Meet BCA’s 2022 Student Council

Yessica Jain, Editor


Every December, the students of the Bergen County Academies elect members of the Student Council for the upcoming calendar year. The Academy Chronicle recently held interviews with the executive board of 2022’s Student Council. Meet them below!

About President Diana Mei

President Diana Mei is a junior in the Academy for Business and Finance. Her hobbies include knitting, playing the piano, and drawing. When she was younger, she never would have imagined being Student Council President because of her shy nature. She found it very difficult to talk to and connect with people in her middle school, which lacked diversity. As one of the few Asians in her school, she discovered that nobody seemed to care if she got a good grade—it was only “expected.” However, the diverse atmosphere at BCA allowed her to open up and talk to people more.


  • Color: Green, for now. She finds green to be a mellow and peaceful color that complements the skin tones of most people.
  • Cuisine: Korean, even though she is Chinese. Diana likes Asian food in general because it is culturally familiar.
  • Day of the Year: Friday the 13th. Her birthday is on the thirteenth, and last year her birthday was on Friday the 13th. She likes unlucky things in general, like black cats.
  • Subject: History. She really likes her teacher Mr. Demeter.
  • Book: Warcross by Marie Lu. This was the first book Diana read with an Asian American main character, so she saw herself in the main character and was inspired by her. 

Council Experience

In her freshman year, Diana was the Class of 2023 Representative. 

As a sophomore, she ran for Secretary but lost. Instead, she ended up becoming the Public Relations (PR) Director for Student Council, running the Instagram account, writing emails and newsletters, and managing spirit weeks. She felt that this worked out for the better because she enjoyed her position as PR Director and got the opportunity to talk with the student body a lot.

Now, as Student Council President, she enjoys interacting with people in different grades and talking to students she never had before—two of her favorite parts of her role as PR Director. She “felt powerless in other positions,” but her current role allows her to actually make change by directly talking to administration. She said she “put a lot of pressure on [herself] to be a good President.” As she worked to make the right decisions, she often second-guessed herself. However, she now realizes everybody has different priorities and the most important thing to do is make BCA a better experience for the majority of students.

About Vice President Emily Yoo

Vice President Emily Yoo is a junior in the Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology. She enjoys watching hockey, walking her dog, and being out in nature. Although she has not traveled much, she did once enjoy a trip to the Dominican Republic.


  • Color: Orange and green, but not together.
  • Food: Chocolate cake.
  • Day of the Year: October 27th, her birthday.
  • Subject: History. She doesn’t want to give in to peer pressure to like a science-related class just because of her academy. She doesn’t do research for the same reason and instead focuses on the classes and activities she truly enjoys.
  • Book: Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. She enjoyed Holden’s honesty and perspective on life.

Council Experience

Emily was the National Student Council director last year. 

She currently enjoys experiencing aspects of Student Council she wasn’t involved with last year, such as assembling the Student Council by selecting students for appointed positions.


About Treasurer Pooja Rayapaneni

Treasurer Pooja Rayapaneni is a junior in the Academy for Business and Finance. She loves her academy. She enjoys getting involved in her community and appreciates the ability to be an active member of Class Council and Student Council. She also likes art and music and plays the guitar during her free time even though “BCA is very chaotic” and schoolwork consumes a lot of time.


  • Color: Purple.
  • Restaurant: Chipotle.
  • Day of the Year: April 20th, because “everything seems to happen on that day.”
  • Subject: Literature. She enjoys writing and likes her teachers.
  • TV Show: How to Get Away With Murder and Criminal Minds. She loves Netflix.

Council Experience

Last year was Pooja’s first year on Student Council and she served as the representative for the Class of 2023. Her experience was different because of virtual school, and she helped communicate and advocate for the struggles of the students in her grade. 

As Treasurer, she enjoys “seeing everything come in and putting funds toward the student body.”


About Secretary Tanvi Tewary

Secretary Tanvi Tewary is a sophomore in the Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology. She loves to sing and dance. She has been doing kathak, a form of Indian classical dance, since she was four years old. Additionally, she enjoys spending time with friends and family.


  • Color: Light purple.
  • Food: Pizza. You can personalize it by putting any toppings.
  • Dessert: Chocolate lava cake.
  • Day of the Year: Christmas Eve. She loves the happy and exciting atmosphere.
  • Subject: Chemistry.
  • Movie: Five Feet Apart
  • Show: Gilmore Girls.

Council Experience

Last year, she was the Class of 2024 Representative in the Student Council. By mid-year, she really began to come out of her shell and contributed a lot to meetings.

Now, she enjoys being a part of the executive board, organizing events, and communicating with the student body and administration.

Student Council Goals

All members of the Student Council executive board share one major goal: improving the mental health of the student body. Diana spoke about the immense pressure BCA students place on themselves to attain high grades and the stigma against getting an A- or a B, even though those are really good grades. She said, “students need to be more proud of their accomplishments and [enjoy] that high school experience.” Reading days and other short-term solutions have some impact, but BCA needs to develop an environment where students realize “self-worth is not derived from grades but comes from within.” Her friend Lance once told her something she wanted to share with the student body: “If you’re meant to be great, you’ll be great wherever you go. Don’t worry about college; school isn’t everything.” One way to improve students’ mental health is by bringing therapy dogs to the school, a project that was supposed to go into effect before the pandemic started. Emily and Tanvi were especially excited to bring this initiative back.

Student Council is also trying to host more student events and increase general enthusiasm in the student body. Pooja spoke about BCA before the pandemic began, saying there were “kids everywhere [because students] did not have study halls… and everyone was so enthusiastic.” Student events, such as free food giveaways, used to be a common occurrence. Now, Student Council is reviving that tradition. They are planning homecoming for October or November and are trying to organize other events, such as spirit weeks and dances. 

Pooja also mentioned long-term goals, such as getting a basketball court for the school.

How Student Council Works

So, what goes on behind the scenes of BCA’s Student Council? 

While each position comes with its unique responsibilities, Emily said Student Council emphasizes “going above and beyond” traditional roles. In fact, Student Council has many committees (such as an FAQ committee, a bulletin board committee, etc.) to work on separate projects not covered by the positions. During their weekly meetings, Diana performs progress checks with each of these committees. 

Additionally, Student Council meetings are open to anybody, and the executive board encourages students to come. They take place in Mr. Zhang’s room at 7:00 AM on Mondays. If you have any suggestions or concerns about school, do attend one of these meetings.