Riverside School has renewed my confidence in the democratic process.

Elections for class representatives and class officers were held yesterday, and everything went amazingly well. A great deal of credit for that goes to our excellent teacher and student council advisor Mrs. Sara Sculthorpe, but much credit also goes to the candidates and to the student body.

Candidates all ran positive campaigns with fun posters and clever slogans. Officer candidates gave informative speeches in front of the entire student community—their fellow students and their teachers. And this morning, when the winners of the election were recognized in Morning Meeting, each winner was greeted with applause, and each accepted the recognition the appropriate way—with a smile that evinced humility.

My personal opinion is that the greatest winners in the election were the students who showed the courage to run for office but were not elected. It’s a difficult thing to put yourself “out there” in such a public way and then to accept the result, but what is learned from that experience is invaluable and not soon forgotten.

And I write the last sentence with some experience. When I was in 6th grade, I lost the run-off election for student council president to my classmate Marcy Harty. Marcy was a strong opponent in the election, and she made a wonderful president that year!


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