On April 14, 2023, Concord Academy hosted the elections for Student Head of School and the Student Vice Head of School for the 2023-24 academic year. A full slate of qualified candidates, all of whom are current juniors, addressed the entire CA community in their speeches. The candidates for Vice Head of School were Elyse Barry ’24, Ola Oladitan ’24, James Lee ’24, Kate Sahin ’24, Irene Zheng ’24, and Mohammed Mustakim ’24. The Head of School candidates were Rory Kennealy ’24, Laila Mooraj ’24, Harry Carranza ’24, Grace B. Kalere ’24, Jessie Ma ’24, Anghelo Chavira ’24, Elspeth Yeh ’24, and Zoe Sachs ’24. 

The order of candidate speeches was randomized to guarantee fairness in the election process. Students and faculty participated in ranked-choice voting after all speeches were delivered. Jessie Ma ’24 and Kate Sahin ’24 emerged as the next Student Head of School and Student Vice Head of School, respectively.

Incoming Head of School Jessie Ma ’24 drew on the experience from her multiple leadership positions she has held at CA and shared her visions for the upcoming academic year. As Head of School, Jessie hopes to further nurture unity and trust between various communities on campus—between boarders and day students, between grades, and between the school as a whole. Strengthening CA’s culture and traditions, planning fun events, and supporting student organizations and affinity groups will be crucial to this effort, especially given the changes that CA has undergone in the past few years. Jessie is also dedicated to maintaining transparency as well as engaging with the student body beyond the “CA bubble” in different capacities. Equipped with a wealth of passion and experience, Jessie looks forward to leading and working alongside All-School Council in the upcoming school year. 

In her speech, incoming Vice Head of School Kate Sahin ’24 centered the importance of kindness and community engagement. For Kate, kindness and common trust are intertwined. Both values are pivotal in creating a safe, inclusive environment for all individuals at CA, which thrives because of the intention and thoughtfulness of each community member. Committed to amplifying student voices, Kate pledged herself to consolidating community members’ ideas into clear, concise courses of action. “I will make sure to hear all of your opinions and do my best to implement them into the CA community,” Kate said. She plans to execute all of her visions through detailed planning, which will no doubt serve her well in her role as Vice Head of School. 

As a team, Jessie and Kate have many meaningful initiatives and goals as they lead CA with support from All-School Council, the student body, and the school administration. The CA community is confident that Jessie and Kate will excel in their new roles and wishes them the best of luck next year!