By: Rahem Hamid — Senior Political Correspondent
Class officers swept the board on Friday, as every officer in the Class of 2022 and 2023 won re-election in what was the best election for incumbents in at least a decade.
In the midst of great uncertainty, Sharon High students chose to stick with the leadership they already had, rather than switch leaders in a turbulent time. The results were released at 7:52 AM on Saturday, November 21st.
Ciara McAuliffe, Kuhu Badgi, Amrik Eadara, Deyan Kassev, and Daniel Okstein all won on Friday. They will serve for the remainder of their time in high school. “[Having] the same officers with the experience and knowledge from last year will serve to help us,” President McAuliffe said. She made it clear she’s looking forward to working with candidates who did not emerge victorious “if or when they are elected on the board.”
Her co-officers echoed that position. “The experience is more important than ever during these unprecedented times,” Treasurer Kassev said. Vice President Badgi said that keeping the officers means the grade will have leaders who “have the skills and experience necessary to deliver on our promises despite the circumstances.”
The Class of ’22 will also be in charge of election security at Sharon High next year. Sharon High School made the switch to online elections in the spring of 2019. The Class of 2021 took charge shortly thereafter and monitored all elections following the shift to online.
‘21 Historian Jeffrey Xiang, who helped with election security this past Friday with his fellow officers, said that people who claim they were not able to vote did not log in to their sharonschools.net account. Historian Xiang said that ensuring that they are logged into that account is paramount to election security and making sure no one doesn’t vote repeatedly and with other email addresses.
“Turnout was over 50%, so hundreds of students from all grades voted. The link was emailed to school emails and reminders were posted on Schoology. It’s important that we restricted to sharonschools domain so we…can verify that they are voting [in] the correct grade,” he said. “There was one instance of fraud, where a class of 2023 student submitted a ballot for the class of 2024. We simply deleted the response.”
Turnout exceeded 50% in each grade, and 2021 officers combed through each ballot to make sure they were from members of the appropriate grade. Everything was secured and shared with Ms. Lisa Jolicoeur.
President McAuliffe said she’s prepared to take the mantle of the senior class and is looking forward to assuming responsibility for the things the ’21 board has done. Secretary Eadara shared that sentiment. “Because both [the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2022] have faced similar experiences [due to COVID-19], our transition will be more manageable,” he said.
All five officers promised their grade that they would serve to the best of their ability. “To every member of the grade, I promise that your last two years of high school will be worth remembering,” President McAuliffe vowed. Vice President Badgi agreed. “The biggest promise I can make is that I will do my best to hear the thoughts, concerns, and ideas of every member of the Class of 2022.”
The Class of 2023 officers expressed near-unanimous surprise that all five of them were re-elected. “I was really very surprised to see all five of our names on the Eagle Eye newsletter. That being said, I think it’s great that we all managed to get re-elected for this year,” President Trisha Brahmachari said. “I knew a lot of the incumbents would win, I’m just surprised all of us did,” Secretary Andrew Liu said. “I feel good,” Treasurer Kushal Chandrasekaran told the Talon.
But the five of them, who will be fighting for re-election in just a matter of months, felt differently about the fact that their next election is just around the corner. Secretary Andrew Liu says he’s just focused on right now. “When the next election comes, I’ll worry about it then,” he said. But Historian Rahul Rajendran embraced the closeness of the next vote. “[It] gets me excited…I can feel the pressure on my shoulders, [which] allows me to strengthen my leadership skills,” he said in a statement.
Vice President Rithvik Neti encourages those who did not win to serve on planning boards. “[The] candidates that did not [win], I’m hoping will be on planning board because they were all fantastic. I feel like the grade has given me another chance to prove our leadership and…our skills to the class, and I know we will deliver,” he said.
The Class of ‘23 will have to grapple with how to put on and plan for a sophomore semi that is only four or five months away. Daily COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts are approaching record peaks, but promising news about a vaccine may change the landscape drastically.
President Brahmachari said she’d like to have a sophomore semi when the weather warms, COVID regulations permitting. Other officers also acknowledged the restrictions they had to work under. Treasurer Chandrasekaran said he’d like to plan an event that could be pulled off under public health guidelines. All class officers emphasized that they were ready to work hard for their grade, despite the challenging circumstances.
“[We] hope to end this year with everyone excited for the next one, and hopefully we will have a strong groundwork to make junior prom and the next events even better,” Vice President Neti said.
The Class of 2024 elected its slate of officers, as Jack Maron, Aadi Kaul, Navya Shukla, Anthony Wu, and Ronin Banerjee all won. Maron, who will serve as President, says he is confident the officers will make a great team. “I’m open to accepting any ideas that my co-officers put forth,” he said. Treasurer Anthony Wu was similarly confident. “I’m already close friends with all [the officers] and I know each of them are hardworking and very talented,” he said.
Maron says he will give the job his all. “I promise to listen to the ideas that my peers have…I know this [position] is a very big deal. Breaking those promises would be letting my classmates down,” he said. Secretary Shukla echoed similar themes. “I promise to always strive for each and every person’s needs as well as create a safe, accepting school environment,” she said.