Photo credit: Maia Alvarez
Meet the Candidate: Alyssa Ponrartana
1) What leadership positions or experiences will make you a strong candidate for Exec Board?
This year, I was a class rep! I helped bring a lot of energy to my grade, and I worked with the other junior reps, Rose and Mia, to plan out fun activities for our grade, like “Are you smarter than your mentor?” and dodgeball. I’ve also helped plan and run school-wide spirit events, and I would say one of my strengths is organization. On Halloween, I took on more of a leadership role when the seniors were doing the Haunted House – by leadership role, I mean yelling at the middle schoolers to stop stuffing their backpacks with tootsie rolls and sour patch kids 😉 Don’t worry, that’s not all I did; I also helped ensure that the event was still running smoothly, that the activity participants were where they needed to be, and that everyone was having fun! I’ve also gained a lot of leadership experience from being the president of Best Buddies and on APSU exec this year, since I’ve had to do a lot of planning and communication. All three of the leadership positions I currently hold have taught me how to be a better speaker, listener, planner, and cheerleader, and these skills will help me be the best Exec Board member I can be.
2) What three words describe your leadership style, and why?
Your personal cheerleader!
In leadership, one of my main focuses is getting to know everyone who I’m working with on an individual level. I promise you won’t be just another face in the crowd; I’ll try my best to get to know you and always, always cheer you on. I may not be able to do a double back handspring or the splits, but I’ve got that energy, ya know? You can trust that I’ll be at your sports game decked out in Archer gear and screaming my head off. I’ll be the first to give a standing ovation at the shows and concerts, and if I could do that loud whistle, I definitely would. Maybe I’ll head to your debate tournament and watch you completely destroy your opponent. Whatever it is, you can count on my support.
3) As a student council leader, what are your main priorities for Student Council? For Archer?
It’s really important to me that StuCo fulfills its duty as the bridge between the student body and administration. I want to make it easier for people to voice their concerns without feeling scared because everyone’s opinions are valid and should be considered. Also, I want StuCo to work more closely with EBAD to emphasize inclusion and also celebrate the many identities we have here! For example, maybe EBAD can present about a certain holiday or celebration, and StuCo can work with them to create an immersive courtyard activity or something similar.
I really want to emphasize bringing together the upper school and middle school to foster a sense of community throughout Archer. I remember when I was in middle school, I was absolutely terrified of anyone in a gray or black skirt. But maybe that was just me, ‘cause the middle schoolers these days are getting bolder. Even so, I still think there’s a need for more connection between the upper and middle schoolers. I want to implement more lunchtime dance parties, especially with the cha-cha slide, the wobble, and the cupid shuffle, since those three songs always get people up and dancing. Also, there could be more mixed-grade activities, like a group lip sync battle or capture the flag.
4) What are your plans for building community and inclusion at Archer?
Some spirit ideas I have are a school-wide Easter Egg hunt because I feel like amidst all our work we get in the final months of school, we deserve to feel like kids again. This is inspired by Ms. Barragán, who made a mini Easter egg hunt for us in advisory. I don’t know why, but there’s something about finding an Easter egg with candy inside that just brightens my mood. Another spirit idea I have is an Archer Carnival. I want this to be big. Bold. Brash. Not belonging in the trash (spongebob reference). There could be carnival games, like bean bag toss, ring toss, can knock-down, and eat-the-donut-from-the-string. Of course, there would be food, like popcorn, churros, and cotton candy.
I also want to further celebrate the different cultures here at Archer. The International Food Festival that Marissa thought of was amazing, and I want to have that again but try to get more participation. I think more cultural events would be really fun! I’m thinking of bringing back the fashion show that we used to hold on Diversity Day and anyone can showcase their cultural attire, since most people didn’t want to wear it all day on a free dress day.
Also, I really want to highlight neurodiversity and talk about disability awareness, because I feel like that isn’t discussed enough. In Best Buddies, we talk a lot about community and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and I want to bring that to the attention of the Archer community. I feel like we often (but still maybe not frequently enough) talk about race, gender, and sexualiy, but we rarely talk about disability/ability.
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.
Archer Soccer – 8 hrs a week (only in the winter quarter)
Best Buddies volunteering and school chapter – 2 hrs a week
APSU – 2 hrs a week
Orchestra – 1.5 hrs a week
If elected, StuCo would be my top priority!