Year No. 2 brings changes to Leadership class

September 5, 2017 — by Elicia Ye and Callia Yuan

A year after it began as a regular class, Leadership is making some modifications to its program.

These changes include the roles of freshman class officers, new commissions and new ASB positions.

On Aug. 14, members of the Leadership class kicked off the new year by taking a trip downtown to offer minor cleaning services to local Saratoga businesses such as the Big Basin Cafe, UPS Store and Saratoga Museum.

“By taking part in and doing good for the community, we can connect SHS with the Saratoga community in downtown,” ASB president senior Nathon Chin said. “Our plans are to bring it back for next year.”

After the service portion of the “camp,” activities director Matt Torrens inspired the Leadership students with videos and talks to build the school theme “TOGA-ther,” or “Toga Together.”

“It was a fun bonding experience for the old and new members in Leadership,” junior class treasurer Samyu Iyer said. “Everyone was excited to see each other’s faces again before the school year.”

The class also welcomed the four elected freshman class officers to join in on the tradition. As the class of 2021 held elections in May of this year at Redwood Middle School instead of the beginning of their freshman year, the freshman officers are able to participate in Leadership activities and get a headstart on class office planning.

Freshman president Lauren Tan, vice president Katie Chen, secretary Arnav Mangal and treasurer Emily Choi have since worked closely with the Leadership class and organized fundraisers. The two appointed class representatives, selected on Aug. 25 are Tyler Chu and Erica Lee.

“Freshmen had a lot of activities over the summer, and they have to start on Homecoming as soon as possible,” Torrens said. “Last year ASB had to organize freshman activities, but this year after communicating with Redwood, we were able to get freshmen on track.”

In addition to the elections, ASB, inspired by the Exploratory Wheel at Redwood, has decided to implement a new freshmen rotation to further establish exposure to class and acquaint them with class structure. Freshmen will rotate through commissions throughout the school year to learn about each commission.

However, as a result from the changes among commissions, freshmen will not be taking part in Rally and Election commissions.

Rally commission, despite being part of the Leadership class during the 2016-17 school year, will meet outside the class this year in order to minimize scheduling conflicts with the senior-level MAP class. ASB also chose to remove elections commission, which consisted of only head commissioner senior Jishing Yu last year, and incorporate it into the Outreach commision.

This year, Outreach has further divided responsibilities among its commissioners. Seniors Bradley Oh is heading up elections, sophomore Sally Kim is overseeing new students and Link Crew, and sophomore Rohan Rao and senior Soumya Nimmu are handling technology, marketing and community efforts.

In order to maintain communication with the Rally commissioners, ASB plans on meeting with them during tutorials and having senior Allison Borch, the head Rally commissioner, stop by the Leadership class during rally weeks.

In order to increase participation in organizing events, ASB also introduced a new rule to increase the Leadership class service requirements from 10 hours total last year to 15 hours per semester this year. Members can fulfill this expectation by serving their own class office or commission or working at events outside of class.

The rule has been effective so far.

“We saw a lot of involvement during the Back to School Dance,” head dance commission senior Marissa Leong said. “There was more participation during ticket sales, setup and cleanup.”

With the various changes impacting Leadership students, ASB and Torrens hope to improve communication within the class and bring students and staff on campus closer “TOGA-ther.”


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