Introducing La Salle’s Student Leaders: The Executive Council


Ruby Batcheller

The 2022-23 La Salle student representatives: (top left to right) Senior class president Nikola Jelusic and junior class president Dawson Stroud, (bottom left to right) freshman class president Ruby George, student body vice president Catie Tassinari, sophomore class president Rowan Mozena, and student body president Raphael De Leon.

Lilah Ruud, Staff Reporter

Introduced in the second semester of last year, La Salle offers a Leadership class that allows students to step up and plan school events. Alongside the Leadership class, there is the Executive Council built up of students who have taken on a bigger responsibility to represent the school and plan events for the students. 

Raphael De Leon – Student Body President:

Senior Raphael De Leon was elected as La Salle’s 2022-23 Student Body President. Previously, he had been on the general student council in both his sophomore and junior year. 

This year, jumping from the General Council to the Executive Council was a big change as his responsibilities have grown compared to the years prior.

“When you are sitting as a spectator it doesn’t seem that hard but it’s hours of work,” De Leon said. 

Even with all this work, De Leon knew he wanted to push himself and was happy to work with Vice President Catie Tassinari.

As the Student Body President there isn’t one kind of task De Leon focuses on the most. He has been able to help plan events like the pep assemblies and the Italian soda fundraiser.

Both De Leon and Tassanari often work where they are needed to help support the council.

De Leon enjoys the collaboration and community that the Leadership class produces and believes it’s a great class to be with friends and get things done. 

One of De Leon’s inspirations is former Student Body President, Amanda Rivera. He hopes that he can bring the same positive energy to La Salle.

Catie Tassinari – Student Body Vice President

Senior Catie Tassinari has been on Student Council since her freshman year, and this year finishes up her time at La Salle as the Student Body Vice President. “This just felt like the right position for me because I wasn’t the one necessarily planning everything but I was still involved in the council,” Tassinari said.

She was also inspired a great deal by the previous student body presidents, Dakota Canzano and Amanda Rivera. 

“They had such a great energy in the school that they brought every day,” Tassanari said. “And they were always just the kindest [people] to people in their class and underclassmen as well.”

When former student council teacher Ms. Banta left La Salle, the transition to a new teacher and structure wasn’t easy, but now that La Salle has a Leadership class, the Student Council is able to get a lot more done.

“We have a lot more responsibilities now because we have so much time, but I really enjoy it,” Tassinari said. 

After Covid-19 many traditions were lost as students and teachers left the school.  “A lot of what student council got to do is kind of restructure the community events,” Tassinari said. “Coming up with creative new ideas or ways of bringing people together. Just fun events to put on. And that’s something that I’ve really enjoyed.”

Overall, Tassinari loves the community and would encourage students to try the class.

Ruby George — Freshman Class President

Freshman Ruby George is the Freshman Class President. When the position opened up for all the freshmen in leadership she decided it would be a good opportunity to be in a leadership position and to be involved with the school.

So far this year, George has been enjoying her position and being able to meet new people.

“It’s been a super good opportunity and welcoming,” George said. “And I’ve met a lot of people. Everyone on the student council has been super nice and welcoming.”

During meetings, she often observes but has been able to give her opinion and represent her class, although sometimes it can be hard as the only freshman on the executive council. 

“I feel like it’s been harder for me to offer my opinion because I’m new,” George said. “I’m the only new person there, but they’ve been really welcoming.”

She enjoys the community and spirit work the most when she is given events to plan. Recently, she has been helping plan many of the Christmas events to get into the festive spirit, including the elf on the shelf competition that was held before Christmas break. 

To any students who may want to join the Student Council, she would encourage them to as it is a great opportunity to participate in the community and it is very welcoming.

George doesn’t have any specific goal for the year but she hopes to create the best environment possible and do what is best for the school.

Rowan Mozena – Sophomore Class President

Rowan Mozena is the Sophomore Class President and chose this position so that she could have a larger voice in the school community. 

Being on the executive council has given her a lot to do and learn. Her favorite part of the council is being able to share her voice, but it is not always easy to do that. 

“I think it’s hard sometimes to share your voice because not everyone is gonna have the same opinions as you and that can be hard,” she said. “But just knowing that you [are] being confident in your feelings and in what you’re saying is really good.”

This year, Monzena wants to help promote celebrating all of the sports equally. Some sports go unnoticed or underappreciated and she wants to help bring those up and celebrate them. She worked alongside Raphael de Leon, Kieran Kelly, Mackenzie Martin, and Olivia Serio. Together they have aimed to accomplish this by asking many students for their feedback on how they’ve been acknowledged as athletes. 

“We’ve taken that feedback and we presented that feedback to the administration and it’s going to continue to make a bigger impact,” she said. 

Mozena has been able to share her voice and has been enjoying the council a lot this year. Even though she was nervous at first when she was making her speech and trying it out, she is glad she did and is able to be on the executive council.

Dawson Stroud – Junior Class President

Junior Dawson Stroud is the Junior Class President and representative in the executive council. Although he has not been part of the student council before, last year Stroud was greatly inspired to run by his peers and he was successful.

“I like to think that the people chose me,” he said. “I felt they could get better representation that they weren’t currently getting.” 

For Stroud, there isn’t much work he had to do outside of the leadership class, but his role in the Executive Council requires him to communicate with other students, administration, and other members of the school. His position also requires him to take charge of small groups of students to help plan events. 

When brainstorming ideas in groups, it can be hard to gather a collective agreement. When disagreements arise, Stroud has found it is best for him to take a step back to let everyone talk it out and then come back after a little to check-in. 

“It definitely requires time, patience, and understanding,” Stroud said. “Sometimes problems won’t be resolved but you have to move past them.” 

So far this year, the biggest event Stroud helped plan was the Homecoming dance. Later in the year, he will help with St. La Salle day, picking out next year’s prom venue and leading other school activities.  

“My favorite part has been meeting people from different grades that [in] my core classes I might not interact with, “ he said. 

Stroud has many ambitions for things to accomplish, but one he hopes to complete is to get more budgeting responsibilities to show that students can manage and take charge of these kinds of things. 

Nikola Jelusic – Senior Class President

Senior Nikola Jelusic is the class president and represents the senior class. He has never been on the council before and although it has been busy, he has been enjoying it quite a lot. 

“I’d say by far attending class and seeing the amazing class spirit,” he said. “Everybody’s enjoying it. They’re energetic, they’re enthusiastic to be there,” 

He enjoys working with the committees and just wants to make the school year fun. Nothing has ever been too hard to organize, but planning can be a challenge at times. 

Jelusic enjoyed helping with the Homecoming dance as it was a big event. He got to contribute to spirit week, which occurred the week of Homecoming, helping to brainstorm names and themes for each day alongside a committee of other students. 

One of the hardest parts of Jelusic’s position is not getting to pass certain ideas. Sometimes there are just better ideas or his ideas just don’t get accepted. Even with facing adversity sometimes, the council is a great place to get your voice heard.

“Everybody’s very respectful,” he said. “They listen to your opinion, they hear your voice and they take into account your opinion along with everybody else’s.” 

Jelusic always tries to listen as he goes about his day to what students are saying and voice them in the executive council meetings. He also encourages others to join the student council.

“It’s not something you’re going to regret because it’s just such a fun experience,” he said.