As the school year comes to a close, new community leaders are budding.
Most notable is the new student body president, rising Sixth Former Asa Winikur. After being selected by his own form to advance to the final round of elections, Winikur spoke in front of the whole upper school in an election with two other strong candidates. Despite the speeches and impressive backgrounds of each candidate, Winikur came out in front to assume his new role as the next student body president.
The student body president’s role requires effort, time, and dedication. The president represents the entire student body and strives to be the best role model they can be for the entire upper school, bringing the community together and holding them to a higher standard.
“I have been going to this school for a long time, and one thing I always remember about the president is that they give that opening day speech when the whole school gathers around, and I just thought that would be a cool opportunity for me,” Winukur said. “Both my brothers go here, and my mom teaches here, so I have a family connection here and it’s just a place that I care about so much. When I gave my election speech to the seniors to get to the final election stage, I spoke about how it’s our turn to give back to the community… I felt it was my turn to give back to the place which has done so much for me.”
The student body president also has the responsibility of advocating for students.
“I wanted to make sure that I didn’t make any promises that I knew were going to be out of my control,” Winikur said. “The main message that I wanted to get across was that students would feel represented and they would feel like they are part of an inclusive community that cares about everyone, from the freshman who is new to the school all the way to someone who feels really comfortable here.”
One way to achieve the sense of community Winikur has his eyes set on specific, achievable goals. To do this, Winikur plans on consistently meeting and establishing a strong bond with the faculty leaders.
“[One goal I have is] meeting with someone like Mr. Kolade, Mr. Fifer, and Mr. Casertano, to make sure that I have a good relationship with them because they are at the top of their fields in parts of this school,” Winikur said. “Also, recently, I sent out an email to get a student’s perspective on what they want out of me, what they expect from me, what they think could be improved on from the past, and what they thought was successful with the past leaders. I plan on communicating with past student body presidents like Mitav Nayak and Vincent Scauzzo, to learn from presidents in the past and then putting my own spin on things and giving my best, honest effort.”
“There are a lot of great people who come out of this school, and I think the faculty leaders in the school do a great job in curating that environment.”Asa Winikur ’24
The student body president sets the environment for a school year by their actions, plans, and the virtue they select to focus on for the year.
“I think the school is in a great position,” Winikur said. “There are a lot of great people who come out of this school, and I think the faculty leaders in the school do a great job in curating that environment.”
Winikur has already done some thinking.
“One virtue that stands out to me at this stage, and I am obviously not fully decided, is confidence,” Winikur said. “I think when you have an environment where a lot of people are confident and a lot of people are willing to take risks, you get an environment where people are able to do things they don’t normally do.”
Winikur himself has already begun to experience the honor but also the uphill battle that comes with being student body president.
“One challenge is now, I have to think that I have a lot more people looking up to me, and I want to set the best example that I can,” Winikur said. “I am a guy who is very outgoing and loud, so grappling with the benefits of that but also learning how to channel that in the right way…Before I became president, I was a guy who fell into a specific friend group of athletes and people who were very similar to me, but a part of being student body president is that I have my friends, but I also have to represent and appeal to the people who didn’t vote for me, and a lot of different people in this school who aren’t that similar to me.”