Gauthier takes on second year as class president


Kartiki Sarangdhar

Junior Class President Renee Gauthier uses her past experiences to be a good leader.

Vivian Simopoulos, Staff Writer

Junior Class President Renee Gauthier, who has held her title as president for two years, works to be an encouraging leader and is determined to make this her best year yet.

Challenges such as having insufficient funds and the effects of the pandemic have given Gauthier valuable experiences that have developed her leadership skills.

“It’s almost like having more confidence when you’re in junior year,” Gauthier said. “You’ve done this before, you have more money, you have more funds, you have a committee that will stand by you and a lot of times there’s reelected members and representatives, so it makes it a lot easier.”

Gauthier’s proudest accomplishment so far was the planning and execution of this year’s Homecoming dance. 

“[Homecoming] was our biggest [event] that we’ve done yet,” Gauthier said. “It was honestly one of my favorite things and it was pretty good, and I’m pretty proud of it.”

Gauthier and the steering committee are currently creating volunteer opportunities for juniors who will be applying to college after being affected by the pandemic. 

“Our main focus right now is prom, but also we are trying to add more fundraiser events for people to work at, and some service opportunities since a lot of us are applying to colleges,” Gauthier said. “And [we’re working on] just bringing back more stuff that we couldn’t do in COVID years.”

Junior class advisers Elisa Drake and Lorraine Zanini oversee Gauthier and the steering committee. Their duties include guiding the students and supporting fundraising for events.

“[Gauthier] is organized, kind and people feel that they can depend on her,” Drake said.

Being class president comes with many responsibilities and challenges. Gauthier has recently prioritized increasing school spirit among the junior class.

“Over the past few years [school spirit] has dwindled down and not a lot of people want to participate in things,” Gauthier said. “It’s a little tough, but I feel like I’m slowly starting to see more.”

The advisers and the steering committee are working with Gauthier to find ways for members of the junior class to feel more connected.

“I have seen a major decline in school spirit. It was well before the pandemic even hit,”  Drake said. “As advisers we are looking to the kids to tell us what makes you feel included in a community.”

By hosting more in person events and encouraging participation on spirit days, Gauthier believes the amount of school spirit has and will continue to grow.

“Having the ability to do more things together, having more events, having more service, being able to connect with everyone,” Gauthier said. “Especially in those settings where you don’t have to distance yourself from people.”

During her time as president, Gauthier has learned exactly what it takes to hold the title of class president.

“The biggest thing that I have learned this year is that it is not all about talking in front of people,” Gauthier said. “It’s a balance, and you also need to know how to be able to lead a group and almost be a teacher in a sense when you’re doing those meetings.”

Specifically, Gauthier believes that motivating people is an important quality of a strong leader.

“[A strong leader is] someone that can make people want to do things,” Gauthier said. “And just create a good atmosphere and not be telling people things but collaborating with them.”

Gauthier believes student input is crucial to being a good leader and reflecting the needs and wants of the student body.  Students can get involved by filling out surveys or even attending steering committee meetings.

“We have biweekly steering meetings on Thursdays,” Gauthier said. “We will send out information on when the days are and we will have posts on our Instagram about what we are going to do next.”

Drake believes Gauthier has proven to be a strong role model for her classmates. 

“I think it’s her approachable nature,” Drake said. “People trust her.”

Gauthier has enjoyed her position as class president and has found her involvement to be fulfilling. 

“When you spend so much time planning events and you work on it and you work with your group on it and then you finally see it happen, it’s so rewarding,” Gauthier said.