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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

The Front Lawn

Joy McGrath ’92

I hope everyone had a good break – we have so much to be thankful for. 

The coming three weeks are some of my favorites here at St. Andrew’s. It’s a crazy toboggan run to our departure and we have a lot to do between now and then—starting winter sports, attacking a short leg in the academic schedule, preparation for holiday artistic performances. It’s all about the joy. Let’s have fun with it!

I know Mr. Rehrig spoke to you at the last school meeting about our decision no longer to use Grammarly because the software is predatory and counterproductive. The built-in grammar and spell checks in your word processing software are more than adequate to the task. We also do not think the software serves our educational objectives at the school. Over the break, I was thinking about the best way to capture what those objectives are so I can explain to you the “why” behind this decision and, most likely, future decisions about generative AI. 

As adolescents, your brains are developing and solidifying. You are learning habits of mind, developing neural pathways, at the one time in your life when these pathways will take root and grow. Later in life, down the road, these pathways are formed. No longer plastic, they will not change easily. 

The purpose of a St. Andrew’s education is, during these literally brain-forming years, to prepare you for a life of meaning and purpose, one in which you are able to solve problems—big, seemingly impossible ones—communicate clearly, work in teams, work independently. To do this you will have to be incredibly gritty and resilient, curious, brave, humble, relentless, and moral. Your education here—in the arts, sports, classrooms—is designed literally to open your minds and develop these tendencies. As your teachers, we believe in the power of ideas. Specifically, your ideas. The world needs you to think big and dream big, and to be prepared to fail, possibly many times. 

Looking around, it seems to me, the world needs you to be heroes. 

Speaking of heroes, I was at a conference right before the break and saw this video I am going to show you. One of the people on the NASA Psyche Mission team, Dr. David Oh, went to boarding school. And he explained to us how his boarding school experience led to his role on the Psyche Mission team, building independence, curiosity, and teamwork. Let me show you: 

NASA’s Psyche Mission to an Asteroid: Official NASA Trailer

This video spoke to me as we were making this decision, because I am certain AI has been deployed for many if not most aspects of this project. For sure, AI will be used to analyze the loads of data the craft collects if and when it reaches Psyche. But is that what has made this project, which is one of the most ambitious scientific endeavors of this generation? 

Here is what struck me: It’s a group of people, teammates, who have done something previously thought to be impossible. And crucially it might yet be impossible. The mission could fail, much could go wrong. Yet, it is daring, heroic. These people had multiple, connected, enormous dreams and the creativity and curiosity and work ethic to make them real—to ask the right questions, to search out answers through experimentation, debate, modeling, testing. They have a certain restlessness and drive, but we also know they have consistency, courage, discipline, and patience. Only human intelligence can do all this, something completely new and original and breathtakingly bold and potentially devastating and disappointing. No matter what, at the end of this mission, I can promise the main discovery will be that there is more to learn. This attempt is wildly ambitious and yet it is still just practice. 

The world needs you also to think big and dream big. That means everything won’t come out exactly right as you practice and work your way through problems. Nothing worthwhile ever goes smoothly, but you always learn. As I’ve said to you before, if you are not practicing, which oftentimes means struggling, then you are not getting an education. You have to work through draft after draft, attack problems from one angle to another, share your results, learn to make progress both individually and how to ask for help and work in teams. 

Artificial intelligence can stand in the way of all this at this time in your education. I understand the power of AI. You will use it in life, and it will help you accomplish great things. But these four years of high school are a precious time in the development of your brains, and I would not be doing my job if we were permitting tools to blunt your words with the ordinariness of the hive mind. 

I have to write a lot for my job, and there are many moments when I am staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page in Word. I’ve been there! Look for inspiration or take a deep breath. In these moments, I always turn on Yo-Yo Ma’s recordings of Bach’s cello concertos. Know it will not be perfect. Like, for example, this speech. I’ll do better next time.

But when Grammarly says chirpily, “make your paper better!” It is not making your paper perfect, or usually even better! I installed it last year for a while, to see what exactly the program does, and its suggestions were uniformly awful. What I am saying is the point of your education is to learn to generate your own ideas, test them, and learn how to express them clearly and in your own voice. You must learn to do this—really learn it, not have it done for you—because your ideas and your voice are so important. And it’s necessary to learn to do this so that people take you seriously! And this is the time in your life when you can and will find your own special, distinct, beautiful voice.

It will not happen right away. Like the Psyche mission—think about working for years, putting this thing into space, and waiting six more years to get to the destination—like the Psyche mission, your education has a long horizon. Heroes do things today and tomorrow, that won’t land for 10 years, or maybe even longer. I actually say this each year to our new faculty—as the adults working with you, we are not on a day-to-day or week-to-week, or even year-to-year time scale. Your minds and your potential are worth so much more than that. Maybe this is what the faith means in “faith and learning.” The rewards of our work now will be reaped in the distant future. And if we’re lucky we’ll hear all about it at your 25th reunion.

While I was writing these notes, I thought of the poem Ithaka, by Cavafy. Referencing the heroic Odysseus’ journey home, the poem is a metaphor for our lives and for our educations, and it reflects the principles we have for your education. Let me read it:

Ithaka, C. P. Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

So as the poem says, “hope your road is a long one.” Be patient, be brave, enjoy yourselves, do not hold yourself to an impossible standard. Remember our heroes of the Psyche Mission or Odysseus himself: the journey here is not about an outcome or a quick answer. It is a journey for your lifetime, not for an assignment, or a term, or a year. And enjoy that journey, enjoy your own accomplishments and your own breakthroughs. The riches are not at the end of the journey—the wealth is found in wisdom and experience along the way. For me, it’s why I love being here with you—it is such a joy to witness your work and ideas, curiosity and teamwork, independence and courage, all come to life each day. To watch you becoming heroes, just like Odysseus, like the Psyche Mission team, like yourselves. 

We only have three weeks here, Saints. Let’s make them good ones! I know you will. 

Thank you, good night, godspeed.

Everett McNair ’73 delivers the chapel talk at the Founders Day Chapel Service on November 29, 2023

2023 Distinguished Alumnus Recipient Everett McNair ’73 gave this reflection at the Founders Day chapel service on Wednesday, November 29.

Nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility, consider others more important than yourself. Everyone should look out not only for their own good, but also for the interests of others.

But also for the interests of others. In 1929, Felix duPont, the founder of St. Andrew’s School, wrote:

The purpose of St. Andrew’s School is to provide secondary education of a definitely Christian character at a minimum cost consistent with modern equipment and highest standards.

Now almost 100 years later, I am honored and privileged to be here in the heart of the school to share a chapel talk. One of my greatest blessings—and I have a lot of blessings—is experiencing the sustained benevolence of the founders. I’m both proud and humbled to be a St. Andrew’s alumnus.

Before arriving at St. Andrew’s School, I had attended 12 different schools. St. Andrew’s was my lucky number 13. After visiting the campus and getting excited about the possibility of coming here, I prayed all through the applications process. When I received my acceptance letter, it was good news and bad news. The good news was that I had been accepted. The bad news was that admissions wanted me to repeat the ninth grade. Now you have to understand, I came here at 6'1", 202 pounds; all through my time at St. Andrew’s, all through my academy, all through the Marine Corps, and now, I’m 6'1", 202 pounds. So I told my mom and dad I wanted to come to St. Andrew’s, but not if I had to repeat the ninth grade. They supported me and I was allowed to matriculate with the Class of 1973 as a IV Former.

Near the end of my V Form year, I met with the head of school, Mr. Moss. It was part of the college applications process. And over the years, 50-plus years, I distinctively and vividly remember two things from that conversation with Mr. Moss. He asked me what did I want to do? What did I want to be? And I remember my answer. I told him I saw myself as being the guy who would help the boss be successful. Now, later I’ll come back to why it’s easy for me to remember that over 50 years later. But first I’m going to take you down a rabbit hole.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What is my purpose?” 

What is my purpose? During my junior and senior years at the Naval Academy, I reflected on this question a lot. But before I answer the question for myself, I first asked and objectively answered the easier question, “Who am I?” I am a product of many environments that I have experienced from childhood through my ongoing adulthood. These environments contributed to and shaped my values, my beliefs, my biases, and much more, all of which make me me.

Before I share with you what I considered my purpose to be, I’ll first provide insight into the me I know myself to be. That is, who I am. My father served in the United States Air Force for over 20 years, so to say that we moved a lot is the epitome of an understatement. In 1960, I lived in Japan where I attended kindergarten. I was the only Black kid in my kindergarten class—not because I remember this, but because the photos of the class pictures my mom kept. I’m the only one in the picture. Upon returning to the United States, I was bussed off the Abilene Texas Airbase to segregated elementary schools for first and second grade. I was actually color-blind until 1963, the year I entered the third grade. That was when my brothers and I were allowed to attend the on-base school that had previously been for whites only.

I recall the conversation at the dinner table the first night of my third grade day. My older brother asked me, “How many Black kids are there in your class?” And I said, “Everybody’s Black.” And at the time I didn’t understand why my parents and my older brothers were laughing. The next day in class, I was surprised to find that I was the only Black kid in the class. I was no longer color-blind.

We moved off-base when my dad was transferred overseas for a one-year unaccompanied tour. So my fourth grade year was at Central Elementary in Abilene, Texas. My brothers and I were the first and only Blacks—actually, not just Black students, we were the only Blacks in the whole school. For the most part, my fourth grade year was pretty positive, but that was the year I lost a lot of my childhood innocence and began to quickly grow up. Early that school year, I was summoned to the principal's office. Now as I’m walking from the classroom to the principal’s office, my little fourth grade mind was excited and I was feeling special because of all the kids in the classroom I was the only one that had been invited to go and see the principal.

That feeling was short-lived because when I walked into his office—and this is the vivid memory from a fourth grader—he was sitting behind this big desk and on the left front of the desk, this small white kid was standing. The principal looked at me and said, “Is that the one?” And right then and there, I knew I was in a lineup of one and whatever came out of this kid’s mouth was going to have a major impact on me. Fortunately, the kid said no. Phew—literally, phew. But that right there was eye-opening and years later, I remember it. That was the year that nine-year-old Everett became woke.

I started my fifth grade year at Central, but a few weeks into the school year, the school administration determined that our address disqualified us from staying at the school. So we left and re-enrolled at Locust Elementary School, a much more inviting and welcoming environment. When my dad finally returned from his overseas unaccompanied tour, we packed up and we moved to Marin County, Calif., where I experienced my third racially blatant incident. My fifth grade teacher was augmenting the reading assignment with a movie from Huckleberry Finn. I had already read the book and had no interest in seeing the movie. On the screen was a scene where Huck Finn and Jim, the freed slave, were floating down a river.

I was in the back of the classroom reading a book, Big Red—I was really into dogs, still am—and I was just reading through the light that was seeping in through the closed blinds. My teacher comes up behind me. Now you have to understand I’m the only Black, not only Black, I’m the only non-white kid in the class. California, mid-sixties. The teacher comes up behind me and in an irritated voice, she looks down at me and she says, “You should be watching this. It’s about you.” So quietly I look up at her, I point to the dog on the cover of the book and I say, “You should read this book. It’s about you.”

She made no other denigrating racial innuendos for the balance of the year. She knew she was wrong. She knew she was wrong, and I didn’t do it in a mean way. It was just that’s who I was, maybe who I was or who I was becoming to be.

I skipped over it, but my second memorable racist encounter occurred in Texas during my rising fifth grade year, rising summer of that fifth grade year. A white security guard held my brothers and I at gunpoint while he disparagingly let us know who and what we were.
One spring evening during my first year here at St. Andrew’s, I was summoned to Amos Hall. That’s where the faculty and staff meetings were held. Having no idea as to why I had been summoned, I was totally surprised when I was presented an award recognizing me as an outstanding IV Form overachiever. I graciously accepted the award, but I was also more than a little upset as I walked back to the dorm.

Throughout my IV Form year, I had participated in three varsity sports. I had maintained honors grades throughout the whole year, and I was in the band. I felt that I had been given the award only because I had surpassed the low expectations of the admissions process. From my perspective, admissions should have acknowledged and addressed the possibility of flaws in their placement process, instead of validating and upholding the process by giving me an overachiever award.

Years later, after leaving the Marine Corps, I adopted the practice of sharing my management philosophy with my prospective boss or bosses. I would also meet with everyone in the organization or the department for which I had operational responsibility and share my philosophy with them as well. And it’s a simple philosophy. Three tenets, three corollaries. The tenets: Honesty is the only policy; do unto others as you would have others do unto you; and, because it’s the business, meet the requirements at the lowest cost. The corollaries: Teammates do not blindside teammates; and teammates give teammates the benefit of the doubt.

When I would interview for a new opportunity, I shared these tenets and corollaries with my prospective boss, after which I would add that my job is to make my boss's job as easy as possible. My boss's job is to give me what I want. And then I would ask this question of all my bosses after I got out of the Marine Corps—Marine Corps is a little different. You don’t talk like this in the Marine Corps. But I would ask him this question. I'd say, “If I’m making your job as easy as possible, I’m adhering to my tenets and my corollary, is there any reason you can think of why you would not give me what I want?” And no one ever said yes.

By the way, in case you hadn’t picked up on it, when I was sitting with Mr. Moss as a V Former, I had told him my job is to make my boss’s job, to make him be successful. So it’s easy for me to remember that 50 years later because I incorporated it into my management philosophy. Who knew as a V Former 50 years later, ... yeah.

What I’ve shared with you represents a small few of the defining moments that I have encountered along my life’s journey. I’m a product of the many environments that I’ve experienced from early childhood through ongoing adulthood. These experiences contribute and shape my values, beliefs, biases, and much more. For me, my St. Andrew’s experiences, they’re an inextricable part of me, an important part that supports me in being consistently me. I have long been very comfortable with who I am, well before arriving here in 1970.

But it was not until December of my senior year at the Naval Academy that I was able to comfortably answer the question, “What is my purpose?” That’s when I to join the Marine Corps. By law, not more than one-sixth of each graduating class can opt to go Marine Corps. It’s the Naval Academy, not the Marine Corps Academy. I had labored over the decision for months, and not because the Navy had some positive that way going into the Marine Corps. In fact, the thought of being in the Navy and spending all that time at sea was a major downside. The reason for my hesitancy to commit to the Marine Corps was because in 1977, the Marine Corps as an institution was not managing diversity within its ranks with a level of commitment and results comparable to the other military services. Matter of fact, it was deplorable.

But ultimately my decision to go Marine Corps was based on the simple fact that in 1977 there were a lot of Black Marines, but very few Black officers. I decided my presence was more needed and would be of greater value in the Marine Corps. So—as I bring you out of the rabbit hole—consistent with who I am, I comfortably share with you my purpose. My purpose is to live a life that helps those who are far from God be raised to life in Christ. To live a life to help those who are far from God be raised to life in Christ.

Now in Philippians 2:1-5, but really verses two through four, Paul tees it up.

Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility, consider others more important than yourself. Everyone should look out not only for their own interest, but also for the interest of others.

And then he goes,

Make your own attitude like that of Christ Jesus.

Wow. Talk about setting a high bar. In fulfilling my purpose, I know that I’m limited only by my commitment, my level of commitment, my initiative, and my imagination. Here are some constants that are consistent with my purpose. My daily lifestyle and business practices are aligned with my purpose. For example, I shared with you my management philosophy, community serving and community giving.

Decades ago—pretty much, I was here decades ago—I learned how to not complain and how to not worry. I know I’m blessed, and I appreciate my blessings. The people in my inner circle are like-minded. I know there are thousands of people who would switch places with me in a heartbeat, no questions asked. No questions asked. So why would I complain? My focus is consistently on balance—mental balance, physical balance, and spiritual balance. Chesa has arranged for me to work out tomorrow at six o'clock. I normally get up between 3:30 and 4:00 to work out. So I get to sleep in tomorrow.

When I encounter something that’s not right the only option that is not an option is to do nothing. Tacitly ignoring a wrong is loudly championing that wrong. Now, there’s 1,000,001 things I could do, but doing nothing is not an option. In my world, every day is a holiday and every meal is a feast. It’s a state of mind. If you ever receive an email, a text message, or a letter from me, you’ll see my tagline: Always positive and balanced. These constants assist me in fulfilling my purpose to live a life that helps those who are far from God be raised to life in Christ.

I leave you with this. We who are St. Andrew’s School—that is the students, the faculty, the staff, the parents, the administrators, the alumni, the friends, and all the families of the aforementioned—we who are St. Andrew’s School are blessed and privileged to include the St. Andrew’s experience in our ongoing life’s journey. But with privilege comes responsibility. That’s not me; that’s President Kennedy. With privilege comes responsibility. So as you reflect on your purpose, give equal consideration as to how you will responsibly help maintain and sustain this living legacy that is our St. Andrew’s. May each and every day of your life be blessed with peace, love, and happiness. Thank you.

UNITED panel

This year’s UNITED paid tribute to the first and early girls of color at St. Andrew’s

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of coeducation, St. Andrew’s will embark on two years of events that seek to amplify the voices of the first and early women who in 1973, forever changed the culture of our school. We seek their truth and their stories; we wish to celebrate their journeys and hold space for their struggles. After our first coeducation panel event, this year’s UNITED Conference—an event designed to honor families, students, and alumni of color and deepen bonds between communities—honored those early women.

On November 10th, UNITED: “We Speak Your Names” brought to campus five of the earliest women of color to attend St. Andrew’s—Joan Woods ’76, Tami Maull ’77, Treava Milton ’83, Viviana Davila ’85, and Anita Pamintuan Fusco ’86. Co-Dean of Residential Life (and friend to many on stage) Stacey Duprey ’85 P’04,’10 moderated the panel.

“The stories of the first and early girls at SAS are important for our community to hear and reflect upon, regardless of race or ethnicity,” says Dean of Inclusion and Belonging Dr. Danica Tisdale-Fisher, who, in partnership with others, orchestrated the event. “What is important about hearing the stories of women of color who were among those first cohorts is that we are acknowledging how intersecting identities impacted their experiences here. It was wonderful to learn more about how diverse their individual experiences were, which made the conversation even more dynamic.”

UNITED kicked off with a Friday chapel with Milton, who delivered a talk on the importance of building authentic human connections. Drawing on the story of Noah and his ark, Milton suggested the community draw on its “inner Noah,” as she did as a faculty member at SAS from 2007 to 2016, in which she embarked on a journey to “build and create rooms where students could breathe, where they could be confused or unsure or angry or vulnerable or exhausted by being a brown kid in a beautiful yet overwhelmingly white space.”

Treava Milton ’83 at Friday chapel

Treava Milton ’83 

“People are desperate for authentic connection,” Milton said. “So I'm going to ask you all to have a conversation with someone who might be on the arc with you, find out about how that person might live, or what they may need to survive or thrive. … Understand that during your attempts to build, there will almost always be the possibility that giraffes will argue with elephants. Or the rhino will use water from the shark tank to hydrate himself, or the eagle won't be concerned about dropping waste on the tigers. But don't let that stop you from building. Build with passion, build with intentionality.”

Later in the evening, an intimate dinner in the Warner Gallery allowed current parents, alumni, and faculty to come together in conversation and community. St. Andrew’s students were also on hand to share their cultural gifts. Riya Goyal ’27 performed a traditional Indian dance with poise and grace, resplendent in a shimmering, crystalline sari. After, the Saints Steppers—a relatively new addition to St. Andrew’s that has wasted no time becoming a school powerhouse—commanded center stage with their bold, fiery choreography and affirming passion. Both performances brought attendees to their feet, and inspired thoughtful discussion about the power that comes with being a young person who can intimately share of themself in their community.

Riya Goyal ’27 performing at the UNITED dinner

Riya Goyal ’27

The whole school then gathered in Engelhard Hall for the panel. The five women discussed their paths to St. Andrew’s, which included being inspired by the school after visiting as an athlete on an opposing team, being recruited as an athlete, or being identified by A Better Chance, an organization that seeks to put high-performing students of color into national leadership pipelines via the conduit of top independent and public schools.

The conversation allowed for the women to reflect on some hard truths, like navigating their cultural identities at a time when they couldn’t find many in their school community who looked like them, while also balancing the fact that they were in the minority as women, too.

“I don’t know that I felt like an early girl as much as I felt the racialization of my identity,” Milton said. “I felt like I was drowning all the time. In my situation, it was a lesson in not what to do: I just kept it in because I didn't know where to go. Looking back, a lot of that was shame. That’s why it’s vital for us to know that as people of color, you have earned the right to be here.”

Woods was astonished by the student body. “I’m sitting here in this auditorium and cannot believe the diversity I see,” she said. “This was not the school I went to. Tammy and I were here, and another Black woman, Diane, and we had to find places of refuge, which was usually Tammy’s home in Lewes [Delaware]. We found a place to come together where we could be ourselves.”

Tami Maull ’77 at the UNITED panel

Joan Woods ’76 (left) and Tami Maull ’77 (right)

Duprey spoke to the importance of finding your person. For Duprey, that was Milton. “Once I found my person, there was nothing I couldn’t do,” she said. “And I know there are some freshmen here who are saying, ‘I haven’t found my person yet.’ They’re coming. I promise. And they don’t have to look like you to be your person.”

The panelist offered sage advice to students. Davila urged them to accept that the pace of becoming for all humans is not the same, and that to give grace is a gift. Woods urged Saints to have the courage to ask curious questions. “There were members of my class that had enough courage to ask me questions, even though they sometimes went about it obnoxiously,” she said, laughing. “I do believe that’s part of the reason why so many years later, these relationships persist. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Viviana Davila ’85 at UNITED panel

Viviana Davila ’85

Milton advised that we “dig deep into our communities of care and let them carry us,” and to not waste the opportunity to truly engage in the diverse St. Andrew’s community. “Learn how to live and interact with the people right at your doorstep,” she said. “It is a rich and powerful experience.”

To close, Duprey called upon celebrated civil rights leader Diane Nash, who visited St. Andrew’s years ago. “Diane stood on this very stage and said, ‘I'd like you to know that although we had not yet met you, we loved you, and we were trying to bring about the best society we could for you,’” Duprey said. “So I say to all of my first and early girls that you've done that for us without even knowing that's what you were doing. You are the shoulders that we stand on, and we treasure you and we're so grateful for you.”

Before the attendees gathered in Warner Gallery post-event to meet the panelists, a group of current students took to the stage to offer a moving rendition of “We Speak Your Name,” the poem by Pearl Cleage that inspired the theme of the event. After each refrain, each panelist’s name was spoken aloud, as well as other alumnae of color:

Because we are magical women,
born of magical women,
who are born of magical women,
we celebrate your magic.

Tami. Joan. Stacy. Anita. Viviana. Treava.

We are here because we are your daughters
as surely as if you had conceived us, nurtured us,
carried us in your wombs, and then sent us out
into the world to make our mark
and see what we see, and be what we be, but better,
truer, deeper
because of the shining example of your own
incandescent lives.

We speak your name.

Students reading poem on stage at UNITED panel

(l. to r.) Celina Bao ’24, Angela Osaigbovo’24, Sophie Mo ’24, Akeelah Romeo ’24

Diwali celebration on the shores of Noxontown Pond on Wednesday, November 8

Last weekend, we set our clocks back, entering a season when nature’s light is golden but fleeting, afternoons are dark, evenings darker still. Darkness overtakes the light, but we know that by the winter solstice, light will gain a foothold and once again triumph over the winter gloom.

Now, in a week’s time, most of your children will be coming home to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. This season of gathering darkness is also a season of gratitude here in the United States. Day to day, we all have many occasions to thank another person for something they did to help us. At St. Andrew’s, we begin our weekly School Meeting with “appreciations”: students raise their hands eagerly to thank a teacher for a special gesture of kindness, another student for making an extra effort at a community event, a staff member for decorating the dorm, or a senior for helping them through a tough time. These one-to-one expressions of gratitude are important. They are the stuff of community living and a way to say to someone: I see you, I love you, you matter.

There are other occasions when we express gratitude for greater forces at work in our lives. We recognize the blessings of light, love, opportunity, and community that emerge from a greater design. People of every faith and people of no faith at all have explanations for this connection we feel to a larger purpose, a pull to that which is good, even when the path comes with sacrifice and effort.

At chapel on Wednesday night, the South Asian Affinity Group led our annual Diwali chapel. Diwali, Ahilya Ellis ’26 shared in her remarks, is a holiday to acknowledge, “the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.” Following the brief gathering in the chapel, hundreds of residents of the campus ventured from the chapel to the grass docks along a path illuminated by candles, kneeling and releasing innumerable paper lanterns onto the pond. Viewed by a stranger, this act of devotion might have seemed an exercise in futility—after all, what could be the purpose of floating a hundred candles on the smooth and quiet pond in utter darkness? 
And yet, the moment was freighted with purpose. The acknowledgement that we seek and move toward what is light and good—what is larger than ourselves—and send it into the world—is an affirmation of our humanity in times that are often, metaphorically, dark. That light and good are the opposite of ignorance in Diwali seems a sentiment especially appropriate for a school. ​We believe in and move toward what is true.

Our lives at school are thick with gratitude​. I would define gratitude in this case as a sense that alone we can do nothing, but together and with a purpose greater than ourselves, we can do anything. That the circumstances and humans around us might unconditionally lift us up—it is a staggering, humbling, and awe-inspiring state of affairs. And so, each day, we gather for a family meal and a blessing. An expression of gratitude and a communal statement of hope and wonder. This year, I have loved that students have begun a new tradition of offering grace for our evening family meals, usually on Wednesdays before chapel. For the school’s entire history, these words of thanks have been offered by the head of school or the chaplain, but our students have felt the pull of gratitude—the pull of what is light, good, and true—and have begun to share their own blessings each week. I am collecting these for all of us to have at the end of the year, but here I will share the one offered by Ronit Goyal, a member of the III Form, on Wednesday:

Dear God, we thank you for this day,
for the food on the table,
for the shelter over our heads.
We thank you for the opportunities that you give us to be ourselves.
We pray today for those in crisis around the world,
for those who need help at St. Andrew’s,
and for our alumni.
We pray for everyone who needs it, O God.
Happy Diwali everyone!

May the light of Diwali, the light of Thanksgiving, the light of children, and the light of truth and knowledge that triumphs over the night, be with each of you in this season of darkness and hope.
In gratitude,

Joy McGrath
Daniel T. Roach, Jr. Head of School

Diwali celebration on the shores of Noxontown Pond on Wednesday, November 8
Treava Milton ’83 in the Memorial Chapel for UNITED Chapel Service

Alumna Treava Milton ’83 gave this reflection at the UNITED chapel service on Friday, November 10.

I would like to thank Dr. Tisdale-Fisher, Ms. Duprey, UNITED, all my colleagues, laborers in the vineyard, my co-laborers in education, Emily, everybody. It's really good to be home. Thank you for taking the time to recognize and uplift my experiences here at St. Andrew’s and those of my fellow St. Andreans. I’m humbled and grateful for the audience because hopefully for the most part you chose to be here. This talk is dedicated to my nephew. He’s four years old and he loves animals, and he has taught me about 15 different types of dinosaur. I took a text from the book of Genesis that’s fun for me to explore, and I hope you’ll take a closer look when you have an opportunity on your own. So my goal is to read the text, paraphrase it, and then share a few points that were salient for me. In the interest of brevity, I’m asking that you allow me to bypass some supporting points that I would normally make and just suspend disbelief for a moment. Let your mind believe that anything is possible. I’m in the book of Genesis 6:5-14a.

5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6And it repented the Lord that he made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

7And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

9Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.


11The Earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.


13And God said unto Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

14Make thee an ark of gopher wood ....

Mankind was described as corrupt, evil, and violent, and God’s heart was broken about that. And so God established a response using natural elements. That response was a flood designed to destroy all living creatures of land, sea, and air, except for Noah and his family. And Noah was given a job building a structure designed for salvation of his family and, by extension, mankind. I want us to notice if we read the text on our own, that God facilitates the issue and the answer simultaneously. When we look more deeply at the text, we will see that in the original language, evil was not restricted to shocking, heinous behavior. Their understanding of evil included subtle behavior that was mean-spirited or designed to cause a rupture between people. So evil could actually be designing a system that would pilfer pennies at a time from millions of people over time, or it could be walking in the dining hall and seeing something that you don’t understand and saying that it’s funny or laughing at someone or making disparaging comments.

The original language is meant to convey that corruption and violence were coursing through the earth in the way that blood rushes through our veins. Jonathan Cahn, in The Josiah Manifesto, lists several institutions that seem to be infected by this kind of corruption. He talks about the media, entertainment, the public square, corporations, schools, and governments. I want you to also know that Noah’s name means comfort, consolation, and rest. And he was chosen because he lived antithetically to destructive, corrosive behavior. He was a countercultural individual, described as righteous, meaning he lived in a way that cultivated authenticity, vitality, and strength. Whatever character traits Noah possessed, God’s plan was to preserve and multiply them. And Noah answered the call to become a willing participant in God’s plan for the preservation of mankind. But yet Noah’s commitment to building posed its own set of challenges. In an enclosed space under stressful times, Noah was tasked with housing herbivores and carnivores, wolves and lambs, clean animals and unclean animals.

He had to shelter leaf-destroying insects in the same space with giraffes who needed leaves to survive. He had to house lions and crocodiles who feast on elephants. He had to house squid and clownfish and zooplankton and crows, hyenas, vultures, and Tasmanian devils. And we don’t know if Noah had allergies, if he despised the smells, if he was afraid of lions or grossed out by caterpillars. But we know that he accepted the challenge. We know that he accepted the responsibility to build, and he built a structure he had never seen for an event that he had never experienced. So Noah did not have all the answers, but he must have had passion. He had the intestinal fortitude, the strength of conviction, it took to build a vehicle of salvation, moment by moment. I want to suggest that Noah accepted the responsibility and the challenge of building and became a willing participant with God and the universe because he understood that the survival of mankind was at stake.

UNITED is designed to deepen connections between alumni, parents of color, students, and identify mentors to learn strategies to navigate academic, professional, and personal challenges. UNITED is designed to build.

As I consider these objectives, my goal is not to give you three points or three ways to become successful—whatever that may be—but it’s to really draw your attention to some of the ways in which relationships can be built and managed and maintained. As I consider the objectives, I want to lean on my work with iChange Collaborative, with coaching organizational founders, small business owners, and high tech leaders, as well as research coming from Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan, McKinsey Global Consulting. I want to tell you that there’s a common thread.

People are desperate for authentic connection—connection to themselves and to other people—and it seems to be that tethering has replaced assembling together in the spirit of authentic connection. One of the tragedies is that with all of the pressure around innovation, neuroscience suggests that our brain is most likely to innovate when it knows that it is safe, loved, and that it belongs. I want to lean on the work of Glennon Doyle, who is a podcaster and author of Untamed, to tell you that we can be better at authentic relationship when we understand that even acute disconnections are inevitable in our relationships.

When ruptures are acknowledged, and when there are apologies, moments of injury offer the most profound opportunities for growth and deeper connection. Again, the issue and the resolution in the same gift box. Problems occur when injuries to connection are rarely acknowledged, and they are rarely acknowledged in relationships where there are power differentials. The work of storyteller and researcher Dr. Brené Brown reminds us to rethink the ways in which we experience and think about awkward moments and vulnerability. When we strengthen our internal locus of control, we can fortify ourselves against behavior that is designed to shame us. These are the things that we need to keep in mind when we think about how relationships are built, developed, and maintained. I entered St. Andrew’s six years after the first class of girls in 1979, as the only black female student in my graduating class. I was from an underserved community called the Bronx—the place that on one hand brought hip hop culture to the world, and on the other hand, bore the scintillating, undignified marks of scarcity. I was from a place where weakness, vulnerability, and asking for help was a death sentence.

As a result, I was the product of a fragile family system. Fragile partially because both my parents were born and raised in the segregated South and bore the battle scars that come with survival and a racialized society. I was from a place where it was very uncool to be intelligent or smart, and it was often unsafe to go outside and play. And then I found myself in Noah’s Ark. And while I was a lamb and there were wolves, there were spaces that were deliberately and intentionally created for me where I could find reprieve. And I’ll talk more about that tonight.

I found a lifelong friend in the ark, and we have lived, loved, laughed, grieved, and celebrated together. The entire SAS community held us up while we buried our family members in the same week. Twenty-four years after I graduated from St. Andrew’s, I returned to SAS as a faculty member. That career move became my opportunity to connect to my inner Noah—to build, to create rooms where students could breathe, where they could be confused or unsure or angry or vulnerable or exhausted by being a brown kid in a beautiful yet overwhelmingly white space, or where they could be a neurodiverse kid in a space that overwhelmed their senses.

Jordan Bonner, class of 2016, recently said to me, “I didn’t know what I needed, but you knew that I needed a place where I could just sit down, eat spaghetti, and breathe.”

I’m going to ask my students to come on up with your baskets and just pass [the items] out. So as they pass out your identities on the ark, I’m going to ask you all to have a conversation with someone who might be on the ark with you. Find out about how that person might live, or what they may need to survive or thrive. Talk about the ways in which Noah had to go about facilitating peace.

And I’m going to leave you with this charge. Understand that during your attempts to build yourself, your family, your career at St. Andrew’s, there will almost always be the possibility that giraffes will argue with elephants over leaves. Or the rhino will use water from the shark tank to hydrate himself, or the eagle won’t be concerned about dropping waste on the tigers. But don’t let that stop you from building.

Build with passion. Build with intentionality. Build people every opportunity that you get. Build them so they know that they belong, and they stop contorting themselves to fit in every action. Every word, every glance, every moment is connected to an outcome that we cannot see. You can choose to be a willing vessel of strength for someone every single day. And when you do this, may you find grace in the sight of God, for the survival of mankind is at stake.

Thank you.

Talan ’24

How Talan ’24 transformed an injury into an opportunity to lead 

Talan Esposito ’24 vividly remembers the tumble he took last basketball season that he thought might end his athletic career at St. Andrew’s.

“I think it was our second- or third-to-last basketball game. I went up for a routine shot, came down, landed weird, tore my ACL and both [menisci],” says Esposito. “I was devastated at first.”

What followed was a surgery at the end of March, and a summer of recovery for the VI Former from Odessa, Delaware. 

He didn’t think he’d get the opportunity to get back on the field for his final season of varsity soccer once the school year rolled around, but Esposito refused to let his injury take him away from his love of the sport and his team. Instead, Esposito took on a new role: he showed up at practice and games, doing what he could to support the team from the sidelines.

“Talan handled all of this in stride and never complained about his situation,” says Matt Carroll, head coach of boys varsity soccer. “He could have taken the easy route and focused solely on his own recovery, but he never missed a practice and always made sure to support his teammates along the way. As a two-year captain, Talan has earned the admiration and respect of his teammates, yet never rested on his laurels—he challenged [his teammates], pushed them to be better versions of themselves, and continuously supported them throughout a difficult season.”

A captain since his junior year who has previously been named to the All-DISC 1st Team, Esposito stepped up to the challenge and took on more of a coaching role within the team. “Being vocal” and “getting the guys together, getting their energy up, getting them on the same page” were his guiding principles as he navigated trying to advise the players as a teammate and peer. 

In the second game of the season, Esposito was put to the test—Carroll was not at the game, so Esposito seized the moment to help lead.

“That was probably the most vocal I’d ever been, yelling out to guys, giving them advice,” says Esposito. “And I like to think that they appreciate it. I like to think that they take it all in. I think they do.”

He was a natural fit for such a leadership role as soccer has always been at the center of his life. His father played soccer at the collegiate level, instilling in him a passion for the sport, and he played on travel and school teams growing up. 

“He likes to push me and I really do appreciate that,” Esposito says of his father’s mentorship. “I feel like that’s definitely helped me grow as an athlete, as a person, as a young man.”

With his identity so tied to soccer, he took the injury hard, even though he was able to find a new way to fit into the team. That’s why he didn’t wait a moment, or miss an opportunity, to begin the recovery process. He largely credits his recovery from the injury to Assistant Athletic Director Al Wood. 

“The beginning of the season, I didn’t think I would be able to play soccer at all,” says Esposito. “But our athletic trainer, Al, did a really great job, and I really appreciate him for helping me get back to shape. I went in there every day, he gave me the workout plan, gave me advice, helped me do drills when I got back out [onto] the field.”

But Wood says that Esposito’s recovery wouldn’t have been possible without his strength of character.

“Talan approached his rehab the same way he approaches everything at St. Andrew’s: [with] a focused determination, toughness, and a will to win,” says Wood. “Returning from an ACL [injury] is a day-to-day grind that can leave even the best athlete frustrated and feeling sorry for themselves. Talan never wavered in his work ethic or attitude and the result is that he was able to return to playing sports months before any of us expected him back.”

Esposito spent any spare moment in the semester following a plan to build back quad muscle and stability—with squats, leg extensions, and deadlifts on repeat. Finally, on Oct. 17, he returned to the field in a game against Sanford. 

Adrenaline on high, Esposito and the team celebrated a 3-0 win. This moment stacks up to other highlights in his playing career, which include matching up against Caravel in the 2021 DIAA boys soccer D2 championship and his favorite small moments, like getting advice from Carroll about life on and off the field and staying up at night talking to his two roommates/teammates about soccer. 

“I hope to have kids in the future and I hope to coach them … so, getting that experience [to help coach] was definitely cool,” he says. “But obviously I would rather be on the field playing with my teammates more than anything. And getting back on the field, that was the best moment for me all season.”

With his final St. Andrew’s soccer season behind him, Esposito is looking forward to his next challenge: not just returning to the basketball court, but doing so and learning from last season’s injury. 

“Looking forward, I will be a bit more cautious because basketball, that’s where I got hurt, and hardwood is a lot different than grass,” he says. “I think I’m going to ease my way back into basketball.”

Greta Vebeliunas ’25

Greta Vebeliunas ’25 on her transition to Saints field hockey and finding the freedom to experiment on the pitch

Now part of a field hockey team with a more flexible approach to the game than she has encountered before, Greta Vebeliunas ’25 is using her newfound freedom to find out how she wants to play. She’s learning fluidity on the pitch—finding openings, moving and passing the ball up the field, and using strong stick skills to defend when necessary. 

A V Form transfer to St. Andrew’s, Vebeliunas came out of the gates as an “immediate impact player,” according to varsity Head Coach Kate Cusick. She quickly emerged as a leader and role model for the team, adds Maggie Harris, assistant field hockey coach. 

“Her energy, poise on and off the field, and her work ethic are consistent at both practice and games, and her teammates look to her for her quiet leadership on the field,” says Harris. “While she may be one of the top goal-scorers on the team, Greta is such a humble and selfless player and her presence has helped the team become more dynamic and more cohesive.”

We sat down with the student-athlete to understand her experiences this season with Saints field hockey, and what inspires her to keep up the daily grind. 

Greta Vebeliunas ’25

Were you nervous to join a new field hockey team?

“It was definitely a switch [coming here]. I noticed [how different it was to play with the team] in our first scrimmage … I was kind of nervous. I didn’t know if there was a structure, if they already knew how to play with each other and I didn’t. But everyone was very welcoming and open, and by our second scrimmage, I already felt like I fit in and that I was able to play with them. It just felt natural.”

How is Saints field hockey different from the teams you’ve played with before? 

“On this team, I feel like I'm given the opportunity to just go on the field and do my best, try new things. I’m able to shine more just because of the team itself and how everyone’s really uplifting.”

What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered this season? 

“I find that after a long day, a challenging day, mentally, it can be hard to play when you’re thinking about your assignments or your other commitments. And sometimes mentally it can be hard to push those things aside and focus on field hockey. But I find that when I just push everything aside and have fun, that’s the most rewarding experience.”

What have been the most rewarding moments for you? 

“It may be cliché, but anytime we score a goal in a game. Everyone jumps up, hugs each other, everyone is cheering for us. And I feel like [these are the best moments] because sometimes practice can be difficult and it can be like, ‘Why am I doing all of this? My body hurts, my brain hurts.’ But then moments like that, when we’re celebrating each other and hugging, it’s just so heartwarming.”

How has working with the coaching staff been? 

“They’ve been very supportive. They’re always there to hear my concerns or my insights. It’s obvious that they’re there because they want to be.”

How have you branched out in other ways since coming to St. Andrew’s? 

“Here I’ve noticed everyone does whatever they want to. You can be an athlete and a performer without anyone thinking twice about it. I really like that. Right now, I’m in [the Andrean Ensemble] and I’m really enjoying it. And I like how I’m able to do field hockey and sing without having to have a label.”

What’s your ‘why’ behind athletics? 

“I’ve always loved to try new things. I started field hockey in seventh grade, which was a new thing [for me]. And I loved it. I feel like trying new things is often a way to find what you’re passionate about. This year, I’m trying track for the first time in the winter.”

Anything else you’d like to share? 

“This field hockey team is probably my favorite that I’ve played on. Every day when I go to practice, it just feels like a treat. Everyone’s so welcoming and it’s just a really fun time.” 

Greta Vebeliunas ’25


Vivian Snow

Vivian Snow ’27 on finding home and stability at boarding school 

“The people make the place.”

That sentiment strikes a particular chord with Vivian Snow ’27. A self-described “Army brat” who has lived in nine different states over the course of her life, she has always considered her family as her home, rather than any house and picket fence.

When she visited St. Andrew’s for the first time, she got the sense that the people were what made the school special, too.

“Everyone smiled and said hello to each other,” says Snow. “It felt like everyone wanted to be here, and everyone chose to be here.”

Boarding school wasn’t on the radar for Snow until two years ago, when her brother received funding to attend boarding school in Colorado from Orion Military Scholarships, an organization which provides merit scholarships and financial aid to the children of military families. Snow’s eyes opened: she saw an opportunity to find stability in education and to, for once, take a deep breath and stay a while. 

Snow applied to 10 schools, and eventually narrowed her choices down to St. Andrew’s and another boarding school. The close-knit culture of St. Andrew’s and the connections she formed on Visit Back Day were the deciding factors for her. 

Vivian Snow getting her school photos taken

Her impression of the school has lived up to her experience so far. 

“It’s not even like you [just] get really close with your group of friends, you get close to everyone,” says Snow. “No matter who’s outside after dinner, or who you’re sitting with, you’re friendly with them.”

From the Front Lawn to the field hockey pitch, Snow has stepped out of her comfort zone to forge new friendships and make St. Andrew’s home. This is her first year playing field hockey, because her frequent seasonal moves growing up made it difficult for her to join a fall sports team. 

“It was daunting at first, but within the first 20 minutes of the first practice, everyone was just excited that you’re trying,” says Snow. 

Though Snow is used to hopping around from state to state, she does miss the integral people in her life that followed her no matter where she went: her family. However, she says her whole life has felt like “training” for boarding school, in terms of learning to keep up with long-distance friendships and travel on her own. 

“When someone is in their best place, [that’s] when you are closest to them,” Snow says of how being at her happiest has strengthened her relationships with her parents and siblings, despite living far from home. Her siblings are already buzzing to attend St. Andrew’s when the time comes. 

Vivian Snow at Frosty Run

Though she acknowledges the challenges that come with having parents in the military, she says she would not trade her childhood for anything. “It’s a part of me that has made me who I am and it has prepared me for my future,” she says. 

Snow spends her free time writing for Bloom, an online resource where military teens can connect with and empower each other. She heard about the group through Orion Military Scholarships, and jumped at the opportunity to use her interest in writing to share her story about attending boarding school as a military teen. 

“I found a home after so many years of houses,” writes Snow in her latest blog post about her first week at St. Andrew’s. 

Beyond classes, athletics, extracurriculars, and the blog, Snow is also trying to focus on being present in her friendships, because she knows that for the first time, she’ll have the opportunity to connect with classmates for longer than a couple of years. 

“I feel like I have … a time bomb in my brain, where I want to get all my memories in, all my pictures in, because I know I don’t have forever with these people,” she says. “I kind of have to slow myself down, [because now] I have a long time with these people. It’s the most amazing feeling.”

Vivian Snow at football game
Head of School Joy McGrath ’92 Delivers Fall Family Weekend Remarks

Click here to view Joy’s remarks on Youtube.

Good morning, everyone! Welcome back to St. Andrew’s! Welcome to Family Weekend. My husband Ty Jones, and the entire faculty, join me in welcoming you back here. And I would like to thank those faculty, who are just doing an incredible job with your children, for their tremendous efforts this weekend. Thanks, too, to our parent trustees, for all you do as volunteers for St. Andrew’s, and our Saints Fund parent co-chairs, the Dillards and the Halls. We truly couldn’t do it without your support. I know you are tremendously excited to see your children and so I thank you for coming to hear me for a few of your precious minutes on the campus.

I hope this weekend, you will discover that your child’s education is turning out to be a defining experience in their lives. My St. Andrew’s education was the most precious and valuable time in my life—and I am lucky enough that it continues to be, thanks to my teachers, my friends, my colleagues, and your children. I hope you are finding that your child is making the most of this opportunity for a great secondary education, one that is opening their minds, making their worlds larger. That growth, I hope they recognize, is to fulfill their promise and potential as free people.

Emily Pressman recently reminded me of a touchstone essay on liberal education that William Cronon wrote in the late 1990s, in which he defined this as the purpose of education: “to nurture the growth of human talent in the service of human freedom.” I am mindful of this definition, which hearkens back to the roots of the word “liberal” in “liberal education”—not a political reference, but derived from the Latin, Greek, Old English, and Sanskrit roots for “freedom” and “growth.”

St. Andrew’s students are brilliant and gifted—we have no doubt of that. But we—all of the adults in this room—dream of something more for our children: when they leave here can they stand on their own two feet? Are they decent, unselfish, independent people who can do hard things—who WANT to do hard things? Will they look around them, pay attention, and figure out how to help. In short: what will they do with their freedom? How will they continue to grow and stretch as individuals and in turn grow and stretch our world? We—all of us who are looking after these children, together—hope our students leave here seriously engaged with the questions: What is my life for? Who am I responsible for? What are my moral obligations? What will I do, give, sacrifice—to lead a meaningful life?

This education is as necessary as it is bold. It is an enormous commitment. But the mechanism for this growth is simple. We practice.

You know the old joke: a woman runs out of Penn Station in New York with her cello case and rushes up to a hot dog stand, late for an audition. She asks the hot dog guy, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?!” His answer:

Practice, practice, practice—we are practicing practical moral habits—to learn to use our freedom—how to be strong people of good courage—people who have a moral compass, people who are other-centered, who can listen and learn.

It is a truism employed by educators everywhere that our students will change the world. Of course, they will. What matters is that they change it for the better.


You have wonderful children. We love them so much. In the last week, they have gone, as a school, to two night games. One was football last Friday, and another was field hockey on Tuesday. I know you will be as proud as I was that at BOTH games, the adults working the snack bars at these two different schools crossed the field after the game to share with our faculty that our kids were “the most amazing students they have ever seen.” At one game, a few of these boosters from our opponents’ schools actually sat with us because it was more fun.

Folks, I am sorry to tell you, all they did was say please and thank you, clean up after themselves, pay attention, and let home fans cut the line when our groups were large, and generally, they were polite. How did the polite behavior of children become so odd that adults walk across stadiums to applaud it?

I recently re-read the keynote address given at the school’s 50th anniversary in 1980 by an alumnus from St. Andrew’s first graduating class, 1935, Holly Whyte. I was struck by how durable our school’s DNA is, and how fortunate we are in that. Holly was one of the original boys to enter the school in 1930, and by 1980 he was a trustee, noted author, and public intellectual. He begins the speech, “St. Andrew’s is a school that is somewhat out of step.” He then lays out the ways in which the school was out of step in that anniversary moment of 1980, all of which remain true to this day: we are small, with strong connections between students and faculty; we are in Delaware; we are an Episcopal school and cleave to those roots. To his list I would add a few modern additions that Whyte could not have anticipated, such as eschewing cell phones and preserving childhood through the high school years.

Whyte concludes his talk saying, “The face we turn to the world when we try to describe St. Andrew’s is often that of a well-rounded school. But it is not a well-rounded school—certainly not in the sense that the term is generally used. We are much more asymmetrical than that. At some things St. Andrew’s is not particularly good. At some things it is utterly superb. We should make the most of these excellences. We should assert them, reinforce them.”

Out of step. Asymmetrical. I thought about Holly Whyte’s idea this week because what our students did at those away games met my basic expectations. I am sure politeness, thoughtfulness, and situational awareness are also your basic expectations as parents and guardians. Yet elsewhere, these behaviors are earth-shattering, out of step. We must continue to practice them—as Whyte said, assert them and reinforce them. In these little decisions we make every day, we create a moral ecosystem with our choices. In the dining hall, the chapel, the dorms. At away games, even. We try to be generous, selfless, driven. We are other-centered, we greet each other, we work and compete with our whole hearts, we care, we leave our cell phones behind. Sometimes, we mess up. So we are humble. We apologize. Sometimes progress seems invisible, but we focus on the process, not the outcome. We are patient—with ourselves, with others.

Bishop Kevin Brown was here on Wednesday on the Feast Day of Saint Luke. He captured this idea beautifully when he noted, “Saints are not perfect but they are dedicated; Saints are not flawless, but they are faithful.” If we live consistently with these principles, we naturally come together in all our glorious differences. Everything we do is premised on people in proximity: togetherness. Together, we cannot be divided or distracted. Together, we cannot feel disconnected or lonely or angry for very long. We bring our full selves, all our identities, everything we are, all our potential, to each challenge.

The whole point of this place is to bring together people with disparate and diverse backgrounds and points of view. Those are shared in an environment insistently non-partisan, free, inclusive, and open to all points of view. I hope our students debate openly, learn to persuade others, and are capable of changing their minds.

Is there a better definition of a free person than one who can change her mind?

This is how we grow and how we stretch. Cronon in his essay identified a few characteristics of liberally educated people—I am always struck by how they are other-centered: educated people listen, understand, persuade in writing and in speech, practice humility, tolerance, and self-criticism, they nurture and empower people around them, they connect.

We do not live for ourselves. It is the essence of a St. Andrew’s education, it is the foundation of our faith, and it is what it means to be human. And maybe this is why more often than not, you hear laughter and see smiles in the halls around here. It’s because oddly enough, the science tells us that thinking about ourselves makes us unhappy and fragile. When we forget ourselves, are part of something larger than ourselves, when we know that larger why—even if we are doing hard things, impossible things—we are happier, more grateful, and more resilient. 

If this is out of step, so be it. I am comfortable with that. But, how do we keep it this way?

Well, we need you, as families and partners in this work. You will be meeting with teachers, coaches, and dorm parents throughout the weekend. I will give you the same advice I always give your children:

  • Focus on the process, not the outcomes.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Ask for help.
  • Be yourself—you are here because of exactly who you are, we need everyone! Not a performance, not an avatar, but your authentic and genuine self.

In other words: the fundamentals matter. Let’s not make this more complicated than it needs to be.

Your support and participation make our work even more joyful. You raised these powerful young people! Thank you! We welcome you as you are and we are excited to keep going, by your side, as we see these children stretch and grow. There is no doubt the world needs these Saints to be great and strong, to leave the world better than they found it.

Thank you for your partnership. Thank you for seeing the possibilities in your children and in this school—this out of step, asymmetrical school—and for believing in what we can all do together.

Enjoy the weekend and please say hello when you see me! 

Coco and Reese Holden

Meet two of the school’s newest Saints: Coco Holden ’27 and Reese Holden ’27

Coco Holden ’27 and Reese Holden ’27 came halfway across the world for their first year of high school. But just over a month into the school year, St. Andrew’s already feels like home for these twins from Australia. 

Coco and Reese have a typical sibling banter, poking fun at each other often. “She’s a bit more nerdy than I am,” quips Reese. Coco responds that she “embraces” her nerdiness. 

But the sisters value their relationship and sticking together, which is why they took the leap and decided to attend St. Andrew’s as a duo. Coco, never having been to St. Andrew’s before she arrived for International Orientation, even trusted Reese’s impression of the school enough to apply and commit. 

“We came for International Orientation, so we were just driving in, and it didn’t feel real,” says Coco. They remember their first day on campus, when all the faculty already knew their names and the seniors kindly moved all their belongings into their dorms. 

Reese had made that drive down the main road once before. About a year ago, she joined her mother on a work trip to America. Her mother, who grew up in Arlington, Va., remembered a school that came up again and again amongst her childhood friends: St. Andrew’s. Reese, who knew she wanted something different than her current school, called St. Andrew’s to schedule a tour—a tour with Dean of Admission & Financial Aid Will Robinson ’97 that ended up being three hours long. 

Reese returned to Australia and shared a glowing review of St. Andrew’s with her sister. After thinking it over—and receiving more than a few emails from Robinson—Coco and Reese carefully crafted their applications and sent them in. 

They both found out they were accepted in the middle of watching Hamilton in the theater. The moment the show was over, they bolted out of the doors to celebrate—these two weren’t throwing away their shot.

The pair complements each other well: Coco considers herself to be STEM-oriented while Reese is interested in creative writing and the arts. However, both share a love of field hockey (which, they note, is just referred to as “hockey” in Australia). 

They made the JV field hockey team, though Reese is unfortunately unable to play due to a concussion. She still savors going to the games and vibing with the team’s energy. 

They have also already fallen in love with the community service opportunities that St. Andrew’s offers. The sisters value getting to know Middletown and its people through this program: Reese volunteers at the MOT Senior Center, and Coco has been involved with Adaptive Aquatics, a St. Andrew’s program that offers swimming lessons to local special-needs students.

Reese says that fitting all these activities into her packed schedule has been a wonderful antidote to missing home. “I thought I’d be more homesick than I am,” she says. “I’ve been keeping myself really busy over here, so I don’t think I’ve had very much time to think about it.” 

The sisters say that they do think of home when they see classmates making plans for long weekends, or when they hear them on the phone with their families—something that the time difference makes challenging for Coco and Reese. When they start to miss home, they’ve found comfort in the different support systems at St. Andrew’s.

The duo says the international community has been essential to their transition to the States. They gave particular kudos to Ruth Hilton ’24 for helping them adjust to their new lives. 

Coco and Reese can be found on campus doing some of their favorite pastimes: soaking in the sun on the Front Lawn and dreaming about pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce as they count down the days until their first Thanksgiving.

Board of Trustees

A recap of the September 2023 Trustee Weekend

The last weekend of September marked Trustee Weekend at St. Andrew’s, which brought together an essential group of volunteers, alumni, and parents who are committed to working together to shape the future of the school. Head of School Joy McGrath ’92 welcomed trustees to the campus with a packed agenda: the trustees considered long-range plans and discussed matters related to student and faculty excellence, the future of financial aid, capital planning and St. Andrew’s carbon footprint, and the financial sustainability of the school, with a particular focus on the necessity of increasing philanthropic support for St. Andrew’s to continue to flourish. “After grounding herself in the school of today during her first two years, this meeting was time for Joy and the board to consider big questions regarding the future of the school, and how to engage the full community in that future,” said Scott Sipprelle ’81, whose service as board chair will conclude in June 2024. 

“St. Andrew’s exists to educate young people from all backgrounds and every corner of society so that they can be the capable and courageous people the world needs. We have always been a school out of step with the norm: we are committed to remaining an Episcopal school that is small, all-boarding, and open to all regardless of their family’s means. These principles are precious to me and the board. Like many precious things, they are also costly. We are aligned in our desire to sustain the school and its values that serve our students–and society–so well,” commented McGrath. 

The group immersed itself into the culture and the pulse of the school by attending a chapel service featuring a talk from trustee Sis Johnson P’11 on Sept. 29. (On trustee weekends, a board member gives a chapel talk to the full school after Friday lunch.) Johnson discussed her personal history of attending a rural high school where she was not well prepared for college, and how when she reached college, she had to use her curiosity, eventually relying on resources like the university library and her professors. Because the day was the feast of St. Michael and all angels in the Episcopal Church, Johnson urged students to be on the “lookout for angels,” which helps us cope with the infinite and uncertain nature of reality. 

“You may not know who the angels are in your own life until long after the time of their impact,” said Johnson. “Right now, you probably have a teacher or a friend here at St. Andrew’s who will prove to be an angel.” Johnson reflected on the angels in her own life: her mother, husband, daughters, and more. “Even when you are pressed for time and eager to simply get the assignment done, I encourage you to indulge your curiosity,” Johnson said of letting your angels guide you.

The trustees also spent time with students at a family-style lunch with the full school community. 

Considering the history of past Saints, the 50th anniversary of coeducation at St. Andrew’s was also on the minds of the trustees as they pored over archival materials from this essential part of the school’s history.

With new members and new leadership of the board, the dialogue this past weekend brought fresh perspectives in service to the school. 

“Clearly, there are many headwinds facing a school like ours, but with clever, creative and thoughtful planning and adequate resources, Joy and her remarkable team are poised to navigate these challenges and to even elevate the school to new, loftier heights,” noted Dr. Michael Atalay ’84 P’17,’19,’23, who joined the board a year ago. “We are in very good hands.”

Jason Honsel advising students on college admissions

How St. Andrew’s is tackling college counseling in the wake of the end of affirmative action

With the Supreme Court’s June 2023 decision to end affirmative action in college admissions, students and parents may be left wondering how this will affect the college counseling process for high schoolers. 

St. Andrew’s Director of College Counseling Jason Honsel P’24 breaks down what this landmark decision might mean for St. Andrew’s students and families. 

“Even though the Supreme Court struck down the use of affirmative action, I think schools have been really adamant that they’re still going to very much value diversity … that they are going to find ways to ensure that their classes are diverse,” says Honsel. 

He adds that even though there are changes at the national level, the college counseling department’s commitment to ensuring the best individualized outcomes in the college admissions process for St. Andrew’s students remains unchanged. How does he define “best?” Whatever college fits the unique needs and desires of each student, he says.

“Students have to get to know themselves, [so we’re trying] to create this idea of self-awareness,” says Honsel of helping students through the admissions process. “Know who you are, what you like, you don’t like, what your interests are.”

Honsel also prioritizes honesty with students about the price tag that comes with college. “Some students here are very fortunate where finances are not an issue, but [for] some, they really are,” says Honsel. “So we want to be mindful of the financial piece of it as well.” 

The college counseling team’s characteristically St. Andrew’s approach—connecting with each student and getting to know them on a personal level over the course of their time here—remains steadfast. “I think the advantage of being here at a boarding school and living here and seeing these kids all of the time is we get to know them pretty well,” says Honsel. 

However, Honsel notes, the team tries not to overwhelm students in their early years at St. Andrew’s as starting the deep-dive into college admissions too early only “amplifies the stress and the anxiety around the process.” 

“Obviously this is an important part of St. Andrew’s, but we also really really try to emphasize that it’s not just about the outcome, the experience [of being here] is really important,” says Honsel. 

Dan O'Connell leads a class on March 18, 2022

Faculty member Dan O’Connell gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service on October 4

Faculty member Dan O’Connell gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service on October 4.

William Lin

William Lin ’24 on the spark behind the essay that made its way to The Concord Review

From the moment his parents bestowed on him a hand-me-down iPhone 4 when he was younger, capturing beauty with a camera has fascinated William Lin ’24. 

But his first year at St. Andrew’s was a turning point for his hobby. He honed his photography skills and deepened his passion for the art form as he traveled around China taking pictures of “different scenes, different people, [and] different cultures.”

Lin spent his first year at St. Andrew’s in an atypical fashion: abroad in his home city of Beijing, China, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced students to forgo a normal year of school. 

A year later, he was finally on campus and in Dean of Studies Melinda Tower’s history classroom, taking “A World at War,” an advanced study course that explores 20th-Century wars and why they started, the way they were fought, and why they ended.

The gears started to turn for Lin. In the classroom, with conversations centered on photo censorship during World War II, he found himself at the intersection of his love of history and his passion for photography.

This brewing interest in censorship followed him into his V Form year. While taking “Research Seminar,” an advanced study history course that immerses students in scholarly research and challenges them to write a thoughtful research paper, he decided to explore the topic that piqued his curiosity in “A World at War.” 

When Victor Cuicahua, a former St. Andrew’s faculty member and then-instructor of the seminar, read Lin’s paper, “Whitewashing the War: U.S. Censorship of Photography during World War II,” he was impressed.
Lin remembers that Cuicahua pointed out the exceptional nature of the paper, and urged Lin to submit it to The Concord Review, a highly selective quarterly academic journal, the only such journal that exists that offers secondary students the opportunity to submit academic history papers. Emboldened by his instructor’s feedback, he pushed “submit.” And then the waiting game began.

“I got the news during senior orientation on my watch,” Lin recalls of the beginning of this school year. “My watch is one of those where you get the text but it doesn’t show the entire text, so I was looking at it, and it was like, ‘Dear William, I’m writing to tell you that your paper has been’ and it just cuts off there.”

The anticipation was almost unbearable for the next several hours as Lin sat through orientation, waiting to read the remainder of that email. He exercised one of the many virtues of Saints: patience. 

It paid off: his paper had been accepted for publication. His essay was one of 11 featured in the fall issue of The Concord Review, written by student scholars around the world. It was published in early September.

In the paper, Lin argues that the U.S. government instituted a “carefully managed censorship regime” during the second World War for a two-fold purpose: to minimize racial tensions and conflict in the United States by hiding racism in the military, and to conceal the degree to which racial integration was present in the military to avoid angering prejudiced Americans. 

Reflecting on the thought-provoking classroom conversations that shaped his paper, Lin remembers a particular conversation with Tower regarding a Dorothea Lange photo—the unmistakable “Migrant Mother” photo from the Great Depression. Lin discovered through this conversation that the photographer had taken that photo without permission, and that the woman in the image disputed the photo as she refused to be seen as a symbol of the Depression. 

Conversations like this one with Tower—as well as with Cuicahua and Dean of Students Matthew Carroll, the other faculty member heading the seminar—illuminated for Lin that there are complex depths behind a simple photo: layers of interpretation, censorship, intent, and more. 

Through a historical and artistic lens, Lin brought these layers into dialogue with one another in his research. Beyond what he discusses in the paper, Lin also recognizes implications of historical censorship on contemporary issues. 

“I think [censorship of photography] is going to be a relevant topic, even though censorship is not necessarily a main thing that is happening right now because there’s so many avenues with the internet and social media [for images to spread],” Lin says. “But with generative [artificial intelligence] and generative imaging, it’s more of an issue of deep fakes and misinformation. I’m certainly looking forward to looking deeper into this in college and finding a new direction.” 

The Advantage of Curiosity

Trustee Sis Johnson P’11 gave this talk on Friday, September 29, during Trustee Weekend

Thank you for the kind introduction and for inviting me to speak today.  It’s truly an honor to serve as a trustee of this special school and to represent the board at this chapel.  Unlike many members of the board of trustees, I am not an alumna of the school, but a parent of an alum.  In fact, the rural county high school I attended was not remotely like St. Andrew’s, and unlike St. Andrew’s graduates, I was ill prepared for college. Despite having worked hard and made good grades, my school simply didn’t offer a college preparatory curriculum. I had never heard of AP, and more importantly, I had never written what you and I would call “a paper.”  We were assigned a “term paper” our senior year, but our grade was based purely on using the correct form for footnotes and bibliography.  What we had to say was completely irrelevant.

So, when my freshman English professor at Vanderbilt on the first day of class said that our assignment for the following week was to read a short story and to write “a paper,” I was absolutely clueless.  I had read many short stories, but I had never written “a paper” about one.  I couldn’t even imagine what you might say other than giving a plot summary or perhaps explaining whether or not you liked the story. 

Here at St. Andrew’s, you would have the good sense to talk to your teacher, but I was far too intimidated to go to the professor and ask for direction, so instead, I went to the library.  Even in rural Tennessee we had libraries.  After some browsing, I discovered that there was a whole category of books that were called literary criticism and that they all contained essays about works of literature—amazing.  Perhaps this “paper” that I was being asked to write might resemble those essays. 

I eventually managed to pull together something that looked like “a paper” but felt on tremendously shaky ground.  To my surprise and delight the professor returned my paper with an encouraging comment.  More importantly though, the curiosity that drove me to the library paid off.  And it has stuck with me.

Just as I was ill prepared for college writing assignments, my religious education was also sadly inadequate.  Despite attending Church and Sunday School every Sunday of my childhood, I learned very little about important figures in Christianity.  So, when Ms. McGrath pointed out that today, September 29th, is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, I felt a lot like I did in freshman English—clueless.  But also, like then, I was determined to find out what that meant.  Thanks to modern technology, satisfying my curiosity did not require a trip to the library, and I learned that Michael is not just an angel but an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition.  It was Michael who prevented Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis, cast Satan into Hell in the Book of Revelation, and who in Islam weighs an individual’s good and evil acts on the Day of Judgment. 

While angels play a crucial role in the heavenly realm, their role for us mortals is that of messenger, and it is their communication with us that makes them figure so prominently in our art and literature.  One vivid representation of angels occurs in the play Dr. Faustus, by Shakespeare’s contemporary Christopher Marlowe.  Even if you haven’t read Marlowe, you are probably familiar with some version of the Faust legend wherein a great scientist contemplates selling his soul to the devil.  In Marlowe’s play Faustus is visited by both a Good Angel and a Bad Angel. Each speaks to Faustus as he decides whether to exchange his soul for greater knowledge and power.  The Bad Angel tempts Faustus by appealing to his pride and ego, while the Good Angel exhorts Faustus to love God and read Scriptures. 

Though you and I may not receive such a direct visitation, we are all familiar with that sense of being torn in opposite directions when making a decision.  Thankfully, most of our decisions don’t determine whether we will go to heaven or to hell, but we often know that one course of action is more righteous than another.

Curious to know how angels are faring in contemporary literature, I discovered a work of nonfiction called The Rigor of Angels, a book that turned out to be as challenging as it sounds.  The author William Egginton explores the relationship between the works of philosopher Emmanuel Kant, physicist Werner Heisenberg, and writer Jorge Luis Borges.  Reading even the introduction, I knew I was in over my head, but once again, the library goer in me was determined to figure out what this book was about.  Though I couldn’t begin to give you a clear analysis of this extremely dense text, what I can say with certainty is that reading it made me think about the cosmos in ways that I hadn’t in a long time.  How can we creatures of time and space understand the infinite?  How can we even begin to comprehend the nature of reality?  Alas, we have a fundamentally incomplete picture of the world and are reminded that mysteries remain.

How then are we to cope?  I would suggest that we be on the lookout for angels.  They may not speak to us as directly as Marlowe’s characters, but the spirit of others can guide us in important ways.  You may not know who the angels are in your own life until long after the time of their impact.  Right now, you probably have a teacher or a friend here at St. Andrew’s who will prove to be an angel.  In my own life, one angel was my mother, more the rigorous type than the sweet cherub you see on a Hallmark card.  She showed me that books and libraries are windows to understanding.  And yes, that freshman English professor who eventually gave me an A and inspired a lifelong love of literature was definitely an angel.

My husband and my daughters have also served as angels, leading me to challenges and adventures that I couldn’t imagine on my own. Without them I would never have run a half marathon, never skied a double black diamond, and never have tiptoed into the world of immersive theater.  They whispered to me to be curious and to say yes to new experiences and new ideas.

Even when you are pressed for time and eager to simply get the assignment done, I encourage you to indulge your curiosity.  It will undoubtedly lead you down a more rewarding path. 

As I felt the pressure of time to make this talk better, my husband, playing the role of the Bad Angel, suggested Chat GPT, a temptation you may have felt or will.  He entered a prompt for a chapel talk about St. Michael and curiosity, with humor.  The bot’s version was funnier than mine, but its answer also had some inaccuracy and was at its core small-minded.  But most importantly, it didn’t reflect the journey of my life and the way in which curiosity has been key for me—in short, it wasn’t my paper.

Curiosity may or may not have killed the cat, but I can assure you that it leads us all to a richer and more enlightened life.  It can be your secret weapon in the face of ignorance and uncertainty.  Without it, I wouldn’t be standing here today. 

Thank you!

Coeducation panelists

“The First, The Few: Pioneers and Pathmakers Panel” sheds light on the experiences of the first girls at St. Andrew’s

As the student body, faculty and staff, and a distinguished group of women gathered in the Chapel, the energy quite literally buzzed in the air—the backup generator was up and running after a campus outage due to a storm.

Yet the eagerly anticipated “The First, The Few: Pioneers and Pathmakers Panel” went on despite the challenges, launching the school’s 50th anniversary of coeducation celebration and Homecoming 2023. Moderated by Louisa Zendt ’78 P'05,'09 and featuring a few of the women who attended the school in the first and early years of coeducation, these trailblazers touched on the academic, social, and extracurricular lives they led at St. Andrew’s, which helped pave the way for future generations of Saints women.

When panelist Louise Dewar ’75 came to St. Andrew’s the fall of 1973, the first year of coeducation, she said to herself, “I will graduate summa cum laude.” But she found academics at St. Andrew’s wasn’t a walk in the park.

“It was like getting hit with a shovel,” Dewar told the crowd. “It was certainly the hardest academic things I ever did. It took me a full year to get to understand what was expected of me, to understand how to study, to understand how the classes ran. And there were a lot of elements of that, being … just one girl in a class with 10 boys. Sometimes that worked out to our advantage. Sometimes it didn't.”

Dewar and her fellow panelists emphasized that the support of numerous faculty members in and out of the classroom made it possible to not only deal with the normal challenges of high school, but the unique difficulties that confronted the girls as the first women at a historically all-boys school. The faculty name that came to mind for Dewar, panelist Valerie Klinger ’76, and panelist Chesa Profaci ’80 was Nan Mein, the beloved first female faculty member of St. Andrew’s.

“I don't know that I can do justice to Nan and her influence on all of our experiences, both boys and girls, as well as on coeducation,” said Profaci, who also serves as St. Andrew’s director of alumni engagement. “Nan was self-assured, she was assertive, she was even intimidating. She stood up for herself and we watched her. And as girls, we modeled that.”

Socially, Klinger said that despite the few in the Saints community who resisted coeducation, she felt welcome from the moment she stepped on campus—though she did see boys peeking through the windows in fascination during move-in day as they sought to catch their first glimpses of the girls.

“Was I nervous the first day? No,” Klinger said. “Too much of a whirlwind. Everybody was just excited to see us and we stuck together a lot in [those] first couple of weeks.”

The friendships that formed amongst the first girls have stayed strong 50 years later. And many of their bonds and memories were formed through St. Andrew’s athletics program. After the panel, the panelists and their peers from the early years of coeducation gathered to further relive Saints sports memories by perusing through old athletics memorabilia at the Celebration of Coeducation exhibit in the Old Gym.

Two people looking at coeducation exhibit

Klinger recalled during the panel her time rowing crew with Dewar and the other first girls. At the end of the year, members of both the girls and boys crew teams were presented with prizes—the boys with an oar, and the girls, a pin.

Klinger said that years later, she returned to campus to cheer with Dewar at the Diamond State Regatta. Dewar and Klinger, to their surprise, were finally presented with the oars they deserved.

The women said that their time at St. Andrew’s—the challenging, joyous, and everything in between—has shaped the rest of their lives and careers by giving them a sense of confidence and adventure.

“So even though we were supported at St. Andrew’s … it was somewhat from a distance,” said Profaci. “You kind of made your own way and figured it out, and that gave you confidence and you knew you could do [anything you wanted to].”

The panelists engaged with students as they answered questions about navigating male-dominated spaces, dealing with the pressure to be exceptional, and other challenges that today’s young women may relate to. Though these women created the platform in which other students, faculty, and leaders at St. Andrew’s could thrive, they said that at the time, they just felt like regular high school students.

“I did not feel like I was a brave pioneer,” said Zendt. “But I immediately felt safe, and I immediately felt that I was really, truly heard.”

Student asking a question at panel


The 2023-2024 Co-Presidents

An inside look at the two newest leaders of the student body

Classes, homework, college applications, clubs, varsity sports: Charlie Lunsford ’24 and Riya Soni ’24 have a lot on their plates in their final year at St. Andrew’s before they head off to college. But this duo has another weighty responsibility to balance, too—serving as school co-presidents. But as any SAS student knows, St. Andrew’s is not just a “school.” 

“The line between school and home here is so incredibly blurred that we not only have to create a good school experience for students, but a good home life, or as close to home as we can get,” says Soni.

Stepping into the shoes of former co-presidents Trinity Smith ’23 and Ford Chapman ’23 is no easy task for Lunsford and Soni, but the two are eager to tackle their new roles, as their past experiences have led up to this moment. 

Soni came to St. Andrew’s as a new IV Form student after completing her freshman year in her home state of New Jersey. Soon into her time here, she founded the Social Justice Club with a few of her fellow students. 

“Through organizing projects and coordinating with teachers, I got a really tangible taste for what leadership meant,” Soni says of her experience founding the club. 

Lunsford, a three-sport athlete from North Carolina, took one of his first forays into leadership in his IV Form year as captain of the squash team. He also feels that in his three years at St. Andrew’s, he has become an informal leader of his class.

“When the opportunity to be [co-president] came up I kind of just jumped at it because of the love I have for everyone in my class and these connections we’ve built,” says Lunsford. “I feel like there’s nothing that I care about more than my class.”

As co-presidents, Soni and Lunsford’s responsibilities include heading Form Council, giving daily announcements, working with faculty to serve as a voice for the students, and sitting on the Honor Committee and Discipline Committee. 

“Our priorities include having a really solid and communicative Form Council so that planning events like Casino Night and the Haunted Trail go smoothly,” Soni says. The duo would also like to plan more weekend social events, like movies on the Front Lawn, or bonfire and s’mores nights. “[We want to do this] so students feel more encouraged to take breaks from their work, opt-in, and socialize,” she says.

With SAS culture restored to its former glory after the pandemic, Soni and Lunsford would like to explore bringing some old-school traditions back, like the schoolwide Olympics or assigning students to Hogwarts houses.

As much fun as that all sounds, the co-presidents consider one job to be more paramount.

“The biggest goal of the co-presidents is to protect the school’s culture,” says Lunsford.  

The students serve as role models for others, and step up when they see something going on that does not align with the school’s values. 

“It is all about culture. That’s the one thing that differentiates us from [other schools],” says Soni. 

She adds that practicing what she preaches is not always easy, especially because she is still learning and growing at a place where progress is the mission, not perfection. However, she says that taking accountability for her own actions is what matters, and that’s what she expects from her fellow students as well. 

The seniors plan to stay on top of their responsibilities while taking care of themselves by relying on each other, students in Form Council, and faculty, and by giving themselves grace. 

But the two say that it isn’t hard to juggle their responsibilities when they feel so passionate about their roles. 

“People don’t remember what you say to them, or what you do for them, they remember how you make them feel,” says Soni. “And if we can, amidst all the stress and all the jam-packed schedules … if we can make people stop and experience pure happiness … that just means the world to me.”

Happy New Year!

Dear Students and Families,

St. Andrew’s is far too quiet in the summer, and we are more than ready for all of our students to return to school! Over the past two weeks, as faculty have returned, it’s been such a pleasure to begin saying “happy new year,” to each one. And it is a new year, one that we have awaited all summer with great anticipation! Although many people see the fall season as a time of ending and senescence, the poets know better. From Keats to Mary Oliver, they have shown us those things that signal the coming winter contain the seeds of freshness and rebirth.

Each day this summer, as late June became July, and now in August, the setting sun has moved one click to the west, a pendulum that reached northward for the June solstice and then in time turned back to take its place across the fields. In my backyard this morning, where students will soon gather on the patio, I spotted the first of the goldfinches plucking the tiny seeds from the drying heads of the coneflowers, a certain harbinger of fall. On the School Farm, the field corn that flourished green in torrential rains begins to brown, the easier to see the full ears and spent, darkening silks. As you return to school down the main drive, the chestnut where the lane first curves has dropped a few spiky nuts. Just beyond that you’ll see hickory nuts beginning to drift, and we await the “pock pock” (Mary Oliver has this sound just right) of the acorns soon to follow.

Teachers also see the fall as a new year and a new beginning. Like acorns, our students bring with them all they need to flourish and grow. What is within each of them, and what they will find in others in this community, is everything they need. So, as you prepare for this year, pack light. Unstuff your bags, and remove items from the car. We focus on the fundamentals at St. Andrew’s, and possessions will distract us from our purpose and our practice in this new year. Let’s keep it simple, use less, take care of what we have, and, as a result, do more in human community: more joy, more understanding, more connection, more growth.

Parents and guardians, it is an honor to begin this new year with your children. Working with them is a calling and an inspiration; the trust you place in us is extraordinary and meaningful. I look forward to greeting you as you return in the coming days!

In partnership,

Joy McGrath
Daniel T. Roach, Jr. Head of School

Saints Show Up for Reunion 2023

St. Andrew's celebrated its annual Reunion Weekend June 9 through June 11, and welcomed more than 300 alumni and their families back to campus for the three-day celebration. This year's Reunion honored class years ending in 3s and 8s, from the Class of 1948 to the Class of 2018, with the Class of 1973 celebrating its 50th Reunion, and the Class of 1998 celebrating its 25th Reunion. Weekend events included an LGBTQIA+ panel discussion and conversation session; a panel discussion on waterway environmentalism; mini-sessions on the inner workings of St. Andrew’s (the school's financial model, the admissions process, how we live out the school's mission, etc.); and of course, food trucks, karaoke, good times on the Front Lawn, crew races on Noxontown Pond, and much more.

“Three hundred of you are back here for the same reason I am back to be head of school—we share an incredible love for this place and for each other," said Head of School Joy McGrath ’92 during her remarks to alumni on Saturday. “We are an extended family.”

At the all-alumni Reunion Banquet on Saturday night, the Class of 1988 was awarded with the Giving Bowl, which recognizes the Reunion class that has contributed the largest total amount of gifts to the Saints Fund (as of Reunion Weekend) in the current fiscal year. Our 1988 alums have given $74,343 to the Saints Fund in 2022-23.

The Fishers of Men and Women Plate, another annually given Reunion award that recognizes the two reunion classes (pre-1979 and post-1979) with the greatest percentage of alumni making gifts to the Saints Fund (as of Reunion Weekend) in the current fiscal year. The pre-1979 Fishers Plate was awarded to the Class of 1968 with 68% participation. The post-1979 Fishers Plate was given to the Class of 1998 with 88% participation, a new record for 25th Reunion giving (previously held by the Class of 1997). 

Alumni giving is also honored with a third award: the Founders Cup. Instituted in recognition of the School's 75th anniversary in 2004, the Founders Cup recognizes the importance of alumni support of every kind, and is given to the Reunion class that has given the greatest total support to the school (Saints Fund, capital, endowment, and planned gifts and pledges) since their Class's prior Reunion. This year's Founders Cup was awarded to the Class of 1988, for their total giving of $1,320,234 to St. Andrew's since their last Reunion in 2018.

Additionally, the Class of 1988 broke the 35th reunion record for Saints Fund dollars donated during a Reunion year, previously held by the Class of 1965, and the Class of 1948 broke the 75th Reunion record for Saints Fund dollars donated during a Reunion year, previously held by the Class of 1946.

Finally, this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award was given to Ev McNair ’73. The Distinguished Alumni Award celebrates the alumna or alumnus who has distinguished themselves professionally, personally, and in service to the community and country with strength, commitment, and perseverance. The Distinguished Alumni Endowment Fund was created by the Class of 1959 at its 50th Reunion in 2009, and the award brings the recipient to campus during the following school year to deliver a Chapel Talk on Founders Day, and to visit classes and speak with students, teachers, and staff.

In her introduction of McNair at Reunion, Head of School Joy McGrath ’92 said:

Everett McNair '73 is a public school educator in Charlotte, North Carolina. After he left St. Andrew’s—where he won the Mamo Prize for Wrestling, which currently sits in glory in the Cameron Gym—Everett went to the U.S. Naval Academy. There he received the Brigadier General Wayne H. Adams Memorial Award for Outstanding Leadership.

For seven years, he held various positions within the U.S. Marine Corps, eventually attaining the rank of captain prior to his 1984 departure. He then attended Duke University, earning his M.B.A. For 24 years, Everett worked for Corning Cable, first as a marketing director charged with international expansion, then as a director of manufacturing before being appointed VP of customer support services. After various chief operating officer appointments in the information and communications sector, he joined African American Inc. as president in 2014. The company specializes in providing food and non-food products to retail and food-service institutions across the U.S. with a focus on collaborative, community-minded social change. In 2020, inspired at the notion of working with young people, Everett reinvented himself as a public school math teacher.

Thank you to all of our alumni who made the trek back to campus for Reunion Weekend 2023! If you weren't able to make it, please know that you were sorely missed by your fellow Saints.

Click here to view all photos from Reunion Weekend 2023

Fostering Community, from St. Andrew's to Africa

Catherine Foster '25 founds Friends of Chidamoyo 

In 2019, Catherine Foster ’25 traveled with her mother, Elizabeth Foster, to Zimbabwe on a trip to Chidamoyo Christian Hospital. The 100-bed rural hospital that serves poverty-stricken patients was about a six-hour drive from the city, Foster says. “It’s a difficult journey for patients, especially those who are weak,” Foster says. “We picked up a woman on our way who was traveling to the hospital by mule.”

At Chidamoyo, Foster helped out with the hospital’s HIV patients by preparing vials for blood collection, she knit hats for the hospital’s newest, tiniest arrivals, and other times, she simply did her best to entertaining sick children. "These younger patients have nothing to do," Foster says. "No internet, no games, no TV, no puzzles." Foster was struck by how, with such limited technology and resources, a patient like Nora, a young girl Foster met who broke her arm falling from a tree, would spend months in the hospital to heal rather than return home to her village.

“It was really eye-opening to see how the hospital worked,” she says. Foster was particularly taken with the hospital’s maternity ward, which mostly consisted of small beds lined up on the floor.

“The hospital did have some technology,” Foster says. “But as far as having tons of IV bags around and a constant supply of medications like you’d see at a modern hospital, there was nothing like that.”

After her few days at Chidamoyo, Foster was sad to leave. She felt connected to the place, the people, and the mission, and she didn’t want the door she’d opened to swiftly close behind her. “I felt strongly that somehow, I could bring a part of Chidamoyo to St. Andrew’s, and continue to help from school, where we have a student body so willing to step up for other people.”

This all, once Foster saw that St. Andrew’s had settled back into routine and culture this school year, she launched Friends of Chidamoyo, a student service club, co-headed with Frankie Elliott-Ozug ’25 and Emma de Ramel ’25.

The trio started out by making blankets for the mothers awaiting care in the maternity ward. “The need for something as basic as warmth from a blanket is strong,” Foster says. Her time spent knitting hats while in Zimbabwe came with a learning curve, so instead, the three co-heads opted for hand-knotted fleece blankets, which will ship from Foster’s home state of California to Africa this summer.

“Making the blankets seemed like a good way to start, but I really wanted to make Chidamoyo real to St. Andrew’s,” says Foster. To do that, she invited the head of the hospital, Dr. Major Mereki, to a Zoom conversation that centered on public health, medicine, service, and community.

“I thought if someone with the personal experience of being there on the ground every day could talk to us, that’d be  important,” Foster says. “His perspective was incredibly valuable.”

Mereki Zoomed with students in April, and told them about the new pre-partum care unit the hospital started after women kept coming to the maternity ward too early because they had no where else to go, nor were they sure how far along they were in their pregnancies. He also told the 15 or so students in attendance in the Gahagan Room in the O’Brien Arts Center about the alligator bites he treats; the dentist who comes in once a month; the local community that has rallied around Chidamoyo; obstacles the hospital faces; and, most important, how critical it is to tell Chidamoyo’s story.

“Dr. Mereki basically told us, bear witness, and share the story with others, so people can find out about the work,” Foster says. “There are only so many ways to get supplies to where they are, so we need more people involved.”

Foster notes some of her classmates—like Ashley McIntosh ’25—were so inspired after the conversation with Mereki that they were trying to figure out how to become boots-on-the-ground advocates in Africa.

“That talk really showed me that a lot of students want to be involved in service like this,” says Foster, who hopes, with her co-heads, to evolve the club toward an even bigger mission. “I’d like to start thinking about how our club could somehow help provide medical gloves and equipment and other tools to the hospital. It was really nerve-wracking for me at first to put myself out there and say to the student community, ‘This should be important to you,’ but the response has been really great, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.”

Wildfires rage in Nova Scotia

Celina Bao ’24 briefs the SAS community about the Canadian wildfires affecting the eastern US.

Hi all! As one of the only Canadians left in the SAS community, I feel a need to talk about the wildfires that are happening in many Canadian provinces, including the ones in Quebec that had significant impact in the US, and how it relates to climate change. As many of you who live around New York might have seen, the sky has been orange recently and is filled with smoke. This phenomenon is caused by the Canadian wildfires. 

What caused it?

The wildfires were sparked by lightning that struck near Val-D’Or, a city in Western Quebec. Although wildfires are not an uncommon scene in Canada during summers, this one is particularly severe. Nearly 150 fires are still active in Quebec and among them, 92 are still not under control. The reason behind this exacerbation is a recurring theme — climate change. As the air got warmer and held less moisture, the trees were becoming drier, making them easier to be lit on fire. Additionally, the changing climate also contributed to the widespread of the fire, as earlier-than-usual snow melt and little precipitation made the ground dry and thus more flammable.

What’s the impact?

Burning hundreds of miles of land, the fires are also destroying peoples’ homes: more than 100,000 people were forced to evacuate from where they live. Another very visible impact of the wildfires was the orange and smoked sky. Bringing down air quality, it is dangerous in the way that it irritates peoples’ airways and can cause health problems. Now, a question you might have is: since Canada is the one burning, why is the US’s sky orange? This is because the smoke is being pushed to the eastern half of the US by a counterclockwise-spinning low-pressure system (basically air) over Northern New England and Nova Scotia. 

When will the smoke go away? 

For the smoke to leave the sky of New York City, it takes a change in weather. In other words, the low-pressure system has to go away. According to the weather forecast, the low-pressure system will possibly drift to the north and weaken beyond Friday afternoon, causing the smoke to disperse. 

Nevertheless, this is only the start of the wildfire season. Many suspect that worse wildfires can come later in summer. In the future, as the climate keeps getting warmer, human beings might even need to learn to “live with fire” and adapt to more and more wildfires. 

What to do when smoke is around?

If where you live is impacted by the smoke, it is important that one stays mostly indoors and wears a mask (ironically similar to Covid), preferably N95, outdoors.

If you are interested to learn more, you can just Google it: there are tons of resources online. 


Have a great summer (and go Canada),
Celina Bao

The Boys V1 boat warms up on Wednesday in anticipation of USRowing Youth Nationals this weekend.

USRowing recently extended an invitation to St. Andrew's Boys Crew Varsity 8 to compete at the Youth National Championship at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida from June 8-11th. The regatta hosts some of the fastest scholastic and club teams in the country.

The St. Andrew's boat includes four rising seniors and five rising juniors. The lineup from stern to bow is as follows:


Kieran Bansal ’24 (coxswain)
Peter Bird ’25
Luke Rowles ’25
Joseph Baker ’24
Finn Waterston ’25
Tyrus Roney ’25
Will Hagberg ’25
Gibson Hurtt ’24
Cooper Drazek ’24

USRowing Youth National Championships is an invitational championship regatta. Crews must qualify for a Youth National Championship bid by attending a recognized qualification regatta, placing in one of the Youth National Championship events, and receiving a bid.

The Men's Youth 8+ field features 31 teams, including the fastest club and scholastic boats in the country. The 10 fastest scholastic boats championed the top two places at Stotesbury Regatta, SRAA's, NEIRA, and the Mid-Atlantic Scholastic Championship. St. Andrew's, in addition to 20 other boats, represent the next fastest teams nation-wide.

The Mens Youth 8+ Time Trails are set for Thursday, June 8 at 11:20am. Once seeded, the Saints will either race in the A/B Semi-Finals on Friday, June 9 or the C/D Finals on Saturday, June 10.

USRowing will live stream the races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on their YouTube page here.

Gregory Gourdet ’93 gives the 2023 Commencement address on the Garth.

Acclaimed chef and restauranteur Gregory Gourdet ’93 gave this talk at Commencement 2023

Thank you! Graduates, loved ones, distinguished faculty members, and trustees. It is an honor to be here with you today. I’m so grateful to St. Andrew’s for the privilege of being your Commencement speaker to the Class of 2023! 

You all specifically have had quite the unique and challenging few years to get to where you are today and you should be so proud of all it took to get here! 

My road to today too has been less than linear. 

Exactly 30 years ago this time I was sitting just where you all were with big feels. I sat where you sat—excited, nervous, happy, sad, and hungover from 4 years of self-learning.

It was a day of mixed emotions as I was leaving my best friends, this gorgeous campus, and the place where I learned so much about myself. I was off to NYU, back to New York City, back home.

I grew up in Queens in a very culturally specific upbringing and it's funny because it took me coming to St. Andrew’s—a school of 250, nestled amidst cornfields and great blue herons, in the smallest state in the country, for me to realize a whole big world existed and I could do anything in it. 

My parents migrated to the States in their 20s to pursue education and to start a family. They were scientists, managed hospitals, and had multiple jobs at a time over their entire careers. I had planned to be a doctor my whole life because of this upbringing. I was entering a pre-med program and starting on the road for the career I had always thought I wanted.

The path ahead of me was clear. Or so I thought. 

Studies proved harder than expected and they did not click. I seemed lost in Bio and Chemistry 101, and also somewhat lost in life. I realized the curriculum just wasn't for me. I can imagine how it felt for my parents who sacrificed so much for me to see me struggle in school. 

St Andrew’s had instilled a deep love of nature and the outdoors in me (Art in Bio with Dr. McLean was one of my favorite classes). I quickly realized this living in the city again, With a longing for the outdoors, I enrolled in a wildlife biology program at the University of Montana and planned a big move out West. 

I also felt close human connection was missing in my life after graduating. I was commuting on dark subways and living in a concrete jungle a far cry from Noxontown Pond. Our friends circle felt it too—we called ourselves “the posse.” So as I planned my next chapter, a group of the posse, after going our separate ways and spending our freshmen years in respective colleges around the country, moved to Montana to summer together again.

Who knew we would miss SAS dorm living so much? That alone is truly a testament of how life-changing the experience of St. Andrew’s was for us. Trust, these relationships will be the connections of a lifetime.  

Two years in to the wildlife biology program, one day while studying barbed wire in a class surrounded by cowboys, I again realized maybe this wasn't my calling. But I was unsure of what to do. My parents had made even more sacrifices to send me to yet another school, this one all the way across the country.  

With their continuing support, I took a shot at what would become my enduring passion. But even then, the path to where I am today wasn’t a straight one.

In Montana, I had begun cooking for myself while living on my own for the first time. I quickly realized it brought me joy. I got jobs washing dishes and making sandwiches and just loved the environment of restaurants and the art of cooking, even if I was just making veggie burgers and pasta salads (humble beginnings but a foot in the door). By the end of my fifth year of college, I had a bachelor’s in French (my third major) and an acceptance letter and start date for the Culinary Institute of America—the best culinary school in the country, the other CIA.

Grade-wise I will admit I wasn't the best student here, at NYU, or the University of Montana. But for the first time in my life, I felt passion for what I was doing. I devoured my classes and became an A student. I sliced my onions perfectly, even for French onion soup, I made sure my risotto was al dente and creamy and my consomme was flavorful and crystal-clear. It was pure joy. 

I went back to the city after school and started my formative professional career. I was the first extern from the CIA to work at Jean-Georges, the uptown temple of modern French haute cuisine. 

Jean-Georges lightened and redefined French cooking with juice-based sauces and herbs and spices from around the world. Cooking for one of the world’s best chefs and among some of the best professional cooks in New York, I jumped right into the deep end. I was thrown into the fire for those few months.

It was a sink-or-swim situation and I left after those few months feeling like I held my own. I made it out having only cried once in the kitchen. 

That experience taught me that the same pressure that may try to break you, can inspire you to pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. 

A year later and a few days after graduating from the CIA,  I walked back into Jean-Georges as a full-time employee. I would be starting in Nougatine, the cafe next to the more formal dining room. My station was garde manger, which is a fancy French word for the salad/cold foods station. I was eager to work at this level of detail and precision and work my way up the ladder.  

Year after year I slowly made my way around the kitchen, moving on to the hot line where we got to cook hot food and play with fire. I was learning how to saute, pan fry, and roast, how to blanch, emulsify, and baste. I was on a clear path to success.

Over the next seven years I worked at three of Jean-Georges’ restaurants, becoming a sous chef and even a chef de cuisine and running a big New York City restaurant in my late 20s. 

The sky was the limit. Then I flew too close to the sun. 

After those intense days prepping and high-pressure nights cooking, I’d go out and not come home until the sun was up. I was caught up in New York City nightlife. Balancing my career and after-hours jaunts became more and more impossible. A drug and alcohol habit that took shape when I was younger turned into full-blown addiction. And at the height of my opportunity, it all came crashing down. I became a shell of myself to friends, family, and employers. I finally entered rehab. But my circle didn’t understand the complexities of addiction, nor did I. 

Again, the West called. Looking for an escape and better life, I moved to Portland, Oregon, and after a few more rocky months decided on my footing and chose a healthy career path. I got sober with the help of AA and made amends to friends and family, I changed my diet, completed marathons, and became an ultra runner, started traveling around the world, eating and studying food and culture. I competed on multiple cooking shows, including Top Chef. I channeled all my addictive energy into positive things. I jumped out of bed every day ready to tackle anything that came my way with big eyes and a smile. 

In 2019, after working for others my entire career, I felt ready to do my own thing and open my dream restaurant. I quit my job of ten years, ready for a year of research, travel, and construction in 2020.

But like for all of us—oh, did things change. Just like you, I was home waiting for the world to tell me what to do, all the while making the best of the situation. I asked myself: Will restaurant dining ever come back? Just as you probably asked yourself: Will I ever sit in class again?

And just as you were finally all able to take your masks off and finish your degrees, your dream of dreams, I was able to open Kann Restaurant, my dream of dreams.

I stand in solidarity with you, Class of 2023. Getting here today has been a tremendous feat and I applaud your tenacity. You planned, you organized, you cleaned up after others. You reinstated the traditions that define our spirit and culture. You refused to let Covid define you. As a class, you exemplify servant leadership. And it is a good thing you do, because the world needs you more than ever. 

As a generation, we look to you to help change the world. A world in which books are being banned, women and queer rights are constantly being taken away, a world that increases in temperature every year, and a world where guns are more important than the lives of our dear youth. We stand by you as you head into the world, armed to change it. 

My message to you today: The linear path is a myth, or at least the exception. No journey worth taking is without stops and starts. No one can predict what’s to come. You all already know this. You experienced this truth earlier than I did. You know the secret. Take this knowledge with you as you enter the world, as college students, as professionals, as friends, as citizens of the world, and warriors in the fight for justice.  

If we’re not prepared for these bumps in the road, it’s easy to get discouraged, but recognizing that it’s not the shape of the path but your ability to persist that will get you somewhere worth going. You’ve done so much work already just to graduate in these unique and challenging times.

Today my life is joyous, passionate, and challenging. I am sober and grateful, I keep learning new skills. I have worked with hundreds of inspiring people who have changed me for the better, just as I hope I have changed them.

I've filmed commercials, written a best-selling book, won awards, traveled the world, and have my health. I embrace and study the biology and chemistry of cooking and it feels very full circle to do so. That year at NYU wasn’t wasted, Mom and Dad! I opened what critics call the best new restaurant in the country and I hope you can come visit us one day.

If you had told me this would be my life 30 years ago, when I sat in your shoes, I would have found it all incredible.

And that is the point. Life is incredible. The past four years you have spent together have been incredible. Be prepared for many more. And stay in touch. There is great solace in the comfort of the memories and shared experiences your time together here created, especially during this delicate state of the world. 

So today, Class of 2023, as you enter your next era, I ask you: Please dream big. Know you are allowed to take the space you want in this world. Know that the vision may change and the road will wind but you will find phenomenal things along the way.

Life will change in ways you never expected. You will change in ways you never expected. No matter how much we plan, life will look differently than we think it will. Stay the course and don’t be afraid. 

Everything we do in life prepares us for the next thing. Today you sit ready for your next big thing. And as life’s challenges and opportunities come up, remember, sometimes it takes living in the moment to realize you have been preparing for it for years. You got this!

Class of 2023, stay loving, stay brilliant, stay gritty, stay wise. May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. Continue to be fueled by passion in all you do. 

Congrats to you all! 

The Call to Serve

Tomás Buccini gave this talk on community service at St. Andrew's during Awards Night 2023

One of Hutch’s mantras about community service here at St. Andrew’s is that we don’t serve for college apps, our resumé, or any other form of recognition. We serve because we receive the call to do so. I can’t say I fully understood this message until this year, when I met Orlando, a Brazilian soccer and tennis coach who goes to the Middletown Senior Center every Wednesday. 

Tabitha, Nikki, and I organize weekly groups of 18 students to visit this same Senior Center and spend time with the elderly people who spend time there. The folks at the Senior Center come from all over the world, speak a variety of languages, and have so much to say—but have such a small audience to listen to them. I met Orlando, who is fluent in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English, when I randomly sat down at his table, introduced myself as the son of a Dominican immigrant, and began speaking to him in Spanish. 

Although my favorite moments with Orlando were our one-on-one conversations, I was sometimes joined by friends like Harry, Ford, Darden, and Rose. Throughout the year, his advice to us was always clear—be ambitious.

In one of our first conversations, I expressed to him my goal of becoming a senator. With youthful pessimism, I confessed that I thought it was an unachievable goal. He encouraged me, however, and promptly began calling me Mr. President, a nickname he continued calling me until our last conversation. Every Wednesday, Orlando would ask me about policies I planned on implementing, calling me out for flaws in said policies, all the while pushing me to stop doubting myself. While I am still uncertain about any future I have in public office, I am grateful for the conversations I have had with Orlando. 

Then, in the last few minutes of our final conversation, he thanked me. He told me that our conversations together allowed him to think and have meaningful discussions. At that moment, I understood the importance of community service. Service does not need to be one party giving to the other; instead, it is a mutual reception. I saw that I wasn’t just serving Orlando and the Senior Center, but Orlando was serving me by sharing his wisdom. 

My job as head of community service is to give you the opportunities to serve. My life has changed because when I received the call to serve, I answered, and learned. So when you get the chance to do so, sign up for mentoring. Give blood. Referee a Special Olympics game. Go say hi to Orlando for me. 

Finally, I just want to give thanks to Hutch. You have set the example for Nikki, Tabitha, and me. In my three years here, you have helped me grow on the lacrosse field, in the chapel, in my service work, and most importantly, as a person. You will continue to do amazing things, and I will forever be grateful for your unwavering faith in me. 

Gregory Gourdet ’93 delivering the 2023 Commencement Address.

St. Andrew's held its 90th annual Commencement ceremony on Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, capping off a week of festivities that honored and celebrated students in the Class of 2023.

Renowned chef and restauranteur Gregory Gourdet ’93 delivered the Commencement keynote. He detailed his winding journey from addiction to eventual James Beard Award-winning author, television personality, and award-winning chef, and shared stories of life-changing connections with friends from St. Andrew's and how he discovered a love for cooking while working odd jobs in restaurants. Gourdet also touched on the tumultuous addiction he navigated while starting his career in New York, moving to Portland, Oregon, becoming sober, and channeling his energy into different, more positive avenues. For Gourdet, life has been all about following his passion: "As much as I love St. Andrew's, I was not the best student here—nor at NYU, or at the University of Montana—but [when I was cooking], for the first time in my life, I felt passion for what I was doing." He left the the Class of 2023 with a simple note: "Stay loving, stay brilliant, stay gritty, stay wise. May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears. Continue to be fueled by passion in all you do." Click here to watch Gourdet’s entire address. 

Student body Co-Presidents Ford Chapman ’23 and Trinity Smith ’23 also gave Commencement remarks. You can listen to their talks here, or read Ford’s talk here and Trinity’s talk here. You can watch Awards Night, Commencement, and other Senior Week events in their entirety on St. Andrew’s YouTube channel here. A gallery of Commencement photos can be viewed here.

The night prior to Commencement, other members of the Class of 2023 gave talks on academics, athletics, arts, student life, and community service at St. Andrew’s. 

During the Commencement ceremony, members of the Class of 2023 and underformers were recognized with the following awards:

Robert T. Jordan ’86 Award - A'Zir Carey ’25, Grace Anne Doyle ’25

Given by his classmates and former teachers at St. Andrew's in memory of Robert T. Jordan, Class of 1986, who died September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center attack, to the IV Formers who display the qualities that made Robert so memorable and distinctive: a love of humanity, an appreciation of friendship, a willful perseverance and resolve amidst adversity and opportunity, a unique and refreshing perspective on life and all its possibilities.

Christopher Wilson ’99 Award & Scholarship - Lucelia Hale Miller ’23

Given by his parents in memory of Christopher Edward Wilson '99, the award recognizes seniors who best embody Chris' virtues and personal qualities: a love of St. Andrew's, a quiet and authentic appreciation of life, friendship, and community; a devotion to service and to children; and a kind and generous spirit.

Cristin C. Duprey ’04 Diversity & Inclusivity Award - Sarah Rose Odutola ’23, Aina Puri ’23, Yeonwoo (Heidi) Seo ’23

Given in memory of Cristin C. Duprey '04, to the VI Former who has provided exceptional service in the cultivation of a diverse and inclusive St. Andrew's School community.

John McGiff Fine Arts Award - Shania Adams ’23

Awarded to the student who has made the greatest contribution in the fine arts and demonstrated a depth and quality of talent that demands our recognition.

Henry Prize - William Dulaney ’23, Emma Hopkins ’23, Isaac Lawrence ’23

Awarded to the VI Form boys and girls who have been of the greatest service to athletics. It recognizes not only personal athletic skill, but also service to the teams of which the students were members.

Jonathan B. O'Brien Head of School Award - Bridget Schutt ’23, Isaac Lawrence ’23, Josephine Pitt ’23

The Jonathan B. O’Brien Head of School Award celebrates the brilliant and courageous leadership and vision of St. Andrew’s third Headmaster, Jon O’Brien, who led the School from 1977 - 1997. The Award recognizes seniors who contribute to the ethos of the School with integrity, humanity, generosity, and love.

King Prize - Sarah Rose Odutola ’23

Awarded to the leading scholar during the VI Form year.

Founder's Medal - Sarah Rose Odutola ’23

Awarded to the scholar in the graduating class who, during his or her career at St. Andrew's, has achieved the best academic record in the Form.

William H. Cameron Award - Ford Chapman ’23, Trinity Smith ’23

Given to the VI Form boy and girl who have performed outstanding service to the School.

St. Andrew's Cross - Sarah Rose Odutola ’23

Given in honor of the late Bishop Cook of Delaware, who was associated with the founding of the School, in recognition of the student whose contribution to the School has been distinguished for Christian qualities of concern for others, humility, and high principle.

A full list of student awards granted at the close of the 2022-23 school year will be printed in an upcoming issue of the St. Andrew’s Magazine.

Ike Lawrence ’23 gives a talk at Awards Night 2023.

Ike Lawrence ’23 gave this talk on student life at St. Andrew’s during Awards Night 2023

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. After returning from Thanksgiving break this year, I arrived on campus with the primary objective of procuring a Christmas tree for Sherwood Dorm.   

Prior to the break, Mr. O'Connell found somewhere in the woods what he believed to be the perfect Christmas tree and marked it with a small flag. A group of us were determined to find the tree, but we first needed a saw. After asking some faculty and looking through the gardening shed we realized saws weren’t readily available on campus. Luckily, Mr. O'Connell came through, because like any proud minivan owner, he keeps a saw in his trunk. 

We set out toward the New Forest amidst a beautiful Delaware sunset and an endless line of trees with various imperfections; all were either too big, too small, or oddly shaped. Compounding our struggle, we realized that finding a single tree marked by a small flag in a rapidly darkening landscape would be nearly impossible. We needed to find our own tree. So we pushed on, analyzing each we passed until we found the one. Not too big or small. Perfectly symmetrical. Strong and mighty. We took turns sawing a clean cut, tied a rope around the trunk, dragged it to the Organic Garden to hose it down in hopes of avoiding a spider infestation, and then triumphantly returned it to Sherwood. 

Gathered in our cozy common room we laughed, listened to music, and strung our new tree with festive lights.

Moments like these are what make living at St. Andrew’s different. Here, we can be inquisitive students, committed athletes, and creative artists, and perhaps most importantly, we can be kids. While being a kid can mean many things, I would argue that it finds its purest adolescent form here at St. Andrew’s. Circumnavigating the pond, playing in (or DJing) at an electrifying SAISL final, or trekking with friends to find a Christmas tree in the woods, are all moments of connection that build lifelong friendships. At St. Andrew’s, we prioritize genuine human connection by not allowing technology to define our social sphere and by embracing the many possibilities within our diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and experiences. The intentionality of St. Andrew’s student life and culture serves to preserve an ever-more uncommon experience of living and learning in a world we choose to build, away from the unhealthy and unnecessary pressures found beyond campus. Instead, we are privileged to live with our friends in residential communities, deepen school traditions, and spend warm spring days lounging on the Front Lawn. What more can you ask for? 

Underformers, pursue your endeavors with passion and grit, but also take time to be a kid. Live in and love this place, get outside, be creative, embrace this unique experience, and carry it with you in the future. Life doesn’t have to be boring and tedious. Some of it certainly will be, but keep having fun, keep creating, and keep enjoying the life you’re building for yourself here at St. Andrew’s. We still haven't found Mr. O’Connell’s perfect tree in the woods. So go find it.  

Art Is Like Family

Sophie Xu ’23 gave this talk about the arts at St. Andrew’s during Awards Night 2023

I’m Sophie, and I’m sure you recognize me if you’ve ever been to a Parents Weekend or an Arts Weekend concert. Sure, I was labeled as a pianist and violinist before coming to St.Andrew’s, but I never even dreamed of seeing myself as an a capella singer, a jazz saxophonist, or a rapping nun in a school musical. 

So when I think back on the past four years, being in a school known for its opportunities and support, I am the most grateful for the arts program. 

On a Free Day last spring, I tore my ACL on the front lawn. We all play multiple roles in SAS, and in this moment, the athlete part of me crumbled. It was probably the biggest and saddest obstacle I’ve ever experienced. But when I tell you that it was art that saved me from falling over, I’m not exaggerating. 

My surgery was exactly three days after Arts Weekend 2022. The weekend was successful, as I vaguely recall, but I will never forget standing up to sing "September" for Jazz, with one hand leaning on a crutch and the other holding the mic. For Noxontones, that was probably the only time a stool was seen in our semicircle, but hey, I was still head-bopping. 

But the most heartwarming moment was when I walked onto the stage as concertmaster of the orchestra, alone, as I have done before, but this time with my crutches, a little embarrassed for moving so slowly through the rows of chairs—but the clapping went on. At that moment I knew I could never perform for a more supportive community than St. Andrew’s. 

Perhaps because music was already so interwoven in my life, I seemed to forget the joy it brought me until those four weeks, when making music re-ignited those dim days and made me realize how much space art actually takes up in my heart. I suppose you could compare it to family, where it's always part of your life, but extra-soothing during your hardest times. 

And when I say that making music can alter my emotions, it actually goes both ways. This year, I picked up the saxophone in a class of talented musicians. 

One day Dr. Geiersbach asked us to improv over a piece with insane chord progressions, and ultimately the class ended on my solo, which did not sound very good. So the irritation stuck with me, and for the whole rest of the day, I was thinking about what notes I could have played. 

But hey, only when you feel both the positives and the negatives do you realize how much you care about it.

So take an art class. Maybe through that class you will realize something new, like how I learned that I could sing in my sophomore year vocal studies class. Or maybe you will never pursue that art again—like how I might not ever have the opportunity to play the saxophone again. 

But why not take a try? Because art for me has been a source of sunshine through my highest highs and lowest lows, and perhaps it could be yours too.

Emma Hopkins ’23 prepares to race in a crew shell down Noxontown Pond.

Emma Hopkins ’23 gave this talk on athletics at St. Andrew's during Awards Night 2023

What does it mean to be an athlete? I remember when an old coach labeled me and my teammates with this word, and we just giggled at how serious he was. Duh, we were athletes, we did a sport. Yet, we began to wear the term with pride and found determination when we reminded ourselves of it. However, it took sports at St. Andrew’s for me to understand what the term “athlete” meant.

The three sports I do here, cross-country, swimming, and crew, (pain sports, as some call them) are three of the most “individual” sports you can do at St. Andrew's. I might not be able to aim or catch unless you want me to deeply embarrass myself, but what I have learned in my sports is how to zone in. To shut out nerves and distractions so that I can focus completely on what I’m about to do and embrace whatever excruciating pain I have decided to put myself through. 

This is what I thought was the mark of a good athlete: if I could shut out everything and everyone else, then I would find success.

One of these moments where I zoned in completely was at my final Stotesbury Cup last weekend. You can ask many of my boatmates for photos of me on the ride to the finals with a stony face. Engrossed in hype-up music, I was focused on what I was about to do and the pain I was about to put myself in, blocking out whatever antics were happening at the back of the bus. This was what mattered, right?

However, when my final race ended, all I could do was cry because it was over. I cried because I had taken my final strokes with a boat full of rowers that had become my sisters. I cried because my time competing with St. Andrew's athletes was over.

In this moment, no amount of zoning in was more important than the people around me. It is these people, my beloved teammates, who have had the greatest impact on me as a person and it has been my connection with them that has made me an athlete. 

Locking in might be a skill, but what it really means to be an athlete, and a Saint, is to reach out. The most important things I have accomplished have been because they were bigger than just myself. State Championships and A-finals were done for teams who without question supported me through my lows and celebrated my highs and everything in between, from conversations on long runs to singing Adele in the swimming locker room.

To end this, I would just like to say thank you. Thank you to my coaches who have always been there to push me while striving to know me as a whole person. I could not be more grateful for these teams that I have given my heart and soul to, who have become family, mentors, and friends. Continue to be the best athletes you can be in everything that means.

Helen Heuer ’23 takes notes in AS Bio class.

Helen Heuer ’23 gave this talk on academics at St. Andrew's during Awards Night 2023

When people consider culture and community at St. Andrew's, nine out of ten times the Front Lawn or the dorms spring to mind. And while these places are undeniably integral settings for the outstanding culture of uplifting others that we enjoy at this school, the first place that comes to my mind is the classroom.

Each class has presented new challenges (some harder than others) and even newer ways of looking at the world, from freshman-year Biology and our fateful expeditions around the pond, to daunting Research Seminar peer-edit sessions. Cumulatively, they have shaped me into the scholar I am proud to be. But at the heart of the academics here lies a foundational understanding that transcends the transaction of knowledge we come to expect in the classroom. 

Recently, as I read Robert Klam’s short story titled “The Other Party” for Mr. Torrey’s small but mighty tutorial (Get it: tu-TORRY-al?), I found myself pausing on a line that I think describes the SAS academic philosophy at its core. As the narrator reflects on his life and its purpose, he recalls his neighbor’s words: “We are in this moment together, and that’s all there actually is”. This idea is, I think, what drives my classmates and teachers to engage so fully in each class, and what makes St. Andrews academics so profoundly beneficial in the development of exceptional community members as well as scholars. 

The way my peers and teachers throw themselves into their interactions within each class so meaningfully is often baked into the everyday routine. We are too deeply immersed in our collaborations and conversations to realize it. Nonetheless, it was these small moments stretching across countless periods that we spent chipping away together at Mr. Olana’s million-step calculus problems, restating Mr. Daly’s words for each other as we frantically transcribed his chem lessons, and passionately debated Toni Morrison’s Beloved on our way out of English class, that are responsible for our growth as communicators, leaders, and friends who uplift each other in our individual academic pursuits. 

This is an impressive feat that requires passionate learners whose drive for knowledge and academic success is matched by an equally strong dedication to the community they find themselves in. After all, it is one thing to approach a class with the utmost determination to succeed—to put one’s head down and study and sweat until finally, the semester ends and one is (hopefully) awarded one’s good grade. 

But it is quite another thing to do this same hard work with an intentional commitment to the present. To recognize the sanctity in the simple fact “that we are in this moment together”, and treat each class as a time of community gathering just as much as a chance for personal advancement. With this, we lift each other up and make the most of our privileged time in the classroom. 

I am especially grateful for this unique aspect of St. Andrew's academics as my time here comes to a close. When I look back on the countless hours I spent sitting in front of a whiteboard or around a big wooden table, I am confident that I learned far more from my interactions with my classmates than I would have with my independent efforts alone. I feel so lucky to have spent the last four years in such a community-oriented learning space, and I urge all of you returning students to make the very most of it in the coming years. 

School co-president Trinity Smith ’23 gives a talk at Commencement 2023.

School co-president Trinity Smith ’23 gave this talk at Commencement 2023

Before I start, I wanted to thank all of my family and friends that came to support me this weekend. Especially my mom, dad, and sister for their unconditional love throughout my time at St Andrew’s. I also want to wish my advisor, Mrs. Duprey, a happy birthday—you have truly been my “home away from home” and I am so thankful to have had you by my side by my side. 

As I sat down last week to write, I couldn’t help but return to my first day on campus. It was a chaotic day: after maneuvering through heaps of luggage on dorm, after meeting my (now) roommate of four years for the first time, and after meeting the people I would live with for all of high school, I was encouraged by my senior big sister to introduce myself yet again on the Front Lawn. As she explained: this was an opportunity to get to know even more people beyond the friends I had already made on dorm. But to the ears of freshman-year me, venturing from the newfound comfort of Pell Dorm to an unexplored lawn of students who seemed to already have found their group of friends was not only peculiar but daunting. However, like all of us, I was convinced to approach the Front Lawn and introduce myself to every person I saw, even those I didn’t think I would be close friends with. I joined in games I’ve never played before, like spike ball, and joined students who were completely different from me but would soon and unexpectedly become my biggest supporters and friends. 

While the details of every St Andrew's student’s first day may differ, the lessons from move-in day remain the same. It is here where we first learn to take risks—how to step outside of what you already know and open your most authentic self to new people or experiences. 

Even more, these moments are what set the stage for all the connections we build thereafter. It is this skill that allowed me to turn my roommate double of two years into a roommate triple of two years, and allowed me to find the best lab partners, study buddies, lift partners, and unanticipated friends. It is this skill that allowed me to befriend faculty who have pushed me to explore subjects I now want to pursue in college or who have reminded me that I am capable of excellence. 

From our first day, St. Andrew’s teaches us that the most fruitful opportunities are not always the ones that are most obvious or comfortable to you, but the ones that appear where you least expect. These relationships aren’t always our closest friends and they aren’t always at the center of our St Andrew’s journeys, but these are the people who unexpectedly walk beside you along the way.  

For the underclassmen, do not stall in what is comfortable. Seek discomfort and open yourself up to unanticipated connections. 

Remember what it means to take risks and approach an environment you have never seen before. 

To the Class of ’23, I feel lucky saying that we have done that. We have embraced seasons of new faculty and students year after year. We have built life-changing connections as seniors on freshman, sophomore, or junior dorms. Most of all, we weathered the discomfort of the pandemic and rebuilt a culture that thrives on togetherness and genuineness. Let us carry these Front Lawn skills of openness, authenticity, and courage for years and years to follow. 

School co-president Ford Chapman gives an address at Commencement 2023.

School co-president Ford Chapman ’23 gave this talk at Commencement 2023

As I think of the most memorable experiences I’ve had at St. Andrew’s, football naturally comes to mind. Football was the first thing I did on this campus and has permeated every aspect of my life at St. Andrew’s. Once, Coach DiGati told the linebackers to “play for the name on our chests.” Of course, that name was St. Andrew’s. As we graduate, we need to remember the values St. Andrew’s has instilled in us and display them confidently on our chests. I’d like to talk about three values that tie St. Andreans together: accountability, drive, and care. 

Accountability. It is central to every part of life at St. Andrew’s. When we go to breakfast check-in, study hall, or to bed at night, we are expected to hold ourselves accountable to these expectations. We then learn to hold those around us accountable when they fall short, and we can expect our peers to do the same for us. It may come as a shock to many of you, but I love the phone culture here at St. Andrew’s. The strength of that culture relies on every person holding themselves and those around them accountable while being open to others asking more of them—even as the battle against phones is becoming harder to fight. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok quickly transform phones from simple conveniences to weapons against attention span, forces that drive invisible space between people. We only have so much time with the people we meet here at St. Andrew’s, so make the most of the time you have with each other by leaving your phone in your room and urging others to do the same.

Next: drive. St. Andreans like you always reach for the next step forward. Especially when things get tough, we carefully mull over our options before making thoughtful and purposeful decisions. I’m not sure anyone exemplifies this more than my roommate Isaac Lawrence, who this past year has dealt with significant adversity. It would have been easy for Isaac to prioritize his comfort over his many responsibilities at school. Instead, he reached far beyond the lofty expectations that people had of him. Isaac’s determination motivates the entire school to be the best they can be. Drive like that will not be forgotten. Isaac is what drive looks like.

Finally: care. At St. Andrew’s, care is figuring out what you love about the community and investing yourself to preserve it. Anyone on Sherwood may have heard my other roommate, Philip, exclaim “I don’t care!” at random times throughout the year. But, actions speak louder than words, and anyone who notices how Philip carries himself knows: Philip cares about building meaningful relationships with those around him. For better or for worse, he is always the first one to disarm a conflict and try to mediate a solution in hopes of cultivating deeper bonds. Philip is what care looks like. 

To finish, thank you to my family for encouraging me to come to St. Andrew’s and encouraging me to be the best person I can be. On behalf of my peers, I’d like to thank all of my classmates' families for motivating all of these wonderful students. Thank you to all of the faculty who have guided me through my time here. A huge thank you to all of my friends. 

I wouldn’t be the man I am without all of you. I would call you my family, but I don’t think even being family could bring us closer than we are now. 

And thank you to the Class of 2023. As we depart from St. Andrew’s, remember to wear the St. Andrew’s name— and the values we have practiced here—proudly on your chest. Thank you.

“Mano”—Respect Your Elders

Zachary Macalintal ’24 gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service on May 17, hosted by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Zachary Macalintal ’24 gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service on May 17, hosted by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.


Stuck Between Two Worlds

Yiru Wang ’25 and Connie Kang ’26 gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service on May 17, hosted by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Yiru Wang ’25 and Connie Kang ’26 gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service on May 17, hosted by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.


"Sophie Cubed"

Sophie Xu ’23, Sophie Mo ’24, and Sophie Forbes ’25 gave this joint chapel talk at a Wednesday night service on May 17, hosted by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Sophie Xu ’23, Sophie Mo ’24, and Sophie Forbes ’25 gave this joint chapel talk at a Wednesday night service on May 17, hosted by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.


The Constant Battle of Confusion & Acceptance

Lauren Hearder ’24 gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service on May 17, hosted by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Lauren Hearder ’24 gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service on May 17, hosted by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month. 


Being Asian Is Something to Celebrate

Seoyoon Kwon ’23 gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service hosted on May 17 by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Seoyoon Kwon ’23 gave this reflection at a Wednesday night chapel service hosted on May 17 by the Asian Student Union in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.


Going Viral

Last night I received an email from Director of Communications Liz Torrey: “Okay, so, Joy, when I saw you earlier this week and I said that the senior prank post ‘went viral,’ I meant that the post was doing well relative to our other content. Well—now it really has gone viral. THIS IS NOT A JOKE.”

No, it was not a joke. A video that Austin Chuang ’23 snapped in my kitchen last week when I came down for my morning tea (at 6:00 a.m.) and discovered the Class of 2023 had snuck into the house at 1:00 a.m. and bedded down for a sleepover-slash-senior-prank, as of this moment has 3.5 million views and 1300 comments across Instagram and Facebook.

Liz continued, “Probably you’re not at all thrilled that a video of you in a bathrobe and Crocs is turning into 15 minutes of fame, but seriously, as the commenters say, your response to the kids make this place look like a dream.”

How can I be upset when this place really is a dream? It’s just funny that in our cell phone-limited and social-media-shunning school that anything we do—much less the most ordinary of moments—could “go viral.” After all, it’s not unusual for students to be all over the first floor of our house. When I first opened the door and saw unknown quantities of people in my kitchen, I was, not surprisingly, shocked. But after a beat, I realized it was Austin I had just seen in the kitchen, and thought: “Of course Austin is here; he is here a lot.” He and his friends, for example, had just spent an entire Saturday in that kitchen wearing my collection of floral aprons and cooking prom dinner for 22 students.

In our digital, remote, post-COVID, and pandemic-inflected world, the idea of “going viral” carries all sorts of valences. We are all going viral all the time around here, without phones, without social media: just with each other. If anything exciting happens anywhere on campus, we know. If someone is feeling down, we find out and rush to their side. If a team is losing their grip on a precarious lead, everyone spontaneously appears to cheer them on. If we need to find someone, we walk outside, check a couple of the usual spots, and easily find them. If there was ever proof that cell phones don’t keep us in touch, but rather push us apart, it’s this school. Thank heavens kids can gather in our homes again, pile on top of each other in common rooms, pick at each other’s dessert after dinner (this probably sounds gross to civilians, but we are used to it)—all the things we have always done at St. Andrew’s. 

Now, St. Andrew’s is about to go viral once again. Our VI Formers will graduate and depart on Sunday, soon followed by the underformers next Saturday. This Sunday is the Sunday of Pentecost, the observance of the appearance of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, sending them, as the scripture says, “to the ends of the earth” to share the message of love and peace with the world. The last Sunday chapel of the year occurred this past weekend at Old St. Anne’s, and in my remarks, I drew parallels to the situation of our students. Energized by an intensive and joyful school year, our students are now called back to their homes, their families, their communities as carriers and vectors of those things of which this divided and uncertain world is very much in need: love, spirit, and inspiration. 

It is my prayer and expectation that they will do so IRL and FTF, without their phones, without social media, and without the technological crutches that inhibit the connections that make us human. Let’s go viral, Saints. May it be so. 

Time to Get Moving

Head of School Joy McGrath ’92 gave these remarks at the final Sunday chapel service of the school year, held at Old St. Anne’s Church in Middletown. 

Good morning! It is hard to believe that we were all here over eight months ago and I was in this pulpit talking to you about lost sheep—how we will all be lost at some point during the year, and how we will all be found by each other through the power of grace and love. 

Just like I found the entire VI Form in my house when I woke up on Friday morning. 

But I digress. We follow a cycle of the lectionary calendar in our services, and this year we have traversed Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, Jesus has died and risen again. Now, next week is Pentecost, and so today’s scriptures tell the story of what happens just before Pentecost, when Jesus is “taken up” into the heavens and the apostles prepare for what comes next. They will be sent out into regions of the Roman Empire to spread the good news of the Gospel. 

You may wonder what Pentecost is. But I think the lessons of Pentecost and in today’s scriptures relate to all of us right now in this moment before we take off for every corner of the globe. Pentecost, which means “the fiftieth day,” refers to a feast of seven weeks known as the Feast of Weeks—in the Old Testament, before Jesus is on the scene. It was an agricultural holiday that related to the harvesting of first fruits. Now, today’s reading is from the New Testament, which uses the same term—Pentecost—to note the fiftieth day after Easter when the Holy Spirit comes to Jesus’ followers shortly after his resurrection and ascension. 

In the reading today from Acts (1:6-14), before Jesus ascends, the last thing he says is, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Right now, we are in that same condition, on the brink of a departure following a transformative year. Especially for our seniors, whose departure date is close at hand. 

In a few short days, your families will retrieve you or you will board airplanes and trains and head “to the ends of the earth,” as St. Luke the Evangelist wrote in Acts. In that reading, these angels, these “men in white robes,” come before the Holy Spirit, and ask the disciples, “Why do you stand here looking up toward heaven?” clearly with the subtext that they should not be doing that. Have you ever seen something so amazing that you felt rooted to the very ground, unable to move your feet? And yet, “Why are you standing around?” the angels asked. 

So, the New Testament writers adopted the name of a much older observance related to the very first crops of early summer, the Feast of Weeks, to describe this moment: Pentecost—time to get moving. This got me thinking about first fruits. Strawberries are in season here in Delaware right now, usually the first literal fruits of the season. I have a lot of memories of picking strawberries on my grandfather’s farm when I was little. Kids are a lot closer to the ground, and as my grandparents aged, it seemed that what we called “stoop labor” like berry-picking, was assigned to the small children. 

Growing up, my family unit included two sets of grandparents. Especially in the summers, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. They were hard workers, farm people. They were not people who stood around, and they certainly did not expect their grandchildren to stand around.  In fact, when I read about the “people in white robes” who say to Jesus’ followers, “Why do you stand looking up toward heaven?” I immediately thought of my grandmother. Don’t just stand there, make yourself useful, was her mantra.

“Why are you standing around?”

Like the disciples, we have been living in community here at St. Andrew’s, and now it is time for us to scatter and contribute what we can to our own corners of the world: our families, our hometowns, our community institutions, and places of worship. It’s not a time to be standing around. 

You can take a break from school and still approach your summer with direction and intention. We say at the end of each service that, “the worship has ended, let the service begin”; at the end of each year, we should say the same. 

My summers were not what you would call relaxing. We worked in the steamy weather and the hot kitchen; that was just what we did. After dinner was cooked, eaten, and all the dishes were washed and put away, I read a book before bedtime. I worked at my job, at church, and sometimes I would even have to dress up in a giant foam rubber watermelon suit as the character “Walter Melon” and go to farmers’ markets in sweltering heat with my dad. And yes, there is photographic documentation of this. And no, I will not give it to you. But: There was not a lot of standing around. 

Some of you may spend your summers in a similar fashion. It is good to work, to produce, to learn, to help. It is actually a kind of rest. You learn to organize yourself, complete projects, think about others, contribute to the common good. Face outward and not inward. Maybe you learn to distinguish big from little. Sometimes at school, we get distracted by little things: this test, that game. But we are really here for the big things: friendships, breakthroughs, service, making something new. By focusing on the big things, we build friendships, families, communities. Young people are such an important part of that. 

Believe it or not, when you are at home, your simple presence inspires your older relatives, neighbors, and younger children. You bring energy, creativity, and willing hearts and hands and feet to whatever is going on around you. You can be part of something bigger than yourself. Go and look for that something bigger, as the apostles did.

Pentecost is the time of the sending out of the message of love into the world. This season—strawberry season, the start of the summer—is also the time of sending all of you out into the world. You are the inspiration, you are the new energy, you bring the spirit and the love. So, when you get home, pay attention and chip in. Share your gifts and your loving spirit with those around you. 

We have had a wondrous year at St. Andrew’s this year because of each of you. You have done some pretty hard things, and done them well, together. You have kept it simple, you have asked for help, you have loved each other. You have practiced and practiced and practiced. You have made mistakes, and forgiven each other, and that has made your friendships stronger. You have accomplished things together that you never could have done by yourselves. You have grown and changed and learned so much. You have new questions about the world, and new ways of thinking about how you inhabit it. You have been part of something larger than yourselves. 

I am very proud of you. And, although I will miss you terribly over the summer, I hope you will take this spirit of attention, engagement, and love and bring it home. The angels said, “Why are you standing around?” 

So don’t just stand there, Saints, it’s time to get moving. 

Senior Thesis: "Watching and Waiting" on Singer-Songwriter John Teti ’23

There are two ways to identify a genuine encounter with John Teti ’23 in the wilds of St. Andrew’s: you either see him before you hear him, or you hear him before you see him.
Scenario one calls for Teti to be outfitted in one of his bold, vibrant (and potentially ironic—it’s hard to tell, as Teti has a flair for the impish) looks, which, as the anointed ambassador of Hawaiian shirt culture at St. Andrew’s, is most days. It also helps when spotting him that he’s very, very tall.
Scenario two calls for you to be within any building in St. Andrew’s that houses a single musical instrument. Piano, drum, guitar, bass, melodica, it doesn’t matter: Teti’s all in. It’s a magnetic, urgent pull between human and instrument. And what lovely, thoughtful noise Teti makes.
If you were to query any St. Andrew’s faculty or staff HQ’d in the O’Brien Arts Center, they’d be quick to tell you that the very best thing about that space is the constant sound of genius in progress from student artists and musicians. This year, in particular, Teti’s achingly earnest, honest vocals have bloomed throughout O’Brien as he works through a personal senior thesis of sorts: Watching and Waiting, the burgeoning singer-songwriter’s first full-length album, completely recorded on campus with a little help from his friends.
“John Teti is probably the reason I love music the way I do,” says Jayson Rivera ’23, a founding member of The Freshman Band, which has seen many different names (“My personal favorite was Toads on Parade,” says Teti) and bandmates throughout the years. “He got a group of us together our first year. I was intimidated on bass because everyone was so talented, but what John helped put together for that very first Open Mic Night our III Form year has been one of my favorite things about St. Andrew’s. It’s from John that I learned music is not something you make because a parent or teacher asks you to. Music is something you make out of love alone.”
Like any good bestie-of-the-band, Rivera already has a favorite single from Teti’s soon-to-be released album. “I play on ‘Here and Now,’ and the song is so good,” he says. “John has the potential and the talent to absolutely go crazy with music. I’ve watched him mold the clay and become more confident in his playing and mature in his writing. The cool thing is John’s always known what he wants to do with music, but he also happens to be smart enough to pursue anything else in the world he wants.”
Teti is peak-Teti the morning we meet: Humming one of his originals, Hawaiian shirt poppin’, dropping the kind of dope and sage wisdom that makes you wonder if this kid is, in fact, actually a high-schooler. He’s considering the lyrics of one of his songs, which he characterizes as “simple.” “But I find it’s the most simple experiences, moments, and truths that really connect us as humans exploring the human condition,” he says. “That’s so beautiful to me.” (Dope, sage. I told you.)
While today Teti has resisted the siren lure of the Dining Hall piano that we sit dangerously close to in the Main Common Room, he gestures toward it. “That’s where this started for me here,” he says. “I was known by the seniors as the annoying freshman kid who always woke them up because I would come for breakfast check-in and just start playing.”
Teti contends he wasn’t brave enough as a III Former to make the sartorial choices he makes now, but it was never a question of being audacious enough to jump on the keys.
“The music wasn’t for them,” Teti says of his peers in the Dining Hall (and the seniors, who eventually came around). “I was playing for me. I was playing because there was an instrument handy and I had a few minutes.”
Soon, Teti’s breakfast interludes started to gain traction. “Soon people took the stance of, ‘This is really nice,’” Teti says. “That's one of the things that I think is thematically true of my relationship with music, which is I use music as a builder of community. I'm very grateful that everyone else in the St. Andrew’s community seems to be as grateful as they are for me simply just doing something I love to do.”
That love of music stems from a musician dad; early fandom of Billy Joel, The Beach Boys, Randy Newman, and the Pauls (Simon and McCartney, naturally); and a few years spent singing at The American Boychoir School in New Jersey, a choir boarding school for middle-graders.

“I learned a lot about singing, music, choir, and independent life while I was there,” he says. “I did a lot of country-touring and stayed with a million host families, singing at tiny churches across America. I've seen the interior of 200-odd middle-class American homes, which was pretty cool.”
When the school closed, Teti found himself a seventh-grader at parochial school with a music curriculum that was lacking, to put it kindly. “I was feeling antsy without music in my life in a big way,” says Teti, who, backed with some of the theory knowledge he’d picked up along the way, soon turned to chord sheets and YouTube to teach himself piano. It didn’t take long for him to arrive at a place where, upon approached with any request, he could look up the chord sheet and boom.
“What’s most flourished for me, creatively speaking, with music at St. Andrew’s has been piano,” he says.
Director of Instrumental Music Dr. Fred Geiersbach has had a front row seat to all the flourishing.
“It's been amazing to watch John's already strong talent grow over the last few years,” Geiersbach says. “He's obviously a strong singer-songwriter, but it brings me great joy to also see him developing as an arranger on this album. He's been a fabulous addition to the Jazz Ensemble this semester, and I've been really happy to contribute my playing to his album.”
As for “Doc G’s” contribution? “I'm using a brass quartet made up of Dr. Geiersbach layered over himself,” Teti says with a grin. “I love it. It makes me laugh every time I think about it.”
Other SAS collaborators on the album include Cora Birknes ’23 on oboe, Silas Grasse ’23 on drums, and Sophie Xu ’23 on violin, among others. It makes sense that Teti would cast his friends and fellow Saint musicians as supporting characters on his album. After all, he is telling a story of becoming that happened to unfold on the banks of Noxontown Pond.  
“I think broadly I’m trying to paint a self-portrait of the last couple years of high school,” he says. “A lot of that has to do with the relationships I created here, in these spaces.”

While all the songs are written, the actual recording of Watching and Waiting began after Christmas Break this year. Teti, who has invested a grand total of $20 into his artistic endeavor, has made good use of St. Andrew’s recording studio, with an assist from film and music instructor Peter Hoopes. Outside of the studio and the talent of Teti and his musical squad, Teti’s using Apple’s Logic Pro recording software and voice memos he calls “sound collages.” A trained St. Andrew’s ear will hear the sounds of campus embedded in his music: Oar-meets-water, recorded from his crew boat. The pealing of the bell tower. The din of Dining Hall conversation. Geese taking flight.
“Music for me is a form of therapy, and I went through some rather serious bouts of anxiety and other mental illness over the last couple years. I think I felt kind of stuck,” Teti says. “There’s one song that I wrote last spring where you’ll hear the repetitive sound of the oars clacking. It’s this mechanical pattern. It speaks to my headspace. It’s sort of shocking how much I feel like I’m in it when I close my eyes and listen. It’s almost an audio landscape painting or time capsule. To make myself spend time ruminating and soaking and steeping in this really difficult time was an emotional feat. Ask any student here: sometimes it feels like we’re caught in this endless loop. I guess the song is my version of that.”
Teti has both amused, surprised, and impressed himself when it comes to the songwriting. “Sometimes I’ll look at something I wrote and think, ‘Wow. That’s interesting. I wonder where this is coming from,’” he says. “Other times I’ll write something and sit back and it will occur to me that what I wrote is not something I ever dreamed of writing.”
English faculty Will Torrey—a mentor of Teti’s—knows a thing or two about Teti’s craft.
“From the first day of class, I could see John was an artistic, sensitive young man, someone who felt strong emotions deep down, and someone who knew, intuitively, that studying art and literature might help him make sense of the confusion so endemic to everyday life,” Torrey says. “It wasn't until he enrolled in Creative Writing that I began to fully understand him as a person. Along with the work he did in class—composing thought-provoking poems and pushing his peers to write as honestly and openly as they could—John also began coming by my office for regular visits. During these chats, John opened up about his love of music, as well as his ambition to produce a full-length album before he graduates. Such an undertaking would be a great challenge for anyone, but for a student at a school where one's days are totally scheduled, it seems almost impossible. That is, unless you're John.”
Much like one would submit early drafts of writing to their favorite teacher, Torrey has been treated to early studio sessions of Teti’s songs. “They’re beautiful,” Torrey says. “But what inspires me most about him is his preternaturally mature relationship to the process of making art. He puts in the time, not because it's easy or because it always yields gold, but because the making of the product, and not the product itself, is what fills him up.”
Teti knows the pressures on—in a little over a week, he’ll be graduating, and then off to spend “13th grade” at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. “Yes, another boarding school on another pond,” he says wryly. While he admits he’s battling a sense of imposter syndrome about getting into the choicey arts school to focus solely on his music, Teti is thrilled. “Music will be the sole academic focus,” he says. “Most musicians don’t get that opportunity until post-undergrad.”
There is, of course, Watching and Waiting to contend with first. Of the 10 tracks, two—“Strawberry Moon” and “Here We Are”—are now streaming on Spotify; the eight others are in various stages of completion.
“I don't want to get too in the weeds on what is the existential purpose of recorded music, but I don't want to make something that nobody hears,” Teti says. “I've sunk a lot of time and effort into this project and it would be incredibly disappointing for it not to be finished before I leave.” (Yes, of course, there will be a listening party.)
As he considers his musical growth, the friends and faculty who helped along the way, and finding his voice, Teti is almost surprised to admit it might not be the people he misses most. “I expected that to be the answer, as it’s the obvious one,” Teti says. “But I think, increasingly enough, I’ve found myself already mourning the loss of the physical spaces. Delaware sunsets in the fall, Noxontown Pond, the grass docks, the recording studio—the sounds of it all.”


Cusick's long-standing involvement with USFHA takes another step forward.

Head Field Hockey Coach Kate Cusick recently completed USA Field Hockey's Level 2 Coaching Certification on May 12 at Millersville University.

USFHA's Coaching Education & Learning Program provides coaches at all levels the opportunities and resources of "The USA Way", the framework that guides the philosophy and training exercises of USA Field Hockey. The Coach Education Program, which includes three instructional coaching clinics among other offerings, is aligned with the philosophy of the American Development Model and promotes the best teaching and learning principles for age and stage appropriate development.

“It was an incredible opportunity to learn technical and tactical skills from top-level coaches," says Cusick. "The opportunity to share and collaborate on our coaching philosophies and approaches has been invaluable.”


The training was led by Phil Edwards, Technical Director for the Rutgers University field hockey program and formerly US National Team Coaching Director, along with Victor Brady, Bryn Mawr College’s head field hockey coach. Coach Cusick was joined by nine other high school field hockey coaches from across the US.

“I’m looking forward to implementing what I learned this spring," says Cusick, "and completing the Level 3 training program before the end of the year.”

In addition to her coaching duties at St. Andrew's, Cusick is the head coach in the Region 7 Nexus program, which trains the top players from Delaware and Maryland, including U16 and U19 National Team Members. Her involvement with USFHA dates back to her playing days in the late 1990s and then as a coach for the program at Duke University in 2008. 



The highlight of the weekend was the Girls Freshman 8 bringing home a bronze medal.

St. Andrew’s Boys and Girls Crew teams both had phenomenal performances at the 2023 Stotesbury Cup Regatta this past weekend in Philadelphia, PA. The highlight of the weekend was the Girls Freshman 8 bringing home a bronze medal! Listed below are each boats’ results:

Girls Crew
St. Andrew's Girls Crew had a phenomenal weekend. Only one other program put a boat in the finals of the 1V, 2V and Freshman 8 races: perennial power Mount St. Joseph. 

Senior 8
Emma Hopkins ’23, Josie Pitt ’23, Joye Wingard ’24, Madeleine Lasell ’25, Hannah Gilheany ’24, Bridget Schutt’23, Stella Roffers ’24, Margaret Young ’24 and Adele Auchincloss ’23 (Cox)

This boat was the team to beat after placing 1st out of 27 boats in Friday’s time trail with a 5:09.07 race. In the semi-finals, St. Andrew’s beat Montclair and Whitman to take 1st with a 5:00.63 and advance to the finals. In the finals, the Senior 8 missed out on a medal by 0.66 seconds, finishing 4th behind Mount Saint Joseph, Holy Spirit and Jackson-Reed. An overall fantastic performance from St. Andrew's top boat.

Second 8
Anastasia Wrightson ’25, Caroline Adle ’24, Zoey Honsel ’24, Riya Soni ’24, Elli Baker ’26, Lauren Hearder ’24, Claire Walker ’25, Trinity Smith ’23, Grace Anne Doyle ’25 (Cox)

A strong finish in the time trail (6th overall) placed them comfortably in the semi-finals, where they placed 3rd with a 5:18.86. That advanced them to the final where the team rowed a 5:26.23 and finished 5th overall. The team shaved 20 seconds off their time from Friday into Saturday.

Junior 8
Emma de Ramel ’25, Catherine Foster ’25, Saskia Hood ’25, Sofia Golab ’25, Sarah Fischer ’25, Mary Troy ’24, Yiru Wang ’25, Sophie Forbes ’25, Avery Vaughan ’24 (Cox)

The Junior 8s rowed themselves into a semi-final race, where they finished 6th with a 5:34.54. They finished 17th overall.

Freshman 8
Natasha Hearder ’26, Margaret Gilheany ’26, Ahilya Ellis ’26, Sophie Hansen ’26, Josephine Scott-Barnes ’26, Alexandra Wilkins ’26, Constance Kang ’26, Ceri Phillips ’26, Mary Margaret Hall ’26 (Cox)

The Freshman 8 were the team of the day. They shocked the field by finishing 4th in the time trail (5:40.68) and placing second behind Mount Saint Joseph in the semi-final race to advance to the finals. In the finals, St. Andrew’s finished 3rd with a 5:28.17 time, earning a bronze medal. It is the first time a St. Andrew’s Girls Freshman 8 boat medaled at Stotesbury since 1996!

Boys Crew
Senior 8
Zach Atalay ’23, Will Hagberg ’25, Joe Baker ’24, Finn Waterston ’25, Kyle Share ’23, Luke Rowles ’25, Gibson Hurtt ’24, Cooper Drazek ’24, Kieran Bansal ’24 (Cox)

The Senior 8 pulled a 4:38.16 in the time trail which placed them 7th overall. Up against eventual championship St. Joseph’s Prep and McLean, the Saints narrowly missed making the finals after placing 3rd in the semis with a 4:25.80. They will get a chance to compete in the at USRowing Youth Nationals in Sarasota, FL in early June against the top boats in the country.

Second 8
Luke Ketzner ’25, Lucas Ochis ’24, Tyrus Roney ’25, Oscar Ji ’24, Myles Derabertis ’23, Kiezen Ameriks ’24, Peter Bird ’25, Erik Liu ’25, Roland Bridges ’25 (Cox)

The Second 8 rowed well all year, which continued into the weekend. They placed 4th overall in the time trail with a 4:49.14, then placed 3rd in the semi-final race with a 4:36.39 to advance to the finals. Unfortunately, the team was brought down by a crab in the midst of a great finals race. The Second 8 was in bronze medal position with about 90 seconds to go when it happened. The future is bright for this young boat.

Junior 8
Camilo Leon Rosenfield ’25, Charlie Adams ’25, Kevin Tu ’24, Danny Yu ’24, John Plummer ’25, Finn Lorentzen ’25, Kaspian Ruff ’26, Ethan Kim ’25, Prem Patel ’24 (Cox)

The Junior 8 placed 19th overall with a 5:18.67 time. They narrowly missed a spot in the semi-finals.

Freshman 8
Drew Merriman ’26, Burke Donovan ’26, George Lindsay ’26, Will Tower ’26, Evan Messina ’26, Graham Robinson ’26, Hudson Stewart ’26, Lawson Kellner ’26, Peter Adler ’26 (Cox)

The Freshman 8 rowed well on Friday, placing 14th out of 28 boats with a time of 5:09.77. They missed making the semi-final by less than five seconds.

Arts Weekend 2023: Saints Community Shows Up for Student Creativity

Over the weekend of May 12-14, St. Andrew’s welcomed families to campus to celebrate the school’s 53rd annual Arts Weekend. This annual three-day festival of the performing and visual arts showcases student creative work across all artistic disciplines taught at St. Andrew’s—dance, theatre, instrumental and choral music, film studies, creative writing, drawing, painting, ceramics, and photography—while also giving families the chance to convene on campus together in the spring. 

The hub of the weekend's activity was the O’Brien Arts Center, where we kicked off the festivities with a student gallery show opening in the Warner Gallery and an Orchestra performance in Engelhard Hall (watch here), conducted by instrumental music teacher Fred Geiersbach.

On Saturday morning, families were invited to Engelhard Hall to watch a screening of student films, listen to a talk by Head of School Joy McGrath ’92 (listen here, or read her remarks here), and take in a performance by the Andrean Ensemble, the school’s choral music group (watch here). 

Families enjoyed an afternoon of lunch in the Dining Hall and athletics competitions on our fields. Girls lacrosse lost a 10-9 heartbreaker to St. Mark's, girls soccer beat MOT Charter 4-0, and baseball topped Tatnall 10-4. Meanwhile, the Saints boys rowing 1V boat was competing off-campus at the US National Mid-Atlantic Youth Championship, where they made it to the final race and placed 5th out of 6th. Other SAS rowers competed in exhibition races on Noxontown Pond. 

Later in the evening, families and students for a performance by the school’s Jazz Ensemble (watch here), also led by Dr. Geiersbach, and later, the Forbes Theatre, where students put on a production of Perspicacity: An Evening of One-Act Plays. You can view photos and videos from the production process on Instagram @forbestheatre.

On Sunday morning, families gathered in the duPont Memorial Chapel for an Episcopal service and homily delivered by senior parent Tracy Ehrlich P’23,’26. Following Chapel, we closed out the weekend with performances by the Noxontones—the school’s a capella group—and dance students back in Engelhard Hall (watch both performances here).

A gallery of photos from Arts Weekend 2022 is available below. Follow the arts at St. Andrew’s throughout the school year on Instagram