Tireless Sweeney Reps Campus


Kelly Pien, Opinion Editor

Sarah Sweeney has been busy.

As ASB Commissioner of Student Affairs, the junior’s numerous duties include planning Club Day and the Food Bazaar, giving speeches at every school board meeting, and attending monthly instructional council meetings.

“It’s basically an organizing position, making sure that things are going well, and that everything is coordinated on campus between Leadership and the staff and the student body,” Sweeney said.

The Commissioner of Student Affairs position is 1 of 2 appointed Leadership positions. According to leadership advisor Dino Petrocco, the position is appointed, rather than elected, because a Commissioner of Student Affairs was elected about 7 years ago who “did not do a very good job of representing” the leadership class. “Ever since then it’s been an appointed position, and it’s been a great decision because we get to handpick the best of the best. Kind of like the Green Berets or the Rangers or the Navy SEALs,” Petrocco said.

Petrocco approached Sweeney and asked her if she was interested in applying for the position. He approached her because of her resume, her well-spokenness, and energy. According to Petrocco, “she looked like somebody who would represent Campo well in front of the school board, which is important to us”.

After interviews with Petrocco and Principal John Walker, she was offered the job.

Sweeney took the job to gain new experience. “I had never been involved in Leadership before, and I think this was a good way for me to see that other side of the school. I hadn’t been part of that spirit before, and I hadn’t really seen what the Leadership class was doing, so it just gave me the chance to see how the campus works,” Sweeney explained.

Sweeney has excelled at the position. Petrocco said, “Sarah’s like the Navy SEAL of Leadership.”

Sweeney is responsible for running the tables at Club Day and organizing the Food Bazaar. “I make sure that everything is working and that everybody who wants to have their club represented has their club table and that everything is running smoothly,” she said. “In the spring, I do the Food Bazaar, which is similar to Club Day where clubs and sports and different groups on campus set up tables and sell food to fund-raise. It’s going to be in the gym this year because of construction, just like Club Day was.”

While Sweeney is not on the district school board, she is a “student representative”. There is 1 student representative from every school in the Acalanes Union High School District. Each representative presents a report to the board at every meeting. Sweeney attends every after-school board meeting on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays every month.

Sweeney meets with Principal John Walker a few days before every meeting in order to prepare for the presentation. According to Sweeney, they talk about “about what’s going on on campus, in athletics, academics, student clubs, and activities, and any sort of awards that our school has gotten.”

Sweeney then writes a two minute statement along those lines, and reads it to the board to “just tell them what’s going on on campus, so they have an idea of what it’s like day to day.”

Then, she listens to the other student representatives’ speeches for interesting ideas to bring back to Leadership. “I say, ‘Oh that’s really cool, we should totally do that and incorporate that into our spirit week,’ or things like that. I think it’s really cool hearing about especially things like dress-up days, and activities that they do on campus. It gives us a lot of ideas. And they listen to what I say and we sort of like mix ideas like that, and that’s cool,” Sweeney explained.

Sweeney also attends the monthly instructional council meetings with the department chairs. “I give them an update of what we’re doing in leadership class. I also give feedback if they have things to share with the student body, and I answer questions that they have about what’s going on on campus or what leadership is doing,” she said.

“I like being involved on campus and seeing what’s going on campus-wide, because in my job, I have to know if there’s a band concert or what clubs have done well, like AcaDeca winning awards and things like that, so it’s nice to be seeing what everyone else does outside of what I’m involved in personally. And it’s also cool to hear about what they do at other high schools,” Sweeney added.

She has also learned “about the diversity of the activities on campus.” Sweeney said. “I’ve also learned how much work everyone else is putting in in Leadership. And on the board, Monica Dwight, the board rep, has a crazy job. Also the student body [has] so many achievements as a group. You know, between band and AcaDeca and robotics, and all those different clubs, they’re really achieving at a high level.”

Petrocco praised Sweeney’s contributions to the school and the Leadership class. “You know, there are very few words that would adequately describe the contribution that Sarah has made to the leadership class and how she’s attacked the position of Student Affairs. But one word would be organized. Sarah is incredibly organized. She has this binder with all these crazy sheets in it which helps keeps all of her thoughts and her daily activities altogether and it’s great. I’m always envious of anybody who’s organized because I am not,” he said.

Despite enjoying and excelling at her job, Sweeney will not reprise her position next year. “I think it’s going to be too much, with all of my APs for next year and college applications. There’s also some potential scheduling conflicts between all of my classes, so I don’t think it’s going to work out logistically. But I really enjoyed my year here in Leadership, and I’m glad that I had this experience,” she said.

“She always has chips and things for lunch that she never shares with me. So that hurts,” Petrocco joked. “But she will be missed next year, since she’s not coming back.”