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Who’s the Next President?

With Student Council elections fast approaching, presidential candidates Tehila Moore (11th) and Mark Alishayev (11th) started their campaigns this week, putting up a few posters and reaching out to students with their ideas for the next school year. The candidates are also prepping for the debate scheduled for Tuesday, May 16th and their election day speech on Friday, May 19th.

“It’s actually really nerve-racking because it is such a close race,” said Moore. “But I love making posters, and I love seeing what people are thinking and making people happy throughout the process. It’s all really exciting, and I can’t wait to see what comes out of it.”

Both candidates bring big ideas to the table, but their track records could not be more different. Moore claims her long-time experience as a member of student government offers voters an experienced candidate, while Alishayev says his lack of involvement gives him an outsider’s perspective and a possibility for fresh blood.

“I don’t think that me not being on student council will affect me,” said Alishayev. “I will be guided by Rabbi Ney. We are going work together.”

Moore has actively participated in and contributed to student government starting in her sophomore year, serving as class representative and secretary.

“Since I’ve been on student council for a couple of years, I believe that I know what it entails,” said Moore. “It’s not something that will stress me out and that will blow up in my face because I know what I am getting into, and I know how to handle it, and I know how to manage my time.”

As secretary, Moore has organized student council by taking notes at every meeting and contributing to all the events as much as she can. “It’s all about a group effort,” said Moore. “So I just contributed as much as I possibly could.”

Moore is heading her campaign with the slogan “Moore than just a President,” and her ideas range from small-scale communal jars of candy to large school-wide field trips.

“I want to make this school a place where people walk in with a smile on their face,” said Moore. “I want to make this a fun place and a place where people are happy to come and a safe place. And I want to make Hebrew Academy a second home for the students that go here.”

She is even attempting to bring back the school retreat.

“I think we’ve proved ourselves as a high school that we can handle a trip like that.”

Alishayev, on the other hand, has had no prior student government experience. However, he believes that his outsider status will only help.

“I am trying to get as much votes as possible, and I’m trying to help as much students as I can and work with them because together we are one family,” Alishayev said.

For the upcoming school year, Alishayev plans on bringing students closer together through inclusive activities.

“We need more outdoor activities,” said Alishayev. “I just want to create more experiences like that and bring the students outside and get together and have a great time.”

He wants to see more students involved and more students speaking up for their needs.

“I want everyone’s voices being heard. I want every student’s voice to be heard. It doesn’t have to be applied, but at least it should be respected.”

Currently, the pool of high school voters consists of a total of 98 students, a near even split between the girls and boys, with 50 girls and 48 boys. Both candidates predict that voting will be split along gender lines, giving Moore a slight edge. However, students polled say they plan to vote based on the quality of the candidate, not their gender. Many students say they are looking for a trustworthy individual who will pose as a good representation of the school.

“Someone who can devote everything to helping the school and who is going to be trustworthy and can fall back on what they say,” said Batya Fruhman (9th). “Someone who I know is going to do what they say they’ll do.”

Others cited this year’s student government as successful, but are still looking for improvement.

“I think they did a great job this year but could’ve done some more events and trips,” said Caleb Katz (11th).

Some students are concerned about the lack of school spirit and would like to be enveloped in a more spirited environment.

“It would be amazing if we can bring more to the school,” said Michal Cohen (11th). “More school trips and Rosh Chodesh can be awesome.”

As the high school begins to shift gears towards a new council, reluctance to see the past council go and sentiments of excitement were also shared.

“It’s always hard to say goodbye to the outgoing student council,” said Director of Student Activities Rabbi Ney. “It’s always exciting to get to work with a group of young energetic students who are excited to contribute to the school and to the experience of the students at the Hebrew Academy.”

president poll

By: Rina Reich (11th Grade) and Raquel Zohar (10th Grade), with additional reporting by Ezrah Sultan (11th Grade)

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