by Callie Deng '14
On September 25th, 2013, magnet seniors John Anderson, Allison Chen, Paul B. Ellis, and Adarsh Ettyreddy were officially named Magnet Marshals for the class of 2014. This role, created by the Magnet Foundation, is the first of its kind in the history of the magnet, created to serve as liaisons for the ’14 magnet community.
The Origin Story
Earlier in September, magnet alumnus Samir Paul ‘06 came to Montgomery Blair to introduce a new position: the Magnet Marshal. During both lunch periods, clusters of magnet students filled the room and gave their undivided attention as Samir shared his magnet beginnings, his college insights, and the organization he hoped to establish in the magnet community.
Samir had been involved in the activities of the Magnet Foundation since last winter, and was looking for a way to give back. “I was searching for something distinctive I could bring to the foundation,” Samir explained. Inspiration struck when he drew from his experiences in college and beyond. According to Samir, the class Marshal position is commonly found across colleges. In his university days, Samir recognized the effect of leadership in keeping his class organized and connected, and hoped to bring that same framework to the magnet community, now and for years to come.
After the information session, the selection process formally began. In the first stage, class of ‘14 magnet students were encouraged to nominate classmates they felt would best fulfill the role. By the end of nomination week, there were over 15 nominees, and the election process ensued. Magnet seniors voted for their top candidates online, using assigned election IDs to keep the process anonymous and efficient. The election proved to be a smooth success and the Magnet Marshals are already hard at work.
Over the months, magnet marshals have developed a clear idea of what they wish to accomplish. “Our goal is to help build class unity in our last year… that will extend beyond our high school years,” Allison says. Adarsh Ettyreddy has a slightly different take on the role. “We [also] hope to provide the Magnet Board a student perspective on different aspects of the Magnet program."
In the grand scheme of things, Paul B. Ellis recognizes their objectives in both the short and long-term. “[Our] short-term purpose is to make the Magnet Class of 2014's spring of senior year memorable,” he clarifies. Moreover, they aim to communicate the interests of the class to the Magnet Foundation's Board and inform the class of the Foundation’s impacts on the student body.
“We want to make sure that the magnets enjoy their last year as a part of the wonderful magnet program,” Adarsh adds.
In the long-term, marshals are responsible for maintaining connections with members of the magnet class, keeping them updated on magnet developments, and organizing class reunions.
In their first meeting, Samir and the Marshals discussed projects to promote unity through magnet-class pride. These plans included magnet-centered events, senior gifts, and class merchandise, such as T-Shirts. “Our position was newly created this year, so our plans are still preliminary,” Paul says. “At this point, we're examining the logistics of doing events.” Ideas for magnet events range paintball and bowling, to the possibility of a Magnet field trip.
In terms of strengthening the magnet community as a whole, the marshals discussed organizing the support of recent alumni to aid current magnet students with specific academic subjects and the college application process.
And with that, under the guidance of Samir Paul, the Magnet Marshals of 2014 resume their tireless toil in the shadows – working to ensure that magnet seniors and future generations of magnets alike make unforgettable memories in an unforgettable community.