Greer Stone: the new ASB Director

Maia Johnsson and Jeffrey Tu

Greer Stone, the new ASB director, is also running for City Council this year. One of Stone’s biggest issues on his platform is creating affordable housing, which he said will benefit Palo Alto teachers. “Teachers have left the school district, for the sole reason of pursuing a community where they can actually afford to live,” Stone said. He hopes to tackle this issue by increasing the inclusionary zoning rate. Photo: Greer Stone

You might notice one of his City Council advertisements in a street corner, on a neighbor’s front lawn, or along Middlefield Road. But, his ambition doesn’t end in politics. One of few people who can juggle multiple jobs is Greer Stone, Palo Alto High School’s new Associated Student Body director.

Stone is a Paly alumnus and is replacing the previous ASB director, Matt Hall.

This year, Stone looks to improve upon Paly’s current ASB by helping them adapt the old events and activities to the newer online environment.

“I feel like it’s a good opportunity for me to not only take … the kind of systems that he [Hall] had in place that were so great and be able to build upon them,” he said.

“ASB is a student-lead class for the most part, and he lets the students run through the agenda, only interfering to give his input or redirect us onto the right track,” freshman President Sophia Kim said in an email to the Paly Voice.

COVID-19 restrictions create a challenge for Stone and his ASB team, as new events and activities need to be planned according to safety guidelines. 

“We all are still adapting. Given our conditions with COVID, it is hard to plan events,” Nysa Bhat, the junior site council representative, said in an email interview.

According to Stone, drug usage at Paly has always been a big issue, and it’s one that he’s hoping to tackle using anti-drug programs at Paly. His interest in anti-drug programs for schools was sparked when he lost a friend to drug usage while he attended college. Stone plans to model Paly events based on high schools he’s observed in Southern California, where students participate in a set of events dedicated to combating underage drug use, including a simulated driving-under-the-influence accident, group discussions, and guest speakers. 

Stone taught history at Gunn High School and Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School for several years before his transition to ASB director at Paly. During his time at Gunn, He described having a “strange tug at his loyalty” when Gunn students reported victories over Paly in sports.

The teacher’s commitment to the community doesn’t stop at Paly — he is also running for City Council. One of his primary goals for Palo Alto is introducing more affordable housing. Many of the best teachers in Palo Alto are moving further and further away because the housing in Palo Alto is too expensive, according to Stone. In addition to low income housing, he hopes to promote diversity and introduce more workforce housing.

In his professional background, Stone says that he is used to working several jobs at once. He was an attorney and believes that this qualification can be especially useful to ASB, as he can use his knowledge to advise the ASB with legal advice. He also served as delegate to Democratic State Central Committee, vice chair of the Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission , and chair of the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission.

“If I can multitask during law school, the most hectic time of my life, I can juggle a job as student activities director, as well as running a campaign,” Stone said, adding that while he thinks City Council is a big deal, it is a part-time job so it won’t get in the way of his duties as a teacher. 

Stone said that he still will be an active teacher in the Paly community.

“My teaching responsibilities [will come] first, before ever moving on to other responsibilities, such as running the campaign,” he said.

He wants to make a real impact on Paly students by bringing in what he believes is a new perspective.

“I’m really excited to kind of bring a social justice and equity lens into my position here as student activities director, to be able to help promote those issues of equity and inclusion within everything that we do here at Paly,” he said. 

Due to the continuation of COVID-19 health regulations, homecoming and many of the group events Paly students look forward to each year will be delayed, Stone said, adding that he will try to move Spirit Week to the second semester so that students can still enjoy the event in person. 

“We’re postponing it to the spring in hopes that we’ll be able to have it in person, but we’re going to be doing some sort of model version in October during the normally scheduled time,” Stone said. 

Just like Spirit Week, ASB will attempt to host Homecoming in the spring. Stone hopes that with the help of ASB, “We will be able to have a fun virtual Homecoming in the case we can’t do a real one.” 

Even though school won’t be in person for the time being, Stone has goals that he would like to achieve and messages that are very important to him — he wants to make sure that students are having a great time and still learning all they can.

“I’m excited for the new challenges of this school year,” Stone said. “We truly are living through unprecedented and historic times. It gives us a great opportunity to be able to make the school year however we want it.”