Katherine Millien '24 and Abbey Shumsky '24
Wow, what a weird year. We miss our classmates, teachers, coaches, and certainly the NCS bagels. Although the pandemic makes this year especially challenging, and it’s easy to feel disconnected from the community, we, as the Freshmen grade President and Vice President, have an opportunity to make these odd times better for our classmates. Leadership in the time of COVID inevitably looks different from usual, and every day, we are working to make our leadership vision fit into the cameras and screens of our computers. This year, our biggest goals are to listen to our classmates, make this year positive and fun, and strengthen our bonds as members of the Class of 2024 and the larger NCS community. The two of us have worked with the other members of the 9th-grade student government team to come up with plans to achieve these goals.
Whether we are remote or in person, we want to make ourselves available to the 9th-grade class so we can hear and respond to any ideas and concerns. In normal years, we would have a suggestion box as well as the opportunity to chat with our classmates in the dining hall, in between classes, and during extra-curricular activities. To cater to this year’s online learning environment, we have created a feedback form where people can voice their thoughts, comments, and concerns. This form is easily accessible on our class page bulletin board, and we will review these forms each week so we can frequently address any issues.
We also plan to hold weekly Zoom lunches hosted by one or two class officers. Lunch is typically a time where we can socialize, stress about a difficult test, or complain about how much homework we have. While these conversations may seem routine, they are an important way to build community bonds. We hope that our Zoom lunches will create a similar environment and provide an opportunity to get to know each other and create bonds that will grow throughout our time at NCS. As class leaders, we also will use these lunches to listen to our classmates and hear what they have to say.
Although COVID protocols make it difficult for the entire Freshman class to spend time together in person, there are still ways we can interact as a connected group. The activities we are considering include a “battle of the homerooms” trivia contest, a pet show, and party nights where we watch movies on Netflix. We suspect that our classmates will also have some great suggestions about ways to socialize and we look forward to implementing those.
These are challenging times. We, like most other members of the Class of 2024, are disappointed to start our high school experience behind screens, behind masks, and without sports and special NCS traditions. However, as President and Vice President of this resilient class, we pledge to be there to listen and amplify our classmates’ voices, to provide opportunities for fun, and to build a community with bonds that will last a lifetime.