Photo credit: Maia Alvarez
Meet the Candidate: Paulina DePaulo
1) What leadership positions or experiences will make you a strong candidate for Exec Board?
I’ve served on Archer’s Student Council for around 3 years in total, and 5 more before I came to Archer! I’ve loved Student Government nearly my whole life, and being able to communicate with the student body while planning activities and making decisions has always been my favorite part about it. I’ve always been the person that people can come up to and ask questions, voice concerns, or give suggestions to, and it’s something that I genuinely enjoy! I also believe that I have a really good sense of where the student body generally is, which has definitely helped my decision making in the past. Overall, I have tons of experience within Student Council itself, and I truly believe that I would make a great addition to Exec Board.
Additionally, I got my first job last summer, and that was probably one of the best leadership experiences I could ever ask for. I worked at a tiny boutique that only sold dresses, and immediately after going through the terrifying application and interviewing process, I was thrown into an entirely new environment to navigate. I was 15 at the time, working with only a few other college students, and I frequently had to manage the store completely on my own. This included everything from working the register, managing the dressing rooms, to answering every question under the sun about the shoe section all at once. I even got to help the new hires who would eventually take my place! In just a few months I learned so much about responsibility, organization, leadership, and how to generally run something bigger than yourself, and all of these traits are integral within Exec Board and Student Government as a whole.
2) What three words describe your leadership style, and why?
I would describe my leadership style as collaborative, energetic, and compassionate. As someone who prioritizes communication when leading, I find it super important to be as transparent as possible, and I tend to approach this with collaboration! Whether it be asking for student opinion on a new idea or merging the gap between the Upper and Middle Schools, I always make sure that everyone is involved with the decisions that impact them the most. Additionally, I’m a generally energetic and passionate person, so it’s only natural that it translates over to my leadership style. I get super excited about spirit events, go all out for dress-up days, and will never hesitate to run to Party City the night before Color Wars to buy bulk necklaces to hand out. I love being a positive force in the student body, and I take pride in my enthusiasm for grade spirit and connection. Finally, when leading, I put a lot of emphasis on being understanding. Everyone is going to come from different perspectives, and I thoroughly recognize this when making announcements and carrying out large events. I want to make sure that the voice of the students is properly heard, without exceptions or hesitance. This community is rooted in connection and collaboration, and I believe that this element of compassion within leadership is essential to Archer’s student body.
3) As a student council leader, what are your main priorities for Student Council? For Archer?
If I were to be elected to Exec Board, my main priorities for Student Council and Archer as a whole would be to take off some of the decision-making stress that goes into large events while also making spirit activities specifically more expansive and accessible.
When I served as a grade rep, I realized that there was often a lot of pushback from the grades when it came to deciding colors, themes, or even events in general. I do believe that a Student Council Representative’s main purpose is to advocate for the students that they represent and help to maintain their class’ spirit, but there were many times where my fellow representatives and I felt “stuck” making difficult decisions due to the layout of the organization process, knowing that we wouldn’t be able to please our fellow peers. There will always be some sort of disagreement when it comes to spirit events, but I believe that there are many different systems to implement that will make the event organization process a lot smoother for everyone.
Another one of my priorities would be to expand the audience for participation in spirit events, as I’ve noticed that in the past, only a handful of people end up signing up for events repeatedly, and I think Student Council could definitely work to bring more accessible activities for the whole student body! What about a few continuous virtual competitions during Spirit Week or the week leading up to Color Wars? Or niche categories of trivia to get more students even more involved? The possibilities are endless, and there are so many ways that I, if elected, can help to improve Student Council and Archer spirit as a whole.
4) What are your plans for building community and inclusion at Archer?
As I mentioned earlier, the Archer community is based upon connection, and one really effective way to improve upon this and build inclusion is to ensure that grade representatives (and all Student Council members) are thoroughly communicating with the rest of their peers. In order to maintain the transparency and connection between the Archer Student leadership and the Archer student body, it takes work! Making active change when you’re aware of a disagreement or dissatisfaction is never the easy route when it comes to governing student bodies, but I plan on working with Student Council as a whole to better this connection. In terms of Exec specifically, hearing the students’ general complaints and grievances is one of my top priorities, as I never want to make any student feel as though their voice isn’t being heard when communicating with the administration.
5) List all co-curricular activities, school-sponsored or otherwise, that you plan to be involved in next year, including the approximate time you spend on each per week.
Next year I plan on participating in the US musical, Varsity Swim, math team, and possibly a few other activities that are still in the works! However, Student Council will always be my #1 priority, and I’d never sacrifice my duties in this position for any other activity.