The Beat

The Beat

Martina Santos 26 (left) hosts Nieves Gomez as an exchange student from Madrid.
Meet Nieves Gomez
May 27, 2024

Meet your new congress

Carrollton congress elections were held on April 16, 2024. Mila Fanjul ’25 was elected congress president, Nicolette Xydas ’25 congress vice president, Cecilia Costa ’25 congress secretary, and Veronica Estefani ’25 congress club coordinator. All of Carrollton’s newly-elected congress members are ready to take on their new roles and responsibilities and look forward to making next year extraordinary. 

Over the past few weeks, The Beat’s Emma Sundblad caught up with each member of congress to get to know them a little better.

The following interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity. 


Congress President Mila Fanjul ’25

How long have you been at Carrollton?

I’ve been at Carrollton since sixth grade. 

Is this your first time running for a school officer position? 

No. In sixth grade, I was the little homeroom rep. – but anyone who wanted to do it, did it. And then, in eighth grade, I ran for NJHS (National Junior Honor Society) president. And then freshman year, I ran for president in my class, and I lost but it’s okay. Then that same year I came back to run for secretary in my class; I won that time. And then I ran for vice president for my junior class, got that one, and then here I am now. 

What inspired you to run for congress president? 

I don’t know, I’ve always just loved being in school student council stuff because I feel like you actually see the behind-the-scenes of everything actually happening, and it’s cool. And then also, you can implement stuff. Like when people say, “Oh my goodness, why did we not go on a class trip?” you have the ability to say, “Okay, let’s have a class trip.” I mean, that’s a bad example because we didn’t have a class trip this year, but you get to see the behind-the-scenes, and you can make people’s voices heard that might not have otherwise been heard; that’s great. 

What do you hope to accomplish as congress president? 

So what I’m big on is, it’s a democracy. I don’t want to be a tyrant, you know? Let’s say for the theme of the school–that’s the thing we’re working on right now–how to decorate next year. I want Greek mythology, but so what? Doesn’t matter. There’ve been ideas of under-the-sea and Hollywood. Some people want that. So I’m like, you know what? It doesn’t matter what I want, because I’m not the only person who goes to school. It’s about what the people want. So we sent out a form to the senior class to see what they actually wanted. That’s one thing. I want to have an idea’s box, and it can be anonymous because usually the people who are the quietest are the ones with the best ideas. That’s what I’ve realized–that’s where it comes from. And people when they think of congress they think, “Oh they have the best ideas because they’re in congress.” No. That’s not why. It’s because I can hopefully make them happen, but the ideas come from the people. So that’s what I want to accomplish in congress. 

What do you think is important for the student body to know about you? 

I want to be approachable. That’s my goal. I want to be as approachable as possible. If I seem intimidating…I really hope I don’t. 

Any final thoughts/comments?

If anyone has any ideas–I mean, anything, no idea is bad. Any ideas: love them, tell me. I can give you a little book of ideas if you’d like. 


Congress Vice President Nicolette Xydas ’25







How long have you been at Carrollton?

Since sixth grade. 

Is this your first time running for a school officer position? 

No. So actually in intermediate, I think I was a class representative. Seventh grade, I don’t think I ran because it was COVID or something. Eighth grade, I was secretary. Ninth grade, I was secretary. Tenth grade, I wasn’t in office. Then eleventh grade, I was also secretary. And now this year. 

What inspired you to run for congress vice president? 

I think because I had been secretary for so long, and I just loved being in congress and seeing my ideas put into action and trying to leave my class as best as possible. And then I think that I wanted to run for vice president just to take on another position. And having to plan prom and formal I think would be really fun. 

What do you hope to accomplish as congress vice president? 

I hope to instill gratitude in the students of being able to be at Carrollton and have them understand how incredible that is. And also try to instill unity and community and help everybody understand that we are one school. 

What do you think is important for the student body to know about you? 

That I have a good work ethic and I’m ready to get things done. 

Any final thoughts/comments?

Get ready for a great year! 


Congress Secretary Cecilia Costa ’25 







How long have you been at Carrollton?

I’ve been at Carrollton since first grade. 

Is this your first time running for a school officer position? 

It isn’t. I don’t remember exactly which grade, but I ran in intermediate and I lost. After that I was kind of scarred because I was really upset, so I didn’t run the entire beginning of high school. But I kind of got inspired as congress was not only my grade; it opened all the way up to seventh grade, so I thought it was a good opportunity to try to run and put myself out there. 

What inspired you to run for congress secretary? 

A lot of my friends kind of know me as a perfectionist or a notetaker; I really care about all that stuff. And some people even came up to me and said, “Oh, Ceci, maybe you should run.” Because basically no one ran for secretary, so Ms. Rodriguez sent my grade an email saying that no one had run and if none of us would try to run, she would have to offer it to other grades, and it’s kind of a Carrollton tradition that a senior runs. I was really excited by the opportunity to run, and once people asked me and I read the constitution, I realized that the job was something that I felt really suited me. I knew that I wanted to do it, and I also wanted to leave a little bit of a mark on the school before I left. 

What do you hope to accomplish as congress secretary? 

As secretary, I not only hope to keep everything organized and obviously send the best sneak peeks I can and keep everyone kind of in the loop, but I also want to work alongside the other people in congress to foster the change that so many people have been wanting. Because I know at lunch people will say, “Oh, I wish we had this,” and I feel like a lot of those things are mentioned but they’re not really acted on, so I’d like to try to be able to propose them more and make sure we try to implement the voices of the students as much as possible. 

What do you think is important for the student body to know about you? 

I hope that the student body knows that I really am someone who I think is really approachable, and I’m more than happy to hear anyone’s suggestions on anything because, as you can tell, on sneak peek I make a note that if anyone has any feedback or anything I’d love to hear from them because the sneak peeks and stuff aren’t just for me, they’re for everyone. So I hope everyone knows that they can come to me if they have any suggestions. A lot of people responded to my emails, asked me to add new things, and I’ve been working on incorporating all of that, so I hope that everyone knows that I really want to be a contact for everyone, not only girls in my grade, but girls in every grade. 

Any final thoughts/comments?

I’m just very grateful that I was able to have this position. And I’m very excited to make the next school year as best as I can. 


Congress Club Coordinator Veronica Estefani ’25







How long have you been at Carrollton?

I moved to Carrollton freshman year and, before that, I was at St. Thomas the Apostle. 

Is this your first time running for a school officer position? 

No. I actually ran freshman year. But I think I’ve developed a lot between freshman and senior year. Only because obviously freshman year I came in, and I was the new kid so no one really knew me that well. 

What inspired you to run for congress club coordinator? 

Well, for me clubs are a huge part of my life, and the service aspect of it is super important to me. This past year I felt like the clubs had so much more potential that they could reach. I want clubs to be an outlet for students to engage in meaningful service and to have a community. I genuinely just want the clubs to be more active and play a bigger role in Carrollton.

What do you hope to accomplish as congress club coordinator? 

Well, for congress in general, I just hope that we bring energy and we hear everyone’s ideas. I really want this to be a good year, and I think it will be based on the people that got chosen for congress. They’re all super capable, so I have very high expectations; I’m very excited. And in regard to the club coordinator position, well obviously I don’t have perfect ideas set, but one thing I do want to change is the way we run club fair. Because I feel like it’s so hectic and so crowded. So I feel like we could find a way that everyone’s clubs get heard and everyone’s club has a chance to be seen by everyone. Whether that’s by having small groups go in at a time or something like that, but overall I just want clubs to be more active and be a more active part of Carrollton. Because I think service, especially in our school, is super important to engage in. So I really hope that I can succeed. 

What do you think is important for the student body to know about you? 

I think that they should know that I’m a very dedicated person, so if I’m put into something, I spend a lot of time on it, and I won’t settle for mediocrity. I really strive to be very impactful and very influential. And every decision that we make in congress, I hope it’s done with intention and reasoning behind it. So that’s really important to me. And also I’m very good at balancing things. Like right now I’m in varsity basketball, I’m in choir, and I have my own club, the Ivette Foundation. So it’s a lot that I have to balance, but it’s all stuff that I enjoy doing. I wouldn’t be in this position if I didn’t want to. So I just want them to know that I have intent behind why I wanted to be a part of congress and be club coordinator.

Any final thoughts/comments? 

In general, I just feel like I’m very excited for next year, and I know that congress has really fun stuff planned and that we’re going to try our best to keep everyone engaged and keep everyone’s voices heard. 

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    Nina HeffronJun 1, 2024 at 8:24 pm

    It was fun to learn more about the new members of congress. Thank you Emma!!! 😀