On Sept. 12 and 13, freshmen voted to select their class officers for the 2017-2018 school year. Katie Parsons was elected as president, Camille Ray as vice president, John O’Neal as treasurer and Chloe Swildens as secretary.
Katie Parsons, President:
Katie Parsons became interested in leadership at Del Mar Middle School when she was involved in the WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) program where as an eighth grader, she helped sixth graders integrate into middle school. At Redwood, she wants to continue to help her freshmen classmates integrate into high school.
“I really enjoy being in Leadership because I like helping others, so coming up with ideas to help around the school and also building relationships with not only our grade but the grades above us,” Parsons said.
Parsons already has ideas on how to make Redwood better. One is to have more bonding activities at lunch for all grades so that kids will want to reach out and sit at lunch with more people and not just stay with their own groups.
Outside of school, Parsons plays soccer and lacrosse and plans to try out for these teams at Redwood. She enjoys hanging out with friends and meeting new people. Additionally, she likes to explore the outdoors.
Fun fact: Parsons and her brothers have the same freckle on the nose.
Camille Ray, Vice President:
Camille Ray likes to get involved at Redwood and is eager to make an impact at our school. She senses the tension between freshmen and upperclassmen and hopes to help her classmates feel secure in their new environment. In terms of initial impressions, the diversity at Redwood is what has stood out for Ray.
“When I first got to Redwood, I immediately saw that there were so many different people, and I really thought that was a good change for me. Redwood is just a school where I can be myself and surround myself with so many different people,” Ray said.
Ray, as well as Parsons, enjoys hanging out with different people for fun. In particular, she wants to surround herself with people who will make her a better person.
Ray plays field hockey and plans to try out for lacrosse in the spring. Her most prized possession is her bed because it is a place where she can sit and think and get homework done.
Fun fact: Ray used to live in Boston and is scared of lobsters.
John O’Neal, Treasurer:
Since being elected as treasurer, John O’Neal has found his fellow Leadership students to be very welcoming and helpful in bringing him up to speed. He also feels fortunate to have a sister who is a senior at Redwood who has provided him with favorable impressions of the school before he started.
“Walking into my freshman year, I knew that it was going to be fun and interesting, but I didn’t know how many people I would get to know. It’s bigger than you would expect, but it’s also like you’re more tight-knit than you expect with all of your friends,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal is concerned about the negative publicity that Redwood has experienced with the recent bomb and shooting threats. He hopes that everyone can be united in upholding the school’s philosophy and reputation.
O’Neal is currently on the cross country team and plans to try out for baseball in the spring. On a daily basis, he unwinds by drawing or listening to music. On weekends, he enjoys going to the beach with his family and dog, and surfing.
Fun fact: O’Neal has traveled to New Zealand, Argentina, London and 14 states.
Chloe Swildens, Secretary:
Chloe Swildens ran for class secretary since she wanted to contribute more to the student body and make a difference at Redwood. Now that she is involved with Leadership, she has a greater appreciation of its positive impact.
“Leadership is something that now has impacted me a lot and makes me realize how much the students are involved in the school, and it’s not just the teachers or the administration,” Swildens said.
As the oldest sibling, Swildens didn’t know what to expect in high school but she was excited to see what it was like to meet new people and expand friendships. She was, however, a bit anxious about the social aspects.
Similar to Ray, Swildens plays field hockey and plans to try out for lacrosse in the spring. A big part of why she likes sports is being on a team with others. Swildens also enjoys cooking and finds cleaning to be a good stress reliever. Another stress reliever is hanging out with friends and family on the weekends.
Fun fact: Swildens has really small feet.