by Andrew Bosworth ’22
“Welcome to the first in-person student government meeting,” Student Government President Drew Wilenzick said on September 23 in the Leffell School sukkah, the first in over one and a half years.
On September 10, Wilenzick planned to address the school over Zoom streaming throughout TLS as each grade was split into multiple classrooms. The Zoom unexpectedly glitched so the speeches were recited over the PA system, with Head of School Dr. Michael Kay joining from his phone. New teachers were introduced and Wilenzick outlined his agenda for the year to come, including many activities, events and ways to get involved, many of which have already begun.
“It was really good to have everyone back together again,” Student Government Vice President Avi Katzen said. “For this reason, we want to have as much in-person programming as possible.”
After High School academic orientation, when every student attended each of their classes for 35-minutes, Student Government sponsored a block party in the courtyard and on the basketball court.
“The block party was a fun celebration of the new school year,” Wilenzick said. “We had a dunk tank, where I was personally dunked as was Vice President Avi Katzen and some teachers. We also enjoyed ice cream sandwiches, popcorn and cotton candy. Students participated in an obstacle course and played lawn games.
“Israeli music blasted and some students danced, with everyone really enjoying being back to school in person and welcoming each other to a great year.”
Wilenzick and Katzen outlined three main goals for this year on student government.
“Our first goal is to overall improve school spirit and morale through sports events like homecoming and also just fun events like the block party,” Wilenzick said.
Leffell Look, TLS’s Student Government apparel shop, has also boosted spirit, as it was founded to promote school pride and support the Student Government.
“Another goal is to create change in our school, either physically or organizationally to improve the lives of students,” Wilenzick said. “This can be done through bettering the water fountains or adding computer chargers in places like the INC. These are examples of projects that make peoples’ lives easier and better not just through a one day event.”
Much of this work is done through Student Government committees, Arts, Athletics, Environment and Facilities, Events, Food, Religion and Technology. Each committee has a chair and vice-chairs, and some have initiative leaders, all working to create change at TLS.
“Our final goal is to educate our wider community through Yom Iyun, a Sustainability Summit,” Wilenzick said. “This event scheduled for October 29 will be a day-long conference that we plan on live-streaming to parents and potentially other schools.”
Katzen said that multiple speakers will speak on matters such as coral bleaching, climate injustice and recycling.
At the opening assembly, Wilenzick introduced this year’s Student Government theme of flexibility.
“When Zoom was not working, we figured it out,” Wilenzick said. “We like to plan things and hope that everything goes perfectly but the ultimate goal is making as many peoples’ days better and improving as much of the school experience as we can and often with that we have to be flexible.”