Jason Harward co-editor-in-chief
In a close and competitive election for the top positions in the USC student government, current collegiate sophomores Debbie Lee (class of ‘16) and Blake Ackerman (class of ‘16), who were both heavily involved in Beverly’s ASB, were elected president and vice president for the 2018-19 school year.
The Lee/Ackerman ticket won 49.1 percent of the schoolwide vote, in which 4,627 undergraduates participated, just edging out their opponents, who compiled 46.7 percent of the total.
During their senior year at Beverly, the pair served as ASB head row vice president and president, with Ackerman holding the presidency first semester and Lee serving second semester. While there are similarities between the two levels of government, Lee described college student government as more focused on campus issues.
“Student government in college is very much issue-based and initiative-based, versus in high school where it’s heavily focused on events. But the same baseline remains: student government is a platform to care for all students,” Lee said.
The issues she is referring to include training staff to proactively handle sexual assault, increasing tuition transparency and increased collaboration with other student leaders through weekly luncheons.
Although issues have taken the place of event planning, both Lee and Ackerman attributed some of their success in collegiate governDebbie and Blake pose with Juju Smith-Schuster, a former USC football player and current member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.ment to the skills they learned in high school.
“My biggest takeaway from ASB and [former ASB advisor and current principal Mark] Mead was the importance of positive energy,” Ackerman said. “Life gets tiring, but maintaining a positive attitude can have all the difference in a good day or a bad day.”
Maia Yosef, the current ASB headrow president and a two-year classmate of Lee and Ackerman, had only the highest praise for the pair.
“Debbie and Blake were role models to me and I think pretty much everyone in ASB at the time,” Yosef said. “They only have the best intentions to change the world for the better; if anyone was going to accomplish this, it’s them.”