Laurel Springs School Past Student Government Presidents: Where Are They Now?


Once a year, colorful fliers and hand-drawn posters bloom in brick-and-mortar school hallways. Looking to your right shows “Kelsey for president” on every other locker while, with a glance to the left, Lucas is asking for your vote for student government.

Campaigning for student body president at a fully-virtual school may not include these old school elements, but the role—and those chosen to fulfill it—is just as important, as are the opportunities to develop skills that only hands-on leadership provides. Our student government president and vice president are committed to mindful and service-oriented leadership. We caught up with four past Laurel Springs School Student Government Presidents in a podcast-style interview.

Student government is important to us at Laurel Springs, and we love the way former presidents Kelly Grace Richardson (2019-2020 and 2020-2021), Hannah Grunow (2018-2019), Anush Jain (2017-2018), and McKenzie Holmes (2016-2017) explain what they learned from filling these big shoes and what successes they’ve found in their post-Laurel Springs life.

So here are some of the takeaways from the interview, and a glimpse into the ways roles in student government helped bolster our former position holders with relevant skills and support students through their initiatives and achievements in office.

Why is student government important to schools?

Student government is important in that the hopes, issues, and concerns of the student body make their way before school administration to initiate conversation and change. This is a crucial role for an organized body of students; student government members are likely to be aware of the challenges experienced by their peers, in both academic and non-academic ways, and act as a liaison between the student body as a whole and the faculty/administration.

Peer-elected students can be activists and advocates outside the walls of their schools, too. Whether speaking with local lawmakers or organizing community, fundraising, or social events, a strong student body establishes structure, communication, and togetherness.

With a student government, school administration can make more in-tune, informed, well-received decisions, and can feel more connected to their pupils.

Why is student government important to students?

When serving in their student-led government organization, students learn to work as a team. They are given a clear purpose to benefit the greater good of the student body. In return, these young adults acquire invaluable skills in compromising, critical thinking, and relationship building that will prove to be immeasurably useful in their adult lives.

When students are working to listen to and advocate for one another, the interpersonal trust and connection between peers becomes much stronger. From tutoring to social aspects and beyond, when a student knows their needs and challenges are being listened to, especially by a trusted peer, they may feel seen and heard.

There are even more benefits to serving in a student government, and they are more tangible. Student government is another extracurricular activity that can elevate students’ resumes whether they be geared for college admission, entering the workforce, or utilizing a gap-year internship. Students become more familiar with the operations and structure of a real governmental entity and may feel more inclined to participate in policy making and grassroot efforts outside of school.

Words of wisdom from past Laurel Springs School Student Government Presidents

McKenzie Holmes (2016-2017) now calls Dallas, TX, home and works full-time in communications with the Independent Women’s Forum. In her free time, she writes creatively and pursues a political science degree. She served as secretary and vice president for the Galveston College Student Government Association Chapter, participated in the Running Start Congressional Fellowship, and was an academy fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Through her time in Laurel Springs leadership, McKenzie says she was fortunate to get experience in multicultural interactions, leadership, and interpersonal skills in a professional setting. She was considered for the student government position in college because of her government experience at Laurel Springs.

That’s invaluable when working in on-the-job training, helping interns, and even in just interacting with coworkers,” McKenzie says. “I also remember, during my time as the student government president at Laurel Springs, brainstorming what initiatives we could engage the student body in. Currently, I work in the Communications Department at my organizations, and we often have similar conversations on what we call bracketing for campaigns: what initiatives we can engage our followers in that revolve around the current news cycle, holiday, commemoration, or hot topics.

Anush Jain (2017-2018), now native to Des Moines, IA, double-majoring in finance and international business at Drake University, will soon depart to Boston to work as an analyst at the e-commerce giant, Wayfair.

He’s served in a slew of leadership roles, including as the VP of Operations and Finance for his Student Alumni Association and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for his fraternity. Anush says the time management skills learned at Laurel Springs helped him excel in these opportunities.

“Being more self-aware and vulnerable with my peers and myself has been the ultimate joy,” Anush says. “A good leader is a happy leader. Becoming happy doesn’t come with a good job or position—only if you are happy then those things will come to you. Being able to find myself and be more confident in my identity has been amazing.”

For Hannah Grunow (2018-2019), life after Laurel Springs has been trés bon. A soon-to-be graduate and French major at Scripps College, she has been teaching French to learners of all skill levels at Claremont McKenna College. She has applied to graduate school for her French PhD and law school. Her ambitions are, in part, thanks to being involved in Laurel Springs student government leadership.

“It was a great experience which gave me the planning skills I use today for teaching,” Hannah says. “I go through the same thought process of planning fun activities for my students as I did coming up with projects for StuGo!”

Currently, Hannah is working on making every student’s experience in her classroom a happy one because “it's really important to contribute joy to learning,” she says.

As a freshman at Georgetown University, Kelly Grace Richardson's (2019-2020 and 2020-2021) high ambitions continue. She is double-majoring in Management and Finance, with a minor in Government. She is a coxswain on her university’s men’s lightweight rowing team and participates in startup consultant club Georgetown Ventures, Georgetown Student Capital Partners (GSCP), and TAMID Group, a consulting club for startups in Israel.

Through Kelly Grace’s many ventures, she writes case studies on major players in the startup world such as Children’s Hospital and Axiom Space. With GSCP, she works as an analyst in the cryptocurrency and healthcare investment spaces.

“Being the president of StuGo for two years taught me invaluable leadership skills that I’ve implemented into my life at Georgetown.” Kelly Grace says. “Having previously managed many projects and facilitating open discussions during meetings taught me the importance of communication and time management. Good communication can help you when reaching out to professors, applying for pre-professional clubs or jobs, and even making friends.”

Ready, set, stuGo: A springboard for success at Laurel Springs and Beyond

Our past Laurel Springs student government presidents show that an asynchronous learning environment can and does provide opportunities for students to lead vibrant, social academic lives across more than 30 clubs and activities, including student government. Are you ready to learn about how this role can equip you with the toolkit you need for a life of achievement at Laurel Springs and after you depart? Join our next Virtual Open House to learn more.