Ms. Ngeth and ASB

Opinion Editor Havon Ha and staff writers Andru Martinez and Fiona Wang interviewed ASB Advisor, Ms Ngeth

Can you introduce yourself and your role with the ASB at Garvey?

My name is Ms. Ngeth and I am the ASB advisor and this is my third year being ASB advisor for Garvey. I also teach 7th and 8th grade history here at Garvey. ASB stands for Associated Student Body, and the ASB board is the student government and leadership board. It’s supposed to represent the student body and be the voice of the students. ASB helps create different events for students, usually plans dances and also manages the fundraisers. ASB provides the opportunity for students to practice their leadership skills and really communicate with the students and staff.

What do you think is the best part of being an ASB advisor?

I think the best part of being an ASB advisor is being able to see the growth in students and ASB members and how they are from the beginning of the year, middle of the year, and at the end of the year. To see them progress in their leadership skills, especially reaching out to students. It’s just an opportunity to really be involved in the school community.

What are some important qualities that the ASB board should have?

Two of the requirements for the ASB board are really high academic achievement and also citizenship. They have a time commitment so they know how to set their priorities. Those are really important qualities that you learn as you go in life, but I think that for ASB students, they learn that from the beginning, like “Oh, I have to attend a meeting”. A lot of ASB students also have Science Olympiad, or they’re in History Day, so there’s a lot of activities that they have to juggle. So, they definitely have to have time management, know their priorities, and still manage to have fun in their life as a middle schooler.

What are some strengths and weaknesses of this year’s ASB board?

I would say the members, especially the 7th graders [who] have never been a part of ASB. I think I’ve been really proud of them to do something out of their comfort zone. I really can’t think of any weaknesses except for [ASB members trying to] listen to everyone at school. There’s a lot of people that’ll tell them different things, so just trying to juggle all the information that they’re getting from students, that can be stressful and create a lot of anxiety for ASB members also.

What are some of the struggles with leading ASB this year?

I think the main struggle with leading ASB is that we went from an online-only platform, meeting only on Zoom on Wednesdays, to now we are in person once a month for meetings but it’s still kind of balancing to see if we should do those meetings on Zoom or if they should be in person. Also, a lot of the activities are still restricted so the students may want to do a dance but because of COVID, we haven’t been able to get back to ordinary things such as school dances. So that’s definitely been a struggle this year.

What do you think would be some good ideas for other fundraisers this year instead of selling things or a photo booth?

I’ve thought about maybe a car wash. Everyone always needs to get their car washed. I really have not thought too much [about it]. There’s also a donation link that you could send out to family and friends, like the See’s Candies link, but it’s definitely a struggle because usually ASB will make money from selling candy grams or concessions from the dances, but because there [were] no dances [this year], you’re not bringing in any money from that. Funds are used for school activities, school orders such as equipment, PE uniforms, promotion events, and more.

Is there anything [worrisome] that you’ve noticed about the students after coming back from quarantine?

I would say in general the student body this year is struggling really hard to have a personality of their own. I think that students that are coming back in person (those that didn’t come back during the last month or two of school) getting back to sitting at a desk, not being in their PJs, it’s almost like they have to relearn everything that they’ve learned in the last 12 or 13 years, but they all have to do it all in a month or two. So I think the students are really struggling. I am proud that those who have their voice can still be true to themselves because I feel like right now, there are students that don’t know where they should be or what they should be doing. They’re just seeing what other people are doing and going along with that, which might not always lead to the best path for them.

I think the high schoolers have a bigger shock. Like the 8th graders that were in 9th grade online, and they went into 10th grade at high school [in person], so they lost a year of their high school experience.

I still keep in touch with a lot of the 8th graders I have that have turned into 9th graders. It’s like you’re learning how to do everything over again but at an accelerated pace.

What events do we have planned for the holiday season?

We have the upcoming [Christmas/winter] spirit week activities. We’re going to do Kindness Day by sending e-cards to St. Judes children hospital. There’s going to be Ugly Christmas Sweater [day]. You can design your own sweater or wear holiday colors on Tuesday.

Are there any memorable moments from the ASB this year so far?

At the last meeting, we were trying to figure out the prizes, and we were thinking about donuts for [the winning class]. For second place someone said pizza. Connor said, “Pizza for second place??” [and he seemed agitated by this suggestion]. That should have been pizza for first- so it was just really funny because we were all like “pizza?? for second place??” Everyone started laughing, so that was pretty hilarious.

What are some future events that the ASB might have planned for this school year?

Besides the winter activities, we usually have something for Valentine’s in February, I don’t know if we’re going to do a traditional dance. I have no idea what’s up in the air, but in the new year, there’s usually a Valentine’s door decorating, and then there’s going to be a whole week of kindness coming up. There are a lot of activities we have planned, but it’s just a matter of funding [them] and making sure that everyone here is about it so [that] they can participate.

Do you have any closing remarks?

I’m really proud of the ASB board, and especially the 7th graders. This year we have 4 seventh grade directors [and] they really stepped up to [the challenge] and then of course our 8th grade directors and everyone on the board adds personality.

I think that you would agree that everyone’s a little bit different, and it just adds to the personality of the meetings. Everyone’s vocal in their own way and then there are others who are more listeners. And later on they’ll just chime in. I am really proud of the board that’s come together.