Leadership class shifts to online activities for rest of school year

May 12, 2020 — by Apurva Chakravarthy

Leadership students put on contests and challenges to raise spirits during school closure.


Every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Leadership class meets online to discuss plans for future events and how to raise school spirit. However, discussions have switched from talking about in-person events to figuring out how to raise school spirit in this difficult time.
Following the school’s closure on March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Leadership class has shifted to online contests and challenges in hopes of engaging students. 

After the end of ASB elections, which were held Feb. 10-14, and class officer elections, which were held March 2-6, the new Leadership class has started to prepare for the upcoming year. The ASB officers for next year include junior Cynthia Zhang as president, junior Erica Lee as ASB vice president, junior Katie Chen as treasurer, sophomore Derek Hsu as secretary and junior Arnav Mangal as clubs commissioner. 

“I am really excited for next year because all the new ASB officers are very talented and experienced leaders,” Zhang said. “Although it would be ideal to meet in person for events like commission interviews, a lot of us have worked together in the past before so we work really well together.”

The new ASB held commission interviews for those interested in being part of the Leadership class next year. The leadership application deadline was extended until April 5 because of the school closure, and the officers held interviews over spring break.

During the interviews, the officers focused on applicants’ first-choice commission. 

“We wanted to see what they believed they could offer to the class as well as their dedication and any innovative ideas they have to improve the commission or overall class,” Zhang said.

In total, more than 30 students applied for 19 available positions. ASB released the results on April 16 on Facebook

During this time, assistant principal Matthew Torrens has assisted the Leadership Class in finding creative ways to hold online activities. His main efforts lie with coordinating with the administration, senior class office, and the district to discuss options for graduation and senior prom. So far, the groups have not decided anything, but work on finding safe options for these events.


Spirit events continue

In order to continue spreading school spirit even while in quarantine, spirit commission hosted a virtual Spirit Week from March 30-April 3. The themes were PJ Day on Monday, Pet Day on Tuesday, Art Day on Wednesday, Food Day on Thursday and Nature Day on Friday. Students messaged the school’s spirit account, @togaspirit, on Instagram with pictures of themselves to be featured each day, and the best photos were highlighted at the end of the week.
Additionally, the dance commission hosted a TikTok contest from March 25-29. Students could send their submissions to the commission’s Instagram account, @shsdance.co, and vote on a Google Form for the best TikTok. The winners of the contest were juniors Shahmun Jafri and Juan Vintimilla and the “Junior Group,” consisting of juniors Emily Choi, Tabitha Hulme, Shannon Ji, Erica Lee, Isabelle Lee, Danielle Moon, Kaitlyn Yu, Cynthia Zhang and Jessie Zhou.  

Isabelle Lee thinks the contest raised school spirit but mainly targeted a certain group or type of students who enjoy TikTok. Still, she said that “the people who didn’t participate seemed to enjoy watching the TikToks, and it was a fun way for people to connect without actually seeing each other.”

In order to support local businesses, the outreach commission hosted a contest for students during the first week of April to submit pictures of themselves with food after they ordered take-out or delivery. Students sent the submissions to saratogaoutreachshs@gmail.com for a chance to win a $25 gift card to a local restaurant. 

In the coming weeks, the Leadership class hopes to host more spirit weeks, contests, challenges and online meetings to keep students’ spirits up during these difficult times.

“In this time of isolation, we believe that unity and spirit among the school is more important than ever,” Zhang said. “Leadership has continued to meet consistently to collaborate and develop fun activities to bring people together during this difficult time.”

ASB Officers 2020/2021: 

President: Cynthia Zhang

Vice President: Erica Lee

Treasurer: Katie Chen

Secretary: Derek Hsu

Clubs Commissioner: Arnav Mangal


Commissioners 2020/2021:


Kaylie Wong (Head)

Kavita Sundaram

Anastasia Ramirez

Cameron King


Shawn Hulme (Head)

Tyler Chu

Dylan Overby

Catherine Kan

Isha Garlapati


Rima Christie (Head)

Morgan Bruun-Jensen (Head)

Julian Berkowitz-Sklar

Sade Hashemi

Parsa Hashemi


Emily Choi (Head)

Shannon Ji

Johnny Hulme

Sadaf Sobhani

Ben Bray


Class Officers 2020/2021:

Senior Class Office:

President: Lauren Tan

Vice President: Aliza Zaman

Treasurer: Dylan Li

Class Representative: Wilson Fung

Class Representative: Nathan Murphy

Junior Class Office:

President: Nandini Desai

Vice President: Alexander Yang

Treasurer: Apurva Chakravarthy

Class Representative: Yousef Zaman

Class Representative: Grace Hsu

Sophomore Class Office:

President: Allison Tan

Vice President: Anand Agarwal

Treasurer: Mason Wang

Class Representative: Noor Khan

Class Representative: Avani Kongerita

Freshman Class Office:

Elections to be held in August.