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ISH: A home away from home

Interview with the New Student Council

The Student Council has been around at ISH for many years now. It was made to give students a chance for a voice. This helped establish communication between teachers and students as well as help solve student-related issues. In the past, the student council has also helped organise and promote big and fun events such as spirit week, international fair and many more.

As part of the Publ-ISH-ed Newspaper we recently had the opportunity to interview this year's winners for Student Council also called the MMAE team. We asked them questions concerning their perspective on the current Student Council, what their views are on the coming year and what concepts they would like to introduce to this school.

We started off the interview having the candidates speak about themselves:

‘My name is Massimiliano. I am seventeen years old. I am half German and half Italian, and I have been at this school now since grade two. So, this is my tenth year at ISH. (....) I particularly like sports and writing, so journalism is something that I am potentially interested in as a career path.’

‘My name is Ana-Mara, I am sixteen. I am half German and half Dutch. My interests are also sport, particularly volleyball and beach volleyball.’

‘My name is Ece (a-j), I know it doesn’t look like that but it's pronounced like that. I just came to ISH, this is my first year. I am also sixteen, I am in grade ten. I moved from the Ukraine (...) and I’ve been doing professional dance for over ten years now. But for career and university I want to, hopefully, do chemical engineering.’

‘I am Maks. I do fitness as a hobby (...). I am fifteen years old and I have Russian roots.’

Why did you run for Student Council?

 “I have experience from this year as a Student Council member. It’s the first time that I’ve personally ever joined the Student Council here. And I wanted to try something new. This was something that interested me before, and I always kind of felt scared to do it. And this year I was like: “I am not going to be scared, I am going to do this, even if it is a public position. And I am going to learn a new strength and how to communicate as well as the responsibilities of making sure that your grade knows what's going on (...).” I really enjoyed it and therefore I’ve decided that I want to do it again next year and try running for an even more exciting and more challenging position (...)” - Massimiliano

“My main incentive for the student council was to bring the ISH community together and to create a stronger bond between students. And our team came up with the idea to do that, to unite the student community through a website. Which we will talk about more later. But, I guess, my main point of why I wanted to join the student council was the community and I wanted to challenge myself with the leadership position as well.” - Ana-Mara

“I am new, like I’ve previously said. And I think it’s really important with any Student Council representation to have a new student point of view. Because for us it’s slightly easier to see what needs to be improved in anew community that you are in. Also, I tend to be very loud and over the top, so I want to put that to use by communicating the ideas of my grade and the entire school so people can actually take action towards it.” - Ece

“I’ve been trying to be active in the schools project and I’ve had experience in this position before in my previous school. I’ve been doing it there for three years and therefore I know how to do it. How to manage the finances of the student council and help support my team with that and help them with ideas.” - Maks

How will you make our school better and what ideas do you have?

“Our main idea of our current group is that, as mentioned before, we are starting this website. Ece and Ana-Mara brought the idea to us, and it’s what we are working on. And one of the main ideas is to try to help students with their work. So, for example: progressively each year there are new assignments to do like personal projects, extended essays, IA’s everything. And this way, something that was done in grade eleven maybe a grade twelve student can write a blog on how to do it. (...)” - Massimiliano

 “We also want to synthesize sport in the school. Especially with COVID-19 going on, it’s really hard to have a sports community and right now and after COVID-19 we want to increase the competitiveness on the recognition for athletics of the school. We will be talking to Mr. Hobbins about it soon, hopefully.(...) Incorporate a reward system to encourage more students to both participate and recognize people to who have already putting in a lot of effort and talent.(...)” - Ece

Maks also talked about the “reward system”: “Our grade has done research on various trophies and I can see that we can afford them and make it possible.”. Towards the end, Massimiliano and Ana-Mara decided to add that as a team they will try to ensure and raise the Falcon spirit at our school through promotion, merch and in-school sport activities, quote: “‘Falcons’ is a term that goes beyond ‘Just NECIS’”.

What do you think you have to offer that other candidates don't or can’t?

“This wasn’t done intentionally, but we later on realized that we are very varied as individuals. In general we aren't going to provide just one perspective, there are new students and people that have been here for almost a decade, different genders, and it’s just different friend groups in general. So we are going to be staring away from the “one-perspective” kind of look.” - Ece

“My strongest attribute the experience that I’ve had this year with the Student Council. And therefore I know how the things run and therefore I can continue with already having previous experience on the team.” - Massimilliano

“Leadership is one of my stronger qualities. Good organization skills, being able to organize people and groups. As for my experience, I am the captain of my volleyball team at my club.” - Ana-Mara

“I’ve always been a very creative and solution-based thinker. I don’t really like thinking of ideas unless I feel like I can generate them and make them happen. Which is also a very big problem with the student council, everybody has amazing ideas but none of them are put to use because people don't come forward and take initiative. And I think I've already been taking a lot of initiative with teachers, and trying to get things to actually be done in a realistic sense. (...)” - Ece

Maks also added: “Usually those problems occur due to the matter of finances, which I will be able to be providing.”


What are some improvements that you think can be made to the current student council?”

“Better financial reports. Obviously, this year the student council has had trouble because they didn’t have any expenses due to COVID-19. Most of the ideas didn’t actually come to existence. But I think this year, with us already going to school, it's going to be easier.” - Maks

“In our grade level we haven’t had any explicit student input to the student council candidates. So we haven't been really asked about what we would like or what we would want to change or improve. We haven’t been really communicated with, and we want to hopefully improve that. Like really explicitly ask students what they are looking to change. Because after that point it's our job to hopefully make that happen.” - Ece

How would you attempt to fix the issue of poor communication among teachers (too many assessments throughout the week)?

“One thing would be to try and see if the teachers could agree on one platform. And then, for example if the chosen platform was Veracross have the teachers check in regularly. Therefore not overloading the students. (...) So if all teachers put their assigned work on Veracross they could see which teachers have assigned certain activities and when and assign their activity on the day that’s free.” - Massimiliano

Maks and Ece added “lack of organization, have meetings with teachers, convenience for teachers (platform wise), and stricter guidelines for assignments placement”.

In conclusion, it was a pleasure meeting the MMAE team. Their answers were well thought through and in best interest of the schools students, teachers and how to create the most beneficial learning environment. They seem like hard-working students who are willing to lead and support the schooling for 2021-2022 and improve ISH’s school spirit. We wish them all the best!

Written by Pub-ISH-ed students