I also hope to get tournaments of some kind going where it involves teams facing off each other for a grand prize. From these funds we hope to power a vision of Matignon where students are actually excited for future events and in attending school in general.  

Here is the interview with Intermediary Lemieux: 

MM: The role of the Senior President is the most important position in the Matignon Student council. Why do you believe you are the best candidate for the position? 

Jacqueline Lemieux: I have participated in Student Council since my freshman year as a Representative for the class of 2020 during our freshman and sophomore years and our class Intermediary during our Junior year. In that time, I have maintained a high level of commitment to our class as well as to our school. I am consistently one of the few people to attend and contribute to meetings, and have done my best to positively impact our community with every decision I have made and idea I have presented. I never shy away from a challenge and frequently find myself taking on extra responsibilities and picking up slack in order to help out with anything I can. If elected, I promise that I will bring this same energy to every Student Council meeting and to every Matignon event. I believe that every person has a valuable opinion, and that those opinions should be heard and paid attention to. If elected, I will value the opinions of the student body and the Student Council as a whole, not just the idea that I might like best or that affects my best interests.  

MM: The Matignon Student Council meetings are where the ideas of our fellow Warriors are discussed and implemented. If elected, what will be the first project you propose before the council and how do you plan on executing your vision? 

JL: My first goal is not an external project, but rather an internal improvement. Too often in the past, people have been overlooked or treated unfairly within Student Council. If elected, I want to consider everyone’s opinions and ideas. I will make a conscious effort to open things up to a vote more often than making executive decisions or going with the idea I personally like the best. In my opinion, a stronger and more united Student Council will make better, more informed, and more inclusive decisions to benefit the entire student body. In addition, I would like to adopt an open-door policy for meetings: ANY Matignon student who would like to attend a meeting and voice their ideas will be welcome to attend any and all meetings, even if they are not a part of Student Council. 

MM: Data from the “Outside the Classroom” Public Forum survey indicated that Pep Rallies were one of the least favorite assemblies of the 2018-2019 school year. How will you work to enhance the experience of Pep Rallies and other Student Council events? 

JL: At the risk of sounding redundant, student opinion is the most important factor. I think that if we increase polls and student submissions, events will be far more successful. I would also like to change up the games we play at Pep Rallies; although many of the games we play are fun, students get tired of playing the same few games over and over again. I will be looking for new ideas and working to improve the lineup, rather than just repeating the same games just because they’ve been somewhat successful in the past.  

MM: One of the driving questions in the 2020 American presidential election is, “How are you going to pay for that?” What fundraisers do you have planned and how will these funds be used to execute your vision for Matignon?  

JL:  Of course, the Homecoming dance will be our major fundraiser as always. In the beginning of the year, that will be my main focus as far as theme, decorations, advertising, etc. For the rest of the year, I definitely want to plan some other fundraising events — I’ve heard some good ideas, such as a trivia night, and am certainly open to hearing some more! All funds will be put back into other events, such as Pep Rallies and the Homecoming dance, in order to improve these events and make them the best that they can be. 

Now for Representative Bett’s interview: 

MM: The role of the Senior President is the most important position in the Matignon Student council. Why do you believe you are the best candidate for the position?  

Natalie Bett: I feel that I am the best candidate for the position because I am responsible and organized. I am extremely dedicated to everything I do, and recognize the importance of this position. I’m very involved in the Matignon community, and therefore care about the needs of every student, no matter his or her grade or interests.

MM: The Matignon Student Council meetings are where the ideas of our fellow Warriors are discussed and implemented. If elected, what will be the first project you propose before the council and how do you plan on executing your vision? 

NB: My first steps as President would be to start planning the Homecoming dance, cancer assembly, and fall pep rally. These are some of the first events at Matignon planned by Student Council, and the sooner they are planned, the more potential they have to be great. I would also communicate with the other Student Council members to see what ideas they have for the year, and begin working on those as well.  

MM: Data from the “Outside the Classroom” Public Forum survey indicated that Pep Rallies were one of the least favorite assemblies of the 2018-2019 school year. How will you work to enhance the experience of Pep Rallies and other Student Council events? 

NB: I feel that pep rallies were the least favorite activity because there is a large part of the student body that isn’t involved in sports. I feel that if pep rallies were more geared towards everyone, they would be more fun for students that are shy, don’t play sports, don’t like large crowds, etc. I also think pep rallies should have more ‘advertising’ to get everyone excited during the week, which could lead to a higher energy level at the actual event.  

MM: One of the driving questions in the 2020 American presidential election is, “How are you going to pay for that?” What fundraisers do you have planned and how will these funds be used to execute your vision for Matignon?  

NB: This year, I would love to do more fun and interesting fundraising ideas than just bake sales. At the end of last year, the student council was discussing having a movie night at the beginning of the year as a “welcome back” event for both returning students and new freshmen. I feel that ticket sales from this event (or something similar to this) could be a way to start raising money for the upcoming fall events. 

In addition to the speeches you will hear early next year, we at the Matignon Mirror hope that these interviews will help you cast your ballot. Now, most people say that Student Council is a popularity contest, where the same people run time and time again and win, but I would like to challenge that notion. As the Class of 2022 Vice President and candidate for President of my class, I have seen first hand how much each and every member cares about bettering our school, from going to summer meetings to plan Homecoming, showing up before and after school to execute fun events like Pep Rallies, and organizing fundraisers to pay for our ambition visions. No matter what position you hold or how long we have been on the Council, we care about one thing: YOU! So cast your ballot and make your voice heard, because we at the Matignon Mirror and Student Council know that it matters. Thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing all in September! 

In order to provide an unbiased platform, all candidates were informed about this opportunity with an ample amount of time to respond to their questions and The candidates were told that their opponents would also have this opportunity. Also, an advance copy of this article was sent to all featured candidates, four days before publishing. 

Interviews have been edited for grammar and clarity.

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