Glastonbury's Smith Middle School student council elects leaders
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Sep. 27, 2013
The student body at Smith Middle School elected its student council officers for the school year. Twenty-three total candidates vied for the four offices of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, and each gave their campaign speech twice – at separate assemblies for the seventh and eighth grades – on Sept. 25.
Smith Principal Donna Schilke urged student voters to make their choices based on who is best for the job, as opposed to who are the more-popular students.
"I want you to take your vote seriously," Schilke said. "I want you think about it honestly, and to choose the candidate you really feel would represent you, to make the changes you would like to see, and who is approachable, who is going to listen, and mostly, who is going to give their time."
Presidential candidate Colin Rosadino said he hoped the same for his schoolmates. "Popularity-wise, there are some people who stand out, but I hope the students are smart, and pick the right candidate, who can do the best job," Rosadino said.
"If you're just voting for your friends, or the most-popular candidate, shame on you," said presidential candidate Ava DeMartino. "This is not a popularity contest."
Many campaign promises included changing the lunch menus, or increasing students' privileges.
Alex Calder was among presidential candidates who said they would advocate for smart phone use during lunch, while DeMartino wanted longer lunch periods, which she said are currently shortened because of the transition time, and the time it takes to wait in line to buy lunch.
"We're down to about 10 to 15 minutes. That's insanity," she said.
"I want to bring us together," said presidential hopeful Justin Reed, suggesting a formal dance for eighth-graders, but with a catch. "In order to attend, you have to have a C or C+ average, by the time of the formal," Reed said. "Perhaps if you have a B+ average or better, you get a discounted admission."
"I will push to make changes that you want," said Zack Tabellione, advocating for a period per day when students from different cores could see their friends. "Vote for Zack. He's got your back," he said.
"I promise I'm not mean, and I don't bite," said Emme Kierstein, a candidate for secretary.
Joey Hayes, who was running for treasurer, said he can be trusted. "I totally won't steal all the fundraising money and spend it on video games and candy - honest," he said.
Noah Silk, a candidate for president, said he was nervous at first, but as he began his speech he felt more comfortable. Between the two sessions, he said he liked his chances of being elected. "I think they are pretty good," he said. "I thought I explained what I was going to do as president, and what the school needed. I feel like they need a responsible person, and I feel like I am really responsible."
Rosadino said he was a little nervous, but he had also been through the process, having held student offices in fifth and sixth grades. He, and other candidates, had high praise for their opponents. "I know everyone here," he said. "They are all smart, and any one of them would do a good job."
"They were all great," said the assembly's moderator, Eric Colleran. "They gave a lot of promises, and I think it's going to be hard to vote."
The election was held later that day, and with more than 1,000 votes cast, a tie occurred for the office of president, and DeMartino and Tabellione were named co-presidents.
Abhishek Malani won the office of vice-president; Emme Kierstein will be secretary; and Chris Scarangella earned the most votes for treasurer.
After the election, Schilke said that while not all students can become class officers, all of their input is valid, and many thoughts expressed by the candidates will be discussed and considered. "These kids have a lot of great ideas," Schilke said.