Last month, Nichols Upper School held elections to name two Co-Presidents and a Secretary/Treasurer who would lead Student Council during the 2021-22 school year.
Sal Deni ’22, who served as Secretary/Treasurer this past year, was elected as one of the Co-Presidents. He will be joined by Mirann Gacioch ’22, and Long Hao Li ’23 was elected as the new Secretary/Treasurer.
Read on to learn what Deni, Gacioch and Li hope to accomplish in the year ahead, what inspired them to serve on Student Council, and what they appreciate most about the opportunity to lead in the Nichols community.
How long have you been a Nichols student?
Sal Deni ’22: I have been a Nichols student since fifth grade, making this fall the start of my eighth year at Nichols.
Mirann Gacioch ’22: I started at Nichols as a freshman in 2018, and I have fell in love with the school more and more every year!
Long Hao Li ’23: I have been a student at Nichols for two years, I came to Nichols starting in ninth grade.
What is your favorite part of being a student at Nichols?
SD: My favorite part about being a student at Nichols is the faculty we have on campus. I find that all the teachers and coaches are happy to chat, whether it’s answering questions you may have about class or just casually talking about the weather.
MG: Nichols School has such an amazing community of students and teachers together, one that resembles a family. Everyone here is so welcoming and so eager to help you feel included within the school. Our school has such a beautiful campus, and this is one aspect of the school I especially love. Nichols offers a great array of activities including sports, different clubs, and classes that are not seen at other schools in Buffalo, and this allows kids to fully express themselves. Nichols is a safe place and a home for everyone, and there is no other school I'd rather attend.
LHL: The opportunities presented here from classes, clubs, and activities. These opportunities allow me to thrive in my specific interests, which makes it an important part of my life. I also enjoy the open campus and student life here.
Why did you run for Student Council this year?
SD: I ran for Student Council this year because of how much this community has changed me for the better, and I am excited to have the opportunity to give back this coming school year.
MG: Ever since freshmen year when I ran for Class President, I had high hopes of one day becoming Co-President of the school. I have always viewed myself as a leader and a person who looks to bring out the best in everyone. I have been in many leadership roles in my life, such as Captain of the Nichols girls varsity soccer team, and I have always loved leading by example. In running for Student Council, I was excited to do all in my power to help benefit life at Nichols. I take the job seriously, and I am ready to take on the task of making the 2021-2022 school year the best Nichols has ever had!
LHL: I ran for Student Council this year because of my continued interest in student government, being a representative for the freshman class and being one of two sophomore class Co-Presidents. I am looking to further my leadership skills and be able to voice everyone’s opinions even more.
How have you grown as an individual in your time at Nichols?
SD: I have grown academically through all the classes I have taken, but I have also grown and formed my own personality outside of the classroom, along with all the memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
MG: Nichols has provided me with so many opportunities to reach my greatest potential, whether in school, sports, or self-character. I believe I have taken great steps in my ability to be a leader during my time here. I have been provided with great experiences like the Summer Leadership Symposium, and I have been encouraged to always do my best in everything I do. Along with this, the teachers at Nichols have provided me with a safe space the past three years where it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. With this, I have been able to maintain an A average, while growing in different aspects on the way. Without my Nichols community, I can't say I would be where I am today, as a confident young leader who is continuing to grow.
LHL: I’ve grown more comfortable with public speaking and becoming a much more outgoing person. This is fostered by a very accepting and friendly community, which really helped me grow as a person and find my place here at Nichols.
How do you hope to impact Nichols as a leader through your work with Student Council?
SD: I have a vision of bringing the Nichols community closer together in the coming school year, while also working behind the scenes with multiple different groups and individuals to improve the school and make it the best it can be.
MG: I hope to be a strong voice of Nichols School, who listens to the student body and does all in my power to please the students' wishes. I hope to reinvigorate our school community, by encouraging attendance again at sports and musical performances when we can return to events. I am extremely excited to work with Sal, Long Hao, and the Nichols faculty in creating more Nichols events based on school spirit and providing more activities students will look forward to. I also hope to strengthen our school's outreach into the Buffalo Community after COVID by encouraging more volunteering and activism. Overall, I hope to be the influential leader Nichols needs for accomplishing different tasks, addressing issues, and promoting school spirit.
LHL: I am looking to make significant changes to student life, bringing back many activities and opportunities we had before the COVID-19 pandemic. Such changes could include school related events and opening the campus even more for students to roam freely.
What are you most looking forward to next year?
SD: I am most looking forward to what the Student Council can accomplish and I am particularly excited to be working with such strong and positive leaders in the Council.
MG: I could not be more excited for the 2021-2022 school year to begin! I am looking forward to the greater possibilities we will have in planning events, and I am eager to begin my leadership run with Sal and Long Hao. I look forward to the comeback of school spirit-based activities and bringing the community together in person! I am excited to be part of the school's leadership, and I cannot wait to get to work and leave my mark on the school with the help of my fellow student councilors!
LHL: I’m looking forward to the return of a sense of normalcy. With this year being heavily restricted from COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, it’s caused me and many people to look forward to a more “normal” school year.