Humans of RE: Who is Noah Zaldivar?


After this year’s student body president, Georgia Crosby ‘21, led the RE community through a very tough year filled with unpredictability, it came time to elect a new President from the rising senior class. The election this year was filled with many qualified candidates, but Noah Zaldivar ‘22 came out on top.  

The student body president for Ransom Everglades is always faced with the tough task of giving the students what they want while still complying with the administration. We are still in a time filled with much uncertainty, and it is not clear how next school year will turn out. Zaldivar will be tasked with finding the best ways to help the RE community through another year of dealing with this pandemic and making the best of a bad situation. 

I caught up with Zaldivar and gave him a chance to tell the RE community a little more about himself, what his plans are for next year, and what he’s learned from this unique school year. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

Some people may not know you so well. What are some things you’d like people to know about you?  

I think all the time about what I want people to know about me, probably more often than I’d care to admit, but the more time I spend on the question, the less sure I am of what my answer would be. I think if there was one thing I would want people to know about me, it is that I don’t have just one answer to that question, and I’d love to talk to you about whatever your answers might be. I’m always open to conversation, and I’d love to see what people have to say. 

Why did you decide to run for President?  

I ran for president because I thought there were two unacknowledged truths that needed to be addressed: a) there is a communication problem at Ransom, and b) SGA should be the ones connecting the student body to the teachers and administration. In the absence of any candidates suggesting that, I decided to throw my hat into the ring. 

Tell the RE community why you are the man for the job. 

I don’t think I am singularly able to solve the issues facing students every day. There are people smarter than me, more qualified, with better temperaments, and so on. But I think why I’m here and they aren’t is because I’ve noticed and publicly acknowledged what others either didn’t notice or didn’t want to speak about. But that doesn’t mean that those people are going to just fall by the wayside. As Steve Jobs said, we don’t hire smart people and tell them what to do, we hire smart people so they tell us what to do. The President shouldn’t be the most adequate specimen; they should be the one who knows how to manage people to get the job done, and I’m going to try my best to fit that model this year, surrounding myself with people who can help me get the job done.  

Obviously, there’s still a lot of uncertainty going into next year. Have you spoken to anyone in the administration to discuss some of the plans for next year? And what are some of your main goals that you want to accomplish as RE’s student body president? 

I have talked at great length with Mr. Guzman and [incoming Dean of Students] Mr. Hough about my plans for next year. First, I fully intend on carrying through on my promises to transform SGA into a communicative body to increase transparency across the board. Mr. Hough and I have discussed the creation of a website or an addition to MyCompass to house every single SGA-related thing, whether it be who I’m meeting with this week or what topics are being discussed or what projects are ongoing and all that, and he is very enthusiastic about helping me go through with that. I believe the issues facing Ransom all boil down to communications issues, and I want to make sure that Student Government is prepared to shoulder that burden. And so, as soon as possible, I plan to completely reorganize student government and hold a constitutional convention to outline our mission, goals, responsibilities, and powers. I’m going to reorganize the grouping within SGA so that rather than being paired up with your fellow grade reps, representatives will work with members from all grades and work on issues so that each member brings a fresh perspective to the table.

But to move away from the bureaucracy and more logistical elements of SGA, Mr. Hough has made very clear that he wants to make next year as activity-packed as possible, so over the summer I’m going to be working with SGA to draft weekly and monthly activities for the first semester, including monthly Spikeball tournaments, weekly Kahoots, dress-up days and holiday celebrations, to compensate for all the lost time from this year. My goal is to reorganize SGA to concurrently solve the communication issues at Ransom, while also making the year a fun one for everyone, students and teachers alike.  

This has certainly been a unique year. What lessons have you taken away that will help you succeed as president next year?  

The one thing I’ve recently come to appreciate was something my friend once told me: “things will go the way they’re supposed to.” But to pair that with a bit of wisdom from the movie “Tenet,” “It’s an expression of faith in the mechanics of the world, not an excuse to do nothing.” I’m going to try my best to solve the issues I think are affecting everyone at Ransom, and I’ll always be receptive to people who might think I’m not doing enough or that I’m not addressing the right things. At the end of the day, I’m going to give my all to try and set my successor up to make this school even better. This is going to be a year of reevaluation, one where we consider what we’ve been doing right and what we’ve been doing wrong. I think, once all is said and done, we’ll certainly be better geared to solve the problems of tomorrow, and that should always be the goal. 

What have you learned from Georgia Crosby during her time as president this year?  

I served with Georgia on SGA this year and saw how she addressed the difficult situation brought by social distancing and remote learning. She was undoubtedly faced with a difficult situation, and did what she could to address it, and although it might have compromised her ability to rally the troops at times, she met every challenge in stride. Looking to the future, we find new challenges, like deciding what to keep from our new schedule and what to return to next year. If Georgia has taught me anything, it’s how to run a tight ship, and I’m going to need that in the coming year.  

What do you love the most about Ransom Everglades?   

I think what I love most about Ransom Everglades is the people. Even if you were a visitor to the campus, you would notice some of the vibrant personalities of everyone who goes to our school. Whether it’s Dr. Monk fist-bumping his students and talking about basketball, Mr. Salon cackling from across the school, Dr. Aloni pulling aside her students to talk to them candidly about how they’re doing, or the seniors playing Spikeball, or the juniors playing basketball, or the gamers playing on their computers and the robotics kids testing out their robots, the entire campus is always oozing with personality. Every day feels vibrant and fresh and new, and you go off to hang out with your friends and become part of the cohesive organism that is our community.