When Jack McHugh was elected president of the school, we all quickly realized that we were in good hands. After delivering his poignant first address to the school early in the year, McHugh immediately set about bettering the school alongside the senate. As a senator for the juniors of Belmont Hill, I was impressed by his ability to quickly adapt to the role of School President. During the very first meeting, ideas were flying and an initial plan of action was starting to take shape under his efficient leadership. At the end of this first official senate meeting, Jack slammed down the ceremonial gavel for the first time in the new year, solidifying his role as president of the school.
McHugh has come far since then; his accomplishments were numerous even during this short school year. He forged a strong bond between the senate and Headmaster Schnieder, one that had been lacking since Mr. Schnieder’s arrival. He helped bring attention to the issues plaguing the Belmont Hill gear shop and took an active role in making sure the locker rooms were in good shape, to name a few accomplishments. Even now with the remote nature of our education, Jack makes sure to keep us in the loop and connected with his weekly Friday Forums. Jack McHugh has proven to be an excellent School President and senior leader, and we will miss him in the future.
Vice President Emmett Greenwood was also a driving force in the senate and a good complement to the skills of McHugh. His foresight and organizational skills helped reign in the senate if things (or James Markis) got unruly, and he was always able to provide a fresh perspective on our issues. He would offer up as much as Jack each meeting, and the two were more like co-presidents as they sat side by side. Emmett was often the voice of reason during our many debates and he would sometimes see a key problem with one of our collective ideas and encourage us to solve it in a creative way. He was also funny. If things became tense, as they often do during a discussion about senior coffee, Emmett was always there to make a joke to lower the temperature of the room. Ultimately, Emmett was an excellent mediator and gave more depth to Jack McHugh’s already robust leadership, and the senate next year will be sure to carry on his legacy.
Jack and Emmett may have spearheaded the efforts of the senior senate this year, but no senate is complete without Senators, three of them to be exact. In his role as senator, Dan Madden was excellent at analyzing the ideas of others. He would always wait until someone else was done presenting their idea before he provided his take on the issue, either pointing out important flaws or building on what the person did well. Madden also was always sure to include any teachers present in the discussion in order to get a sense of what the more senior members of the Belmont Hill community would think, which was always a key part of the puzzle. Next was Brady Chitkara. With his adamant and at times stubborn attitude, he excelled at driving the discussion. He was usually the one to speak first on an issue, setting the bar high in terms of ambitiousness and inviting others to tell him what they thought. Brady was especially instrumental in creating a firm communication channel between the Headmaster and senate. He was willing to ask Headmaster Schnieder the questions nobody else would. Last but not least in the senator department is James Markis, who had a dual role as senator and senate scribe. His notes on each discussion helped us form a plan for the next one, as well as kept the student population informed about the happenings within the senate. As much as Markis’s notes helped to keep us on track, James himself would often throw us off track, in a good way, of course. He was similar to Emmett in that he excelled at providing comedic relief; sometimes the senate-train became a little too heated and needed to be thrown off track for the sake of all those within.
The final senior leader in the senate this year was Isaiah Gomes, who filled the new role of Dorm Representative. A necessary addition, Isaiah brought to the table the perspective of the boarders at Belmont Hill. He was able to identify and address grievances among the borders that had existed for far too long and reported widespread satisfaction at the end of the year in the dorms. Although he was primarily a dorm representative, Isaiah was not afraid to chime in on other matters of the senate, creating a whole other facet of the senate while supplementing the existing ones.
The senior senate this year was an exciting and efficient one; each member complemented each other well, building on the strengths of their peers while providing cover for any weaknesses. The result was a room full of energy and ideas, which motivated the members of the senate to capitalize on their ideas and make something happen. In all, President Jack McHugh, Vice President Emmett Greenwood, Dorm Representative Isaiah Gomes, and Senators Dan Madden, Brady Chitkara, and James Markis have been exemplary members of the senate this year and ideal representatives of both the senior class and Belmont Hill at large.