SGA Presidential Election Mystery Solved


This time of year is what I like to refer to as election season. I know that the U.S. presidential elections are not until November, but those are not the elections I am referring to. Rather, I am referring to the student body presidential election at Lake Mary High School. During fourth quarter is usually when we see posters plastered on the walls screaming “VOTE FOR ME” to the rest of the student population. Many students often enjoy this time simply for the free food offered by the candidates in effort to insure their votes. Some of the candidates are doing it simply for college applications, some are doing it for the title, some genuinely care about trying to positively change the school, and some are a mix of all of the above. Although no matter the reason, this is an important decision the student body has to make, as they are putting a student in a position of authority and opportunity.

Although this year, election season at LMHS as well as other high schools looked a little different, as everyone has been learning from home for the entire fourth quarter due to the effects of Covid-19. For example, Seminole High School’s student body had an election through Skyward, in which the candidates promoted themselves and their platform through social media until their assigned election day. Although at Lake Mary High School, I nor any other students ever recall voting for a student body president, nevertheless even knowing who the candidates were. Then, all of a sudden, Dr. Reynolds announces on her instagram page that Jessica Velez was chosen to be the Student Body President for the 2020-2021 school year. So that leaves me, and many other students, with the question “How did Jessica Velez receive the position of Student Body President?”

In order to figure this out, I first emailed Dr. Reynolds asking her to inform me with details of the election process that were not shared with the student body. From there, she directed me to Ms. Sullivan, who is the head of SGA. In her response back to me, she wrote “Jessica Velez completed all the requirements to apply, submitted the application and teacher recommendations, and had an outstanding interview with the panel”. This was the process that essentially replaced the normal student body election ordeal. I further inquired with her by asking who the members of the panel who made this decision were. She quickly answered me, replying with “The panel consisted of Mrs. Knowles, Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Ayala-Cruz, Dr. Reynolds, and myself”. 

Personally, I feel that this was an acceptable way to handle the situation considering the circumstances, although I do still wish the student body was given an opportunity to vote for their president. As for the other student government positions, they will be available at the beginning of next year. There should have been more communication between the student body and administration about the election process, as people were skeptical of the situation simply because no one knew all of the facts. I officially say this case is closed.