The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Presidential Preparation

Sarah Matthews Gets Ready For Her Year Leading Student Government
Photo credit: Naomi Gross
Student Government President Sarah Matthews smiles in front of her campaign poster during Democrafest.

As the Upper School gathers in the Auditorium on the first Friday of the school year, up on stage will be the face of the new Student Government, President Sarah Matthews. With an extensive background in student government, she hopes to bring a fresh perspective and inject some much-needed fun into the Student Government.

According to senior and Treasurer, Calan Scherer, the President must show passion and interest in the government because, “if the President is not interested, then why would the average kid on a Friday afternoon be interested?” 

Matthews wants to ensure that each student at Parker has a reason to be interested in their own student government this year. This is only one of the many goals she and her peers have set forth. Scherer and Matthews are striving for increased participation which, in turn, they believe will lead to more student engagement with government decisions. Having more students involved in student government will enable more people to take on active jobs and positions. This is vital because, as Matthews said, “It always feels like it’s the same people running the show.”

Matthews is experienced when it comes to having leadership roles in the Parker community. She has been a committee head, Senate head, and a club head. Matthews said that her role as a Senate head was the most beneficial to her, allowing her to learn the most about Student Government and collaborate with other members. Along with that experience, Matthews prides herself on being an active member of Parker sports and club life, which she believes benefits her presidential abilities.

Matthews has many goals and ideas for the upcoming school year, and she plans on “being transparent and doing things that will make people want to be a part of the Student Government,” she said. “Transparency and inclusion are really important to me.” 

 “Student Government can be as effective as you make it, and if you do, you could actually effect change,” Scherer said in regard to Matthews and her goal to increase participation within the student body. 

Upper School Spanish teacher Julia Garner is excited to assume her role as a Student Government faculty advisor for a third year. She has observed several presidencies and points out that last year, “Samantha Graines was really effective in communicating to the student body her passion…That is contagious.” Garner said that because everyone knew how much Graines cared for Student Government, seniors went to Plenary intrigued, almost as an obligation to her and her passion.

However, Garner is concerned about integrating the 8th grade into Student Government. “There’s work to be done there,” she said. 

From her background in Student Government, Garner has learned that faculty sponsors’ voices and input are important, but as the years have gone by and changes have been made, she says that the extent to which the Directors of Cross Grade Communication are able “to get into the eighth grade and give them some training,” has gone down. 

Along with the eighth grade, Garner pointed out the possible post-COVID-19 dynamic of the rowdiness that goes on within Cabinet meetings. “If [Matthews] could maybe bring a little more order to our cabinet meetings, that would be much appreciated,” Garner said.

Matthews wants to work with the Parliamentarian to create a “how-to sheet” for proposals and resolutions. This is inspired by her own experiences of feeling lost in the process, where even though she was passionate about Student Government, “nobody really told me how to write proposals and resolutions,” Matthews said. “This [how-to sheet] is to make it easier to get involved.” 

Matthews also aims to use the Student Government Parker portal page to facilitate more awareness to what’s happening in Student Government. 

Her foremost goal is to make this a time that truly benefits everyone, working not just for, but with her fellow students to achieve this mission. Matthews wants to “bring the life back to Student Government.” 

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About the Contributor
Ben Israel
Ben Israel, Copy Editor
Ben Israel is a sophomore who is excited to spend his first year writing for "The Weekly" as a Copy Editor. He is on Parker's Cross Country and Tennis teams, and is one of this year's Curriculum committee heads.