Introducing… Akari, Student Council President


Sofía Masondo

Being in Student Council is a privileged position – you become the touchstone between the student body and faculty, with power over what events take place over the year, which complaints reach teachers and the head of year, and which should better stay in the group chat or DP Lounge! In Grade 12, representing your grade is a particularly busy time, organising classic Marymount traditions like the Halloween Spookhouse and making time in between IAs and exam revision to bond and make memories, before we all go off to many corners of the world. This year’s Student Council president is Akari Katamura, with Carolina Abdo and Freya Hansen as the G12 representatives. Grade 12 can be a stressful time, and many of us find the pressure to perform difficult; however, no matter when you see them, these three always have a smile on their face and always want to know what they can do to make everybody’s student experience better. I caught up with Akari to see how she is feeling about this year, what she’s most excited about and what her plans are to make this year as memorable as possible.

Akari seems comfortable and excited to sit down with me for an interview, bubbly and bright as always. When I ask her to tell me a bit about her position as President, she visibly lights up, eager to talk about all the wonderful plans she has for this year. I ask her what it’s like to be at the top of the school, and she laughs, but is careful to emphasise that she doesn’t see this position as simply something to put on her personal statement; she has genuine passion for our school community and loves her role. She sits back, considers the question, and after a moment tells me:

“I get to put my ideas into action, and to listen and inquire into what people are looking for. I really enjoy talking with the senior leadership… and I love to organise stuff! I get a huge satisfaction from seeing what I had a vision for put into shape.”

This is clear to me – having been Akari’s classmate for several years, her organisational skills are obvious, but never without joy or drive for her studies. Anyone who has been in a room with her can attest to the feeling that her life is full of colour – Nadiyah, the editor-in-chief, describes her as “human sunshine” when I tell her about this interview – and this is the same for any work she undertakes. Even her study sets and notes, which she posts on Instagram @studytips246, are beautifully organised and designed. When she says this, I have no doubt that she’ll approach every project with the same enthusiasm. With her characteristic logical mind, she launches into a list of her different roles.

“Basically, what I do is organise student council meetings, I regularly talk to the senior leadership… I also present in assembly once a month, and generally, I keep an eye on what students are thinking and wanting, and try to take that into account when we’re planning events. I’m hoping that this year, people will be more aware of the student council, and feel comfortable bringing their ideas and thoughts to us. We want to make things happen!”

Akari is thrilled to have been elected to her position, especially to organise Marymount classics like the Halloween Spook house, which this year, she gets to carry out with her close friends and classmates of Grade 12. However, her vision is broad, and tells me that one of her goals is to “introduce new traditions” to the school community. She gushes about new ideas that she wants to put into action, such as a bonfire night, fireworks for Diwali, increased bake sales to raise funds for important causes, and most importantly, to bring the school spirit back after a long period of online school. I get the impression that her mind is always cooking up new ways to bring joy to her classmates, peers, and staff. When asked about what she hoped to achieve by the end of the year, she says:

“I want to bring the school spirit back, and make the Marymount community brighter. I want all the grades to come together, and Middle School and High School to become closer friends. I’m very excited, and am genuinely passionate about this position. I can’t wait!”