Leadership roles for next year filled

April 21, 2009 — by Uttara Sivaram

As summer nears and school wraps up, this year’s student officers are passing the baton to next year’s leaders—namely, the positions of drum majors, yearbook and newspaper editors-in-chief. Next year, these coveted positions will be led by new drum majors juniors Flora Chang and Zach Jacobs and sophomores Jason Shiuan and David Mandell, yearbook editor-in-chiefs juniors Tara Fatemi, Eda Isik and Melanie Yamamoto, and Falcon’s editor-in-chiefs juniors Alex Song and Gautham Ganesan.

Traditionally, only two or three drum majors are named per year, but due to the inconvenience that having only three majors heading the 200-member band has presented in the past, four were instated this year. The process of electing drum majors is especially drawn out, demanding auditions, extensive paperwork, essay writing and interviews, all supervised and rated by music department heads Michael Boitz and John Zarco. Prospective majors have to type out an paper expanding upon their qualifications, conduct in front of the band, stand for election, and fill out several forms before being considered for the job.

“There aren’t really any set ‘qualifications’ [for being a drum major],” said Chang. “But like with any other leadership role, there are the unsaid requirements, like the ability to lead others and to get others to listen to you.”

The selection process for the yearbook and newspaper editor-in-chief position is less arduous—though the applications are expected to be detailed; the candidates go through an interview process with journalism adviser Mike Tyler, who then picks the editors. Many factors are taken into his consideration—experience, aptitude, leadership ability, etc. Yamamoto, one of the newly named yearbook editor-in-chiefs, acknowledges that there is still much to learn even after two years on staff.

“Although I feel that my experiences on the yearbook staff have helped to prepare me to fill a role as an editor, I know that there is still a lot to learn,” said Yamamoto. “[Last year’s editors’] example motivated me to do my very best on everything I worked on. I decided to apply, hoping for an opportunity to be involved on a deeper level in the making of the yearbook and to encourage the staff in the same way that previous years’ editors have encouraged me.”

Hand-in-hand with the announcement of the new yearbook editors came the announcement of the Falcon’s own editors-in-chief. Song, an involved Falcon staffer for the past two years, deems his promotion to be more of a “natural progression of leadership” and is confident that with his experience and the help of his staff, he will do “just fine.”

For students who are interested in applying for leadership positions next year, Song believes that a strong work ethic is the way to success.

“Hard work and diligence can get you just about anywhere,” said Song.

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