SGA, homecoming court assume leadership roles


Del Ellerton-Adviser

Miss Grady Amani Watkins is escorted into Grady Stadium by Mr. Grady Aaron Burrus before the Knights 30-26 homecoming victory on Friday, Oct. 13.

Max Nevins, Lifestyle Assistant Managing Editor

When they walked through the halls the week of Sept. 10th, students saw walls plastered with posters encouraging them  to vote for various candidates. As the week concluded, hundreds visited the Grady website to cast their votes.

Students selected members of the Student Government Association and the Homecoming Royal Court in August and September. The results were announced for all SGA and Royal Court positions except Mr. and Miss Grady, which were named at coronation on Oct. 4. Aaron Burras was named Mr. Grady and Amani Watkins was named Miss. Grady.

For each grade, students selected a king and queen for the Royal Court and a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary for the SGA. Additionally, Mr. and Miss Grady and the executive president and vice president were elected to represent the whole school on the Royal Court and SGA. Those roles are for seniors.

“From 9th to 11th grade, I always viewed Miss Grady as a girl who is a role model by showing leadership skills and exemplifying the responsibilities of maturing into a woman in high school,” said Miss Grady Amani Watkins.

Watkins has been a member of the Royal Court since becoming Miss 9th Grade during the 2014-2015 school year. Becoming Miss Grady would be a culmination of a role she believes she’s prepared for.

“I know I am capable of taking up the characteristics of a role model after having such great examples in the past, so that’s why I chose to run for Miss Grady,” she added.

Although the Royal Court does not hold political power, members can influence fellow students.

“Our mission is to represent the school as a whole,” Royal Court and SGA faculty sponsor Brooke Ramey said. “My vision is always for them to be almost like activists within their school community. We aim to take on community service projects and then make the high school experience one to remember.”

To represent Grady and its students, the Royal Court is involved with a number of activities during and after school. Members speak at PTSA meetings and give tours at the Curriculum Night open house event and on weekends to prospective Grady students. Each member also has a vision they try to advocate.

“My biggest goal is to promote school spirit and club engagement,” Watkins said. “Increasing school spirit means more student attendance at athletic events, more pep rallies, and higher sales in Grady paraphernalia. Grady has many clubs for students to participate in but many go unknown, so I would like to help advertise those clubs.”

To be eligible for a Royal Court or SGA position, candidates must maintain a numerical average of  80 percent, have no behavioral reports within the last school year, obtain few absences, and collect a teacher conduct survey form and a platform statement. Mr. and Miss Grady must also have an 85 percent GPA, a letter of recommendation and an essay written about the position.

Unlike the Royal Court, SGA is an organization that holds power to influence school decisions. The group is responsible for organizing school events and community projects. 

“SGA really builds the agenda for the year and then [the] Homecoming [Court] comes and helps to implement it,” Ramey said. “Just as you have your principal you barely see behind the scenes she’s the one making sure that x, y, and z are being taken care of.”   

Student government takes input from students to bring to the administration to create changes in the school. For the Homecoming Spirit Week, SGA selects ideas from students to decide the theme for each day. SGA Executive President and Mr. Grady Burras hopes to get Grady more involved with community service and events.

“My goal is to get my non-profit organization ‘Spread Threadz’ up and running at school and to not just have it this year, but to have SGA continue the community service for years to come,” Burras said. “I am partnering with the Covenant House of Atlanta and providing them with clothing, shoes and toiletry items. I [also] hope to bring an International Day here to Grady. Our school is so diverse and all of the cultures represented should be personified in a fun, educational way.”

Tenth Grade President Maya Hadley thinks her voice can be universally representative.

“I chose to run because I think I have different perspectives of what goes on throughout the school, and I can understand and voice the opinions of different groups of people,” Hadley said. “I feel that I can bring all these perspectives to the table to make sure everyone is happy and satisfied with our school’s atmosphere.”

Hadley has seen problems within the school that she wants to help address.

“I honestly want to reunite the different groups throughout Grady,” Hadley said. “There has been a lot of tension amongst students due to various things: political, racial and sexual orientation that I feel has separated our student body, and my main goal would be to bring us all together as one again.”

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