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

Life at SAS


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

Zhenia Khalabadzhakh ’22 Fights for Ukraine, All the Way from Delaware

The full-scale invasion of Ukraine began on Thursday, February 24, and in the month since then, St. Andrew’s senior and Kyiv resident Zhenia Khalabadzhakh ’22 has been working both on campus and off to fight for her country.

Unable to go home for Spring Break, Zhenia spent the recess at the home of her advisor, Senior Associate Director of Admission Kristin Honsel P’24. She kept busy by speaking with middle school students at local schools—MOT Charter and St. Anne’s Episcopal School—where she shared Ukrainian history and her perspective on the war as a Ukrainian citizen. She has also organized, with the help of her classmate April Seo ’22, a t-shirt fundraiser for Nova Ukraine, an organization that provides humanitarian aid to Ukrainians. They’ve raised more than $1,500 for Nova Ukraine and the fundraiser is still going; you can purchase a t-shirt or sweatshirt here

“I think the main problem for Ukrainians [living] internationally is this feeling of survivor guilt that we have,” Zhenia said. “It’s the idea of: ‘I'm not there, hence, I'm not helping.’ You feel bad for feeling safe. That’s the hard part of it, and that’s why a lot of Ukrainians abroad are so proactive—that’s a way for us to help Ukraine, but also it’s a way for us to sort of escape that feeling of guilt and feel like we’re making change, even if it’s on a very small scale. It’s just important for us as individuals, and it’s important for us as a nation, to be united and do whatever we can.”

She reflected on her feelings immediately following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “I think the first couple of days everyone was in shock. And then it kind of ‘clicked’ and you realize, ‘Okay, me crying here [in the United States] is not really helpful, so I should do something. Anything.”

With her classmates back on campus following the Spring Recess, Zhenia then set about organizing campus vigil for Ukraine. First, she worked with SAGE Dining Services to organize a Wednesday lunch of traditional Ukrainian dishes using recipes from her family, including borshch (a beet soup); varenyky (a type of pierogi that her family makes together by hand); and yabluchnyk (Ukrainian apple cake). Then, for that evening’s chapel service, the school community dressed in yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and gathered in the chapel to sing Ukrainian hymns and folksongs, and Zhenia shared a moving talk on the unity and bravery of Ukranians not just in this moment, but throughout the history of her country. Although offerings are not typically collected at Wednesday night chapel, baskets were passed during the vigil with all proceeds going to Razom, a Ukrainian NGO that is providing relief inside the country; the school community raised more than $1,000 for Razom through the offering.

“The Ukrainian coat of arms has a word encrypted in it,” Zhenia said in her chapel talk. “The word is volia. Interestingly, it can be translated in two ways: ‘freedom’ and ‘will.’ Ukrainians as a nation know that there is no freedom without the will and no will without freedom. We know that we need to fight for our freedom. And if history wants us to show how brave and united we are once again, we will do it.”

You can listen to Zhenia’s chapel talk in full here.

Zhenia came to St. Andrew’s through the Ukraine Global Scholars program, an almost entirely volunteer-run organization that connects Ukrainian students “of modest means” with scholarship opportunities at top colleges and high schools around the world. In turn, UGS students commit to returning to Ukraine after the completion of their education abroad to help lead—and now, rebuild—the country. 

“In light of everything that’s going on, we understand more than ever that the kids who are 15 in Ukraine right now are the people who are going to be rebuilding Ukraine once the war is over,” Zhenia says. “That’s the long-term vision of UGS, and that’s how I see myself. Someone will need to do that, and the UGS kids are exactly the people who will be qualified to do that.” Like all UGS students and alumni, Zhenia volunteers for the organization and mentors upcoming students who are currently in the scholarship application pipeline. 

Zhenia is the second UGS student to attend St. Andrew’s; preceding her was Robert Shyroian ’21, who currently attends the Illinois Institute of Technology. You can support families of UGS students who have been displaced by the war via this UGS fundraiser. 

Even before the invasion, Zhenia was working to share the story of her country with the St. Andrew’s community. At a School Meeting in early February, she read an excerpt of the English translation of “Europe was silent”, a poem written by Oleksandr Oles in 1931, just before the Holodomor, an artificial famine and genocide of the Ukrainian nation designed to suppress Ukrainian resistance to Soviet collectivization. 

“What I personally love about this poem is that it reminds me how much responsibility there is, not only in the person who is committing the crime, but in the person who fails to speak up,” she explained on the Engelhard stage. “Russian aggression uses a lot of information and misinformation, and information is a weapon in the 21st century. By educating yourself, you support me, and you support my country.” The following weekend, she organized a Friday night viewing and discussion of the 2014 film “The Guide,” set in 1930s Soviet Ukraine, and collaborated with school librarians to put up a display of books on Ukrainian history and culture. She has been working in the library throughout the school year to refresh the school’s collection of Ukrainian and Eastern European history texts. “There was a ton about Russian history [in the library collection], but not enough about the history of smaller countries that were formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union,” she says. “But they all have history before that—Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, all of these Baltic and Eastern European countries have a longer history than Russia wants us to have. Most people think that Ukraine was formed 30 years ago! I really hope there will be Ukrainian students after me [at St. Andrew’s] who can come to the library and say, “Oh my God, this is such a great collection about Ukrainian history.”

Zhenia recommends as an excellent resource for ways to help and support Ukraine and its citizens—organizations that need donations, letter-writing templates, information on rallies and marches, and so forth. “When you want to donate somewhere, it’s very important to seek out what Ukrainians might want you to donate to, rather than just donating somewhere and feeling good about yourself,” Zhenia notes. “We are asking you to donate to Ukraine, and to the army, not because we want to go and conquer Moscow, but because we want our land back. If Russia stops fighting, there will be peace. But if Ukraine stops fighting—there will be no Ukraine.”

Read More about Zhenia Khalabadzhakh ’22 Fights for Ukraine, All the Way from Delaware
Saints Spotlight: Angela Osaigbovo ’24

Years ago, while her peers in Lagos, Nigeria were still learning to read, Angela Osaigbovo ‘24 was embarking on a competitive Scrabble career that would take her around the world—and eventually to Middletown, Delaware and St. Andrew's.

At the age of five, Angela began playing Scrabble as an extracurricular activity at her school in Lagos, and her talent quickly attracted attention from coaches nationwide. Just one year after she began playing, Angela competed at the World Youth Championships in Dubai, where she placed second in the eight-and-under age category. She has since competed for the US youth Scrabble team and the Nigerian national youth team, qualifying for Scrabble world championships in Australia, France, and Malaysia, while remaining a fixture at Nigerian national competitions. 

The world of competitive Scrabble is much more than a word game in which one makes points by piecing together tiles. Developing an ever-expanding word bank, learning the strategy behind playing words of different lengths, understanding board layout, and calculating scores under the pressure of a timer are just some of the skills Angela has refined over the past decade. She also works with a coach to hone physical and psychological tools, learning to use body language and communication to throw off her opponents. 

Angela notes that her young age usually works to her advantage. It’s easy to take older players by surprise, she says, and when she beats them, they are often excited to share their knowledge and experience to help her develop further in her game. In reflecting on her swift rise to the top, she credits the mentorship of these more experienced players. 

Angela’s favorite aspects of Scrabble are the academic challenge and the game's community, and in choosing to attend boarding school, she sought the same from her high school experience. Scrabble has unsurprisingly has helped her excel in school; she credits mental math skills, the ability to pull ideas together quickly, and knowledge of linguistics from Scrabble with assisting in all of her classes. At St. Andrew’s Angela has become passionate about reading and writing poetry and playing in the Jazz Ensemble, and she hopes to eventually start a Scrabble club on campus.

Angela’s long term Scrabble aspiration is to remain competitive on the national and international stage, but this year she is most proud of how she has continued to play a strong game, despite the interruptions of starting at a new school, being away from her coach, and devoting most of her time to the demands of a rigorous boarding school schedule.

And her favorite word? (She gets asked that question a lot.) "My favorite word is 'zapping,'" she says, "because of how rare [in Scrabble] it is. I was playing in a tournament in which I was well below the age limit—you had to be in high school to play, but I was eight—and in my last game, my first word was 'zapping.' It was 111 [points], and the person I was playing against couldn't get up to that score throughout the entire game. I was just really proud of that."

Read More about Saints Spotlight: Angela Osaigbovo ’24
Saints Spotlight: Liz Hall ’21


While at home in the Bahamas during our winter virtual term, Liz Hall ’21 has been teaching underprivileged kids to row at her local rowing club. At St. Andrew's, Liz leads V Form girls on Mein Dorm, serves a Head Admission Ambassador, and has been a dedicated member of St. Andrew's girls rowing team for her three years at the school. 

I'm teaching through a program called Learn to Row set up by my home rowing club, Nassau Rowing Club, which is the only rowing club on the island of New Providence, and one of only two clubs in the entire country. We're a small, fully outdoor club on the only rowable (brackish) lake on the island. Our coach has done a great job of working with the government and through advertising [to spread word of mouth about the program]. This winter six-week block of sessions has had our highest participation level yet.

All of the kids I've been working with had never been in a boat before, so we've started with having kids on the ERGs [rowing machines], then moved into tubby rowing shells on a tether, and then into double scull boats with me coaching from behind, and eventually into boats by themselves, with me in a launch boat coaching from the water. We also do some fun core and cardio circuits when capacity is too much on the water.

I think the kids who are participating are really getting a lot out of this. Two weeks ago, the mother of a young boy who I've been working a lot one-on-one came to me and said that she's noticed a shift in his demeanor, mood, and sociability since he began rowing. It's been amazing to see kids like him come out of their shells. A lot of the kids are hoping to working toward trying out for the junior team, which would allow them to row more frequently, and then later, work towards rowing in regattas in the United States.

I started rowing when I arrived [at St. Andrew's] as a new sophomore in 2018, and it's helped me in so many aspects of my life—which is why I decided to start the [college] recruitment process after my novice season. I'll be rowing NCAA Division 2 this fall! I've had the same experiences through rowing as it did for the boy I've been working with—it was a sport that gave me a team, and allowed me to focus and refine both my mental and physical skills, whether I'm rowing alone in a single, double, or in an eight on Noxontown Pond.

Read More about Saints Spotlight: Liz Hall ’21
Saints Spotlight: Phineas Hunt ’22


Phineas Hunt ’22 comes to St. Andrew's from San Fransisco, California. The below interview was recorded in the spring of 2019, at the end of his III Form (freshman) year at St. Andrew's. Since then, Phineas has continued to compete with the Saints football, indoor track, and lacrosse teams. He was a Second Team All-Conference selection in lacrosse in spring 2019; a First Team All-Conference selection at defensive tackle in football during his fall 2019 sophomore season; and this winter, Phineas competed in the indoor track state tournament in shot put. He was the only sophomore in the state competing with Flight 4, the furthest throwing group, at a meet of 60 teams, and "demolished his PR by throwing almost a full 2 1/2 feet farther than he had all year with a monster throw of 44' 8.25," recalled indoor track Assistant Coach Pat Moffitt. This catapulted him into a four place finish. When he's not crushing it athletically and academically, Phin can be found having fun with his roommates on Baum Corridor, mentoring students at a local elementary school, and giving tours for the Admission Office.

I started off in the fall as a football player, and my coaches suggested running track in the winter, just so I could stay in shape. My older brother had thrown shot put and I always thought it would be a fun thing to try, so I signed up. I knew that there wasn't an official "shot-putting team," so I talked to my coach asked if it was possible like to get a shot put and practice and he said "Oh yeah, we can do that if that's something you're interested in." 

So I started with that, and then two other seniors started throwing shot put with me, so it was the three of us throwing shot put, and we had a blast. It was really fun because we were doing a lot of the running and sprinting exercises, but we were also doing our own thing as like a group. We would lift and go outside and throw. It was nice being in a small group because I got to know those people a lot better. My [St. Andrew's] big brother, Thomas Cunningham ’19, was actually one of the shot-putters. So it was nice getting to hang out with him, and then I also got to hang out with the other seniors. That was really cool.

I wasn't sure what to expect because I had never been to a track meet, so I just went to the first meet and I got up and I threw. I think I threw like 32 feet. So it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't amazing either. But I think I got like second or third, so I was really happy with that, and sort of surprised. I just kept working and improving. And by the end of the season I think I threw 36 feet. In shot put, that's a pretty big improvement.

For shot put, the minimum cut that you need to make the state tournament is 40 feet. And then you're like automatically in at 42 feet. So that's definitely something I'm working towards, especially because I want to get to compete against the best people in the state.

I really want—since the two other shot-putters I started with have graduated—to maybe recruit some new people, maybe off the football team—people who don't really have a dedicated winter sport—to just try and grow the team. It would just be a lot more fun if we had a group of guys that did this thing. I just want to get more people into it.

Something that I really enjoyed coming in as a freshman, is that I was put in a starting position in football and lacrosse. Even as a young athlete, you can be put into like in a leadership role at St. Andrew's, and that's something that I hadn't expected. Coming here to a very small school, everybody—seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshman—they're all playing and that's something that I really like. I wasn't expecting to be put into such a leadership role, but I think being thrown into it like made me a better player in both football and lacrosse. 

Winning the Cannon with the football team was just a great experience. I didn't understand how much it really meant, to not just the football team, but to everybody at St. Andrew’s. It's our biggest game. And being able to win it for the first time in four years, it's such a big thing. So it was just a really great thing. Also, I felt really close with the senior class, so being able to win it for them, just as they're about to leave, was something really special.

Read More about Saints Spotlight: Phineas Hunt ’22
Saints Spotlight: Christine Wu ’20


Christine Wu ’20 grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. During her four years at St. Andrew's, she's made contributions to practically every aspect of school life: she plays in the school Orchestra; she is a Residential Leader on III Form (freshman) girls dorm; she volunteers with our Adapted Aquatics program; and she is a leader within the St. Andrew's rowing program. Christine recently shared her rowing journey at SAS, from her discovery of the sport to her future as a collegiate rower.

Freshman year, I ran cross-country, but then tore my meniscus. So I kind of had to stop running. But I still played basketball in the winter. In the spring, I started to row. I liked it, but I wouldn’t say that I fell in love with it immediately. But that was the spark that set me on this path to really love rowing.

Rowing's a very intricate and different sport than anything else. If you mess up, it's kind of a whole team thing, so there's a little bit of pressure [on everyone]. But, if you collectively work together and are never off, you feel the power, and you want to go even harder. You're just bonded together automatically—you become so close with those nine girls in your boat, and with Coach Berl—and it's unlike any other sport in that way.

[Coach Berl] talks a lot about showing kindness towards each other, which creates this safe community on the team. At the same time, we're also pushing ourselves to be competitive with each other and pushing each other to go deeper and go harder each practice, but the atmosphere she’s created allows us to do that. And, during our winter training, we only strengthen our friendships with each other. Some of those friendships have led me to become the rower I am today.

Coach Berl emphasizes working on really intricate technique, which sets you up for a good future [in rowing]. In the summers, I row at Community Rowing Inc., in Boston, which is a lot more competitive, because their team is double the size—that makes it much harder to be in the best boat. But because Coach Berl focuses so much on our technique, that gives us a leg up when we’re rowing for any other team. So rowing at St. Andrew’s will definitely help you in tremendous ways when you go out into the big rowing world.

Last winter, I rowed at a Youth Regional Challenge in Sarasota, Florida. They bring people all across the region, and I applied and got in, so I represented the mid-Atlantic. We had a week for practice—you have two practices in the day—and then we raced against all the regions. 

I really wanted to continue to row [after St. Andrew’s] because it's made such a big impact on me and I don't really see myself stopping. Coach Berl has helped me so much with my journey to rowing in college, by reaching out to coaches and talking with me about my options. Next year I will be rowing at Dartmouth, which is an absolute dream come true. I can’t imagine going a day or two without rowing, even if it’s just grabbing a buddy and taking out a single or double. It's calming for me…  after practice, we're just filled with happiness. 

Read More about Saints Spotlight: Christine Wu ’20
Saints Spotlight: Charlotte Oxnam ’19


Charlotte Oxnam ’19 was a four-year member of the Saints girls varsity lacrosse team, but in her senior year, she decided to add a new sport to her "resume": football. Since St. Andrew's does not offer girls football, Charlotte was welcomed onto the boys varsity football team. Before her graduation in May 2019, Charlotte shared some of her experiences on the SAS gridiron, and some of her goals for the future. 

I loved every minute of playing football this year, and my biggest regret is that I didn't join the team sooner. I knew I wanted to play football my freshman year, but it felt like too far of a bridge to cross, to be a new girl at school and join that team. I thought about playing sophomore year, but I just wasn’t in the fight. Junior year, I started my company and needed more free time, so I managed the football team. I was around them a lot, went to games, and worked out with them in the gym when they had training sessions, but I was not [playing] on the team. Then junior spring I said, "You know what? I only have one more season of sports at St. Andrew’s and I'm in strong enough shape to play football.”  

I asked my parents, and they said no. They were afraid I was going to hurt myself, and they weren't sure how serious I was or how the team was going to receive me. But finally wore them down, and I got to play. My brother was also coming in [to St. Andrew's] as freshman and he was going to play football, so they couldn't tell the daughter no and the son yes. So I headed off to preseason with my brother in August, and I had an amazing season. We won the Cannon for the first time in my four years here. The team has some of the sweetest guys—they were really protective and supportive. I don't think I've felt as comfortable on any of my other sports teams at St. Andrew’s. It was the best team dynamic I've ever been part of in a school sport. I was also allowed to hit my brother for three months, which is crazy. We’ve been fighting my whole life, and everyone yells at me. Now Coach Moffitt is telling me that I'm not hitting him hard enough.

From day one Coach Moffitt treated me like any other athlete. He sat down with me ahead of time and asked, "What do you think your strengths are? Where do you want to play?" He said, "I'm going to push you just as much as I'm going to push any of the guys. There is nothing I'm going to do that is going to go easy on you, or that is going to give you a break. Are you ready for that?" He made it really clear from the beginning that he didn’t care that I was girl, and as a result, the team didn't care that I was a girl. I made it clear that I wanted to play and I wanted to be on the line. I wanted to be tackling people. They knew I was strong and had the ability to stick with it. Coach Moffitt just acted like I was any new student joining the football team.

A couple girls have asked me about playing football next year. I want as many people who want to play to play, but you have to be realistic in your goals, and you [have to make sure] that's safe for you? I would ask someone who was trying to play goalie in lacrosse the same questions, because it’s a space where someone could get hurt. You have to be willing to take risks and be willing to do what it takes to make those risks smaller. Hopefully girls will eventually become a staple of the football team. Every time I give a tour people ask, "Oh, there's a girl's football team?" And I say, "No, it's a boys’ team, but we're making it coed.”

My [St. Andrew's] little sister is playing baseball this spring, and I said to her, “Do what you love.” She had grown up around baseball, she felt stronger in it, and she believed she could excel. I said, “If that's how you feel, if you think you could be great, then you're hurting yourself by not giving it a chance.” Had it been a girl's team, she would have joined it in an instant. I think that was always my logic—had the gender role not been there, would I have joined the team? And she said, “Of course. That's where I wish I could be.” And I told her, “So do that. Do what you want to do, and don't care about who makes up the team."

The business I run is an online website focused on video chatting and language learning. The website allows students who are learning Spanish as a second language to speak with students their own age who speak Spanish as a first language, and to simulate an immersion language learning experience. Another goal is to get kids emotionally involved in the language learning process, so that they're more likely to stick with it, instead of taking a language in school just because it's required. [Building this business] has been a crazy learning experience. I hired a web developer at the end of my sophomore year. I was a 15-year old girl, and no one took me seriously. I had a few people flat out say, "No, we won't work on the project. There is no way you're legitimate." I finally found a developer and went through all the bumps and everything you go through in trying to get something started up. Now I am working on a lot of outreach with schools that might want to start it as a pilot program. The project is in a good place, and hopefully the site will launch early in my college career. I actually chose my college in part because it has a strong entrepreneurship program, so I'll have all of those resources when I head there in the fall.

Bioengineering is one of my favorite classes I've taken here. We're working on a design project right now where we used different dimensional roles to reverse-engineer all of the traits of an infant. How big would their arteries have to be? How fast would they breathe? What would their heart rate be reversed from an adult? We had to research all of the statistics of adults and apply a mathematical formula to reverse engineer an infant. We're also working on a challenge where we only have a piece of paper and a paper clip, and we have to keep in it the air for as long as possible. I'm excited. I show up every day and we learn something crazy and new. I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to apply [what I'm learning] to my life yet, but it will come in at some point.

My goal is to continue building my company and then sell it, and my ultimate goal would be to invent something in the engineering world that I could create to sell and go the entrepreneurship route. There is a lot more entrepreneurship in engineering than people realize. I think ideally I would create something really amazing and helpful to people, and then get to go sell it around the world, and transition to a business role.

Read More about Saints Spotlight: Charlotte Oxnam ’19
Saints Spotlight: Frank Koblish ’22


Frank Koblish ’22 came to St. Andrew's from Malvern, Pennsylvania in the fall of 2019 as a new sophomore, and spent this school year living on Baum with his fellow IV Form boys. At St. Andrew's, Frank plays JV soccer and varsity basketball. Frank's play and three-point shot were key components of the basketball team's Final Four state tournament run this winter, and he was nominated for Delaware Online High School Athlete of the Week in early March for his impressive postseason play. Over Spring Break, we chatted with Frank about his experiences at St. Andrew's so far.

I play basketball for a travel team in the spring and summer, and I first heard about St. Andrew’s when I was playing on this team with Brandon [Graves ’22]. [St. Andrew’s boys varsity basketball Head] Coach Terrell is very involved in the organization that Brandon and I play for, so I heard a lot about St. Andrew’s from Brandon and from Coach Terrell. As a player, I wanted to further my basketball opportunities, and I thought St. Andrew’s would provide those opportunities. After our campus visit, my parents and I decided that St. Andrew’s would be the ideal place to grow as both a player and student.

In the fall, I decided to play soccer—despite having never played before. It ended up being a lot of fun and I met a lot of people, which was helpful to me as a new sophomore. In the winter, I play basketball, which is my primary sport. I’ve put a lot of my time into basketball and have been committed to the sport for many years. A long-term goal for me is to play basketball in college. This season was a lot of fun and I’m excited for next year.

Before coming to St. Andrew’s, the idea of living in a dorm made me nervous. But, now that I’ve done it, I can say that while there is an adjustment period, the living situation now feels natural. Living with my classmates feels like an especially big advantage when you are a new student—it's easier to get to know when you are living with them. Overall, dorm life has just been really fun. 

If I had to explain the St. Andrew’s ethos, I would say it is about being accepting and being open to new experiences. As a student I have seen those qualities in everyone else and I have also discovered them in myself.


Read More about Saints Spotlight: Frank Koblish ’22
Saints Spotlight: Augie Segger ’19


Augie Segger ’19 came to St. Andrew's from Madison, Connecticut. As a Saint, Augie was known for his musical leadership, regularly playing organ in the Chapel, performing with the Andrean Ensemble, and playing viola with the orchestra. At his graduation in May 2019, he received the Choir Prize and the Cameron Award, which is given to the VI Form boy and girl who have performed outstanding service to the school. Augie currently attends Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

I started singing in a choir when I was eight years old. Two years later, in fifth grade, I went to the St. Thomas Choir School in New York City. It was a boarding school, and everybody who was in the school sang in the choir. It was at a church on Fifth Avenue, and we sang about five services a week, and toured the country, and to different countries periodically. I was there for four years. My first year I was really homesick—I was a wreck, but then I went back the next year, and that's when I think I started falling in love with it. And then I heard about St. Andrew's, and I came here. I'm still singing now, but I also started playing the organ and viola freshman year.

It might have been during my eighth grade year, when I thought, "Hey, the organ's pretty cool.” It's loud. It's big. You feel really powerful when you play it. People often ask, "What's the difference between the organ and a piano?" The organ's a wind instrument, so all the sound comes out of the pipes. When you press a key, the valve will open, and air will flow through the pipe. The nice thing about the organ is, you can control the different sounds that you make. You can have the more delicate, ethereal sounds, and the more powerful, robust sounds, so it's kind of like having a whole orchestra at your disposal, which is nice. And you also get to play with your feet. I think playing the organ can improve your abilities at soccer, because of all the footwork you have to do.
I started playing the viola my freshman year when I took Introduction to the Arts. I did not sound good, but Mr. Geiersbach [encouraged me], and by the end of the year, I ended up in the viola section of the orchestra. I'm still playing now. It's a challenge. I think playing a string instrument is hard to do well, but it's given me a different lens of musicianship I didn't have before, and playing in Orchestra is a whole new experience. [It's so different] than singing in a choir, or playing by yourself.

At St. Andrew's, I've been most involved with the Andrean Ensemble. We spend a lot of time together with touring and different trips that we do periodically. The Orchestra's also a great group of people. We only meet once a week, but it's always fun to just play together. Those moments where everyone just wants to play together is a great experience.

The cross-country team has also been a big part of my life here. I had never imagined that running would be something I would enjoy, or be good at, before coming to St. Andrew's. I started running my freshman year, and I had worked hard, and improved my 5K PR by a lot, which is fun. The varsity team, these past four years, have always been a great group of guys just to run with. So, that's been an incredibly rewarding experience I've had here.

And I have just grown to love the whole community here. I've always been an introvert, and I still will be, but I think this school has pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone, and make the most of the relationships I can make with people, but at the same time, [I know that] it's okay to be myself. I should appreciate who I am, and use the strengths that I have to make this place a better place.

I'd say that music has definitely had a very spiritual effect on me. I grew up in kind of a religious household. We had always go to mass on weekends, and everything. It is a big part of our lives. I would still call myself religious... I'm always questioning, which is what teenagers do. I don't know, in 10 years from now, if I'll be the same way, more or less. Music definitely has something to do with [my faith], I think. Music has the power to give us all a greater awareness of ourselves, and to connect more profoundly with each other. 

I love hearing other choirs and ensembles, and seeing how they perform. I like watching their posture, and asking, "What are they doing that I'm not?" to help me get better. And I love taking programs home with me, seeing what kind of music that they're doing, and trying to broaden my own horizons. I've always been a big fan of early music. Anything 16th century or earlier. It's a different style of music. Every part is kind of their own piece, in a way, and there's something about the clarity of that time period music. But I'm trying to become more interested in 20th century music, and 21st century music, too. It's kind of like modern art in a way. It requires an acquired taste. I hope to learn more about it.

In college, I plan to do the same thing I did here: join a bunch of ensembles. I've considered a possible music major. I'd like to try to learn more theory, music history, things like that. And then we'll see where that takes me later. I don't see myself totally focused on music in my future, but I would love to get a church job on the side, and still have it be a big part of my life.

Read More about Saints Spotlight: Augie Segger ’19
Saints Spotlight: Sunny Trivits ’22

Sunny Trivits ’22 came to St. Andrew's from Berlin, Maryland, a town on the Eastern Shore about ten minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean. On school breaks, Sunny can often be found surfing, and at St. Andrew's, she's involved in a wide variety of athletics and activities—many of them aquatic! We chatted with Sunny recently to learn more about her passion for surfing, her goals for the future, and why she decided to become a Saint.

I ended up at St. Andrew’s because of my cousin who was in the Class of 2017. When I was in fifth grade I visited him at one of the [St. Andrew's crew] regattas. I thought the campus was AMAZING! It was like nothing I had ever seen before. The moment I knew I wanted to apply here was when a student offered me—a random visitor he didn’t know—one of his birthday cupcakes. This single action showed me the heart of the “second family” and kindness culture that define St. Andrew’s—although I am sure this person didn’t know that they had convinced a fifth grader to apply three years later. I am an only child, and at first, my parents shut down the idea of boarding school. However, that idea was always in the back of my head—“What if I went there?” Then we came for an interview and I saw the freshmen students in class and I said to myself, “They look like me… that could be me.”

I am involved in a few things at SAS: Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, the Polar Bear Club, Adaptive Aquatics, and sports. Orchestra and Jazz make me think in a new way twice a week. I love the people and I love the music—it is time in my schedule for me to relax and have fun. I take pride in my commitment to the Polar Bear Club. I have participated in every plunge that I could, even when I was sick. Not my smartest decision but I love the morning rush! Adaptive Aquatics is what gets me through a tough Wednesday; seeing the kids learn to swim, and just getting to know them in general, brings me joy. I am on the JV volleyball team, the swim team, and girls crew. When you are on a team at St. Andrew’s, you go through everything together—success, failure, friendships, injuries—most of all we are a family. Sports teams at SAS are like nothing else and each and every person on the team means something because of the trust that is created.

I absolutely love living in a dorm and on campus. At my house, it’s only my mom, my dad, and my pets. It can be pretty quiet sometimes. But being on dorm builds bonds that can’t be created in a regular school day. There is always someone there, whether it’s to go to dinner or just sit and listen to music. Being able to have access to your best friends one door down is something different. But, we have to live together and that can create some challenges. Maybe an argument happened between you and a friend, for example, and then you have to see each other during brush and wash. But living together forces us to reflect on actions. We all have to go through it together. If someone is sad we all can be there for that person—same with happiness, homesickness, etc. There is support everywhere on dorm, and that is special. 

One thing that really shows me how much I love living on dorm, and how much it’s changed me as a person, is when you go on break. Some things that you might find annoying,—like people singing loud or taking too long in the shower—are things that you really miss when you’re gone. 

This long time away from campus makes me miss my roommates, Hayley Vu ’22and Gigi Sempertegui ’22. I also really miss hearing Micayla Kates ’22 singing, seeing Belin Tate ’22 and Pati Lunsford ’22 making dance videos, and Luna Armstrong ’22 waking up earlier than most to do her face routine and yoga. And this is just to name a few people—I could name what I miss most about everyone on Moss [Dorm].  

One thing I especially love doing during summer breaks is surfing. I enjoy it most when the water is warm and I don’t have to wear a full suit, gloves, boots, a hood, etc. I have been in the ocean my entire life and surfing for as long as I can remember.  I first started surfing when I was three years old or so. I first started on my dad’s back—I would hold on and he would ride the wave. When I got too big for that I started on my own boards. From then on, I have done it every summer since. I’m from Berlin, Maryland—only ten minutes away from pretty good waves, which is really great! The waves are best around 7:00 a.m. Sometimes I just want to sleep in, but when I get myself out of bed to surf, I end up happy and ready to start my day.

The beach is really the center my whole life. I have met so many new people through surfing—there is an instant bonding out in the water. Last year I applied for a scholarship from a company that creates surfboards in Australia. I made a video where I shared how “Surfing Makes My Life Better”. Creating that video made me realize how much surfing had affected my life, and still does. Surfing has taught me many things. One saying that my dad and I use is: “When in doubt, paddle out.” Even if you’re not sure, the waves aren’t perfect, or it looks intimidating, go out and try. Just have fun. Surfing has taught me to take risks and go.

I hope to try as many new things as possible in my life. I want to do new activities, try new foods, listen to new music. I want to use every opportunity I’m given and take full advantage of each here at St. Andrew’s, and in the rest of my life. Both now and long-term I want to be a good friend. I want to try my best to maintain long-lasting bonds. I have a goal of traveling and maybe teaching in different parts of the country and different places around the world. I’m still not sure what I want to teach, but I definitely want to go into education. Maybe as a teacher, administrator, or even as a speech therapist. Wherever I end up, I want to be a good person and help people. 

Read More about Saints Spotlight: Sunny Trivits ’22