Henri Stern, Director of Debate
Henri Stern is a senior at the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks. Henri has been a passionate member of JSA since his freshman year. From the beginning of his JSA career, Henri has been an avid debater and an active cabinet member. Starting with Angeles Region Director of Debate, Henri has spent three years as part of the AR Cabinet working hard to improve his region and state. In his sophomore and junior years Henri served as Angeles Region Vice‐Mayor and Mayor respectively. Henri has attended JSA summer multiple times, most recently the JSA Diplomat program in Beijing and Montezuma.
Although Henri also participates in other extra‐curricular activities including Model United Nations, the Buckley tennis team, and the Buckley honor council, JSA is by far the most important. During his term as Co‐Director of Debate, Henri hopes to work closely with his partner Patrick and all the members of the debate team in order to make the 2016‐17 year the best it can be.
Patrick Aimone, Director of Debate
Patrick Aimone is a junior at Servite High School. He has been a part of JSA since his freshman year, and since then has held chapter leadership, served as the SER Director of Debate, and attended Georgetown Summer School. This year, he is looking forward to serving as the Co‐Director of Debate, where he hopes to maintain and improve the forum for involved political discussions that first drew him into JSA. Outside of JSA, he participates in debate, theatre, and several service organizations. His hobbies include hanging out with friends, reading, playing Frisbee, and puns.
Eleanor Halloran, Director of Moderators
Eleanor Halloran is a junior at Harvard‐Westlake School. She attended her first JSA event freshman year, and fell in love with JSA, attending almost every single event since. Freshman year she was her chapter’s Assembly Member, sophomore year their Vice President, and this year she will be serving as one of Harvard‐Westlake’s Chapter Presidents. She also served in cabinet last year as Angeles Region’s Director of Debate.
Besides JSA, Eleanor loves Model UN, Quiz Bowl, and theatre, especially improv. She volunteers with animal shelters and with voter registration projects. She also spends time advocating for issues within politics and volunteering for political campaigns, locally and nationally. In any free time left after this, Eleanor loves to binge‐watch terrible television shows and harass her poor cat into cuddles.
Katherine Villacorta, Deputy Director of Debate
Katherine Villacorta is a senior at Centennial High School who is excited to be serving on cabinet. She first encountered the Junior State during her sophomore year, immediately connecting with the organization and its members. Her history with competitive debate and interest in political affairs give her reasons to believe she is fit for her position in the debate department. When it comes to civil issues, she narrows down her top areas of concern to those regarding minorities and reform.
Apart from JSA, Katherine is also a swimmer, part‐time math teacher, instrumentalist, and debater. Some of her passions include classical music, garage rock, rap, poetry, visual art, piano, guitar, dogs, cats, cars, and food. In her spare time, she typically prefers to listen music or play her piano or guitar.
Once again, Katherine is thrilled to be serving on cabinet and is very excited for the state’s incoming year.
Rachel Metry, Deputy Director of Debate
Rachel Metry is a sophomore at Santa Monica HIgh School. She first started JSA in her freshman year to broaden her public speaking skills; after attending her first Fall State convention, she quickly fell in love with JSA and was excited to plant her feet deeper into this program. During her summer to sophomore year, she attended summer school at the Gene Burd Institute at UCLA where she was able to immerse herself deeper into JSA as well as meet very outstanding people. When Rachel isn’t doing school work or at JSA, she is volunteering at her church, playing basketball or watching Netflix.
Farhan Khan, Deputy Director of Debate
Farhan Khan is a Deputy Director of Debate of SoCal JSA and the Vice‐President of Northwood High School’s Junior State of America Chapter. He began his involvement in JSA during sophomore due to his keen interest in politics and strong background in Speech and Debate. JSA has become a central aspect in Farhan’s life, and he has made many of his closest friends through the program. As Deputy Director of Debate, Farhan Khan hopes to foster greater involvement and participation at convention and one day debates.
Ramtin Rastegar, Deputy Director of Debate
Ramtin Rastegar is a junior at Palisades Charter High School. Ever since joining JSA in his sophomore year, he was inspired to become a greater part of the program that taught him so much. Politics and debate became one of Ramtin’s greatest passions, a passion he never knew he had before JSA. A year after joining JSA, Ramtin was elected as the treasurer of his school chapter, the first step in his goal of becoming a bigger part of JSA. He is ready to take the bigger role and responsibility of being a part of JSA Cabinet. Some other activities Ramtin enjoys includes music, being in the Pali’s Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Wind Ensemble. Ramtin is the saxophone section leader of the band. Science being one of his other passions, Ramtin is also on the school’s Science Bowl team.
Jackie Loh, Deputy Director of Debate
Jackie Loh is currently a junior at University High School in Irvine, California. After developing a passion for politics and debate in freshman year, she decided to attend JSA Spring State, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and the positive environment of JSA. Outside of the Junior State, Jackie enjoys drawing, swimming, and binge‐watching American Horror Story. Jackie hopes that through JSA she can not only improve her debate skills, but also make new friends and help others discover an interest in government and politics.
Katelin Zhou, Deputy Director of Debate
Katelin Zhou is a sophomore at Westlake High School. She has been involved with JSA her freshman year, where has served as her chapter’s Director of Debate, and currently serves as Vice President. She loves being part of JSA not just because it is extremely fun and enjoyable, but also because she feels like it is a special and unique place to share opinions with others and meet new friends. Outside of JSA, Katelin is involved with many other extracurricular activities like Lincoln‐Douglas debate, tutoring, Future Business Leaders of America, orchestra (where she plays cello), and multiple other service clubs. In her free time, she loves listening to music, having Harry Potter marathons with her friends, swimming, learning to play the ukulele, and obsessing and re‐watching her favorite TV shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Friends. Katelin is extremely excited to be serving as SoCal Deputy Director of Debate this year, and she cannot wait to meet all of you!
Ashley Chen, Deputy Director of Debate
Ashley Chen is a rising junior who currently attends Valencia High School. She thinks it’s pretty cool that her school was named after a type of orange, especially because she loves oranges. However, Ashley loves JSA even more than oranges, and she has been a JSAer since her freshman year. Because she can’t stand being deprived of JSA during summer, she has attended both the JSA Summer School at Stanford as well as the UC Davis Leadership Institute. Aside from obsessing over JSA, Ashley spends her free time playing the violin, freaking out over academic decathlon, putting up with her little brother Aiden and puppy named Phoebe, pondering the existence of humanity on Tumblr, and deciding which ice cream flavor to get next (it’s usually just plain chocolate), all while blasting Twenty One Pilots. Ashley is very excited to be serving as SoCal Deputy Director of Debate this upcoming school year for a second year, and she can’t wait to meet new JSAers and YOU!
Alexander Djokovich, Deputy Director of Debate
Alexander Djokovich is a junior at University High School in Irvine. The Fall State Conference of 2015 was his first JSA experience, peaking his interest within the first few hours. Following the event, in which he spoke at his first debate, Alex knew that he fit in well with the intelligent and politically empathetic style of his JSA peers.
Alex has attended 3 state conventions, winning a gavel at one such conference, and worked throughout the year to achieve a spot on his chapter’s board as Director of Debate. He discovered his appreciation and concern for the solving of pressing modern issues through JSA. This passion inspired him to successfully apply to become one of SoCal’s Deputy Directors of Debate this year.
Aside from his involvement in JSA on both a state and chapter level, Alex is an outgoing student athlete who enjoys spending his free time with his friends and family. He is a member of his school’s junior class council, a member of Varsity on its soccer program, and a member of its Spanish‐speaking Club.