MacKay Wins Presidency

Mike MacKay ’11 emerged victorious in the presidential elections and will stand at the helm of the Student Council as President in the 2010-2011 school year. Jackie Lender will take over as Vice President, and Chris Batchelder will serve as the Executive Secretary. In a series of presidential speeches at Wednesday’s All-School Meeting, the students saw another side of each of the three final presidential candidates. Batchelder, Lender and Mackay were the three remaining presidential candidates in the race for School President, a search that began in January. Each candidate delivered a speech that covered more than just the ideas on their platform. Topics ranged from “World of Warcraft” to words with silent consonants. Many students were surprised at how much humor was included in the speeches. Allison Morrison ’12 said, “I didn’t expect the speeches to be funny. I thought they were going to be a serious re-statement of platforms.” Carolyn Harmeling ’11 said, “The humor brought about a personal side to the speeches – it really made a huge difference because before [the speeches] I was on the fence about who I was voting for, and now I’m positive about who I want to be President.” Batchelder said, “I knew everyone would appreciate difference addresses– it’s all up to the individual’s personal taste. I tried to make my speech appeal to all audiences.” Lender said, “Your speech reflects your personality. Up until the speeches, people only know you through your campaigning and your posters.” During her speech, Lender presented a brief skit with political figures Sarah Palin and Bill Clinton to help balance her platform and messages with funny, side-conversations that generated laughter from the audience. Lender’s inspiration for the skit was a dream she had of Palin and Clinton. Subsequently, she self-wrote the script and speech and then rehearsed with friends Marilyn Harris ’11, who played Palin, and Matt Fothergill ’11, who played Clinton. “[Performing a skit] was a risky endeavor because no one usually approaches their speech in that way. I think that the audience took it well, seeing as it was a direct parody of Saturday Night Live. It was hard to be naturally funny, so the skit helped with that, and I was still able to get my points across,” Lender said. Kristina Rex ’11 said, “I was impressed when Jackie stated all of the things she had already accomplished for the students. It definitely exhibited her ability to get things done.” On the other hand, Batchelder felt that there was no need to restate the ideas on his platform during his speech. “I thought that the most important aspect was being able to reach out to every single student at once during the speech. I wanted my speech to be more personal, and since I did so much campaigning, I think that the students know my platform by now,” said Batchelder. After opening up about his personal life, Batchelder compared his relationships at Phillips Academy to his family. Batchelder said, “[My sister and I] stood up for ourselves and got the job done, had success, and worked together,” much like what he plans on doing for the Andover community. Batchelder wanted the speech to feel relatable and personal to every individual, and admitted during his speech that he “considers himself a family man.” In addition, he recounted tales of watching “Dora the Explorer” with his younger sister. He continued by saying that his three younger sisters have taught him responsibility and leadership skills. Batchelder said that he honed those skills during the grueling process of the presidential race. “I have stuck with the ideology of doing everything by myself. I made all my posters myself, and wrote my whole speech on my own. I know I will be working with other people next year, but staying independent shows how much an individual can handle responsibility,” Batchelder said. Batchelder said that it was harder for him to prove he had leadership skills through his speech because of his lack of experience with Student Council. In contrast, both MacKay and Lender have been on Student Council for two years. However, MacKay did not accentuate his accomplishments with Student Council in his speech. After listing a few of the ideas on his platform, such as online textbooks and community biking, MacKay finished off his speech with an entertaining reference to silent consonants. Brianna Barros ’12 said, “I didn’t think the speeches were about learning more about the candidates’ platforms. I was able to see the [candidates’] personalities and their ability to speak in front of the school, and that’s what I find important in a president.” The administration reviewed all presidential speeches prior to Wednesday and censored any inappropriate and offensive humor.