How do student elections take place in the virtual classroom? Much like they do at brick-and-mortar schools. Arizona Virtual Academy just wrapped up its elections and has a new student body president. After campaigning virtually, Abigail Hernandez, a freshman, was selected by her classmates as their student leader.
Hernandez decided to run for student government after attending a climate change summit. Being of Native American ancestry, she felt a lack of Native Americans in leadership roles. At this conference, she saw two Native American give presentations.
Having been able to balance volunteering at a local zoo, swimming, and her friendships, Hernandez believes she can effectively represent her student body.
“A strong student government involves people willing to make a change, and people … willing to step up for something that’s good,” said Hernandez.
One of the goals Hernandez says she is working on with the school’s administration is planning assemblies to talk about students’ mental health. She says she often hears from her friends and classmates that they’re struggling with handling the stress that comes with the workload and thinks it will be beneficial to have someone talk to students about ways they can help themselves.
Her goals also include planning field day events throughout Arizona so that students learning together virtually can come together in person for fun and games. She also wants to connect students with local sports teams. Right now, AZVA has only an e-sports team. Still, a swimmer, Hernandez says she will work with Arizona Virtual Academy’s administration to work with athletic programs throughout the state so that students learning virtually can find teams to join. She’ll also be part of planning the school’s upcoming prom and graduation ceremony.
Hernandez enrolled in Arizona Virtual Academy after moving from a ranch in Arizona where her mother homeschooled her. She wants to shed the stigma that sometimes comes with being an online student. She is already taking advantage of some of the online career prep programs Arizona Virtual Academy offers, which led her to take an interest in marketing.