MFS Mock Primary Election Through the Years
Many MFS alumni have entered or aspire to careers in politics, public service, journalism, media, and more. A large number credit their experiences at MFS, and in some cases, refer directly to the MPE/MPC as a catalyst for their career path. In the following feature, several alumni describe their careers and how their MFS experiences shaped their path.
Emily Jones ’08
- B.A. Brown University
- M.S. Columbia University
- Host and Reporter, Morning Edition on Georgia Public Broadcasting Savannah
Clear and Concise for Her Radio Audience
When Emily Jones was in fourth grade, she noticed a headline of a newspaper article about the 2000 Mock Primary Election at Moorestown Friends. It was the first time she had heard about MFS or MPE, and the story about the unique school tradition made quite the impression on Emily and her parents. She was enrolled in public school at the time, but Emily knew that she was going to participate in MPE. The next year, she found herself as a fifth grade student at MFS, and in 2008, Emily fulfilled her dream and was an MPE candidate representing Hillary Clinton.
“I really wanted to be Hillary,” said Emily. “I just liked her and was excited about the idea of our first woman President, although initially our campaign was trying not to focus too much on that aspect. We didn’t want to alienate voters, so we tried to focus more on policy and Hillary’s platforms, which also reflected her real-life strategy. Towards the end though, it was clear to us that we didn’t have much of a chance at MFS versus Obama since he was so popular with young people, so our strategy switched to full girl power. We had a couple of Middle School pals that were great supporters, and we made posters, pink T-shirts, and decorated pink and purple cookies to hand out during election day.”
Although Barack Obama did end up becoming the MPE Democratic nominee, Emily thoroughly enjoyed being involved with MPE and it remains one of her favorite memories and academic experiences at MFS.
“I’ll always remember the work of putting together the campaign and speeches,” said Emily. “My campaign manager, Anna Leh ’08, and I mostly spent our time hammering out positions, writing speeches, and memorizing Hillary’s stances on the issues. Going through the entire political process and figuring out what to do to try and win was just so much fun.”
MPE was such a whirlwind of activity and shaking hands that most of the election day is a blur for Emily. Wearing her Hillary pantsuit, she was kept busy all day and likened the experience to a theater performance and being an actor in a political play.
Today, Emily works in Savannah, GA as a host and reporter for Morning Edition on Georgia Public Broadcasting and, although she is not involved in politics, she believes MPE helped cultivate a skill set that would be invaluable for any career.
“In-depth research and speaking publicly about what I know in a partially scripted, partially off-the-cuff way, that’s what I do every day as a broadcaster and reporter,” said Emily. “MPE was an invaluable experience that helped me develop my skills of speaking clearly and concisely before I graduated from high school. At MFS, if you’re someone that actively wants to foster public speaking and research skills, there are a lot of avenues like Model UN or Student Government, but there is no comparison to the level of immersion or engagement that you get through Mock Primary.”
Before Emily landed at GPB Savannah, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, WHYY in Philadelphia, and WBRU and Rhode Island Public Radio in Providence. She studied history at Brown University and broadcast journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.