An Interview with Student Council Presidential Candidate Iman Kanoute

Iman Kanoute – A candidate that doesn’t sleep on the school’s needs!


To start off, tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Iman, and I am 16 years old. I am biracial, from France and Mali. I was born in the UK and then moved to Spain, then China, then Dubai and now I am back in the UK (I have moved around a lot!). I have been in Marymount for 2 years and in that time, I have been in the choir, 2 of the school musicals, NHS & Student Council. I also do competitive taekwondo, training 5 times a week!

What has been your favourite part of/most memorable event at Marymount so far?

One of my favourite things about Marymount has to be the choir. The choir tour has been one of my favourite memories of last year, and it is so sad we could not go this year!

What prompted you to run for Student Council?

At the beginning, I never really gave it much thought. But when I became Grade Representative this year, I ended up really liking the position and everything the Student Council was doing for the school community, with the fundraisers, organising Prom and things for middle school. I thought this was very fun, and it was great to see the impact this was having on the school community, so this inspired me to take the next step as I thought “I have done grade rep – where do I go from here?” I felt that running for president was the next best thing for me to put myself forward and continue doing what I think is best for the school.

Our school has often been described as having this ‘Marymount Magic’ – what in your opinion is this ‘magic’ about Marymount, and how do you wish to develop/enhance this with your position as SC president?

I think the ‘magic’ of Marymount is in the kindness of the girls. Out of all the schools I have been to (and I have moved around quite a lot in terms of schools), there has never been a school where the students are as friendly as the ones in Marymount, and it has not always been easy to immediately fit into other schools, unlike my experience in Marymount. So, I think the magic is the kindness. As Student Council President, it is definitely important to promote that kindness, not just in each grade, but as a school all together.

Do you have any initiatives/ideas/goals you want to accomplish if elected as President?

I would definitely want to promote and help create more inter-grade activities. Marymount is a small community, where everyone knows each other and has friends in different grades, but they don’t always get to see them unless it is after school or during activities. So, I think it would be very nice we can create initiatives to organise occasions so that people between grades can get to know each other. Also, through this, the younger girls that look up to the older girls can get to talk to them more, which will be really nice!

What do you believe makes a strong student leader, and how will you exemplify this as you lead the Student Council and the whole school body?

I think being a leader is not being a boss, which is very important to know. It is not about bossing people around, it is about being approachable so people can come to them with ideas, as the job of a leader is to represent the student body not just to lead it with their own ideas. So, I think it is definitely important for the Student Council President to be someone who the students can easily talk to, someone who is approachable, some who approaches everyone with a smile, who is positive in their role and wants to be doing what they are doing. As Student Council President, I will make it one of my main goals to always be someone everyone in every grade can feel like they can talk to, even if it is just a small concern or something they do not want everyone to know. I will be more than happy to be someone people feel like they can talk to.

Being a leader comes with its own set of challenges. What do you think the challenging of the role of president might be and how would you overcome these?

I think a main challenge any leader will face is that you cannot make everyone happy no matter how hard you try. Some things you do will be liked by some and disliked by others, and at the end of the day it is impossible to accommodate everyone. I think with this challenge, it is important as a student leader to be aware that you cannot please everyone, but know that you are still doing the best by everyone, so even if people are not happy, you know that you are doing the best by them. Even though you do always try to make sure everyone is happy, as a leader it is important to be aware that that may not always happen.

Do you have anything else you want the school to know about you and why they should vote you for president?

I would say that I am a very positive person, and I like talk to people! I like my Marymount community and love getting to know people from all grades, which I have been able to do especially through the musicals. As your Student Council President, I will be someone who represents everyone, knows everyone and everyone knows me back, and people can feel comfortable coming to me with any issues or initiatives that I can present to the higher body of the school!