Introduction to the StuCo Executive Board 2021-2022


Grace Bettenburg, Staff Writer

Though it has been a tumultuous year, I know I can speak for the entire school when I say that the 2020-2021 Exec Board was able to adapt and overcome so many obstacles that were definitely NOT in their position descriptions when they ran. Their energy, passion, and devotion to the school and student body were clear, even over Zoom, and we cannot thank them enough for the time and effort they put into helping us establish the ‘new normal.’ Expectations may be high, but I am confident the rising juniors will do just that: rise to the challenge. 

Last Tuesday, we heard some incredible speeches from fifteen courageous candidates and voted for who we believed could best lead us through the year ahead. As we transition from the graduating Exec board to our newly elected representatives, I cannot wait to see what each successor brings to the table. I had the privilege of asking them a few questions about the election and their aspirations, so, through this article, we can get to know our new leaders a little better. 

As I’m sure you all know, our new STUCO President was revealed to be Ella Sukup. Starting freshman year, Ella instantly became an instrumental part of the 2022 graduating class. Her constant optimistic and collected attitude never fails to calm even the most flustered students (myself included) after a brutal test or before a big presentation. As a classmate, I have seen her level-headed but genuine and empathetic leadership style not only resolve minor complaints but also dissect the significant issues that may be causing them- helping her and her teammates to formulate a plan of action for the future. This sentiment is definitely reflected by her peers, describing her as “so hard-working,” “seriously the sweetest,” and “always want(ing) the best for people.” Personally, I think she was best conveyed in the statement, “she has a heart of gold.”

Photo Courtesy of Ella Sukup

I was lucky enough to have a short conversation with her after the election results were released, and I think Ella’s plans for next year are best relayed in her own words- 

“I am hoping that I can really make sure that every student has a great year next year in light of everything that we have missed because of COVID. I think that it will be really important to show the future freshman, sophomore, and junior class what Vis was like before the pandemic while implementing the unifying factors that brought us together during the pandemic. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to act in this role, and I want to really listen to and act on the ideas of the student body as much as possible. I was inspired by some of the fantastic Vis StuCo presidents like Aalishba, Sammie, and Grace, who have acted in such unique ways to spread Salesian Spirituality and act as representatives of the student body. I only hope that I can live up to them!” 

Ella, if you’re reading this, I hope you know that we are all rooting for you and confident you will live up to and exceed all the expectations set by your predecessors! 

I am also thrilled to announce that, next year, Emily Wollan will be assuming the role of Exec Board Vice President. Emily’s love for Vis is almost as infectious as her constant optimism. It’s impossible to meet her in the halls without sharing a smile and cheerful hello that brightens everyone’s day. She is one of the most supportive people I know- constantly cheering on sports teams, never forgetting a birthday, and blanketing her (countless) friends with genuine love. She is always looking for ways to improve other’s days and is quick to dole out words of encouragement and hugs if needed. A reliable source of sunshine for the entire school, Emily is admired by many of her peers; they described her as “one of the most genuine and positive people I have ever met. Her love for Vis and everyone around her truly makes the world a better place.” She plans to return to Vis after college as an upper school teacher and inspire students for years to come.

Photo Courtesy of Emily Wollan

Emily voices her vision for next year and her hopes for the future stating,

 “I decided to run for StuCo Vice President because of my deep love for this wonderful community. I have truly found a second home here at Visitation and a lot of that has to do with my fellow classmates. Authenticity is the nature of the Visitation spirit, not perfection or disingenuity, and it is something that I have personally worked on throughout my high school experience. I am constantly inspired and in awe of those many people within the Visitation community, including my classmates, teachers, and coaches, who I witness God in. They carry themselves with such grace, and I have been truly blessed to be surrounded by such strong women. I hope to be a person who exemplifies all that the Visitation spirit is, and I hope to continue the strong sense of sisterhood that is Visitation. I want to leave Visitation better than I found it, and I want to work to make sure that next year is a really fun and impactful year by building off of all that the previous Student Council Executive boards have done. I would love to continue the special traditions which make Vis such a high-energy place but also working to create change that can extend beyond Visitation and into our world.”

Photo Courtesy of Kate Happe

Next, I am happy to introduce our new Secretary, Kate Happe. Kate is not only an extremely talented dancer but a trusted leader among the juniors as well. I had the privilege of serving on the sophomore student council with her as president, and I know she will thrive on the Exec Board. She is a natural on stage- confident and charismatic- and among her teammates- communicative and kind. As she said in her speech, she truly does live up to the last name, “Happe,” and is legitimately interested in getting to know everyone she meets. As one of her classmates stated, “she is so gentle and kind towards everyone and the kindest and HAPPIEST person.” I cannot wait to see how her bubbly personality and bright ideas will contribute to the Exec Board’s post-covid plans.

After talking to her this weekend, and I could already tell she was an amazing fit for her new role. She stated, 

“I decided to run for Student Council Secretary because I have looked up to the girls on the Executive Board since I was a freshman. I was amazed by their leadership in all aspects of “Vis life,” from in-school events to out-of-school events. I want to help lead Vis on the right path during a hopefully semi-normal year. I feel I can act as a leader who leads with love and positivity during a time of unknown for our world. I hope to plan more fun school events where the whole upper school can be together. I hope to also make Vis a place full of learning. As our society changes for the better, I want Vis to change and improve as well. We must make Vis a place where everyone, no matter race, gender, or religion, feels welcomed and, more importantly, heard. I am so excited to give back to an incredible school! “

Photo Courtesy of Isabelle Chard

Though the competition was fierce, Wednesday, Isabelle Chard was revealed to be the 2021-2022 Exec Board Treasurer.

Isabelle is a talented volleyball player and printmaker, but, more importantly, she is the life of the party. She is constantly adding spice to the school day with a witty comment, and it’s hard not to grin when you hear her infectious laugh. Her energy adds life to any room she walks into, and I cannot wait to see some of her ideas for next year executed. As many say, she is their “biggest hype woman,” and I can already tell this enthusiasm will be reflected in our Monday Morning assemblies.

Photo Courtesy of Jaclyn Young

Finally, our last newly elected official is Jaclyn Young as Publicity Chair. Sitting next to Jaclyn in Chemistry, I have seen her aesthetic first hand through her calligraphy-covered notes, and it definitely does not disappoint. Her unique humor blended with her amazing taste and artistic hand is sure to craft a gorgeous social media presence. Her classmates described her “sooo smart, “so caring and welcoming,” and, of course, a “HYPE QUEEN.” When asked what inspired her to apply, she responded, “I wanted to run for STUCO so I could help my peers’ voices be heard. I really want more students’ ideas to be valued and used in the Vis community.”



Clearly, lead by these ladies, 2021-2022 is going to be an incredible year.