Meet Your New Co-Mayors: Ryan and Duncan

In separate sit-downs, new co-mayors Ryan H. and Duncan M. shed some light on their plans for the upcoming school year at WCI.

Ryan

What is your main goal as mayor for this year?

This year I think it’s really important to try to keep that balance; try to keep the students happy and also try to keep the admin team happy too. With the new Student Activities Director this year, we have the opportunity to change some things up which is nice because, the new admin team, they’re looking to change quite a few things too.

What events are you excited about?

I’m excited for Battle, that’s always a good one. We’re really going to be trying hard to get a good turnout this year and hopefully we get decent weather. I’m really looking forward to Relay for Life as well. It’s always good to see that event come together because it’s very special. I’m looking forward to those two primarily.

What are you involved in outside of student council at the school?

This year I plan on playing rugby in the spring. In past years I’ve been a part of orchestras and played volleyball as well.

What can you say about the new Student Activities director, Ms. Jilesen?

Ms. Jilesen’s been very, very good so far. It’s a lot to take on. To come to a school as busy as WCI and try to understand because we run a unique system, in some ways, compared to other high schools that she’s been at previously. I think she’s doing a fantastic job so far.

How are you working with Duncan so far?

Duncan and I work well together. Duncan’s very good at entertaining people and coming up with solutions on the spot and I’m more oriented to having things organized in advance. Together we cover all the bases and make a great team

What are your personal plans for the future?

I plan on, hopefully, getting a business degree, maybe from Laurier, and then maybe getting a trade as well and hopefully starting a business. I work as a cabinet-maker here, now, locally so I’ve been able to gain some experience there.

Did last year’s co-mayors, Maggie and Mark, give you any advice for this year?

They gave me a bit of advice. Both them and actually, Paul Turner, shot me a big long text before the first day of school for some advice. Some of the biggest advice is that you just keep a smile on your face and that sometimes you’ll get criticized. That’s the way it is. The reality is, this is a school of 1,200 people and finding a happy medium, as I said before, is really important. ‘Just keep a smile on your face, smile and nod, and just try to be as open as you can,’ basically, is the advice I got.

What advice do you have for new students at the school?

My biggest piece of advice that I tried to emphasize to the Grade 9s this year was getting involved. WCI is a fantastic school for its’ academic, its’ athletic, and its’ arts programs. Just getting involved right away with all the clubs, all the sports teams, all the arts opportunities like the plays and the ensembles. There truly is something for everyone. People are invited to start their own clubs if they can’t find something they want. Getting involved right away is what I would emphasize to new students.

Duncan

What is your main goal as mayor for this year?

My main goal as mayor this year is to try and break down the boundary between junior students and senior students. I also want to be a lot more active in the school. Whether it’s running caf games or intramurals or maybe planning a dance. I think Ryan and I have kind of the same goals; just trying to get our new people in the school to have the ability to be more useful and to have a bigger voice. Also trying to help with the smooth transition of Ms. Jilesen, our new Head of Student Activities. With all the changes we’ve had in the last two years, we wanted to get something solid down for other people to build on.

What events are you excited about?

I really like the dances like Semi, Athletic Banquet, and Arts Ball. I also really like our Coffee Houses because those are fun to see new people come out and show new talents. ELL Sports Nights are also a ton of fun. Those are probably some of the most exciting nights we have.

What are you involved in outside of student council at the school?

Hopefully, I’ll be involved in Macbeth. I’m probably going to do Swim Team again. I may do Cross Country. If there’s going to be a play at the end of the year then I might get involved with that. It’s pretty much any arts and one sport per season is what I do.

What can you say about the new Student Activities director, Ms. Jilesen?

Of course, it’s a learning curve because she comes from a different school where, apparently, they do way less stuff. Our calendar, if you’ve seen it, is actually quite full. I think she’s done an amazing job so far of overcoming that knowledge barrier she has compared to Mr. Nickel who had been here for years. She also does a really good job of asking us, ‘Hey, how have we done this in the past and how can we make it better?’ She’s changed all of our old archives that were just in these binders and we’re starting to move it all to digital.

How are you working with Ryan so far?

Ryan and I, I think, are a pretty darn good dynamic duo. He’s, of course, a little more organized than I am. But, you know what? I feel like I make up for that with spirit and comfortability in front of crowds. I think it really works. I don’t think either of us has a set weakness in terms of organization or being in front of people but we definitely have our strengths and they definitely are not the same thing. As a unit that makes us a lot more impactful.

What are your personal plans for the future?

Oh, Jeepers. Where am I going to go in life? Well, some people say nowhere. I’m planning on going to [The University of] Guelph for business. I mean, I haven’t taken many business courses before but university is a place for learning new things. I really like the campus at Guelph. It has a good vibe.

Did last year’s co-mayors, Maggie and Mark, give you any advice for this year?

Maggie had this whole spreadsheet of basically her entire year. The speeches they had to do, what went wrong with Junior Leadership… There is a plethora, if not a cornucopia, of information. It’s not only Mark and Maggie. Every mayor has added to this document we now have. For the barbeque for Spirit of Waterloo we’re trying to get food trucks instead of barbecuing stuff. That’s something we didn’t think of doing until we went back and looked at what they did way before we were here.

What advice do you have for new students at the school?

My advice for any of you new students is: if you’re confused about anything, come down to ABCD. We are quite nice people. We don’t bite. Whatever question you have I can guarantee one of us in there will know how to answer it. Even if none of us are there, Ms. DeSousa’s a great asset. You can ask her questions, introduce yourselves. I’d also like to see all of you guys get as involved as possible whether it’s with sports, clubs, or drama. The more you get involved the more people you meet and the more opportunities you have to create connections to the school and to the people around you.