Presidential Race Narrows to Top Three Candidates

The race for School President has reached its final round, whittling down the competition from six to three candidates this Monday at midnight. Chris Batchelder ’11, Jackie Lender ’11 and Mike Mackay ’11 are the three remaining contenders for School President. Faiyad Ahmad ’10, School President, said, “I thought the results were great. The top six [candidates] all had impressive credentials and were very qualified. You really couldn’t go wrong with any of them.” Batchelder said, “I feel the results reflected how much effort was put in by each candidate. Mike and Jackie both did a great job making posters and speaking at the debate. I think all three of us deserve it.” Lender said, “I’m honored that the voters chose me. It is definitely one of the highlights of my Andover career.” Mackay said, “When I heard about [the results] I was pumped.” Lender is the only female candidate in the final three. Lender said, “[Being the only girl chosen] is an honor, but I hope people see me as a candidate first and a female second.” E.J. Ejiogu ’11, a candidate who was eliminated from the race Monday night, said, “I have nothing bad to say about any of the candidates. They are all qualified.” “As a candidate, I really wanted to be in the top three. But I’m especially happy for Jackie. There has not been a girl president in a while and having a female candidate in the top three is a huge step towards that,” Ejiogu added. Lender said, “Ever since I’ve come to Andover I’ve wanted to make a difference.” “I saw both my sister and another close friend of mine make the top six while they were here, but neither made it to the top three. I hope I can be an inspiration to anyone who sees me get as far as I have,” added Lender. Manwei Chan ’11, another candidate who was cut from the race Monday night, said, “Obviously I’m disappointed about the results but I’m still happy because any of the six of us deserved it.” Batchelder said, “I really feel Faiyad is a not only a great president, but also a very confident one. Ever since I saw his first speech, as well as all of the ones he has made this past year, I’ve been really inspired to be as confident as he is.” “He has also taught me to be humble. Faiyad has showed me that being a great leader comes with being really down to earth and approachable,” he added. Mackay said, “I learned from what [past presidents and candidates] did well, as well as from their mishaps. I’ve tried to see what they did well and push it into my own campaign.” Lender said she has learned about the presidential duties from working with both Ahmad and Malin Adams ’09, former School President. Ahmad said, “The most important thing is to get started early with your plans. Decide what you all want to do and get it started.” The three candidates have begun looking ahead to their All-School Meeting speeches and planning the future direction of their campaigns. Mackay said that he already has some plans already in the works, one of which includes a film directed by Michael Kontaxis ’11. Batchelder said, “Obviously, I’m going to work really hard on my speech. I think the speech as well as a variety of other factors give the students an idea of who will be the best fit president.” “I’m going to spend a lot of time over spring break thinking about what the future has to hold and really getting ready for the commitment,” he continued. Lender said she has some new ideas for posters around campus and will also work on her speech over break. Ahmad said, “These three will be working together next year, so it looks good for student council.” Batchelder said that the campaigning process helped him gain a greater understanding of the school. “I saw my first student council meeting and it really helped me open my eyes to just how much effort so many people put in to have the students’ voices heard, and I want to be a part of that,” said Batchelder. “I’ve been trying to make an effort to really get to know new people and connect with them on a personal level everyday throughout the campaign,” he added. Mackay said, “I’ve enjoyed this experience so far. I really enjoy the friendships I’ve made throughout the [campaigning] process.” Ahmad said, “Now it’s a really even playing field. It comes down to the speeches and how [each candidate] expresses his or herself. I’m really excited to see how it goes.”