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Class of 2026 Begins Student Government Process

Eastchester High School’s ninth graders may still be adjusting to their new surroundings, but they took a major step forward as citizens of the high school community this week as they elected class officers to positions in the Eastchester Government Organization (EGO).

 

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the 11 candidates spoke to their classmates at a morning assembly, laying out their plans for the coming school year—and beyond. By the end of the day, the class of 2026 had elected its President (James Allison), Vice President (Isabelle Sabelja), Secretary (Anna Murray), and Treasurer (Leyla Ozkurt).

 

High School Principal Jeff Capuano, who oversaw the assembly, reminded the ninth graders that EGO officers serve as an important liaison between the student body, teachers and administrators.

 

“These people will be your voices in student government when it comes to speaking with administration,” he said. “But we want you to know we’re all available to speak with you anytime you want.”

 

EGO advisor Jean Ahern-Kenny was pleased with the unusually high turnout of candidates, noting that representatives from the high school’s student government made a presentation at eighth grade orientation at the end of last year, something that may have sparked the uptick in participation this fall.

 

“I think in some previous years we didn’t have as many candidates because the ninth graders might not have a great idea of what was going on in the school,” said Ahern-Kenny. “But this year, they had an earlier introduction to what EGO is, and I think that’s why we had so many students show interest.”

 

As the newest officials in EGO, the representatives of the class of 2026 will be tasked with overseeing social and fundraising events throughout the year—although Ahern-Kenny stressed that participation in the student government is open to all students and not just those elected to posts. They will also function as part of a larger student government body that includes representatives from all classes.

 

Current EGO President Cecilia Murray spoke to the assembled freshmen before the vote on Tuesday and recounted her own positive experiences with student government throughout her years at Eastchester High School. The senior admitted that while she initially viewed participation in EGO as a fun diversion rather than a calling, after sitting in on a few of the group’s meetings, she threw herself whole-heartedly into serving the student body.

 

“One of my best friends joined so I just followed her in,” said Murray. “But I went to meeting after meeting, and just being around the upperclassmen, my love for the organization—and the community—grew.”

 

Murray hopes that even after she graduates, the newest crop of EGO officers will carry on her enthusiasm and passion for the club.

 

“I love seeing this because, as a freshman, I loved going to these meetings,” said Murray. “I really hope that this is something that can not only help them socially, but can also help them create the change they want to see.”