A Different Kind of Election

Students at Juan Cabrillo Elementary School recently ran for open seats on the student council. 

Election fever has swept Malibu the last few weeks, with heated debates not only about Measure W, but the ongoing presidential primaries as well.

In the Multi-Purpose Room at Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (JCES) at the end of October, there was a different kind of election going on. Twenty-two candidates ran for election to one of five open seats in the student council: boy president, girl president, boy treasurer, girl treasurer and secretary. The electorate was engaged and supportive, gathered on the floor in the middle of the room, cheering loudly for each candidate.

Platforms varied from more pajama days to more recycling bins. Secretary candidates boasted of their speedy writing, treasurer candidates declared they “love math,” presidential candidates, like girl president winner Bebe Bushnell, want to give students an “out-of-this-world year.”

Avalon Halston, Eden Small, Ornella Noelle Wolf and Tegan Asanti ran for the position of secretary. 

“If I don’t win, I would be fine with that,” one of the candidates said. “I just want someone who is good for the job to win, so we can all help make the school a better place.”

The elementary school students at JCES seemed to understand the virtues of a healthy democracy.

In the end, Wolf landed the position.

Candidates for girl treasurer included Charli Clark, Laren Lapajne, Sophie Regan and Whitney Shanahan.

Lapajne’s platform was strong, offering more pajama days, movie nights and bake sales. Regan worked the crowd, starting off by declaring, “I come in peace,” and offering the Vulcan Salute to her fellow students. Shanahan stuck to credentials, saying, “I’m really good at math and I’m accurate with numbers. I know multiplication and division really well. I’m nice to everybody and I’m responsible.”

Clark won the election after a persuasive speech sung to the tune of “The Brady Bunch” theme song — and dressed as a dollar bill. “Here’s a story of a girl named Charli, who wants to be your treasurer,” she began, to raucous applause. She sang that she had “treasurer in [her] blood” because her “grandmother is a treasurer right now.” The election was a tight race.

Asher Katz took the title of boy treasurer in a packed field of candidates including fellow students Dante Deshautelle, Filip Kurial, Graydon Phelps, Stephen Smith and West Perimater. 

“I’m good at math, and also a good role model because I believe in being fair,” Katz began. “I’m also funny, and I use my sense of humor to help everybody.”

Katz then shut down the house by dancing to the hit song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” to great applause.

In the girl president race, Bushnell edged out Julia Mendez, Lauren Reed and Sofia Banducci.

Bushnell campaigned for toilet seat covers and soap in the bathrooms at the school, promising, “If you vote for me, I can make that happen.” She presented ideas for spirit days, including crowd favorites “minion day” and “moustache day.”

Bushnell narrowly defeated the other girl president candidates including Reed, who launched into an energetic impression of internet comedian Miranda Sings for her speech.

Finally, Derik Wilson, Joshua Doyle, Patrick Mickens and Trevor Nickerson were up for the position of boy president, with Doyle earning the most votes.

Doyle’s promises included “better hula hoops.”