Class of 2024 Student Council Profiles

Advisors profile by Jaslie. Social Media Coordinator profiles by Abigael Fesehaie. All other profiles by Haset Tesfaw. All photos submitted by James Valente.

Advisors: Kristen Kirby, Shannon Votaw, and Jess Webber

The class of 2024 orchestrated many remarkable events such as the Harlem Wizards game, Junior Varieties, and the newly created “Back to School Fest” in collaboration with the Class of 2025, under the guidance of advisors, Kristen Kirby, Jess Webber, and Shannon Votaw. However, the journey of these advisors to their roles is a compelling story in itself.

Following the challenges of the COVID-19 school year, the graduating class of 2024 faced a transition to a new environment. By the spring of 2022, the class found themselves without a teacher willing to serve as their advisor. Yet, inspired by groups of students approaching the trio, Kirby, Webber, and Votaw willingly took on the demanding role.

Yet, their choice to assume the role of class advisors was not merely a result of a few students joining forces but carried a deeper significance. As Webber furthered, “They were sophomores at the time, they didn’t have an advisor, and were disadvantaged because of COVID.” Votaw expanded on this sentiment, explaining that coming back from the challenges of COVID, students forgot about Malden High’s school spirit and associated events like Junior Varieties and Pep Rally. The advisors felt compelled to reignite this enthusiasm.

Fortunately, they succeeded in reviving the passion that existed within the graduating class of 2024. As Webber notes, the students showed consistent willingness to participate and volunteer.

Reflecting on their time as class advisors, Kirby, Webber, and Votaw unanimously agreed that Junior Varieties stood out as the pinnacle of their journey, marking both their favorite and most fulfilling event. Despite the logistical challenges and stress-inducing planning, Junior Varieties stood as a testament to their hard work, collaboration, and dedication, Kirby remarked.

However, this may not be the last time this trio serves as class advisors as Kirby and Votaw expressed interest in potentially taking on the role once more, while Webber may need more time before considering. As they move on, this experience left a legacy of enthusiasm for future classes and advisors to follow.

Secretary: Abdullah Khan

As the secretary for the Class
of 2024, Abdullah Khan was
grateful to take on such an “incredibly prestigious role,” as he
described it.

“It was extremely useful in
program applications and it was
also useful in overall just having
an extracurricular to define me,”
said Khan. Khan devoted most
of his time to his role as secretary
and believes it greatly benefited
him and his journey through high

Khan’s favorite memory while being a treasurer is Junior Varieties, and he expressed how he was grateful to be a part of such a valuable experience. “Up until then, we hadn’t really collaborated as a team as much but during junior varieties, we were all tasked together to throw the best show possible.”

Having a team that’s able to work so well together, was a big thing for him. “We’ve been working together for over three years which is rare. There are re-elections every year, but our team specifically, our roles haven’t really changed, we’ve just been re-elected. I think because of that, we’ve gotten to know each other even more.”

Entering Malden High School for the first time, Khan was not aware of how much diversity he’d see here. “Malden High is one of the most diverse schools in Massachusetts and I think being in that environment has allowed me to be exposed to so many different cultures and I believe that the school is really welcoming of that.”

Michelle Sun, Khan’s college advisor, helped him navigate the financial aid journey and so much more. Khan expressed, “I would not even be committed to the college that I’m currently committed to if it wasn’t for her, and her help.”

“Abdullah comes to the College and Career Center with questions and leaves very grateful for our help. His presence makes me feel like we have a purpose and are helpful to students,” Sun explained.

Khan has committed to Northeastern University for Biology and Health Administration. He hopes to go to medical school afterward and is looking into anesthesiology for his specialty. “My number one goal is to become a doctor and make my family proud, just the very traditional first-generation immigrant goals. Other than that, this is a bit cheesy, but I want to make sure that as I grow I want to maintain my morals and empathy. That’s something that I don’t want to change,” Khan explained. “A lot of my uncles are doctors, and at this point, they’re 40, or 50, years old. They’re living what I would believe is my dream. They have amazing careers, high salaries; they have a beautiful life, and kids—what more could you really ask for?”

When Khan is outside of the classroom, he works on prioritizing his physical health. “I’ve been going to the gym and going on runs. I think a lot of seniors would relate to this, but I love going out, going out to Boston, and Chinatown, hopping on the Orange Line, and going for a quick trip.”

For future secretaries to come, Khan advised, “Other than prioritizing your own role, you also have to understand that while everyone has their own individual roles, you guys are a team so try to help each other out as much as possible.”

Social Media Coordinators: Shuyi Chen and Keira Lin

Shuyi Chen, a well-known student at Malden High for her energetic and fun personality, has also been the Media Coordinator for the Class of 2024 Student Council for the past three years. When reflecting on her experiences, she remembers it to be one of her favorite experiences during her time in high school as it allowed her to open new doors to opportunities that would not have happened otherwise. 

“Being a media coordinator really showed me what I would like to pursue in my future and opened up many opportunities for me that I wouldn’t have been able to take in,” Chen claimed.

During her time as a Social Media Coordinator, Chen has run numerous amounts of school-related social media accounts like Malden High School Volleyball, Malden High School Boys Lacrosse, and the Maldonian Account. Chen’s passion for photography and social media has also allowed her to become a Boston Globe-published photographer and pursue sports photography by taking pictures of sports events within the Malden area. She appreciates her time as a sports photographer as it allowed her “to take photos of local sports within our school.” Chen loves to play sports, travel, and ski with her friends in her free time, she also is on both varsity softball and volleyball teams in school.. 

Overall, Chen has truly enjoyed her time as a Social Media Coordinator and has enjoyed contributing to events like “creating flowers for students around the school or contributing to student and city-wide events, like making Junior varieties and Back-to-School Fest.” Although Chen has been excited to leave the school and start her journey into adulthood by attending Northeastern University for Business Administration: Marketing, she noted that she will especially miss her English teachers, Ms. Clapp and Mr. Gallagher.

Keira Lin has become a notable part of the graduating class as she has held her position as a Social Media Coordinator for the past three years. Throughout her time as a Social Media Coordinator, Lin noted that she has been able to “develop skills such as time management and creative design,” which she is grateful for, as the role has allowed her to become more engaged with the school as she has been able to be apart of a myriad of events. Some events Lin has hosted were Junior Varieties, the Back-to-School Fest, the Harlem Wizards Game, and many more. As a result of the role, her engagement with the school led her to become the Social Media Coordinator for organizations like Malden Volleyball and the Asian Culture Club where she runs both organizations’ Instagram pages. 

When not in the school’s atmosphere, Lin enjoys playing volleyball for both Malden High School and for fun. She has also enjoyed photography, specifically sports photography, as she takes pictures for the boy’s volleyball team. While reflecting on the past four years, Lin recalls her favorite memory to be when she won her senior election as “we all felt the happiness of winning an election while in each other’s presence.” But although most of Lin’s experiences within her role have been positive, Lin highlights that although being a part of the Student Council has been fun, she realizes that, “being on student council is a super big responsibility and you have to be able to balance school, extracurriculars, and planning big events all at the same time.”

Treasurer: Larissa Retamero Granja

The Class of 2024’s treasurer is none other than Larissa Retamero Granja, who believes that being in the student council allowed her to work with people she never thought she would work with and now has a close bond with every student council member.

“They definitely helped me through school because the people who are in the student council with me now, we are like a family. I feel like that’s my student council family,” said Granja. She truly enjoyed her time as treasurer and is thankful that she was able to experience something so meaningful. “The entire student council and I had so much fun doing the Wizard’s basketball game and the BTS fest. We all told each other that those events made us feel like kids again.”

“I met a bunch of new friends who I honestly think I’m going to stay friends with for the rest of my life, like the little friend group that I have and that I met through swim. They’ve helped me become a better person, and they improve my quality of life,” said Granja. “I met Ms. Braz last year and she was my history teacher. She always knows how to brighten my day, she knows how to make me laugh, and she’s really relatable. She’s always smiling, I love that about her. I’m truly going to miss her,” Granja said as she expressed her love for one of her favorite teachers.

“She takes her position in student council very seriously, and the fact that she’s even willing to go above and beyond for other student council affairs, not just the stuff for the seniors but for all the classes which is really what should make up the people in student council,” said Braz, who emphasized that she is a hard worker and always gives nothing less than her best. “I hope that she continues to grow and be the best version of herself that she can be. Everything she wants in life, I want her to get and I’ll be sending that energy her way.”

When Granja is not in school, she enjoys trying new foods and driving around with her friends while blasting music. “We have a group chat and I text them saying ‘Guys let’s go!’ It’s a big friend group so luckily two people have their own car.”

“Larissa makes me want to be a better person so I can impact others as she impacted me,” one of her close friends, Nicura Robinson-McCaskill stated.

After graduation, Granja plans to attend Northeastern and study economics and international business. She explained, “There’s a coop program at Northeastern; that’s what the school is known for, and you can start sophomore year. My dream co-op is to work at Fidelity because I want to be an investment banker. I just hope to become successful in life and just to have fun, especially in college.”

Event Coordinators: Tyler Edmond and Erikah Macharia

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