By Emma Aranda ’24
WPGA has various councils running many aspects of our school life: Athletics, Arts, Spirit, Service, Wellness, and the grade-12-only Grad council. They manage anything and everything from events to decorations and embody many aspects of our school that we are so proud of. Here is a guide to learn a little more about this year’s prefects and their councils that will be running our school during the 2021-2022 year.
Known for the infamous Teacher vs. Student games, send offs, and bringing energy (and drums!) to home games, the athletics council is responsible for countless exciting events. This year, the prefects are Jaza Mya and Sylvia Miller.
Jaza has been on the athletics council once before, in grade 8. This year, she is excited to be leading it, as she has been an active member of many school teams. She used to play highly competitive soccer and volleyball outside of school, and is a part of the Varsity Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball and Tennis teams in the school. Jaza is especially excited for home games, hoping that they will once again become a public event and that more people will be able to show up and cheer on our teams due to relaxed restrictions this year. A fun fact about Jaza is that she also does stellar impressions of the Harry Potter characters, specializing in Dobby and Hermione, both of which have been described to be “scarily accurate.”
The other Athletics council prefect is Sylvia Miller, who is a lifer! This is her first year on any council. She thinks that Athletics is the perfect fit, as she has always been involved in the school’s athletics teams. She plays soccer, volleyball, and basketball, and is excited for send-offs and home games this year. Home games were always her favourite, and she can’t wait to be able to run them this year with much more free reign due to lifted restrictions. She hopes to get more school involvement and spectators, so make sure to show up and cheer on our teams!
While their main event of the year is the ever-anticipated Arts Week, Arts Council, along with its many other duties, also promotes the school productions, which will be the comedy The Pink Panther Strikes Again this year. Its prefects are Emma Miao and Oliver Stevenson.
Emma has never been on Arts council before, but she was on Service council both in grade 9 and grade 10 before becoming the Cypress house captain last year. She has a passion for visual, musical, and literary arts especially, and has even published a poetry book! (Geography of Mothers, available now!) She is excited to bring in literary arts to the council this year knowing that it hasn’t been showcased in the past, and believes that with her experience, she can present a new perspective surrounding arts. She is thrilled to be able to plan events like Open Mic, of which there will be multiple of this year, and Arts Week; the council’s main event. Besides being on the council, Emma is also a part of the Swim Team and Ski Team. She is the head of the literary magazine Surging Tide and is our Editor-in-Chief at the Wolfington Post as well! When she is not writing beautiful poems, you can probably find her practicing piano, which she has been playing for 12 years!
Oliver Stevenson has never been on a council, making his prefect year also his first year as a council member. Funnily enough, he originally ran for Wellness council and centered his speech towards that; he spoke about changes within the school that he wanted to make, but ultimately saw Arts as a better opportunity to implement some of these changes. Oliver is a very artistic person, and while he cannot choose a single medium preference, he loves both visual arts and dramatic/performance arts. He has been in school productions before with his leading role in the pre-pandemic musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and is a part of this year’s Theatre Company, which will be performing a comedic mystery play (tickets should be available in late February or early March, so make sure to keep an eye out!). When he is not expressing his artistic talents through his preferred mediums, it is highly likely that you may run into Oliver rushing to Bean after an early morning swim practice!
Spirit council takes on the hefty task of managing nearly every holiday or event the school may participate in: Welcome Back ceremonies, Winter Wonderweek, candy grams, and just about anything and everything else! This year, the Spirit Council plans to collaborate with Environmental Leadership clubs to make their candy grams more environmentally friendly. The prefects tackling the management of this council are Kevin Li and Stephanie Hai.
To many people’s surprise, this is Kevin’s first year on Spirit Council. He has never been on a council before, but is excited to be running Spirit, and so far the transition has been easy and relatively manageable. He wanted to be on this council because he has always wanted to host all sorts of different events, and Spirit stood out to him since it also seemed to mesh well with his personality. Kevin wants everyone to know that he “LOVES SPIRIT,” which can certainly be seen firsthand through his participation on the Swim Team and as he plays the saxophone in Jazz Band.
The other Prefect running Spirit council this year is Stephanie Hai. She is our esteemed Head of Media and Outreach here at the Wolfington Post, and is also involved in Hogar de Gina. She is one of this year’s VYMUN leaders and helped found the Multicultural Club. She was a house captain for Grouse last year and was on Spirit Council for 3 years before that. Her favourite thing about Spirit council is getting to know the younger kids and to connect with them. She says that Spirit council is very family-oriented and lots of ‘older sibling advice’ is passed by the older members—it was through Spirit that Stephanie met one of her best friends, JJ! (graduated, class of 2021) She hopes to create Spirit events that are highly anticipated and specific to the council, much like how the Arts council has Arts Week. Some of her ideas for this are a “Bring Anything to School But a Backpack ” day, or karaoke events to capture the student energy in the school. Stephanie claims to be “very good” at parallel parking, and admitted that “the only people [she] would let stomp on [her] or kick [her] off the edge of the Earth would be BTS.”
Service council is one of the school’s two open councils. It helps plan service events such as Sleep Out Vancouver, Silent Day, and many can drives, to name a few. It is an opportunity for our community to give back to each other, and its leaders this year are Sofia Cicci and Vincent Gao.
This year will be Sofia’s first year on any council, which was why becoming a prefect was such a shock to her. She decided to run just to “put [her] name out there” and because she wanted to give back to the community after being a part of it for so long. She has always been very involved in school life, which served as her motivation to run for Service, which she proudly titles as the “best council.” This year, she is excited to be able to organize fundraising events, and is most looking forward to Women’s Day. Sofia wants to make this a much bigger event than it has been in the past, and is ready to take control of the organization for it. She is also excited for the Holiday Hamper Drive, which has happened before in the past with mixed results. Her “ultimate dream” is to have these 2 events become as big as possible, and to get the whole school involved. Sofia balances her duties as a prefect with Yoga Club and the Varsity Volleyball team. When asked for a fun fact about herself, she confidently claimed that she is a “fantastic grape catcher” and “definitely one thousand percent better than Rafeeq [at it].”
The second Service council prefect is no stranger to the council’s duties; Vincent has been on the council for 3 years prior to his election as prefect. He is thankful for this leadership opportunity, as he strongly believes in giving back to the school. He recognizes that the school provides its students with countless opportunities with its great track record and extracurricular options. This was his motivation to become a prefect; Vincent feels that everyone should show appreciation and give back to the school through service, and this council gives people the chance to do that. He likes that the council gives its members a lot of freedom to pursue ‘passion projects,’ which enabled him to help manage and plan for Sleep Out Vancouver last year. Apart from Service council, Vincent is very involved in school life; he is one of the captains of the Debate team, and participates in Model UN and Public Speaking. He is also on the Varsity Tennis team and has been playing piano for 10 years. A cool fact about him is that he can wiggle his ears without touching them, but he “won’t do it because it hurts.” In a recent conversation with Rafeeq (Wellness Council), he discovered that this motion should not hurt him, which took him by tremendous surprise.
Wellness council is relatively new to the school, and it only had its first elections this year, where the chosen representative was Rafeeq Kassam-Jiwani. The purpose of this new council is to provide students with a comfortable environment to talk about health, both bodily and mental. This, like Service, is an open council.
Rafeeq is the sole prefect of the Wellness council, which he joined in grade 11. He wanted to be Prefect because he realized that the school had provided him with a lot of opportunities and he wanted to take on the position of a role model and leader for younger students. He himself used to look up to older students in his current position. He is extremely passionate about Wellness council and ran because he believes that mental health within the school is vitally important and not talked about enough. He is proud to be able to open the doors for this conversation as he will attempt to make Wellness more accessible to the students of our school. Rafeeq is also involved in Model UN, Debate, and Public Speaking, and he plays on the Varsity Soccer team. He claims that he is “not musical at all,” but that he is a “really good grape-catcher,” rivalled only by Sofia (Service council). Like Vincent (Service council), he can also wiggle his ears, but this does not hurt him.
The Grad council is one of the lesser-known councils within the school, as it is, understandably, only relating to the graduating class. This council organizes events for the seniors and manages ‘technical things’ concerning uniforms, like the grad jackets. This year, the responsibility of this management falls onto Gwen Curin.
Gwen has never been on a council before, but she was appointed as Hemlock house captain last year, however, so she feels like she has leadership experience that she will be able to apply onto her council. Her main goal is to make this year fun and memorable for the grad class. Gwen believes it’s hard for her grade to bond outside of school, so she is excited to get to know her classmates better with Grad council activities. She already arranged for the seniors to receive cinnamon buns earlier in September and is planning for an upcoming grad movie night at Dunbar Theatre. Currently, she is brainstorming what the grad fundraiser should be and is trying to decide on a logo for the graduating class of 2022, Grad GO4T. Gwen is also on the Cross Country team, Basketball team, and the Track and Field team. She has a book and movie club online, which she is always open to talk about, and generally just hopes that she seems to be an approachable person if anyone has a question about anything.
With each of the 10 prefects this year being extremely approachable and kind, it is clear that their councils—and the school—are in capable hands that will undoubtedly craft one of the most memorable years yet.