FoCo Welcomes a New Advisor


Lucy Tobier

Ryan Silvester sits in his classroom. Silvester will be taking over Forum Council, CHS’ representative student body, after Matt Johnson left.

Community High School’s representative student body, Forum Council, has a new advisor. Ryan Silvester, a CHS history teacher who joined the staff in 2018, will be taking over from past advisor Matt Johnson.
Silvester was hand-picked by Johnson and Dean Marci Tuzinsky. As a student at Huron High School, he felt elections for student body president were popularity contests and the school was too large for the body to make decisions or accomplish significant change. But at CHS, he hopes to spread his value of student voice to Forum Council in a smaller, tight-knit environment.
“Especially in my World History classrooms, a huge part of it is getting everyone to engage, getting everyone to find their own voice in the classroom,” Silvester said. “And really Forum Council is just that on a grander scale. Instead of working within the confines of one classroom, we’re now working within the school as a whole and getting student’s voice heard is a big part of my mission.”
Silvester hopes his background as a history teacher will contribute to the council. He majored in Political Science at the University of Michigan and believes his experience with organizing governments and seeing what works on a larger scale will help Forum Council thrive. He also believes Forum Council has a chance to make a lasting change due to the receptiveness of administrators.
“I think the people that come to Community are looking to get involved in, not just the classroom and the classroom spaces, but in the school,” Silvester said. “And it’s a lot easier to do that when there’s only 550 kids as opposed to 2200 that a big high school has so I think Forum Council has got a unique opportunity in making lasting change.”
Silvester’s first meeting as advisor had a notably large attendance of 34 students and a filled room. Although he believes attendance may drop again, he’s inspired by all interested members and current co-presidents Noah Bernstein and Avani Hoeffner-Shah. He stressed the importance of representation from each forum and encouraged students to show up and create change.
“It is a body that can make effective change,” Silvester said. “But it’s only as strong as the students who are willing to show up and do the work. So for students interested, know that this is a really great opportunity that you have, that is unique to Community because it’s such a small school and you have admin that are so receptive to change. I really hope they continue to come so that we can work together to shape Community how we want to see it.”
Silverster has ideas for future projects and ways to set up successes, but for now, he hopes to ease into Forum Council and observe how it functions.
“I’m excited to step in, but a bit nervous,” Silvester said. “I want to make sure I do a good job.”