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Student leaders of HEC, ALT, Student Council team build, set goals for school year at summer retreats

Photo credit: Maia Alvarez
Juniors Emma Winkler and Rachel Michiel practice giving and receiving feedback at the publications leadership retreat. From Aug. 14-18, student leaders of the Honor Education Council, Ambassador Leadership Team and Student Council also gathered on campus to learn about leadership, set goals and plan upcoming programs.

During the final days of summer break, student leaders of Archer organizations and publications participated in on-campus leadership retreats. Leaders of the Honor Education Council, Student Council, Ambassador Leadership Team, Hestia’s Flame and The Oracle learned about leadership, reconnected with other leaders and planned for the upcoming school year.

The Student Council Executive Board and representatives from grades eight to 12 built connections through icebreakers and team bonding exercises like the human knot challenge and Pancakes versus Waffles, an activity where the group decides which of the two breakfast foods the world will keep and which will be eliminated. While split evenly at first, the group used persuasion and reasoning to come to a consensus about keeping pancakes.

Senior Anaiya Asomugha, the 2023-2024 student body president, said the retreat balanced discussing what it means to be leaders of the school and having fun as a new council.

“[Pancakes versus Waffles] reminded me of Student Council because even if you have a really good idea that you think would be incredible and so much fun, but the student body doesn’t like it, [you have] got to compromise and come up with a solution that’s beneficial to everyone,” Asomugha said.

Outside of team building, Student Council discussed increasing connections between grade levels through schoolwide activities and presentation templates for class meetings. HEC also held their retreat last week to implement a shift in faculty advisers.

Starting this year, the grade-level Deans of Culture, Community and Belonging will serve as the faculty advisers for HEC. During the retreat, student representatives introduced the deans to hearings, the process of a typical meeting and the responsibilities of an adviser. HEC Representative Mia Vosicher (‘25) said the change will help the organization be more connected to the greater community.  

“We don’t want to be known as secret patrol or police. We want to be a little bit more transparent this year with the community, and I think that’s going to be a lot more possible with the help of the deans,” Vosicher said. “We already started making slideshow presentations that we’re going to present in class meetings, and we just want to change the narrative a little bit.”

[They’ll] discuss and encourage students to be reminded of what it is to have honor and integrity as a student … I just think they’re a great, dynamic group of young women.”

— Student Services Administrative Assistant Cori Morris

Vosicher said HEC also set new goals for the year, connected with the new freshmen representatives and selected Alejandra Cortes (’24) as the senior chair. Student Services Administrative Assistant Cori Morris was a faculty adviser for HEC last year and, though she is not an adviser this year, she said she is optimistic for representatives to lead not only the student body, but also the new deans through HEC.

“They are very qualified, they’re very passionate and they’re worthy of holding the role that they have — not only … those who’ve been in that position for multiple years, but in addition to those who this is their first year,” Morris said. “If they ever have a hearing in front of them or just when they have the opportunity to sit in an open space meeting and connect with the community members and have different topics, [they’ll] discuss and encourage students to be reminded of what it is to have honor and integrity as a student … I just think they’re a great, dynamic group of young women.”

Junior Sydney Curry founded ALT’s newest program, ALT and Me, which is dedicated to connecting new students with ambassadors. Since the program will commence during the first week of school, part of the ALT retreat was spent planning to ensure students were well-integrated into the community from the beginning. Ambassador Sophia Shin (‘25) said she is excited about the program and that the retreat allows student leaders to get organized without other conflicting activities.

“You’re able to get a lot more done because during the school year, once it starts, especially since a lot of us are older, there’s a lot of homework and a lot of extracurriculars and things that hit you, so you don’t really have time for a three-hour-long meeting like we did,” Shin said. “We get to start already going and already planning so that we can start programs like ALT and Me immediately.”

Tomorrow, the first day of school, ambassadors will kickstart ALT and Me while HEC and Student Council will begin their weekly meetings in the coming weeks. Heading into the school year, Asomugha said she and the rest of Student Council wish to establish trust as the leaders the student body elected.

“We campaigned, we advocated for them and we want to make sure they know that they are in good hands and that they trust us to lead them with integrity and compassion and optimism and things of that nature,” Asomugha said. “And then once that trust is established, we really want to get that spirit going and get into the fun stuff.”

Additional reporting by News Editor Siena Ferraro (’25).

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About the Contributor
Maia Alvarez
Maia Alvarez, Features Editor
Maia Alvarez joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2021 and became the Multimedia Editor in 2022. In 2023, she became the Features Editor. She was on the leadership board for InvenTeam, led the Best Buddies club, and was a member of the Speech and Debate team. Outside of school, she practiced taekwondo as a second-degree black belt and volunteered as a tutor. She graduated in 2024.

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