“In order to have a positive environment, you have to do positive things,” said the 18-year-old whose schedule includes representing nearly 16,000 students as the student member of the Oxnard Union High School District board of trustees.
Cervi said her proudest accomplishments of her presidential year were homecoming and starting the Superb Staff and Renaissance Rally programs.
“From the fireworks to the royalty to the rally, we got such a great turnout,” she said of homecoming.
In the Superb Staff program, Associated Student Body recognizes one teacher or certified staff member each week. The recipients receive a pendant, balloons and a bouquet of flowers.
The Renaissance Rally is an event to honor students who earn excellent grades. Students who have at least a 3.5 gradepoint average or those who have increased their GPA 0.5 percent from the previous semester were invited to participate. The event had a rock climbing wall, face painting, henna tattoos and food booths. The rally will be an annual event.
Cam High Connect also began this year under Cervi’s leadership. The 10-minute broadcast updates students and faculty with news and announcements every Friday. Cervi co-anchors the show with another student, Elliott Pineda.
“The school is headed in a right direction, and I hope it only goes up from here,” Cervi said.
As student representative on the Oxnard Union High School District board, Cervi attends regular board meetings. She said it was an exciting year to sit on the board to witness the controversial elections and the decision to build a swimming pool at ACHS and the new magnet high school near the Camarillo Library.
As a possible political science major, Cervi said the board experience has taught her a lot about how the government works from a local perspective.
“As far as politics go, I now know what can and can’t be said,” Cervi said. “There’s a lot behind closed doors. I guess I saw the elections and the campaigning and how your word can be held against you later. I know to be honest 100 percent of the time.”
Cervi said, like many residents, she has felt the effects of the poor economy and budget cuts across the board. She said the ASB budget shrinks every year and representatives must now use materials sparingly.
She has also noticed more seniors scheduling classes to finish at noon so they can work more hours at a job. Cervi works about 20 hours each week at the Bread Basket, a Camarillo bakery.
ACHS seniors have also felt the economic sting through the college application process, Cervi said. The state college applications only require a GPA and an SAT or ACT score but don’t have lines for extracurricular activities or school involvement.
“It worries me because activities are becoming less and less, and I don’t want that to happen because it’s such an important part of school,” Cervi said.
Cervi said she hopes colleges will encourage students to become active in clubs and volunteer for community service because involvement helps students understand what career they want to pursue.
“You need to be involved in the community because you get a feel for what you want to do,” she said. “You lose out if you’re just looking at a book and not interacting with somebody. You need that hands-on experience that’s going to shape you so you know who you are. Your book is never going to know who you are.”
Cervi has lived in Camarillo for four years with her father, Joe; mother, Anna; and 10-yearold sister, Maya. Her father is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, so Cervi moved from school to school during childhood. She said the frequent moves helped her become confident and make new friends in each setting, a useful skill as school president.
“It contributed to who I am because I’ve been able to adjust and adapt to different people and environments,” Cervi said. “As much as I hated it while it was happening, I appreciate it in the end.”
Cervi said her year as school president and student representative for the district has been extremely busy and often stressful. But she learned how to balance her life between family, friends, academics and extracurricular activities. Her advice to the incoming president, McKeghan Tackett, is to take it one day at a time.
“Surround yourself with people outside your bubble,” Cervi said. “Find balance in your life. You can’t make 2,500 (people) happy 100 percent of the time.”