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


Boarding school life—living in residence with your teachers and your friends—is a unique, thrilling, and challenging experience. St. Andrew's is extra-unique, in that it is a 100% residential boarding school, and 95% of our faculty also live on campus or on dorm. We are one of only three fully residential co-ed boarding schools in the United States.

Our students and alumni often note their most significant learning experiences occurred in informal conversations with friends and teachers on dorm, in the halls, or on the fields. We believe that the best education is one that involves not only learning in the classroom and from books, but also deep and meaningful relationships formed with peers and mentors within the school community. With this principle in mind, living and working at St. Andrew's becomes deeply rewarding, for both students and their teachers.

We ask much of our students, and give much in return to ensure their character development, intellectual growth, and overall well-being. We strive every day to be accepting and kind to one another. We celebrate goodwill, civility, empathy, and our common humanity. We have a sense of responsibility not only for ourselves, but for each other. We live and work together in a community that is genuinely cohesive.

Meet a Saint

Meet 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.”

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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.”

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The Right to Dream

Ema Appenteng’s soccer journey from Ghana to Middletown and beyond.

There’s an inherent irony in the notion that St. Andrew’s dazzling soccer goalie Emmanuel Appenteng ’23—the guy charged with keeping things out—made the decision to come to Middletown for one very specific reason: to let other people in.
Appenteng, who quietly goes about the business of being a high-caliber student-athlete at St. Andrew’s, is a product of the highly selective international soccer academy Right to Dream, which identifies and trains soccer stars in the making. Not only does it invest in its students on the pitch, the organization helps prepare its students for a life after soccer by providing pathways to high school education, college athletics, and, just maybe, the pros.
Warm, endearing, quick with a smile and equipped with a disposition that feels both wise and youthful at the same time, Appenteng’s the kind of guy who makes it a point to stop and make faculty and staff children feel seen and heard; the kind of guy who changes the feel of a room simply by stepping into it.
The two-time First Team All Conference selection (2021 and 2022) and Second Team All-State (2022) Appenteng hails from a small village in Accra, Ghana, and contends he was “playing soccer in the womb.” Right to Dream was so taken with an 11-year-old Appenteng that they recruited him for the program. “They train you, they make you go to school, but they also work on building your character,” he says.

Yes, Ema is a stud goalie - but when called upon, St. Andrew's would deploy him as a striker to terrorize back lines.

Becoming a Right to Dream kid is a pretty big deal. “Many Right to Dream kids play in college, some get drafted,” he says. “They scout from all over Ghana, so that is thousands and thousands of people.”
So big a deal, he admits sheepishly, that when he goes home to Ghana, he has to keep a low-profile so his friends and neighbors don’t mob him with questions about soccer and his life in America. It’s not yet at the point where he’s slinking around wearing a hat and sunglasses, but he tries to fly under the radar when his family travels around the country.
“It’s funny to me,” Appenteng says, laughing. “I have to hide myself a little bit.”
One thing he can’t hide? His sick acumen in net.
“Everyone in the state knows that it does not matter how great or poorly St. Andrew’s [soccer team] would play, you still had to get the ball past Ema Appenteng probably more than once in a game—and that was nearly impossible,” says Dean of Students and Head Soccer Coach Matt Carroll.
Appenteng was accepted at other schools with more robust, foundational soccer teams, yet he choose St. Andrew’s. Why? To open the door.
“I had friends telling me to go to school in Connecticut, where there is a higher level of play; I could have gone to school in Europe, but there has never been a Right to Dream student at St. Andrew’s,” he says. “There were places where I could step onto a field and everything was built for me. But if I said ‘no’ to St. Andrew’s, I’d be shutting the door for the next Right to Dream kid, maybe a kid from my own home. I had the opportunity to help build something here.”
“Ema’s greatest superpower is that he walks around here just like any other normal kid, but his journey and story is so vastly different than that of his classmates,” says Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Will Robinson ’97 P’26, who has been Appenteng’s advisor the past two years. “For all his talents, he's so incredibly humble. He's constantly working on his craft when no one's watching. Here’s a kid who hasn’t seen his family in about three years, but you’ll never hear him complain. He stays positive despite facing tremendous challenges."

Appenteng makes a spot in goal

Positive, happy and hopeful, still, in fact, as we talk through the worst-case scenario for a graduating senior with an athletic scholarship to play soccer at Ohio Wesleyan: a complete ACL tear.
In the third quarter of a lacrosse game in early April, Appenteng lost balance going for the ball, landed awkwardly, and heard that soft “pop” that athletes dread.
“I knew immediately,” he says. “I couldn’t get up. I was absolutely heartbroken.”
If such a thing is going to happen, Appenteng muses, at least it happened here, at St. Andrew’s, where his community has rallied around him.
“I have had so many people there for me,” he says. “My roommates, friends, coach, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, my Right to Dream friends and advisors, and of course my host family, Mr. and Mrs. Hunter and Billy [Hunter ’23], Emma [Hunter ’25], and Chris [Hunter ’26].”
Prior to the ACL tear, which has him carefully maneuvering St. Andrew’s campus on crutches as he awaits his April 21 surgery date, the soccer savant said he expected to arrive on Ohio’s campus and compete as a freshman for starting goalkeeper.
After? The record stands.
“I still think I will be able to prove that I can compete for starting goalkeeper,” Appenteng says. “Nothing changes.”
If you asked him what was worse—the ACL tear that will likely strip him of his first full year of college athletic play, or losing the state soccer championship his V Form year in 2021—it’d be a toss-up.
“When I decided to come to St. Andrew’s, I told [former Head of School] Mr. [Tad] Roach, ‘Sir, I am coming to St. Andrew’s, and don’t worry, we are going to win the state championship,’” Appenteng says. “That was my biggest ambition for my time here. Losing in the final … I will never stop wondering, ‘Should I have done something different?’ I was so distraught after that. Couldn’t think, couldn’t concentrate. It took a while to get past it.”
Appenteng, like his coach, contends that the SAS 2020 boys soccer team, which saw their season cancelled due to Covid-19, was a state-title lock. “We were stacked with an unbelievable blend of toughness, skill, and experience that year,” Carroll says. “Yet it was Ema’s V Form year where the boys came together and enjoyed a remarkable run. Had Ema not performed like he did that season, we would have never made the finals. Every game during that postseason run, as well as the majority of games he’s played in, Ema prevented a goal due to a tremendous save or clearance. He only knows one speed: 100 percent.”
Ike Lawrence ’23 knows a thing or two about that 100 percent. Appenteng and Lawrence play the coveted role of hype-man to each other. “We really bonded over our love of soccer,” says Lawrence. Fast friends, Appenteng spent a few weeks with Lawrence’s family in Baltimore the summer before their V Form year.
“We spent those weeks getting in shape for preseason,” Lawrence says. “Sometimes I’d have trouble getting going in the morning, and Ema would be knocking on my door, like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go!’ He really pushed me to be a better athlete, but also a better person.”
He didn’t just push Lawrence—Appenteng pushed the whole team. “Ema does a lot of … ‘yelling’ we’ll say,” Lawrence says, laughing. “He’s really vocal. He outworks everybody, and his level of leadership over the past few years has unlocked a bond on our team that’s not like anything else.”
Lawrence, himself committed to college athletics—he’ll row at Dartmouth next year—says he’s been impressed with how Appenteng has handled his injury.
“It breaks my heart,” Lawrence says. “He’s such a compassionate, thoughtful person. It feels so unfair he’s been dealt this card, but I’ve seen his work ethic when he gets in the zone, and playing in college is the ultimate zone for him right now.”

Ema Appenteng and Ike Lawrence pose together on Signing Day.

As for his scholarship, it's safe and sound. “What Ohio has said is, ‘Injuries happen, and we know you will come back even stronger than before—we are so committed to you, and excited to have you join us,’” Appenteng says.
Appenteng is a few months removed from doing, yet again, what he has continued to do: step into a new world without the safety net of his family close by.
Coming to St. Andrew’s from Accra was a shock for Appenteng. “In Ghana, it’s very hard, economically,” he says. “People must work very, very hard. The culture there is very different from here.”
So different, in fact, it took Appenteng a while to get used to the St. Andrew’s drive-by smile.
“People just walk by you and say, ‘Hi! How are you?’ and smile,” he says. “That is so cool. St. Andrew’s was scary at first, to come so far to a place where not only did I not know anyone, but also, Right to Dream didn’t have a relationship here, either. I'm the first person in my extended family to ever travel outside of our country. But once I got the opportunity, you just feel like, ‘I'm going to do something great.’ And in the future, I will help my parents.”
It was in those early scary times that people just started showing up for Appenteng; four years later, they haven’t left, and likely never will. “I get a lot of invitations,” he says, laughing.
His loss will be felt on the pitch, says Carroll. “Simply watching him play the game with pure joy and skill is something that I’ll miss dearly,” he says. “When we would have shooting drills, I would tell the boys that in four minutes we need to score six goals or else we would run. Ema would give me a look, like, ‘Coach, are you kidding me? You think they will score on me?’ As you can imagine, the boys would often have to run. We’ll miss his energy, enthusiasm, huge smile, infectious personality, love of life, his leadership, and the belief that we could win any game because Ema was in net.”
What will Appenteng miss about St. Andrew’s? “Everything and everyone,” he says. “The things I’ll take with me are the importance of building relationships, of being nice, of taking time to do the little things like simply say ‘Hello.’ The school is such a part of me now, and will be forever.”

Will Robinson's advisory gets together on a Sunday for a fun day!

To that end, he hopes to stay engaged with his squad by aiding in recruiting other Right to Dream kids to come to St. Andrew’s.
Injury or no injury, Appenteng isn’t banking everything on soccer. It tracks that the guy who took a wild chance on St. Andrew’s just to open the door for the person behind him, an athlete who came to a team with the mindset to build something, hopes to become an architect.
“I have to come to the reality about me being the height I am. For modern goalkeepers [who play professionally], they look for height, especially in the US,” he says. “I’m not putting everything on soccer. I want to go to Ohio, I want to compete and make a difference for my team, and I want to get the education I need to fulfill my ultimate ambition to be an architect.”
Like so many who know him, Robinson is grappling with Appenteng’s impending departure.
“I am so proud of this kid,” he says. “The growth I’ve seen in him over his time here, and the challenges he’s faced … he’s figuring it all out. He’s just a few years removed from being fully wings-spread, and this place believed in him. More importantly, he believed in it. Here’s somebody who came here and didn’t waste a single minute. That’s why we’re here, for kids like Ema. Kids who make the most of their time here, and go out into the world and make it a better place—that’s what he’s going to do.”

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Meet a Saint: Charlie Lunsford ’24

Catching up with Charlie Lunsford ’24 can be difficult, what with his classes, sports, community service, chapel, clubs… the list goes on. Despite his myriad commitments,the multisport athlete is focused as he heads into his junior year. While it is only fall and he is playing varsity soccer, one can often find Charlie on the squash courts or getting a tennis workout in.

“Tennis is my number-one sport and I plan to play in college, so even though it isn’t tennis season, I am always working on my game,” Charlie says. 

Last year, Charlie was seeded in the top spot for St. Andrew’s, and competed hard during the state tournament, which was held on campus. He finished the season among the top 10 boys in the state.

“I was focused on the match and I remember looking up and seeing my entire class there to support me,” he says. “You wouldn’t get that anywhere else except at St. Andrew’s.”

The school’s culture is what initially attracted the multi-sport athlete to St. Andrew’s.

“Just walking around, everyone is friendly and welcoming. They don’t have to be that way—no one tells them to be that way—they just are. It’s just the way of life here,” he says.

Charlie, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, never planned to go to a boarding school. “I always thought kids were sent to boarding schools; not that they chose to go,” he says. That all changed when he visited St. Andrew’s to see his cousins. 

During his visit, the energy of the students and life on campus resonated with him. He met with Director of Admission & Financial Aid Matt Wolinski and started the application process.

Since becoming a student, Charlie has continued to revel in the connections that first impressed him so much. “Some of my best memories are getting to know my dorm parents and teachers. Everyone here wants to be here, which is what really drew me to St. Andrew’s,” he says. “You get to have deeper relationships with students and adults—it is unique to this school.”

It was at St. Andrew’s that Charlie first played squash. His winter sport had been basketball for several years, but at SAS, he decided to try something new—and after all, squash aligned with his passion for tennis. 

“I loved it right away,” he recalls. “It’s incredible and intense.”

In the current season, Charlie and the soccer team are working hard to get to the state finals again. “I love athletics here. We are really competitive, but even if you didn’t play [a sport] before coming here, you can work hard and get a spot [on a team],” he says. “There’s no limit to where you can go.”

In the classroom, Charlie loves the lively discussions and advanced topics his classes tackle. “St. Andrew’s does a great job of increasing the academic challenge as you go, in terms of workload and difficulty,” he says. “I really notice how much more organized I am and how much I have learned when it comes to balancing my workload and managing my time.”

As a junior, he looks back on the past two “pandemic years” and notes that even though students were not always on campus, the bonds they created are deep.

“Whenever I get stuck on work or something, I can just walk next door and ask someone. There’s always someone around who can help,” he says. “That’s one thing I love about living in a dorm. I love dorm functions and spending time with everyone.”

As Charlie looks ahead to the rest of his junior year, he hopes to continue to build on the solid foundation of friendship, academics, and athletics.

“Every single person here is special and everyone gets to explore their passions and talents,” he says. “As soon as I met my friends here, I instantly knew that they would be my friends for life. The connections you build here will last.”

Learn more about athletics at St. Andrew’s.

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Daniel Kye ’23 is Building Math Culture

All-school "Math Monday" challenge makes math fun for all students

St. Andrew’s senior Daniel Kye ’23 loves math. In fact, he loves it so much, he’s on a personal mission to help all St. Andrew’s students fall in love with math, too. 

This fall Daniel and his classmate Sarah Rose Odutola ’23 launched “Math Mondays”—a weekly math challenge open to the entire school community.

Each Monday, students pick up a new math puzzle—chosen by Daniel and Sarah Rose—from a bin in the Main Common Room. The puzzles are not necessarily complex equations, but rather are often patterns or games that require the application of logic and analysis. “I try to select a variety of types of problems to keep it interesting,” he says. Students work on the problems throughout the week and turn their answers in by Sunday. Problem sets are graded then tallied by dorm; at the end of the competition, the winning dorm will receive a pizza party. With only a few weeks left to go in the competition, the leading dorm changes each week. 

“I’ve heard students talking about [Math Monday problems] on the way to lunch,” Daniel says. “I’ve heard others discussing it between classes. It’s great to hear it!” Daniel notes his hope for the weekly competition is that it makes math more accessible and fun for all.

Daniel, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, but spent parts of his youth in California, discovered his love of math in middle school. “I always enjoyed math, but in middle school my passion really grew,” he says.

His family moved to California during his freshman year of high school, and Daniel found he enjoyed engaging discussions during his classes. Prior to his junior year, Daniel began to consider changing schools, both in an effort to find himself, and to feel more engaged with his peers. “I heard that boarding schools often lead when it comes to discussion-based learning, so I started investigating them,” he says. 

He soon found St. Andrew’s and, during the pandemic, did a virtual tour. “I had looked at some other boarding schools, but I felt a connection with St. Andrew’s,” he says. 

He landed on campus for his junior year and hasn’t looked back. “Everyone was warm and inviting. There is a sense of family here,” he says.

During his first year at SAS, Daniel had heard from peers that some of the spark of community St. Andrew’s is known for—and specifically the collaborative, exploratory math culture at the school— had faded a bit during the pandemic, under the pressure of all its health protocols.

“Coming into my senior year, I wanted to bring math culture back and really make it something accessible to everyone on campus—even people who do not love math,” Daniel says. 

“It makes me proud to know that I have worked hard to give this to students,” he says.  “I hope to give back to our school community in other ways during my last year here."

Here’s an example of one of the recent Math Monday puzzles:

Sample Math Monday puzzle
Read More about Daniel Kye ’23 is Building Math Culture
Meet the 2022-2023 Co-Presidents

Meet the new school co-presidents.

Trinity Smith
Born in Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Rockville, Maryland in fifth grade.

“I wanted a different high school experience and wanted to go to a place where I could explore myself. I chose St. Andrew’s because of the warm, small and close-knit community we have here.”


Trinity Smith ’23 came to St. Andrew’s as a III Former because she wanted to explore multiple tracks at once. She wanted to excel in her core classes, but also sought to discover if she had a passion for other disciplines, like art, sports, or music.

“I felt like I would be pinned into one thing if I stayed at my normal school,” she says. “Here, I could explore a wide variety of classes and activities. It’s more accessible and you are not defined as one type of person.”

Additionally, Trinity notes that St. Andrew’s students and faculty support self-exploration. “It’s just the culture,” she says.

As she moves into the role of co-president for the school year, Trinity considers some lessons she has learned over her years at St. Andrew’s.

“One big lesson has been the power of listening,” she says. “Being on Form Council for three years, I had to learn the attitudes of each grade and I had to anticipate what they needed.”

In addition, she points to engaging with students and faculty and being observant as two other big lessons that will serve her co-presidency well.

She plans to focus on rebuilding the community among the classes and engaging with faculty to increase trust and respect among everyone on campus.

“I want to help build a closer relationship between faculty and students,” she says. “For seniors, I want a circle of respect and trust where we all listen and understand each other.”

She says the return to family-style meals will support her mission. “I hope we all bridge the gaps that may have started because of the pandemic. I want us to redefine what St. Andrew’s culture means and in this first year coming back from COVID, I want us all to work to bridge gaps and share resources.”


Ford Chapman

Hometown: Born in Hoboken, New Jersey; spent several years living in Hong Kong; then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in third grade.

“St. Andrew’s gives students the opportunity to do more. You can broaden your horizons here so much more than at other schools.”


Ford Chapman ’23 was born in New Jersey but just a few months later, his family moved to Hong Kong. 

“One of the things I remember from my time in Hong Kong was the diversity in the schools,” Ford says. “My school had people from all backgrounds.”

As he was about to enter third grade, his family moved again, this time to Charlottesville, Virginia. The school experience in Charlottesville was vastly different from his experience in Hong Kong, which is why when it came to looking at high schools, Ford knew he wanted to find a diverse and accepting community culture.

Ford first learned about St. Andrew’s when his sister, Amrit ’21, was considering high schools. 

“She decided to come to St. Andrew’s, so I visited and really liked the campus and the community,” Ford says. “It reminded me a lot of my school in Hong Kong because we have so many students and faculty from many different backgrounds.”

At St. Andrew’s, Ford takes Mandarin, another reminder of his time in Hong Kong. He is also a member of the South Asian Affinity Group. 

This year, Ford hopes he and his classmates focus on togetherness by sharing in old traditions like the Carol Shout and the trip to Frightland.

“We have had a weird high school career with only like six months of regular high school [before COVID],” he says. “I want to make memories and cherish our time together.”

Read More about Meet the 2022-2023 Co-Presidents
Yoyo Cao: Stay True; Stay Down to Earth

To be honest with you, I am not a big fan of socializing. To me, it seems like I’m packaging and selling myself to a group of buyers. A few times when I caught myself faking my laughs or throwing random jokes just to create a sense of humor, I hated myself. I warned myself; I need to stay true, stay down to earth. 

Yoyo Cao ’22 gave this talk at the 2022 Mein Chapel service.

Believe it or not, I only spent 13 months on this beautiful campus. I still remember my virtual learning session over Zoom my sophomore spring and my entire junior year, and all I could recall is how suffocated I felt behind my computer screen, hoping I could scream in the middle of an all-school meeting, wishing someone would still remember me, the girl who joined Class of 2022 a little while ago. 

Perhaps I never enjoyed this place as much as I wanted three years ago. I had to squeeze into different friend groups, introducing myself to people over and over again, struggling to find my friends, my group who would understand me. To be honest with you, I am not a big fan of socializing. To me, it seems like I’m packaging and selling myself to a group of buyers. A few times when I caught myself faking my laughs or throwing random jokes just to create a sense of humor, I hated myself. I warned myself; I need to stay true, stay down to earth. 

Now, I’ve met different people over my years as a student. Some like to report to faculties with things I’ve never done, others like to gossip in big circles just to spread a fake rumor. I’ve never shared this with anyone, but I used to be a member of the toxic friend groups. In fifth grade, I told a group of kids to stand around me in between classes just because my class teacher asked me to “supervise” the class. I threw my friends’ stationery from the top of our class building just for fun. I even hand-picked my exclusive guest list for my 10-year-old birthday party, and when the news spread to the entire class, some kids begged me to join my waitlist, I felt awesome. I could feel my ego growing bigger and more ambitious each day… These are all things that I regret, but all too late. 

Countless times in my dreams I compared the two sides of myself. Myself when I’m at St. Andrews, and my old self when I could easily play the leading role of Mean Girls 3. I know, I can see the concerns in your eyes. But I promise you, I was bad. I was not only bad, but also didn’t realize the consequences of the series of things I’ve done. So what changed me after attending boarding school after boarding school since 12? Easy, because I have no family in the States at all. I learned how lucky it is to grow up in the company of your parents, not worrying about packing your entire childhood into two suitcases, flying between countries and driving between states. I realized how I hated parents weekend when I have to wait in front of each classroom by myself while listening to other families plan for the weekend. I quickly found out, I can’t even afford to be sick or have any mental breakdowns since I don’t have the privilege to go home, or have my parents by my side to support me. And guess what, I even have to congratulate myself on my graduation in four days. For me, I am all I have. So I can’t be a stupid annoying girl anymore, I have to be responsible for myself, my actions, but most importantly, I am in desperate need of finding a new family. 

I started my mission by seeking a role as a big sister on dorm. Being an only child, I’ve always wanted to have an older brother who would protect me from everything. Although it is quite hard for my parents to create an older sibling now, I am still able to find younger sisters. I remember the first night on duty, when I entered different rooms and put the girls to bed, I felt a sense of responsibility, something I always wanted to feel at home. When I was a part of the Cross Country team, I felt the same while watching my teammates crossing the finishing line one after another. I felt proud, and I enjoyed listening. I have become a good listener and now find myself absorbing different opinions and ambivalent emotions every day. I can feel myself turning into a Sponge Bob since the first day of my senior year, and don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but here is the problem — I am missing my Patrick. 

Each day, I find it harder to share my problems, the things I dislike, and even about the milestones I made in class. I just simply listened. It felt fine throughout the first half of my senior year, until one night in March, I finally crashed. Perhaps I felt lost not knowing where I’m heading for college, perhaps I saw too many parents driving to campus that week but none of the cars are going to pick me up, perhaps I am still finding my Patrick, perhaps… Perhaps I’m tired of finding myself a family, perhaps I spent too much time wandering around this country by myself, perhaps this is my time to pick up the microphone and share my problems with all of you. That night I got lost, I forgot why I chose this place three years ago. Bumping into people in the hallway until I finally made it to Mrs. Berl’s apartment, I wanted answers. We sat there for hours, until white tissue balls buried my trembling hands. I wanted to see my old self from Mrs. Berl’s eyes when she first met me in the admission office three years ago, when I had dreams and ambitions, when I knew what I wanted, when I thought I had everything under control… 

That night was my lowest low throughout my entire St. Andrew’s career, but I finally found myself an audience who I felt comfortable sharing my problems with, who liked to listen to my problems, and who is able to give me the most honest advice no matter how brutal it is. The following week I felt so much better, and all I did was simply talk. It was the first time in my entire life when I felt safe to open my heart and just talk without worrying about people’s feelings, boundaries, or sensitive topics. I just talked. The following month I simply enjoyed myself with people around me. I talked with anyone I saw at the table, on the front lawn, in classrooms. I never felt so free in my entire life. 

Recently I finished watching the Dead Poet’s Society for the first time. When the English teacher Mr. Keating asked the boys, “If the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse, what will your verse be?” I asked myself the same question. Frankly, I think my entire senior year is the answer. Perhaps in less than three years none of the student body would remember me, perhaps in five years faculties would have a hard time matching my face with my name, perhaps Moss will become a new building and Founders won’t be the same… There are so many uncertainties in the near future, but I’m absolutely sure about this: that my little sister will greet her little sister the same way I met her on the first day of school; my girls on Moss will become awesome residents on M, L, K, and soon turn into seniors who could make a homesick kid smile again; and most importantly, my advisor, Mrs. Berl, will forever be my American mom. Friends, I think I found it. After all these years, I found myself a place where I can call home, I found myself a family who would teach me how to play blackjack no matter how much work they have, I found myself people who I could trust and rely on. 

Now I want to ask all of you the same question, “If you are about to leave St. Andrews and you may contribute a verse, what will your verse be?” Carry that answer in your heart, and let’s SEIZE THE DAY!

- Yoyo Cao ’22


Read More about Yoyo Cao: Stay True; Stay Down to Earth
Sunny Trivits: Volunteering is the Reward

We at St. Andrew’s School have ample privileges and resources that we need to give back to the larger community that we are a part of. We volunteer not because of a reward, but because volunteering itself is a reward.

Text from Senior Week ’22 by Sunny Trivits

Good evening.

Every week, I look forward to my favorite day - Wednesday.

Not because it’s Hump day or because I am counting down the days until the weekend, but because that is when St. Andrews goes out into the middletown community to volunteer and help people.  

Wednesdays for me meant singing ‘Let it go’ to a little girl who wouldn’t stop crying in the pool(and helping her blow her nose), Wednesdays meant teaching people how to swim butterfly and dive into the pool who have never attempted that skill before, Wednesdays meant I would help people learn the essential life saving skill of swimming, and Wednesdays meant smelling like bromine for the rest of the day.

I love Wednesdays because we fulfill our mission as a school which states “We urge students to be actively involved in community service with the understanding that all members of the community share responsibility for improving the world in which we live.” 

Volunteering is optional, meaning we do not get ‘hours to graduate’, but we do it out of grace. We at St. Andrew’s School have ample privileges and resources that we need to give back to the larger community that we are a part of. We volunteer not because of a reward, but because volunteering itself is a reward. Service is essential to me and the whole community because when we commit to others, we develop accountability. We form true connections, friendships, and mentorship  when we come alongside others. When we celebrate each other we become one and that forms love and appreciation. When we are with each other we seek to understand, find unity, and empathy.

I’d like to say thank you to Mr. Hutchinson and Ms. Lazar for helping inspire us students to give back to something larger than ourselves. Thank you to El Richards and Edmund Cayley for running the large community service programs, thank you to Adelaide Dixon and William Wrightson for leading mentoring, thank you to Adele Auchincloss and Aunyae Romeo for leading adaptive Dance, thank you to all of the faculty, staff and especially, A special thanks to Karen Wright and Steve Gue for transporting us every Wednesday to our designated locations. Thank you to all the student body for volunteering your time throughout the year.

Finally, thank you to Madison Macalintal for being my partner and helping me lead adaptive athletics. I was so sad when I heard we wouldn't be in the pool this year, but thank you for telling me to not quit Adaptive aquatics freshman year, because I wanted to. You have inspired me to do more with my time and I am going to miss our Wednesday pool adventures with Cody and Emily! To peers, adults and especially the underclassmen, Volunteer this summer, Volunteer when you return in the fall, start something new, ask questions, ask for help, and opt-in.

You are left in great hands. Thank you all again!

- Sunny Trivits ’22

Read More about Sunny Trivits: Volunteering is the Reward
Aunyae Romeo: I am the First

I am the first Aunyae Romeo to walk the halls, to learn in these classrooms, and speak and eat in the dining hall. You are the first, you add to the history of this community in ways as small as the little actions you do in founders to the big moments you make to transform this school.

Text from Senior Week Talks ’22 by Aunyae Romeo

I can’t remember everything, as I look back to my first day on this campus. But the things I remember the clearest are what greeted me as I entered my dorm room on Pell: my first ever roommate, Emily Murphy, and a box placed on my desk by my advisor, Mrs. Duprey. This box contained essential items often forgotten during the process of packing for school; snacks, disinfectant wipes, a journal, and a pack of blank cards with Thank You written across the front. 

For the next three years, I received similar boxes. Interestingly enough, the thing that went unused every year were these Thank You cards. Before the end of my fourth and final year here, I’d like to break this pattern. This speech is a short accumulation of gratitude to the place and people that have transformed me as a student, friend, leader, daughter, and overall person. This is my Thank You letter to St. Andrew’s.

Reflecting on my time here, I've come to realize that one of the main reasons why I’ve been able to grow so much is because of the people that I have surrounded myself with. I’ve made beautiful connections with so many people here. To the people in my grade, thank you for being the first to comfort me when I cry and the first to join me in laughter. As a grade, we weren’t perfect, but we were us, and I thank you for that. I also say thank you to all of my upperclassmen and underclassmen who took the time to get to know me and in turn, love me. To the friends continuing their journeys here, thank you for spending time with me during our free periods, dinners, and weekends. And Thank you to my most unexpected friendships, the adults here. Thank you for getting to know me and my peers as more than students or kids but as people you challenge and truly respect. The accumulation of friendships that I have made here has helped me become a more empathetic and caring person. My St. Andrew’s relationships have taught me how to be truly compassionate. 

Everyone always says that your time here flies by so quickly, and I somewhat agree with that. When I think of all the things I didn't get to do, my time here seems too short. One thing I wish I would’ve done is taken more time to build relationships with people outside of my close circle of faculty and students. However, my time does feel longer when I recognize all of the opportunities I did take to build unexpected relationships. I am thankful for the relationships I began to build all the way back to my freshman year. People like Mr. Stanley in the dining hall have always given me guidance and checked up on me. Fun fact: he even helped me practice public speaking for my co-president speech my junior year! Then there are the women who I’ve seen everyday of the week: Ms. Tammy, Ms. Faith, and Ms. Dolly. You may know them as the women who clean our dorms, but to me, they kind of feel like aunties. They’ve watched my performances and rooted on all of my successes. In my freshman year, I would’ve never expected to build these relationships, but I’m so grateful I did. These are just some of the people that have done more than their job to support me and my classmates. 

But, I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate this place without appreciating the parents who made the choice four years ago to send their children off to this beautiful school, and a special thank you to my own Mom and Dad for trusting me and believing in my success. I say thank you to all of the parents here today. So many of you have taken us under your wings and loved and supported us when our parents couldn't. You, parents, are the real saints, and on behalf of my class, we thank you for putting so much faith and pride into us as we head into the next chapter of our lives. 

This wouldn’t be a complete thank you letter to Saint Andrew's without thanking the literal structures that make living, learning, and laughing here possible. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to create memories in every building on this campus. I can tell you a story for every building here. For example, one of my favorite memories in the field house took place this year when a small group of seniors were bored on a Saturday night that we decided to play a childish game of tag. The longer we played the more people joined and soon our silly little game turned into a heart-rushing battle to avoid the tagger. 

I'm also grateful to add to each building's history. Founders is the one of the most historical buildings on this campus. The archives, alums, and passed-down tales tell this history of thousands of saints and their presence here. I am a part of the history of this building and school. I am the first Aunyae Romeo to walk the halls, to learn in these classrooms, and speak and eat in the dining hall. You are the first, you add to the history of this community in ways as small as the little actions you do in founders to the big moments you make to transform this school. This ground also has an unspoken soul that goes way beyond the year 1929, it goes back to the people who were here before this land was bought by Felix Dupont. It holds the history of Thomas Noxon and the Native people here before. Although I can never know the full history, I appreciate the parts I do know, good and bad. I am grateful for the chance to feel the beauty and heart of the land we’re on. 

To end my letter, I’d lastly like to thank the spontaneity that I’ve experienced at school. The unexpected here has led me to so many people and places that I would’ve never imagined. My favorite thing is waking up on a Saturday morning having no idea what I’m going to do for the day. By the time Saturday night reaches and I lie in my bed, I know that I had a great day because it was filled with unexpected, spontaneous fun which was fueled by people simply enjoying each other’s company. 

So, this is my Thank You letter to St. Andrew’s. 

To the class of 2022, I encourage you all to think back over your time here and appreciate the moments that made you a Saint and who you are today. As we head off to a new world outside of this beautiful little bubble, appreciate the moments as they come and I promise you, you’ll be able to savor the time you have in that moment. 

To the classes of 2023, ‘24, and ‘25, our class knows how quickly the opportunity passes to show your thanks. We want to tell you to practice your gratitude here and now. Get to know the people you wouldn't expect to befriend. Roam the buildings and make them your own. Know the history of this place and know that you are part of the history of this school. Gratitude makes you a saint, and it’s never too late to learn this lesson. 

The scared, little girl who started this journey had no idea that this place would transform her so much. St. Andrew’s has pushed me to not only challenge my perception of myself and those around me but also to better myself for others. By reflecting on all of my reasons to be grateful, I see the power that I’ve gained because of this school. 

Thank you, Mrs. Duprey, for planting that seed of gratitude in my life four years ago, and thank you St. Andrew’s for giving me so many things to be grateful for.

- Aunyae Romeo ’22

Read More about Aunyae Romeo: I am the First