New President, and We’re Not Talking Biden

Meet Sanaa Sodhi and Noah Vieyra: Eaglecrest’s new student body president and vice president.

At the end of 2020, Eaglecrest’s former student body president, Riley McMillen, chose to graduate early for a number of personal reasons. Of course, this also meant stepping down from her position as president. 

“She didn’t make that decision lightheartedly or quickly. She was definitely not planning to make that decision at the beginning of the year,” said Sanaa Sodhi, Eaglecrest’s former vice president, and new student body president.

Riley McMillen (left) and Sanaa Sodhi (right) at Senior Sunrise in 2020. (Sanaa Sodhi)

This news did come as a surprise for most of the Student Council, but the group was able to quickly adjust to the situation, moving forward quickly after performing their due diligence.

“We didn’t even have to think twice about it. At first, we were just worried about Riley and if she was okay, especially because this year has been so hard; you don’t know what’s going on with people. I think that was everybody’s first priority,” Sodhi explained. “Then, the next month we were talking about this semester. The transition was pretty seamless.”

Because of the unique circumstances,  Sanaa was able to choose her vice president. She selected the standing Junior Class President, Noah Vieyra. 

“Our advisor, Ms. Laferrara, was pretty flexible with that whole process because she’s very student-oriented. And so she let me make that decision,” Sodhi explained. “I just thought about who I thought would not only fit the responsibilities of the role but also who I thought worked best with me in this capacity because it’s different from working with a partner in a group project. [Noah and I] make a good duo and we balance each other out.”

Sanaa Sodhi, Noah Vieyra, Rachael Europe, Hannah Echeverio (left to right) at the premiere of Annie in March 2020. (Sanaa Sodhi)

When presented with this opportunity, Vieyra jumped in headfirst. “I was actually really excited for the opportunity,” he said. “I wanted her to ask me. I feel like as Vice President, I have a lot more to give out to the student body, rather than just worrying about the juniors. I work a lot with the Student Council class and make sure everything runs well. I’m just an assistant to Sanaa.” 

Their roles are very different in terms of audience. The vice president’s primary focus is Student Council and Student Leadership, while the president’s focus is on the entire student body, especially bridging the gap between students and school administration. The vice president is also responsible for communicating Student Council’s concerns to the president, who then passes them to administration, so it is important that the president and vice president collaborate well.

Sodhi and Vieyra not only have a strong professional relationship as leaders, but they are also great friends. “I’m actually so happy. [Sanaa’s] always been such a great leader since my freshman year. And I think it’d be hard without her if I was going into Vice President without her as President because she’s always there for me,” Vieyra said. “It’s a lot of fun because we connect and bond really well together because we have known each other since sixth grade. There’s a lot of stuff that we bring to the table.”

Jasmin Conner, Aleana Hollis, Lauren Billings, Rachel Europe. (Top row, left to right) Noah Vieyra, Sanaa Sodhi, Edward Lee. (Bottom row, left to right). Eaglecrest Students at one of the only 2021 season basketball games with a student section. (Noah Vieyra)

The two also have many common goals for the school; supporting the student body is a huge point of focus for both Sodhi and Vieyra. 

“My main goal as vice president was to develop really good relationships and establish a strong foundation because I think my whole philosophy is that if you have really good relationships and if you have a strong foundation within the Student Council and within the leadership classes, then the work that you put out will reflect the quality of those relationships,” Sodhi said. “Now, I’m not just thinking about student council but also thinking about the whole student body. And this year with everything that’s happened, we don’t have the events we don’t have the same school schedule and structures that existed last year, but we do have the same people and we do have the same relationships. That’s what my goal would be, or continue to be.”

This year, the lines between president and vice president are a little blurry, since the lack of events has taken away a large part of both roles. So, the two work as a team addressing the student body and student leadership. This quarter, they hope to be able to bring back some of these opportunities in a socially-distant manner. 

“There’s a lot of stuff in the works that includes everyone, and if we can’t do something for everybody, then definitely for the seniors,” said Vieyra. “I’m actually kind of excited about coming back [to school] but also kind of scared. In the long run, it’ll be fun to be back with everyone and have kind of a normal life. There are some scary things, like waking up at 6 am every morning, but it’ll work out.”

The most important thing is that Sodhi and Vieyra both love what they do, so they are constantly doing their best to take care of the student body they represent.

“Student Council is probably one of the best times I’ve had in high school because we plan a lot of stuff and we make sure all the students feel like they’re updated. I’m just so happy to be part of it,” said Vieyra. His favorite project this year was the Valentine’s Day hearts. “They made sure that all students felt like they were loved, especially during COVID… It was a good project to do for everyone,” he said.

Edward Lee, Roger Lokakao, Abdul Taj, Evanna Pullar, Noah Vieyra, and Amethyst Riggs (Top row, left to right). Abigail Popp, Sanaa Sodhi, and Malia Logan (Bottom row, left to right). Student Leadership students pictured in front of the Valentine’s Day hearts, a project called ‘Eaglecrest Loves You’. Every year, the Student Council writes the name of every single student and staff member at Eaglecrest to remind us all that we are loved. (Noah Vieyra)

Throughout their time at Eaglecrest, the Student Leadership program has endured a lot of change and growth that has strengthened our student government’s skills and versatility. 

“We’ve had a really unique experience with Student Council because we just experienced so much change in the leadership program. We’ve gotten to experience the program in so many different facets,” Sodhi said. From new teachers to the introduction of multiple different branches to a global pandemic, EHS’s student leadership program has seen it all. 

“It’s been really interesting and it’s really fun because I think I got more of an in-depth leadership experience because I experienced so much change,” Sodhi said. Strong leaders are what make a strong collective. In a time where we needed strength most, Sodhi and Vieyra rose to the challenge. Though their time working together will be short-lived, there is hope that they will give us something to look forward to this school year, which has been far from stellar.