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The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Student government director to step down

Sophia Yang
Following three years as Student Activities Director, Palo Alto High School teacher Steven Gallagher is stepping down from the position and will be helping current dance teacher Alyssa Bond to step into the position. According to Gallagher, he enjoyed the collaborative aspect as well as seeing students grow throughout the process. “I really liked working with all students in this type of atmosphere as opposed to an academic atmosphere,” Gallagher said. “That was really rewarding, especially after Spirit Week, when a lot of the students were like ‘I don’t know how we’re going to do this [plan Spirit Week],’ and then at the end, they end up doing it successfully.”

After three years of directing Palo Alto High School’s student government, current Student Activities Director Steven Gallagher is stepping down from his position, and will be replaced by dance teacher Alyssa Bond starting next school year.

While Gallagher will still keep his position as history teacher, he will be ending his ASB involvement due to the position’s interference with his personal life.

“It was a matter of time that I stepped down,” Gallagher said. “[The position required] a lot of after school events and weekend events, especially during the fall. It was taking a lot away from my family.”

According to Gallagher, being able to guide students in a nontraditional classroom way at both the middle and high school level is what made his job meaningful.

“It’s been a great three years,” Gallagher said. “I’ve been doing ASB for many years, but I was at the middle school level before. The kind of interaction with the students has always been the part I’ve enjoyed. It’s a very positive vibe that I feel, especially from this student body.”

According to ASB President Julian Hong, who has worked with Gallagher for three years, he is deeply appreciative of Gallagher’s support and dedication to running ASB.

“Mr. Gallagher has always been my most supporting and understanding teacher at Paly,” Hong said. “He’s always willing to take time to help students, even if that means spending weekends running parking lots to raise money or staying late every day during Spirit Week. The best part of my high school experience has been working with Mr. Gallagher in ASB because his heart is so big. He cares about students, and so he is always understanding if things go wrong. I always feel comfortable in his class and will miss being able to run ASB with him.”

Freshman class president Katie Kim shared a similar experience with Hong’s, noting Gallagher’s close attention to detail when running school events.

“Mr. Gallagher has been an amazing advisor especially when working and organizing events,” Kim said. “He goes above and beyond to make sure everyone is accommodated and set beforehand. There was a huge waiting list for Prom, and Gallagher worked to ensure every student who wanted to go was able to. For Spirit Week, he spent countless hours scheduling, handling logistics, and working with people behind the scenes to make Spirit Week fun.”

Sophomore class president David Wu praised Gallagher’s wisdom and humor — crucial to maintaining peaceful and positive dynamics in the class.

“Mr. Gallagher’s teaching style in ASB classes is very unique,” Wu said. “He gives lots of opportunities for ASB officers to take initiative and work on creative ideas and also maintains high standards of excellence to make sure that every ASB member is making a positive impact. He gives very wise advice and helps us to find solutions to the issues we are facing, whether it be running a new event or program or going through the chaos of Spirit Week, and also helps ASB maintain a positive attitude. We all have developed an appreciation for his dad jokes.”

According to Bond, one of the reasons for undertaking the ASB director’s position is her passion for working with students to improve the school environment.

“I have always adored Spirit Week and I tend to be on the more spirited side of things,” Bond said. “I just want to help students continue to grow and improve school climate, school culture, and student experiences. Something that really speaks to me about education is working with students and making sure they’re getting a good experience here.” 

Senior Allisyn Kwon, one of Bond’s dance students, praises her compassion and thoughtfulness towards students.

“What makes Ms. Bond’s teaching style so amazing is her attentiveness,” Kwon said. “She gives everybody as much attention as she can and always tries to help. She’s always super cheerful, easy to talk to, and encourages people to do their best. You can really see it in her dance classes specifically, as she teaches at a pace that everyone can follow along to and always has time for questions.”

Additionally, having worked across a wide variety of departments, Bond said her experiences will help bring a nuanced perspective to the class. 

“Working with the leadership group is going to be really interesting,” Bond said. “I like to think I bring a unique perspective to the role because I work in the P.E. department, as well as the VAPA department. I also currently have an AVID class and I teach Living Skills. I have lots of connections in lots of different departments. Hopefully I can leverage that experience in those connections to engage with more groups and more staff members.”

Although he’ll no longer be the teacher, Gallagher said he still plans on staying involved when needed to ease the transition. 

“We’ll go over everything together on Tuesday morning,” Gallagher said. “If she [Bond] has questions, I’m always open to help out.”

Looking to the future, Kwon said she anticipates Bond will provide an enriching, innovative perspective in leading the student council classes.

“I’m really excited at the idea of Ms. Bond leading ASB next year,” Kwon said. “I’m actually a little sad to be graduating this year; I’d love to see her in action. I think she’ll do amazing since she’s always really organized and motivated. She always has fun ideas and is always open to more suggestions.”

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About the Contributors
Sophia Yang
Sophia Yang, Senior Staff Writer
Sophia Yang (Class of 2024) joined The Voice her sophomore year and enjoys running, hiking, and spending long afternoons reading.
Kristine Lin
Kristine Lin, Managing Editor
Kristine Lin (Class of 2025) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys going on scenic hikes, taking road trips, and traveling to new places.

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