New elected SBOs want to focus on school unity

Lydia Hawes, Staff writer

Future student body president, Parker Bello, was surprised with himself in winning the 2022-2023 election. However, he’s eager to make Highland a better school inside and out for next year.

One of his biggest goals for the following year is to make Highland a more inclusive and welcoming place. He hopes to reach out to groups that have not been recognized or highlighted enough as students of Highland.

“I just want to make Highland a super inclusive place and make everyone feel welcomed and be able to have a great year”, Bello said.

His vice, Naomi Rigby, and historian Annie Perkins are on the same track as Bello. They hope that this next year will expand friend groups and give recognition to the hundreds of different stories that walk through the halls each day.

Highland’s diversity is one of its most admirable traits. Highland has students from all over, from different boundaries, different states, even different countries.

Friend groups at Highland, however, have not reached the level of diversity the school has just yet. Many groups seem to be split by ethnicity and social class.

Bello, Rigby, and Perkins are all hoping for this to change this following year.

Opening up your group to different faces, as well as getting to know the diverse communities around the school are ways the Rams can work towards accomplishing the student body’s goals.

“I think making people feel included is a big part of [expanding groups]”, Bello said.

Being kind to everyone you meet might just help you make a lifelong best friend, even if you never expected to end up being close to someone from a different group or background.

Another problem officers are intending to solve is that many clubs and groups around Highland go unnoticed.

Perkins, for example, hopes to change this by getting photos of groups Highland has not seen enough, or anything at all, of. She aims to attend all sorts of gatherings that have ties towards Highland in order to document different stories around the school.

“I want to be way more inclusive and make sure we get photos of everything, and make sure we get everything covered, and I think just capturing the year at Highland” Perkins said.

Hopefully this following year, students will be able to recognize the many clubs and groups around the school, as well as feel welcome in joining.

Another hope for next year is providing school-funded transportation to more events than they did this year. Having a Spirit Bus has allowed more students access to sports events, like basketball and football games.

“[We’re hoping] for more ways to take Spirit buses to things like dances instead of just games”, Rigby said.

Officers are anticipating next year’s buses will provide different activities for students at Highland to attend, such as sports games, but also expanding towards other social events, like dances, plays, debates, concerts, etc.

“I think a lot of the obstacles holding people back is transportation, so offering more transportation and resources to students who don’t have [those]”, Rigby said.

Spirit buses will give students who lack the luxury of personal transportation the ability to not feel cut off from Highland activity. They will also allow more students at events that don’t typically see a large fan-base. Adding more spirit buses to more activities will make all groups of Highland feel included and appreciated.

“I think encouraging more students to come out to stuff [will make Highland a more welcoming place]”, Perkins said.

Students love to be supported doing what they love. Luckily, we have officers who are willing to help all students at Highland both be supported and support their peers.

Next year, hopes are that Highland values inclusivity and connection between the school even more than the Rams already do.

“Just like what I said earlier, like getting to know everyone and not just [stay in] our little groups. Really bring the school together”, Bello said.