Candidate for President: Rachel Stone

Candidate for President: Rachel Stone

Give two reasons why you are running for your position in student government.

Only giving two reasons for why a person is running for a position that they love is challenging, especially when there are infinitely many reasons, but my top two would be to serve the school community and to help promote more smiles. Firstly, I want to give back to the school that has given me an amazing four years by helping the students to have an amazing 2021-2022 school year. Over the years, I have been inspired by the amazing feats the Executive Boards overcame for the student’s amusement, from Student Leaders Retreat to the Carmel Challenge Cup, to Black Light Pep Rallies, and to the student council Christmas parties. All of the student council events have given me special time to bond with my friends and others while learning how to enjoy my time and how to lead and be a helper for others. I want to continue the legacy by providing students with a year they will never forget where they can share in the same experiences I have had at Mount Carmel. I would like to also give back to this school by helping come up with student council events that support the school or that help the school with funds to donate to different charities. Secondly, I want to serve as Executive Board President because I want to help bring smiles to students’ faces. Especially after a year where so much has been lost, I want to help students return to that Carmel Spirit in any way possible. I also want to bring joy to others through my position by simply bringing joy to all that I do. I always try to find the best in every situation and laugh about the good things when times are tough. I hope to bring this spirit to the student council and then the school so other students can feel happier, even on bad days.

List one goal that you would like to accomplish if you are elected, and a few steps on how you would accomplish that goal.

One goal I would like to accomplish is a hopeful “return to normalcy” after this past year. I am hoping that Covid cases and regulations will be fewer by the time we return to school, and even if they are not, I will still make sure we get the most out of our next school year. It would be amazing to help organize past events again and make sure everyone is on the same page on how different fundraisers and activities will operate. I also hope that through this return of being able to have more people in one place, the student council itself can also be brought together through different gatherings and leadership building exercises so that everyone across the positions and grades can know each other. This would allow for a more unified council that can better represent the ideas of the students.

What three traits do you think best describe you?

Firstly, I am a very determined person, and I do not stop short of my goals. When I have an idea in my mind, I do not want to let it go to waste, so I make sure that I put my effort into it. As Executive Board President, I would not let a task fall out of place, because I know how much it would mean to students and also to the school, so I will make sure that everything is done. If an issue arises, I along with the rest of student council will make sure that we solve it. I do not believe that bumps in the plan are causes for worry because they can be fixed with just a simple out-of-the-box thought. Speaking of these thoughts, a wild imagination is another trait that describes me. My mind is constantly running and thinking of new plans, so it is not hard for me to come up with ideas. This is great for a leader because the world is constantly changing, especially the world of MCA. One student council event may be set in stone one minute and completely changed the next, and as President, I would need to hold ideas together by coming up with new plans. This also helps when trying to come up with new events for students to enjoy, and I do believe that I am able to provide the twist that allows for our usual events to be just that more exciting! Lastly, another word that describes me is outgoing. I am not afraid to talk in front of others or help them share their ideas because public speaking does not startle me. I am also outgoing in a private sense where I want every student to feel included, so I will reach out to people. One of my top goals is to always bring joy to others because you never know when a nice action will make a world of a difference for someone. I hope that as President, people would feel okay to talk to me because of my outgoing nature, and I will also go to others who may not feel as if they should say something. Overall, my traits of determination, wild imagination, and outgoing personality allow me to be the leader I am today, and they help me to see the world from a perspective of not allowing it to take over me. My ideas and thoughts can not be stopped if I am confident in myself, and I do have the confidence to be there for my school and students and serve them to create an amazing year.

With COVID-19 restrictions in mind, how have you spread JOY to your peers and used your creativity to do so?

With COVID-19 restrictions, I know that I just have to work harder to spread joy over six feet rather than only one foot. I accomplish this by being active in WMCA and creating fun, educational segments that can bring others a laugh. I also love to write jokes on a few of my teacher’s boards as well as just saying jokes to people who may seem sad. I do believe that small actions that can invoke a laugh in others can cause a great difference for someone who may be going through a tough time. Especially in this day and age where it is hard to be close with our friends and there are separate struggles outside of school, a good laugh can release endorphins and fight away dreariness in an instant. I also spread joy in the terms of Jesus, Others, and then Yourself by putting the needs of my classmates and teachers first. I have worked with Board to construct a Spirit/Gym Day extravaganza so that my classmates can feel the Mount Carmel spirit. Overall, in a time where we are all physically separated, I tried to unite the school through good humor, kindness, and perseverance so we all can feel the joy of being able to come to this school.

Why do you think you should be elected to this position? What qualifications do you have? If you have won any awards or have held any other leadership positions, please list them.

I am qualified for this position because of my experience in leadership roles as well as my constant drive to be a better leader. Like I said before, I was Sophomore Class President and through that position, I led my grade and learned confidence for my actions. Besides my leadership through Mount Carmel’s Student Council, I was a Greater New Orleans Association of Student Councils staff member for the past student council workshop, and through this position, I met other student council officials from different schools. They taught me new ideas to bring to Mount Carmel’s Student Council and new ways to promote school spirit. Besides being a staff member, I was an attendee for the past year’s GNOASC Workshop and the Louisiana Association of Student Councils State Convention. Both of these events instilled in me the importance of being a leader who makes sure to advocate for the whole group she is representing and not for individual voices. I was also selected to represent Mount Carmel at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership State Conference last summer, and I hope to attend the World Leadership Convention this year. I have also been a leader in other groups, such as WMCA and in my piano studio. I am the current treasurer of WMCA and help with organizing member information, and through this club, I am able to see the creativity that students at the school offer and learn from them. Another club I am involved in is Ambassadors, in which I am a leader through being a representative of the school. I am also the oldest in my piano studio and have helped in organizing a charity recital to raise money for brain cancer research. All of these positions I have held and events I have attended have given me the knowledge on how to fit the demanding role that is Executive Board President.

How do you embody the term “servant leader”? Be specific about your contributions both in Student Council and at MCA in general.

I embody the term “servant leader” because I believe that a leader should not stand out in the crowd, but rather be the behind-the-scenes operator while still navigating the group. A servant leader is an organizer that serves all of one group, and they do so in a non-boisterous way. In order to serve, you have to have a passion for what you are doing and have your position only for the greater good of who you are representing. I am a servant leader because my role in student council is not to boost myself, but to represent those around me and to help their ideas be heard. One example of servant leadership is a link chain, which involves many small loops to hold the whole project together. As a servant leader, I have to make sure that every loop is intact and present in the chain because, without one, the whole chain falls apart. I would have to make sure that I do my job of serving the students in a manner where all students are accounted for. In Student Council and at Mount Carmel in general, I donate my time towards helping the grade set up Spirit and Gym days, and in previous years, set up dances, retreats, and other events. In this way, I am helping every student find joyful events that they can take part in to make their high school experience more memorable. I have also donated time to specific student council events such as working the Christmas festivities and being a representative at school-wide student council events with MCA.

Recognizing that MCA’s Executive Board is extremely time-consuming, how do you plan to manage your time next year if you win? Be specific about your strategies for time management.

As Executive Board President, I would make sure that my number one commitment, after my academics, is Student Council. I would not be holding positions in other clubs so I can focus on my role as President. My only out-of-school extracurricular is piano, so being less involved in the clubs I am in, while still being an active member, will give me the time necessary if I win the position. I will also make sure to have my own written agenda so I can keep myself up-to-date and on top of all my tasks.

What are some of the things you love about the Student Council that you want to maintain?

One thing that I do love about student council is the group’s want to promote fun events for the students. Student council members are always the first to sign up for Mount Carmel activities, and I want to keep this spirit high if I am elected. I also believe that the club is very organized through the way they organize meeting agendas and sign-ups, and I want to make sure that next year, students continue to have no confusion on where to find the information they are looking for.

What goals do you have for Student Council next year? How do you think we can accomplish those goals?

One of my goals is to unite the club itself by having bonding activities and possible leadership workshops for those interested. These can be held after some of our shorter meetings and during student council orientation. I believe that while the club is very productive and organized, there is a certain bond that is lacking between the different positions and grades. If more girls knew each other and were more comfortable around each other, then it might be easier for them to bounce new ideas for the club off of one another. Another goal that I have is to involve more students who may have some really good ideas for events by simply asking and having group conversations during meetings. Right now, it has always been that Executive Board shares the agenda, then everyone leaves. However, the meetings can be more engaging through open discussion.

How have you spread JOY at MCA this past year given our unique circumstances?

Like I said earlier, unique circumstances have not stopped me from spreading joy, I just work harder to make sure it spreads. I enjoy making those around me smile with corny jokes in hope that this laugh gives them a break from stress or takes their mind off of other matters. Another way I have spread joy and happiness is through motivation and giving off happy energy that can be reflected. I do not go into an event without having a spring in my step, and I hope this allows for others to do the same and realize that, no matter the circumstances, everything will be okay.