Stand Up For Us: Junior Class President Nathan Schroeder and Senior Class President Natalie Rhodes Spotlight

Emily Moore

Time and again, students have complained of certain qualities of the school: the bathrooms aren’t clean enough, there aren’t enough water fountains, et cetera, et cetera. Some students  thought they could do something about these things, and decided to run for Class President to serve the student body and advocate on their behalf to the administration. The upperclassmen’s class presidents are Junior Nathan Schroeder and Senior Natalie Rhodes, and it is sad that not many students know their representatives, because they walk among them in the halls and sit in some of the same classrooms every day.


When Schroeder was asked to introduce himself, the very first thing he mentioned, after his name, was how he had not gone to Karns his entire life, like some of my fellow classmates, and how he enjoyed lifting others up was practically his life’s theme.


“I came to Karns back in 2019. I came from Northwest, so establishing myself here was a bit of a challenge. But I persevered, and I try my best to get to know everybody,” said Schroeder. “I like helping others, helping other people is such a good thing. That’s kind of why I ran for president because what better a way to express that than running for president, you know?”  


He went on to discuss what clubs he was involved in, pulling up a list of them on his phone when some of them escaped his memory. 


“I’m actively involved in marching band, ROTC, I’m in DECA. I’m in NHS, Mu Alpha Theta, I’m in musical theater. I belong to a bunch of other organizations, too, but if someone thinks ‘Nathan Schroeder,’ they’ll probably think of one of those,” he said.

Emily Moore

When asked about his reasons for running for president, he circled back to the answer he gave before, about how he liked to help the people around him.


“One of my goals is to help students have a sense of belonging at Karns, since some kids feel like they don’t fit in, and I want to help encourage them,” Schroeder says. “I used to not fit in, I used to be picked on, and I want to help kids that experience that same thing and I want to highlight their experiences at Karns, I want people to see them.”


“I want to create respect and I want to create that environment and build us towards a better Karns.”


The campaign goals that Schroeder had were very in depth and well thought out.


“I had four main goals in mind,” he commented. You could almost imagine that he was smiling behind his mask as he said this. “One of them was advocating for more incentives. For years, we‘ve been saying, ‘Let’s make more incentives,’ but there needs to be action. There’s plans, but there’s no action. My main plan is to bring back the food trucks, bring back the football field.”

The incentives, as he continued to explain, were not just about bringing them back, but about changing the criteria to participate in them so that more students could have more opportunities to be teenagers.

“I want to focus less on grades, because usually that’s what it’s focused on, and some students struggle academically,” he explains. “I feel like if we highlight more behavior, if we build on stuff like that for each individual student, then I feel like we could do good things.”

His second goal was to keep the back doors of the school open past 8:25 in the mornings.


“A big struggle among upperclassmen and those who drive is that they usually get here at 8:25 and they close the doors in their face, and they have to walk all the way back up [ to the front office], and then they’re late to class,” Schroeder explains. “While it’s supposed to encourage students to get to school early, unfortunately some students don’t have that privilege.”


His biggest goal was to install an ATM in the commons.

“The reason I feel like ATMs could be a big thing at Karns is because [of things like] student fees,” he continues “You can just go to the ATM instead of having to drive to Wiegel’s, and it benefits teachers as well, because they don’t have to get in their cars, they don’t have to leave.”

His fourth goal he had already discussed: unifying and advocating for the inclusion and equality of all students. 


When asked about how he was to accomplish his initiatives, Schroeder responded with this:


“A big thing when it comes to roles such as this is communication,” Schroeder says. “I’ve been communicating with Mrs. Shoults, I’ve been communicating with the junior class principal.

What I’m communicating with them now is leadership opportunities. I’m thinking of having students do the morning announcements, because it promotes that sense of leadership.”


Communication with students to understand their needs is also a priority of his.


“I was going to put up flyers around the school for questions and concerns, because at the end of the day, there are students that didn’t vote for me, and I still want to make sure their needs are met as well,” he continues. “For the people that don’t know about class president, I try to work my hardest to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on. I am going to try to work towards making sure that they are aware.

“The main thing I enjoy about being class president is that I get to represent such an amazing class,” he says. “I’ve known these people for three school years now, and to be a leader and to be representing a class such as ours is such a great honor.”

Moving up a step, I talked to Senior Class President Natalie Rhodes on Monday of this week, during her lunch period. Like with Schroeder, I was interested in seeing what she had in store for the seniors of Karns with her goals for her presidency.

“I’ve been going to Karns my whole life, since I was in kindergarten, and in high school I just started getting involved in more things, and I wanted to keep going,” Rhodes said, when asked to introduce herself. “ I just like being involved and being a part of things that help me get out there and leadership opportunities. That’s something I really like.

“I’m in DECA, NHS. I do cheer here. I’m SGA, obviously, and I’m also a part of Mu Alpha Theta,” she added.

The main reason she wanted to run for president, she explained, was that she wanted to improve the school’s image and get the student body involved in the activities the school offers.

“I wanted to have more school spirit opportunities for people and have people be more involved. I think that’s the best thing you can do in high school, is to get involved.”

Her main campaign promise was extremely similar to the reason she ran in the first place: helping people get involved.

“I’m going to try to advocate for more involvement in school spirit. I’m also a part of the school culture committee, so I’ve talked to Mrs. Butry…” she commented. “So far, I’ve just started with students, encouraging and talking them into [doing things], like, ‘Hey, you should do this,’ or ‘Come to the next SGA meeting with me,’ or ‘Come to the next DECA meeting with me.’ [I’m] just starting there and starting small, and hopefully we can make a bigger difference.

“I think that once we have students get more excited about their school, we’ll see a bigger change. We’re not going to be seen as that school, or when people graduate, they won’t have anything to do with the Karns community. [We want them to be proud], saying ‘This is where I’m from, and this is where I went.’

If given the opportunity, Rhodes would run again.

“I think SGA does a lot for the community and school, and I would want to return and be a part of that again if I had another year,” she says.

Both Schroeder and Rhodes showed amazing dedication to their roles as class president. Those of their classes are lucky to have them as their representatives, but it is still amazing how little people seem to know about their class presidents. Schroder and Rhodes are definitely worth talking to, and given the high opinion they have of the student body, they more than deserve respect for their position as well.