West Jordan’s Own PresidentMay 05, 2016 04:41PM ● By Tori La Rue
By Tori La Rue | [email protected]
West Jordan - In the midst of West Jordan there’s a president who’s been re-elected for more terms than Franklin D. Roosevelt, and her name is Lindsey Walker.
Lindsey, 18, has been class president every year since seventh grade and now serves as West Jordan High School’s student body president.
“That’s pretty rare for a student to go through all of their middle school and high school like that,” Richard Minor, student body officer advisor, said. “Most of the people in student government don’t get started that early, or they get burned out from the rigors of school and the effort it takes. Somehow, she juggles it.”
Many student body presidents quit their other clubs and activities once they are elected because it’s such a time constraint, but Lindsey continued playing on the volleyball and golf teams and editing the sports section of the school newspaper.
“I’ve learned how to manage my time,” Lindsey said. “It’s been hard because sometimes I feel, even though I am trying, I wish I could give more, but I know that leadership has made me a better player, and I feel like I really have given 100 percent.”
With all her extra-curricular activities, she practically lives at West Jordan High, according to Minor. The school’s 2015–16 theme, “Our Home,” was heavily influenced by Lindsey’s connection to the school, he said.
“We don’t win the most games or have the highest test scores, but with the camaraderie and connections we have at this school, there’s no place I’d rather be,” Lindsey said.
Since the start of her student government roles, Lindsey said she’s always put a focus on bringing people together. She referred to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs when she said that she feels like most students at West Jordan have their physiological and safety needs met, but she said most of them are still searching for love and belonging. “Our Home” was meant to help students fulfill those needs.
“She got opposition from the boss,” Minor said, referring to Principal Mike Kochevar. “He said the theme she’d chosen was so wimpy. He asked why it couldn’t be ‘Our House,’ which had more of a competitive edge.”
Kochevar eventually agreed to the theme, and later admitted to Minor that it was the best theme for the school. After the football team lost their senior night game, the student body was nothing but proud and supportive, Lindsey said.
“Everyone was posting on Twitter ‘#WJisHome’ and saying that they loved our school win or lose,” she said. “That was a really big moment and a huge success.”
Lindsey said that is an example of a time that she cherishes from her service in student government, but she said being student body president can be stressful at times. The more a person is in the limelight, the more people see all their flaws, she said.
“Most people see becoming student body president as a huge ego boost, but for me it’s actually been really humbling,” she said. “My respect for the president of the United States has gone up so much because of this experience. A lot of people criticize Obama, but he’s over there working his guts out for our country.”
Jinsey Jager, 17, has been in Lindsey’s class throughout Lindsey’s six years on student government. While some people are “just rude,” she said that Lindsey is one of the most loved people at the school.
“She’s committed and fun and just makes everyone feel comfortable,” Jinsey said. “It would really be a challenge to hate her. I always voted for her.”
Lindsey said she wants to get involved in college leadership as soon as possible. Right now, she’s waiting to hear back from Stanford, Harvard, Duke, Princeton and Brown before making a decision of where to attend school. Lindsey already received an acceptance letter to BYU. Post-college, she plans learn more about political science and become a diplomat, United Nations worker or open up her own nonprofit, she said.
But while she prepares for the end of an era, she said she’s also preparing future West Jordan High School leaders to take over after she is gone. Minor said it was hard for her to take a step back and delegate instead of doing everything herself.
“She’s grown exponentially this year after she learned how to get past that hurdle of having to do everything,” he said.
Lindsey said she’s overwhelmed by the experiences she’s had in student government.
“It sounds cliché, but it’s true. I am the person I am today because of student government,” she said. “It’ll be weird to leave, but I’ll always remember these experiences.”