Published Jan. 20, 2021
By CARISSA MENDOZA
Being Carmel High School’s Associated Student Body president is an especially daunting task this year, but senior Isabella Daste has stepped up to the novel challenges laid before her, even when outside her comfort zone.
Traditionally, the ASB president, as the face of the student body and a prominent figure on campus, would lead events and coordinate with students and administrators. But with the transition to online learning, many of these more typical responsibilities are no longer feasible.
“Much of my position is limited since our school events are on hold and the responsibilities that have been required of previous ASB presidents are different in a multitude of ways,” Daste explains. “I still feel privileged to be a leader for our school, even though I cannot contribute the way I had previously planned.”
Leadership teacher Aubrey Powers explains that while the role of the ASB president has changed, the responsibility of representing the student body at monthly school board meetings has not.
“Izzy has been forced to become that face through video, and that has never been something that we have had to do,” Powers notes. “Her role is to be the student representative for the school board and that responsibility is still there even though all the meetings are on Zoom.”
The high-achieving student has utilized the opportunity to improve her public speaking skills, something Daste says she sometimes struggles with.
“Speaking at board meetings is definitely the most stressful part of this position for me,” the ASB president says. “Presenting can be a very nerve-wracking experience. However, each meeting gives me the opportunity to improve this skill.”
This optimistic attitude has enabled her to effectively tackle obstacles that the pandemic has brought.
“She has adapted well to the changes and I have really been impressed,” Powers explains. “She is trying to do the best she can with no model or playbook to do it.”
Daste is forging her own path and putting in her best effort to ensure students’ voices are still heard, even if it’s through a screen.
“My favorite part of being ASB president has to be leading ASB meetings,” Daste says. “I truly enjoy listening to and discussing students’ ideas that they bring to open forums.”
ASB vice president Jaden Sissem works closely with Daste in leading ASB meetings as the senior is part of the executive student board responsible for approving new clubs, passing budgets, holding ASB meetings and overseeing student activities.
“We have been in Leadership for four years together, and I have seen the hard work she puts into her tasks,” Sissem says. “Now we are in the executive board together, and I have continued to see first-hand the passion she puts into her endeavors.”
Through close collaboration, Sissem notes that Daste exhibits traits of an effective leader, making her a great person to work with.
“What is best about working with Izzy is that she is extremely cooperative, easy to do business with and very flexible and open to exploring all different ways to do things,” Sissem adds.
Flexibility is exactly what is needed during these uncertain times. The accommodating student has readily dealt with challenges the pandemic has posed, a trait Powers is thankful for.
“She is the person I go to in order to filter a lot of ideas and get opinions on them,” Powers notes. “We are really lucky that she is adept and attune to doing the video stuff.”
While video is now Daste’s platform to lead the student body, she still expresses a profound sense of gratitude for holding the position, observing, “Holding this position has given me a new outlook and appreciation for our school and all the efforts the staff and community puts into it.”