A President Who Listens to Everyone’s Ideas: An Interview with Isabella Appell (’21)

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Photo courtesy of Isabella Appell (’21)

Heather Holm

Like many events at the start of this school year, student council elections looked different. On September 17, logging into Zoom instead of filing into the PFAC, upper schoolers heard speeches from their peers and elected the executive board. Individual grades elected their own representatives a week later. Amongst these candidates selected is Isabella Appell (’21), a Viewpoint lifer, senior, and, now, executive board president. The Patriot connected with Isabella virtually to learn how student council is handling distance learning as well as their plans for the year. 

The Patriot: What made you want to become student council president? 

Isabella: I joined student council freshman year with the intention of one day becoming president. Because I have been a part of the council for three years, I’ve been able to see what works and what doesn’t. The main reasons I wanted to become president were I wanted to ensure that everyone was able to feel comfortable sharing their opinions in and out of the meetings, everyone knew what the purpose of student council was, and I wanted to create a solid foundation that allowed the next president to succeed. Especially during this time of distance learning, I want to ensure that the student council has a president that not only has a strong plan on how to keep everything organized and everyone informed but also a president that listens to everyone else’s ideas. 

What are some of the student council’s plans for the year? 

One of our main focuses this year will be on creating a welcoming environment for our new students whether that be during distance learning or in person school. Being as it is already so hard to be new to a school, we have started to brainstorm and create a plan to make our new students have a great first year at Viewpoint despite this hard situation. 

What are some differences between this year’s student council and last year’s? 

We have a lot of new faces this year and almost have one representative from each grade on our executive board. The main difference between this year and last year is our meetings are now virtual but we are doing our best to make it as interactive as it would be in person. 

How does the council plan on adapting to distance learning? 

We will still have our weekly meetings over Zoom so distance learning has not affected that too much. On behalf of the executive board, student council plans to continue working on representing the student body throughout distance learning the best we can while taking into account that we need to come together now more than ever as a community. I am very confident that we will continue to collaborate well with students and staff to do our best in helping everyone adapt to this new experience. 

What is key to an inclusive school community, and how will the council achieve this goal during this time of uncertainty and separation?

I believe that bringing in multiple perspectives to our meetings will be key to an inclusive school community. To do this, we plan on connecting with multiple clubs and groups on campus to hear their ideas on how Viewpoint can not only come together as a community during this time of separation but also how we can do a better job in creating a safe environment for everyone at Viewpoint. 

People have said in the past that the student council doesn’t do anything. How do you feel about this statement and how do you hope to increase the council’s presence this year?

I have heard this multiple times in the past as well and I believe the reason people say this is because they have never been informed on what student council stands for and what goes on during the meetings. A big goal of student council this year is to be very active on our social medias to not only gain more spirit during big events like Homecoming and Formal but also to use as many platforms as we can to let the students know what we plan to do for them. 

How can someone who’s interested in joining the student council get involved?

The easiest way to become involved is to come to our student council meetings every Tuesday during lunch. We are also in the process of creating a student council newsletter where you can learn more about what goes on in our meetings as well as send in ideas to be discussed in future ones!