Sophie Fierst takes on Leadership sponsor position

Abby Kee

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Leadership teacher Sophie Fierst instructs the leadership class on daily class agenda. They are currently working on planning for Homecoming hallways.

Honors US History and Honors US World History teacher Sophie Fierst has recently stepped into the position of leadership advisor, taking the place of Melanie Schwed who was previously in the position for four years.

Fierst isn’t brand new to this job as she has advised student government at her last school. When picking Fierst for the position, Schwed was not hesitant. Although Fierst has prior experience, she can also lean on Schwed for advice.

“[Schwed] has been really great with answering all of my questions. I pop by every now and then by her office and ask her some questions to see if there’s anything I need help on,” Fierst said.

Sophomore class Secretary Candice Nsoga-Mahob pointed out that Feirst has done an exceptional job with making sure students in the class are heard.

“She’s focusing a lot on equity and making sure everyone is represented and making sure everyone has a chance to speak and voice their opinions in the classroom,” Nsoga-Mahob said.

Leadership is known to be a student-led class but in the beginning of the year, it looks a little different.

“So at the beginning of the year it’s a little more hands on; ideally, by the end of the year, they are taking over a lot more of the work. Students are in committees so basically at the start of every class period I tell students, ‘okay today we’re working in these committees and here’s the tasks that we need to do’,” Fierst said.

While Fierst has been great with helping usher students, she also tries to take a step back.

“She lets us lead the conversation but she guides us to where it goes so we’re more productive and thinking about ideas, so it’s not just telling us,” Nsoga-Mahob said.

Fierst also hopes to get more students involved in the school community and make sure that a wide variety of students feel welcome at WJ. Her main goal this year for her leadership students is to plan events that are inclusive to everyone regardless of their interests.

“I am really excited for planning some of the really fun events in February. The Pennies for Patients fundraiser has a lot of really fun events. I’m excited to plan some of the Homecoming events, that’ll be really great. It’ll be nice to work with just a group of 30 just really motivated students throughout the year in the same group who just really want to make WJ a fun place,” Fierst said.

Another change for leadership is that this is the first year students who are not elected officers are allowed to sign up for the Leadership class, from all grade levels (excluding freshman). There has been a lot of positive feedback from those students.

“I think she’s doing a really great job because she gives so much energy and she also has a lot of new ideas for us and we can also add onto those ideas,” senior Diane Juica said.