Students Leading Students: A Look Into La Salle’s Executive Council


Ashley Hawkins

La Salle’s 2022-23 Executive Council officers: (top row) Co-officer of Inclusion Cassie Ramierez, (bottom row, left to right) Officer of Faith Harris Nguyen, Officer of Communication Ella Wedin, Officer of Service Kamryn Houghton, Officer of Community Violet Sheehan and Co-officer of Inclusion Ezra Moody

Lilah Ruud, Staff Reporter

La Salle offers students many opportunities to participate in leadership roles, one being the Student Council. The Student Council is made up of two sections: the Executive Council and the General Council. The difference between the two is that the General Council consists of students who primarily help with school events, while the Executive Council members must, in addition, run for their positions and carry more responsibilities such as taking charge in events alongside coordinating with teachers. 

In the Executive Council, besides the class representatives and the student body president and vice president, there are six officers: the Co-Officers of Inclusion, Officer of Faith, Officer of Community, Officer of Service, and Officer of Communications, which have each been profiled here.

Cassie Ramierez — Co-officer of Inclusion:

This year, senior Cassie Ramirez joined the Executive Council for the first time as the Co-officer of Inclusion. 

Ramirez was motivated to take the position to make La Salle more inviting. As a student in a minority group, she felt underrepresented when she first started high school. 

“I just kind of wanted to make this school seem a little bit more welcoming,” she said. 

Normally, she is in charge of planning the events centered around La Salle’s affinity groups. This included creating posters for Hispanic Heritage month and helping plan the Black History Month assembly. 

Ramirez enjoys being able to learn about other cultures and share them with the community, but it can be hard to make sure all the research has been gathered and that any events being planned are fun and respectful of the culture.

“I just want to make sure that a lot of [students] feel represented,” she said. 

So far, she has enjoyed her position on the Council. Though it has been stressful to navigate through the responsibilities and tasks, when things are completed, it’s lots of fun, she said. One takeaway that she has had from her experience was to enter with an open mind because not everyone will agree. 

“Be relaxed with what comes because you can’t control everything,” Ramirez said.

As she thinks of the rest of the year to come, Ramirez hopes to continue to make the school feel more welcoming and host more assemblies so no groups feel as though they are being left out. 

Ezra Moody — Co-officer of Inclusion:

Ezra Moody, having served one semester on the general Council, joined the Executive Council as the Co-officer of Inclusion this year. Moody chose this position as a leader of an affinity group, to increase working with others.

Normally, he gets put in charge of any event that is centered around inclusivity.

For him, the transition from the General Council to the Executive Council wasn’t too difficult, and having a lot of people in the class allows them to get a lot done. Being on the Council has also helped improve his leadership skills. 

“It allows you to basically prepare to talk to others and share your ideas as well,” he said. “Sometimes you have [to] give out constructive criticism to other people.”

This year, his favorite event that he got to help with was decorating the classroom doors, as he enjoyed handing out the materials and supplies. 

“I think it’s kind of fun to just distribute all the materials,” he said. 

One hope for Moody this year is that the Roots Festival, which showcases different cultural celebrations, will be popular and that everyone will look forward to it coming up in April this year. The festival is still being planned, and will be an opportunity to celebrate the cultures from the whole student body. 

Harris Nguyen — Officer of Faith:

With this being his first year on the Student Council, senior Harris Nguyen has taken on the position of Officer of Faith. He was inspired to join as a way to strengthen his faith, and was excited knowing that Mr. Tom McLaughlin was to be the new Director of Faith.

“It was nice to know that I could go into a role knowing we have someone to talk to,” he said. 

Usually he is put in charge of celebrating Mass at La Salle, including the intentions and the offerings, but he also helps with assemblies and other events when needed. Working to find readings for each Mass and find volunteers to read during Mass are some of his responsibilities. 

Outside of helping with Masses, his favorite event that he has helped plan so far was the Senior Sunrise. Looking forward, he is most excited to help plan prom. 

One thing Nguyen has learned since taking this position is the importance of having patience with other students and getting their respective jobs done. “You learn patience and just trust that everybody will do their job and everything will go well,” he said. 

His favorite part of being on the Council is being able to be around friends and also talking to students in different grade levels. 

This year, his role as the Officer of Faith has helped him reach out and talk to more people. His goal looking forward is to get better at striking up conversations with other students, “being able to just go up to anybody in our school and have a simple chat or communication, or conversations,” he said.

Violet Sheehan — Officer of Community:

This year, junior Violet Sheehan took on the role as the Officer of Community after being the sophomore Class Representative last year. 

On the Council last year she got to know Ms. Adriana Noesi, the leadership teacher, and Catie Tassinari, who was the Officer of Community last year. 

“It was really inspiring and it seemed like it would be an interesting role to take,” she said. “And that it would teach me a lot of valuable skills about the hard work that goes into our fun events.” 

Commonly, Sheehan is in charge of planning events like pep assemblies, but she also helps with other events such as the career fair. 

So far this year, her favorite event that she was able to help with was the Black History Month assembly. Although she wasn’t in charge of the event, she enjoyed helping, and enjoyed how everyone had planned such fun games that were also very thought provoking.

During the assembly, in a game of “Name the Name Game,” the participants didn’t know the answers, so some teachers lept in to help and participate. “I think that the occasional randomness of a teacher coming up and grabbing the microphone is what creates a solid pep assembly. To have some sort of exciting memory,” she said. 

Sheehan said one big takeaway from her experience is that school events take a lot of hard work and it takes lots of people involved to get stuff done.

“Sometimes you’re not having the most fun, but maybe someone else around you is and that’s good,” she said. 

This year Sheehan hopes that she will be able to create a first aid program here at the school to help deal with the stress that happens in sudden health related emergencies. She wants to give a general guide to help people deal with these stressful moments. 

“I think there’s a lot of situations where not enough people know what to do,” she said. 

Looking to next year, Sheehan hopes to continue working on the Executive Council and encourages other students, who want to participate and learn more about the work behind all the events, to join as well.  

Kamryn Houghton — Officer of Service:

Senior Kamryn Houghton has taken on the position of Officer of Service this year at La Salle. Houghton chose this position having been inspired by Director of Service, Ms. Sarah Maher. In addition, she had been on the General Council for three years before and wished to be an Executive member, so service felt right.

“It takes a bunch of little, little actions from many people to make a change. I want to inspire that change at La Salle,” she said. 

Houghton is often in charge of service opportunities and events, such as the Christmas drive, blood drive, and CommuniCare fundraiser. Her two favorite events she helped plan this year were the Italian soda sale and the Christmas drive.

“I think [the Christmas drive is] an amazing opportunity to give back because each student buying a gift for $25 can change that family’s life,” she said.

One takeaway she has from the whole experience is how it has inspired her in fashion. She had always wanted to study fashion, but from this experience on the Council, she was inspired to combine service with it. She hopes one day to have an environmentally conscious clothing company

Houghton’s overall goal for the year is to normalize service more at the school. With service hours coming back as a requirement, she hopes people will see them as an experience and not just a hassle, because “[service] teaches you new experiences and gives you a wider lens of the world.”

Ella Wedin — Officer of Communications:

Senior Ella Wedin jumped into the Executive Student Council as the Manager of Communications — a new position this year. At first Wedin did not run for this position, but Ms. Noesi thought she would be a good fit. Wedin has had fun in the position as she enjoys graphic design, even though it was a new position and she said she didn’t know exactly what she would be doing at first.

As the Manager of Communications, Wedin is in charge of all the social media for La Salle spirit, which includes planning and designing graphics to promote events, athletics, and clubs.

This year’s Homecoming was Wedin’s favorite event that she helped promote, but it was also the hardest. For the event, she made several graphics and filmed TikToks. With all the various aspects that come along with planning Homecoming, Wedin’s position can require many different jobs, but she still enjoyed doing it. 

“It was harder, but also probably my favorite one, most rewarding one,” she said.

Looking towards the rest of this year, Wedin wants to work on promoting sports and clubs as much as she promotes other events. “It’s hard sometimes when I’m not involved in everything,” she said. Even though it can be hard, her goal is to continue supporting more groups, like theater, as the year moves on.

Correction: March 2, 2023:

A previous version of this article said that Ms. Mounsey suggested Wedin could be a good fit for the Officer of Communications when instead it was Ms. Noesi who recommended this role.