Meet the freshmen running for class office

Abby Kee

More stories from Abby Kee

As students head into the last quarter of school, elections for the 2022-2023 class officers are approaching; running and being a part of the student body is one of the biggest ways to get involved in the school. Many candidates use Instagram as an outlet to inform students about their personalities, campaigns and ideas for next school year. Before voting, teachers will be instructed to show each candidate’s one minute video. Elections for class officers will be held during homeroom on Wednesday, April 6. We talked to all of the candidates on what made them run, if they have any strategies, ideas they have next year and what they think makes them a good candidate.

1. What made you want to run?

Noah Seifu (President): “I want to repeat the excellence that I and the other officers have achieved so far, including the events we held and community building activities we are planning. I believe that being more experienced as a sophomore would make me more efficient than I already was this year. Therefore I can take more suggestions from my constituents and hopefully make next year awesome despite the rough past few years.”

Meley Ghermay (President): “I want to contribute to making sure everyone is included and has an enjoyable sophomore year. I want to make a positive impact at our school through hosting fun events and communicating cool opportunities with the student body, as I did last year as North Bethesda’s SGA president. Overall, I want to make a difference. I want to make sure our voices are heard and I want to be a president that everyone can depend on.”

Amit Sabba (President): “I wanted to have more of an impact on our school. I wanted to improve our sophomore year for the better.”

Valeria Lopez-Lamia (Vice President): “I’ve grown up moving and been exposed to different cultures and ethnicities. I consider myself a very diverse person, and I think that is very important for a school like WJ. I feel like I can use my diversity to communicate with more people that have different backgrounds to further promote equality. I love representing WJ through sports and would love to have the opportunity to further do that in this position.”

Nina Katuala (Vice President): “Running and being in a position is something I’ve always wanted to do at WJ. Since I can’t do sports because of my medical condition, instead I can be the face of WJ and our class. I love socializing with people and saying hi. It’s a very fun job and you get to know a lot of people.”

Fraol Kebede (Vice President): “Cause I love the students.”

Mane Torosyan (Treasure): “I love our school, making new friends and socializing with new people. I love collaborating with my class officers and this year has been so much fun. I want to be a leader and represent my class.”

Charlotte Markey (Secretary): “I wanted to run for secretary because I want to be more included in the school and help plan school events.”

Candice Nsoga-Mahob (Secretary): “I wanted to try and impact Walter Johnson positively while helping the class of 2025 have their opinion heard. I wanted to be a class officer that others can easily approach.”

2. What strategies do you plan on using in your campaign?

Seifu (President): “I think that having as much communication as possible between the officers, the grade and the school can make it so we have a better understanding of what everyone wants and what can be done. It will also help us meet deadlines and have more time for things to get done. Although the workload is pretty high this year, I believe that we can do much more regardless of our responsibilities.”

Ghermay (President): “Some ways I’ve been trying to get our information about my campaign are through my website, my posters and my Instagram. My website has a bunch of information about myself, my campaign and even a form to give any suggestions about what people would like to see done.”

Sabba (President): “I’ve created an Instagram page, and [inform] people virtually. I also approached many people in school and spread information on what I want to do next year in [an] attempt to make our year better.”

Lopez-Lamia (Vice President): “The main way I have promoted my campaign has been through videos I have filmed and shared through social media. With the help of my friends and other WJ students, in these videos, other students are able to see my personality and get to know me better. I’ve also made it clear that I’m always open if anyone has any questions or ideas for next year.”

Katuala (Vice President): “I am using Instagram to talk to people and get to know them. By reaching out to people on Instagram and saying “Hi,” and talking to people and getting swing voters to vote for me. Also, I have recently been on Instagram and have shown my spirit by participating in spirit days and promoting Pennies 4 Patients by going to all of the events. Showing my people that I do love WJ and the spirit.”

Kebede (Vice President): “Collaborating with my future team and leaders from SGA to make all of my ideas possible.”

Torosyan (Treasure): “I love all the clubs that reach out to me and I love promoting them. I want to make clubs more inclusive. While I don’t have any candidates running against me, I still love posting and supporting fellow candidates [running for other positions]. If you go to my story highlights on Instagram, I have one for all of the candidates I support.”

Markey (Secretary): “I want to portray my personality throughout my campaign so that people can see who I am as a person. Mostly my sense of humor while also showing my ideas for this upcoming school year, as well as thinking outside the box for campaign ideas.”

Nsoga-Mahob (Secretary): “I will constantly ask for students’ views on topics and to share their ideas through polls on Instagram and asking them questions in school as well.”

3. What ideas do you have for next year?

Seifu (President): “I think we can do more fundraisers next year and raise more money so that we can hold even more events than we did this year. Time and money seemed to be limiting factors. However, after seeing how everything works and reflecting, I believe that I could work much more efficiently with the other officers to get more things done and do even better than we did last year. Possible two or more dine-outs would be an excellent way to raise money while uniting our community.”

Ghermay (President): “I’ll do everything I can to implement fundraisers to raise money for our class events and community organizations. Last year, I hosted a Talent Show Fundraiser that raised $1,000 for Capital Area Food Bank. I’d like to host more fun yet productive fundraisers like that. I’d also like to implement cool SSL opportunities, metal-health awareness days, spirit weeks (including colors for causes you’re most passionate about), making sure victims of bullying aren’t in the same classes as aggressors and at least one fun social event per month. These are just some of my ideas and if I’m elected, I want to gather ideas from everyone and use collaboration with the other officers to make sure we’re hosting things that everyone wants.”

Sabba (President): “Some ideas I have for next year are to increase fun activities and allow for all students to be a part of them. I will also strive to fund other fun events, allowing our class to become closer and more attached to one another. I will also strive to increase class-wide spirit weeks, making our year more fun.”

Lopez-Lamia (Vice President): “One of my main goals is to continue to promote inclusivity regarding people of color, people of different ethnicities, nationalities, sexualities and our peers with special needs. I also want to create a bigger student section for all sports so that every athlete feels valued and represented. I want to make student sections for all games hype which includes promoting more girls sports.”

Katuala (Vice President): “I do think that lots of the Pennies 4 Patients events were good but the ideas could be better so maybe hide and seek in the school. I also really want to bring back GLO. I know in leadership things are targeted to upperclassmen but the underclassmen also want to have fun so I’d like to include more underclassmen in events. I also think that students should pick what their spirit days are like everything but a backpack. Another idea I have is I want to focus on the minorities at WJ like Best Buddies, Minority Scholars and Black Student Union and [get]them into pep rallies. I also think that we should have a talent show.”

Kebede (Vice President): “[I want to have] better athletic student sections, a safer space for people of color and an easy way to communicate ideas.”

Torosyan (Treasure): “Since we are going to be in leadership class, I want to figure out new spirit days because I feel like they can be repetitive. I was talking to my fellow classmates, and they were giving me ideas like having a backwards day starting with 7th period to 1st period.”

Markey (Secretary): “I have many ideas for next school year, including spirit themes and school fundraisers/events.”

Nsoga-Mahob (Secretary): “Since a secretary’s job is to gather ideas and to present them to the rest of [the] class office, I plan on suggesting fun activities to raise money similar to dodge ball tournaments and many more.”

4. What makes you a good candidate?

Seifu (President): “I think the fact I have experience from this year and experiences that have built my vision have changed the way I contribute to the school. I realize what is realistic and what is not, and this experience would make me the most effective candidate for the job. I also got to know the grade over the course of this year, what they think and their suggestions. In fact, the freshmen themselves design the logo for our class and sweatpants.”

Ghermay (President): “I’m a good communicator. I know how to lead, but I also know when to listen. From being SGA president at North Bethesda, being Student Ambassador, a member of many clubs and an older sibling of four I’ve learned what it means to be a hard worker, a good leader and to passionately work for what I care about and what our class cares about. Above all, I’m a member of our community, so I know what we want and need and I’ll do everything in my power to deliver.”

Sabba (President): “I am a great listener. I will be open to any suggestions and ideas students have. I am very fun and I want to make our year fun and have it fly by. I’m a hard worker and if there is an issue I will strive to fix it and find a solution. Lastly, I am very creative and I will be creating creative and fun activities allowing us to bond with one another.”

Lopez-Lamia (Vice President): “Because of my upbringing which includes being the new kid multiple times, I am very compassionate and inclusive to all the new kids that WJ receives every year. I am fluent in Spanish which allows me to communicate to a lot more students at WJ (around 17% of students at WJ are Hispanic and speak Spanish). I am a very social person and I am very approachable which is necessary for a position like this. Lastly. I want to have fun during our sophomore year while also meeting all of our other goals.”

Katuala (Vice President): “I’m very passionate about our class and very friendly and funny. I have prior experience being the 9th grade secretary. I loved the job and talking to my fellow people. I am very good at compromising and I am very self aware and I realize my mistakes and as our class our motto should not be perfect but to learn [from] our mistakes. I feel like that is a really good quality, and I know I am a very fun person, and I love socializing and talking to people. I think I could make it a very fun year. I am also very good at running the Instagram account and responding to all the dm’s. A lot of people have complimented the way I run and present myself, so I think that is a very good quality. I am lit, and I want WJ to be as lit as I am; I bleed green.”

Kebede (Vice President): “I am very eager in making WJ’s 2025 a better class.”

Torosyan (Treasure): “I have been doing student government since fourth grade. I was in student government in all of middle school, and now I am treasurer of our 9th grade. I am an ideal candidate because my name is so similar to money. They call me Money Mane. I really like it because it represents me and my love for treasury and understanding how to finance my class in the best way. It makes my heart giggle.”

Markey (Secretary): “I am a very outgoing person, and if I become secretary, I will listen to everyone’s ideas on events and just overall inputs on WJ to make the school a comfortable environment for everyone.”
Nsoga-Mahob (Secretary): “I think that I am an overall well-rounded student and I have great communication skills.”