The 2021-22 Forum Council Presidential Election


Forum Council, Community High’s version of a representative student government, held elections on Oct. 5 to determine who would lead for the 2021-22 school year. After the votes were tallied, Noah Bernstein and Avani Hoeffner-Shah won and will serve as co-presidents. Forum Council presidents lead and plan meetings, set the tone for the year and serve as the representative for the student body. 

“In many ways, the Forum Council president is, in the ideal, a servant to everybody else,” said Matt Johnson, Community High teacher and facilitator of Forum Council. 

Bernstein and Hoeffner-Shah, both seniors at Community High, hope to leave high school having left a resounding impact.

I just think that student government, especially at Community, has the potential to be something really powerful and really representative,” Bernstein said, “But I just think it hasn’t been living up to those expectations.”

His and Hoeffner-Shah’s idea is to make Forum Council a more constructive body and not like the “prop” it has almost been used as during his last four years, Bernstein said.

Noah Bernstein, a senior and now a Forum Council co-president, in a FoCo meeting. Bernstein hopes to focus on student parking, mental health and middle school recruitment. Photographer – Madison Bell

Some of their goals include helping with the parking situation for seniors, expanding middle school outreach efforts and helping raise awareness for the mental health issues of high schoolers. 

Throughout middle school and high school, Hoeffner-Shah has been an advocate for educational equity and justice. She has worked in and out of school to help the school board create an all-district student body.

“I started in middle school campaigning for school board members with my mom,” Hoeffner-Shah said. “And then last year I was elected the treasurer of Forum Council, and I also worked with students from other schools and the school board to create an all-district student body. Through the work, doing that in Forum Council, I realized we can actually make change.”

Avani Hoeffner-Shah, senior and new Forum Council co-president, in a Forum Council meeting. Hoeffner-Shah served as treasurer for Forum Council last year and is excited to serve students this year. Photographer – Madison Bell

Hoeffner-Shah and Bernstein want the best for their school, and with their long-term goals, they both hope to leave a lasting legacy once they graduate.

“You can say these things are important, but you have to actually go and do those things,” Bernstein said. “I think we have the tools and the experience to go and do that.”

They encourage students to talk to them about issues noticed around CHS.

“I’m looking forward to getting to work this year and we’re gonna do some really good things,” Bernstein said.