Each year, the school is led by two school co-presidents, elected by the VI Form class in the spring of their junior year. This year's co-presidents are Aunyae Romeo ’22 and Liam Hurtt ’22 seen here). We sat down with them recently to discuss how their senior year has been going so far, and what their hopes and goals are for the year.
Aunyae was born and raised in Hamilton, New Jersey. At St. Andrew's, she dances, rows crew, is a co-head of the musical theatre showcase, and has been a member of the student diversity committee for the past three years. Her favorite place on campus is Engelhard Hall; she loves the way the sound travels through the building.
Liam grew up on St. Andrew’s campus as a faculty child. At St. Andrew's, he plays soccer, swims and rows. He is also a member of the student vestry and helps teach Sunday School. His favorite spot on campus is the Front Lawn, and he loves smashed cookies (a regular Dining Hall treat).
Why are you excited to be a co-president this year?
Aunyae: “My plan was to be on the student diversity committee for all four years, but the past two to three have been really crazy and a lot of things have happened. During my time at St. Andrew’s, I’ve learned so much from the student diversity committee and I thought if I ran [for co-president] and I won, it would be a great opportunity to highlight the issues of diversity at St. Andrew’s… so I’m really excited to do that.”
Liam: “Over the year and a half we went through COVID. A lot changed and I think there was almost a gap in school culture. For me that’s pretty much the most important thing here—the culture and sense of community that we have. So it inspired me to run; that’s something I care about. I think getting [the culture] back to what it was and even making it better is really important, especially this year.”
Aunyae: “I love what Liam said about even reinventing the culture a little bit. Our class was one of the last classes to be around while Mr. Roach was still here and is the first senior class of Ms. McGrath, so we made it very clear to our Class that this was a big chance to reinvent the culture and reconstruct it to how we want it to be. It’s kind of an honor that our Class chose us to lead that.
VI Formers are important leaders in welcoming new students to St. Andrew's. How do you think the welcoming of new students went this year?
Liam: "I think so far it has been great. To be honest, I was a little bit nervous. There is only so much you can do to prepare, as a senior Class, and at some point you just have to trust the seniors around you to totally buy in and be great leaders and great mentors. I think so far we are achieving our goals of setting the culture and showing the [new students] what we are all about.
Aunyae: “To add on to that: [this year], I was a part of the first ever [Opening of School event] for students of color, called SAS Connect. It brought in the incoming students of color for a one-day event where they learned a whole bunch about the school. The students got to meet current [upperclassmen] and people who could help them in the process. I think we’re doing a better job than ever before and I think we get better every year at welcoming people.”
What advice would you give to new students?
Liam: “I always end my tours the same way—by saying: St. Andrew’s is whatever you make it. There are so many opportunities for you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and you can be whoever you want. Especially since it’s a boarding school, it’s like another life here… which I think is pretty powerful if you take advantage of that.”
Aunyae: “My motto for the past few years [has been] to stay authentic to yourself at all times. People know that I’m very blunt and open, but I think that my freshman year, I hid a piece of my soul. And I think that if you want to commit to this community and really be a part of it, you have to show your [classmates] who you are and who you want to be. That goes a long way.”