The Forge officially has a new feature called Student Leader of the Month! At Santa Barbara High School we have seniors and juniors leading incoming freshmen on how to act on campus. You can become a Student Leader of the Month by being a leader in the SBHS community and leaving this school a better place than when you came.. ASB (Associated Student Body) President, Ella Maclear is the first and this month’s Student Leader. Maclear is a senior at SBHS and has been here for all four years. She moved from Colorado after eighth grade and started freshman year at SBHS. Maclear has been in ASB since sophomore year, and has been heavily involved with all ASB activities for three years. In an interview with Maclear she explained why she moved to SB. “So I moved out here because both my parents went to UCSB. My brother had wanted to play water polo in college, but the water polo in Colorado was not on a high enough level. So my parents found Oaks Chrisitian school. They were building dorms and figured once they were built my brother could live there. He ended up having a hard transition and my parents felt bad for leaving their 16 year old son all alone in a different state (the rest of my family did not move at this point in time). At the time I was in 8th grade. I ended up spending 8th grade kind of alone in Colorado because my parents would rotate to stay with my brother. Anyways, then after a year of rotation, my parents found a house in Santa Barbara and decided to move. My mother works for the Environment Protection Agency , but the only office is in San Francisco so she would be gone four days a week working up north. My father found a job for the county and works just up the street from the school. I was scared to move and start a whole new life. But I’m extremely grateful I did.”
When asked what her experience was with this transition from Colorado to SB she said, “My first few weeks were met with fruitless social efforts and I was scared I wouldn’t make any friends. I then met three girls from out of town who turned my world upside down. They were so kind and supportive. They understood me quite well. What I love about my experience is that it allowed me to make friends with the people I shared interests in, not just the people I had grown up with. We were friends because we wanted to be, not because our parents were or because they lived down the street. Now I am fortunate enough to have two sets of amazing friends and family who support me and make me feel loved. One in Colorado and one in SB. Not to mention how lucky and grateful I am to live here. It’s the best place ever and it has been a place where I have grown and learned a lot about myself. In addition to that, I became part of the best team possible. The girls on the water polo team are down to earth and mature.”
As ASB president Maclear works hard everyday to make SBHS a better place.“My goal as ASB president is to unite our school through kindness. The smallest interactions make a big difference. I think it would be great to go to a school where everyone is friends and the atmosphere is positive. Plus, people enjoy learning more and working hard when they are happy and supported.” When asked why she cares so much about this she said, “Being new in town taught me the importance of kindness. I experienced isolation and realized that I should never treat people the way I was being treated. It is my new philosophy to approach new people and things with kindness and an open mind. I believe it is this approach to life that has allowed me to make a network of friends. I do not hold any resentment towards the people I met in my first few weeks because they were trying to navigate high school just like me.”
As Student of the Month Ella Maclear, leads us into the next school year you can expect a constant theme of kindness and inclusivity throughout this school year.
[Photo Credit: Ella Maclear]