SPECIAL EDITION: Class Elections 2017!

A feature of students running in the 2017 class elections.

The Epitaph reached out to every candidate that attended the class election informational meeting the week before election week. We invited every candidate for an interview with the paper. These are those who responded.

Candidates are organized in alphabetical order.


President: Jacob Jiao

Running for president, junior Jacob Jiao has been class treasurer and president as a sophomore and junior. He has worked on projects such as Homecoming and BOTC, and is also very involved in FBLA as well as Model UN and the Hugs project.

“While tough at times,” Jiao said about his experience, “[it has] ultimately been the most humbling and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.”

Jiao aims to make BOTC priority for next year. He also hopes to fundraise to make senior prom and winter formal cheap enough to lower the price by another 10 dollars. Jiao hopes to make a class website where students can share on a “suggestions page,” getting all the perspectives including drama, sports and marching band.

Jiao plans to put in extra hours to accomplish his vision of the senior’s victory in BOTC and Homecoming, and allow everyone enjoy ‘one last final dance together’ by ‘relentlessly fundraising’.

“Next year being our last, I wanted to make sure that we all left with a bang,” Jiao said. “My goal is for everyone to leave Homestead with their most memorable year yet.”

President: Simon Lee

Simon Lee, current class of 2018 Vice President, is running for class of 2018 President for next school year. He said that the experience gained this year will help him achieve his goals next year, goals such as expanding social media outreach.

“My goals for next year are to continue Senior traditions established this year, raise even more money to make prom the best experience for everyone, and increase transparency by utilizing the Facebook page as a larger platform for the student body, not just leadership updates,” Lee said.

He also said he is excited to get creative next year in fundraisers and class involvement.

“I am excited to implement creative fundraisers and other special senior-selective events that will bring the senior class together,” Lee said “We do have some more freedom as seniors.”

Secretary: Roni Lapede

Junior Roni Lapede is running for Class of 2018 Secretary to achieve a goal of uniting the class with school spirit.

“My goals for next year is increasing class spirit as a whole,” Lapede said. “I feel like there are a lot of groups on campus, and as someone who comes from a lot of different groups.. I can really use that, and all the ideas I hear from around the school, and use the ideas to really center our goals.”

Her experience as a junior scout and as an officer in various clubs has prepared her for the role, Lapede said.

Secretary: Venkata Muriki

Current FBLA state secretary junior Venkata Murik has worked in finance, and has lead 100 members in business experience presentation as well as talked to business professionals. Muriki has also helped plan a community-wide fashion show with dance clubs such as Crew and Indopak.

“Not a lot of people know [secretaries] do,” Muriki said. “I want to take [the job] a step further by making the notes available to all of the students in the Facebook group.” Muriki explains how this can help students and leadership be more apparent with each other and their suggestions.

Muriki also wants to add a new video element, by filming upcoming events to get more ‘personally connected’ with the student body.

“I’’m very dedicated to the class; I love Homestead … I want to create a live impact here,” Muriki said. He hopes to raise money next year for prom and open up activities to unite students and staff, and wants to welcome the student’s ideas for future events.

Secretary: Sahaj Putcha

Sahaj Putcha is running for class of 2018 secretary. Through working as an officer in clubs, volunteering as secretary at a nonprofit organization, and creating agendas at an internship, Putcha said he is prepared for the role, and is running to try and bring the best senior year possible.

“I decided to run to make an impact in our school, to actually improve our class and to make sure we have the best senior year,” Putcha said.

His main focus would be organization. Putcha said that if the class is organized, events such as BOTC will be run smoother and thus will be more enjoyable.




President: Shani Zuniga

Class of 2019’s Shani Zuniga is running for President in order to close the gap between the student body and student government.

“I’m a really social person, and I love making new friends. I really wanted to be open to the entire student body to give more feedback about how the school works,” Zuniga said. “I feel like a lot of us don’t really get a say in school dances. It’s just decisions being made and we don’t know much about it.”

Zuniga said that her experience as drum leader in marching band has prepared her for achieving that goal.

Vice President: Trinity Gao

With leadership experience in Varsity Girls Basketball and Interact, Trinity Gao is running to be next year’s class of 2019 Vice President.

“I think it’s important for us to have a chance to relax from the stress of junior year with something that the school offers: junior prom. We can do this through increased fundraising, securing the venue, and decreasing the price of bids.”

Gao’s second goal includes increasing class spirit through participation in spirit weeks. Her plan to combat low dress-up day turnout is to create a borrowing system on the Class of 2019 Facebook page for people who are searching for specific clothing that their classmates can share.

“This way our whole class can be more united in embracing school spirit without spending the time or money it takes to go out and find these items,” Gao said.

Secretary: Govind Menon

Running for class of 2019 secretary is Govind Menon, who aims to improve communication between class officers and students.

“I believe that if the students got to know more about what’s actually going on inside the class of 2019, they can put their opinions on many of the events, and therefore the events can be more to their liking,” Menon said.

He has been in leadership since middle school, as public relations officer, to high school, as a secretary last year. Menon said that these positions have allowed him to understand the role of secretary and what it takes to be successful.

Treasurer: Eric Cheng

With leadership experience from planning events for his Boy Scout troop, Eric Cheng is running to be next year’s class of 2019 Treasurer.

“I have three main goals for next year,” Cheng said. “Number one is to increase transparency between leadership and students by using different forms of media such as newsletters and school loop emails to inform students what the class officer team is doing for them.”

Cheng’s second goal is to plan for more unique, incentivized fundraisers by working with restaurants to offer discounts to students who participate in the fundraising so that the students can receive immediate benefits, on top of his third goal, to lower the cost of junior prom bids.

“I decided to run because as a student who hasn’t run before, I have a really good idea of how exactly it is for an average student, and I want to make it more transparent what exactly the officer team does for the students they represent,” Cheng said.





President: Carolyn Shan

The current Class of 2020 President Carolyn Shan is running for re-election, hoping to be in office again for the 2017-18 school year. Going into the election, Shan touted her experience as a main selling point of her campaign.

“I have more experience,” Shan said. “This year I worked well with the officers and I definitely am open to new people and new ideas.”

Outside of her previous experience, Shan is looking to bring more fresh ideas into school politics.

“We want to start using our t-shirt gun at rallies,” Shan said. “I think that would be really fun.”

Vice President: Anoushka Tambay

As the Vice President of the class of 2020 this year, Anoushka Tambay said she gained experience as a representative for the student body in promoting events, holding float parties for Homecoming, organizing fundraisers, and coaching for BOTC.

“My goal for next year would be to rebrand winter formal and sadies as dances that are more affordable and enjoyable for the underclassmen … [and] fundraise effectively for junior and senior prom because they take a lot of money, and starting sophomore year would be better,” Tambay said.

Tambay also said she wants to increase class involvement and school spirit, whether it be on campus in the form of brunch cheer offs and lunchtime activities, or fundraisers off campus, and is confident in her abilities as a leader.

“As a leader, it’s important to take other people’s opinions into account and still try and make a decision that benefits the most people while not questioning your own competence as a leader,” Tambay said.

Secretary: Sophia Chen

Sophia Chen, current Class of 2020 secretary, said that holding the role this year lead to her running for re-election for next school year, stating that she understands and can handle the amount of work associated with student government.

“The secretary position, right now, is recording meeting minutes and taking notes, and that’s really important, but all the leadership positions share the same work in planning. I want to put in more effort for our quad decs or videos, to make sure they’re good and our class enjoys them.”

Chen also stressed the importance of school spirit, and said that class involvement would be a main goal of hers for next school year.

Treasurer: Keshav Gurushankar

Not many students, let alone underclassmen, can tout their experience running a small business. But for Keshav Gurushankar, it’s just another feat in the myriad of accomplishments he touts in the run for 2020 Treasurer.

“I’ve run a small business at one point, and we would go sell stuff at various art shows and other events,” Gurushankar said. “So I do know how to manage money from that.”

Among Gurushankar’s goals are increasing transparency in student government. Gurushankar said he would make sure that students are aware of major financial decisions and that the Class of 2020 would have no financial issues resulting from expenditures.


Treasurer: Johnny Lee

Running for Class of 2020 Treasurer, Johnny Lee would come into student government looking to make some financial decisions, as well as some comestible ones.

Lee said that he would look to increase the number of restaurant fundraisers off-campus, at eateries such as Chipotle, bringing in funding and satisfying sophomore stomachs, offering a new perspective compared to conventional fundraising methods proposed by the other 2020 candidates.

Treasurer: Kavya Shah

Current freshman Kavya Shah is running for Class of 2020 Treasurer, based off the experience she gained in her middle school leadership program.

“I was in charge of fundraisers, so I know how to raise money and manage the money we made,” Shah said.  “We used to plan a lot of events on a limited budget, so … I know how to work on a limited budget, and still have fun.”

Shah said that in addition to maintaining the class budget, she hopes to also focus on student input.

“I also want for everybody else to have a voice on campus,” Shah said.

Social Manager: Sonia Parikh

Current Class of 2020 social manager Sonia Parikh is running to maintain her position for the next school year.

In addition to working this year as social manager, Parikh holds an internship with Silicon Valley Internship Initiative to help put on events such as the job fair that occurred at HHS earlier this year, she said.

Parikh said that her main focus, should she be re-elected as Class of 2020 social manager, would be to gain and implement student feedback.

“My goal next year is to gain feedback from students from this year,” Parikh said. “From my previous experience, I can really understand from our mistakes, and really fix those mistakes.”

Social Manager: Sarina Singh

With experience in organizing and marketing for fundraisers and involvement in various sports and clubs, Sarina Singh is running to be next year’s class of 2020 Social Manager.

“My goals for next year are to foster a sense of class pride and increase involvements in events like homecoming,” Singh said. “Obviously, for freshman, everyone is a little unsure as to what to do the first time, but I hope to increase the advertisement on social media, but also spreading the word verbally for those without social media accounts.”

Singh explained her vision for her role next year as a representative in increasing involvement with the students.

“I’m excited to further involve the student body in decisions that affect them such as class merchandise, and open up a page where students at any time can input their opinion so that their voice is heard,” Singh said.