Dominican Students Master Learning and Voting at Home

Doing things online has become the new normal for the students of St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Electing the representatives for next year’s school year has been no different.

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Student Council Executive Board: President Allie Koenig, Vice President Kate Nolan, Secretary Grace Hamblin and Treasurer Carrie Madden.

In addition, congratulations to junior Kate Thomson, sophomore Catherine Kerion, freshman Lily Stricker and eighth grader Grace Koenig – students selected as Class Coordinators to lead their grades next year.

Student Council

Election time has come and gone, and the people of DHS have spoken!

This year’s election was unlike anything the school had seen before due to Home Learning. On April 17, 2020, candidates submitted videos online, instead of the traditional way of presenting speeches in front of the student body in the Siena Gym. The students received a link that accessed the videos over Microsoft Teams.

 “Our E-Board speeches, elections, and running through the halls tradition are among our most exciting traditions at DHS,” said Mrs. Jessica Sita Couch (’05), special projects director and student council moderator. “But, since that could not be done this year, we had to think outside of the box.”

From April 20 to April 24, 2020 the student body submitted an online form ballot choosing their favored candidates. This process has made voting not only easy but green.

Just as in years past, outgoing E-Board members announced the winners … but this year via video. Beginning with the traditional words, “One year ago, I sat in my desk waiting for my name to be called,” current E-Board members announced their successors.

“I was very nervous the night before I could barely sleep. When I found out I won, I was very excited and a little shocked,” said Koenig, “I told my sister, who was in the room with me, then I called my mom and friends to share the good news.”

Without missing a beat, the newly elected E-Board members began brainstorming for next year, putting their best foot forward.

These students will use their previous experience from Student Council to not only run meetings but also ensure that the student body has the best year possible. Their goal is to make sure that all students feel welcomed to participate in school activities.

On May 4, 2020, using the same campaign and election format, DHS elected their grade level coordinators. The coordinators work alongside the E-Board and student council reps to plan activities among grade levels and organize Rally Day for their class.

             “I have ideas to do more Color Challenges and fun games involving other grades during long lunch and homeroom time to make the days exciting,” said Stricker.  

            “With so many girls in a class, it’s important that all voices are heard,” said Mrs. Robyn Miltenberger, junior faculty coordinator, “The grade level coordinator becomes the voice for the students in her grade. She combines the efforts and ideas of the members of student council and the class, strengthening the grade.”

Student Preachers

Just like most activities during Home Learning, Student Preacher applications moved online.

Students applying to represent Dominican in one of its most fundamental ways, through prayer, submitted an online questionnaire, followed by an online interview.

Congratulations to newly selected Student Preachers: sophomores Monica Cabes, Corinne Lobell, Holly Rantz and Jenna Thomas.

These new Student Preachers have joined returning preachers juniors Gracie Bott, Aria Dody, Isabelle Fitzmorris and Sara Sciortino in sharing daily prayer videos with the Dominican community. These reflections last no more than a minute and thirty seconds but leave the student body refreshed because they have started their day with God.  

“I am excited for every opportunity I have been blessed with,” said Lobell. “I hope to spread my gifts and my faith life to my fellow Dominican Sisters, encouraging them do grow in their connection with God, which will give them the security of peace, love, and happiness.”

These students bring not only their faith life to the table but also many new ideas to encourage other students to get involved in their faith life.

“I hope to make my Student Preacher role interactive, such as asking others what their favorite Bible quotes are, or what they would like to pray for especially. I want to make sure that the afternoon reflections are for our community, yet personal,” said Rantz.

Student Preachers are an important part of Dominican and its culture, according to Vice President of Dominican Catholic Identity, Mrs. Jill Curry Cabes (’87), Student Preacher moderator. The students selected work hard to ensure that every student feels loved and a connection to God.

“I feel as though it’s so important for our Dominican school community to have a group of student preachers because preaching is such an essential aspect of the Dominican tradition,” said Mrs. Cabes, “We are part of the Order of Preachers and no matter our age we all have gifts that God has given us that we can share with those around us.”

Dominican is in good hands with these student leaders.

  • Isabelle Fitzmorris