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‘Striking brilliance’: Administration announces theme for year, students attend first day of school

Photo credit: Parker Keston
Student Body President Anaiya Asomugha (’24) speaks to students and faculty, welcoming everyone to the 2023-24 school year Aug. 22. Asomugha and Head of School Elizabeth English gave speeches in the courtyard in celebration of the first day of school.

Due to Hurricane Hilary, orientation was rescheduled from Aug. 21 to Aug. 22 and occurred alongside middle school special programming and the first day of upper school classes. As a component of orientation, students and faculty attended an all-school assembly in which Head of School Elizabeth English and Student Body President Anaiya Asomugha (‘24) gave speeches in the courtyard welcoming everyone to the school year.

During her speech, English announced that the theme for this year is “striking brilliance.” While often correlated with high intelligence, English said she thinks “brilliance” connotes a different meaning. 

“It means you’re aware of everything around you. It means you are mindful. It means that you make space for the brilliance of others,” English said. “When you hear that word, I really want you to think about the light within. The kindness that’s in us. The joy that’s in us. The brilliance that’s in us. The light that you all have.”

Following English’s speech, Asomugha emphasized the importance of staying true to yourself and striving to be the best you can be. She encouraged every student to find their own “inner spark” in order to strike brilliance and reach their fullest potential. 

Let’s go out there. Let’s be fearless. Let’s laugh until our stomachs hurt. Let’s create some memories and make this the best year yet.”

— Student Body President Anaiya Asomugha ('24)

“I want every single person out here to look back on the school year knowing that they have accomplished everything they set up for themselves and everything they never saw coming. This campus is full of brilliance, and I hope you take advantage of that,” Asomugha said. “So let’s go out there. Let’s be fearless. Let’s laugh until our stomachs hurt. Let’s create some memories and make this the best year yet.”

Parker Keston (‘25) said that while she thinks starting junior year is daunting, she is looking forward to being an upperclassman. She said this year’s theme of brilliance represents the light and positivity in the world, an idea she will be mindful of to stay grounded this year.

“Especially as juniors, it can be easy to lose sight of what we’re doing and get lost in work and stress,” Keston said. “But I think we can use the theme of brilliance to remind us to stay light and find the silver lining in every situation.”

As student body president, Asomugha said some of her main ambitions for the year are to create opportunities for the entire Archer community to connect with one another and to ensure everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging.

“We are all about to embark on very similar, yet very different journeys,” Asomugha said. “This year, we’re going to learn, we’re going to grow, we’re going to laugh and along the way, we’ll have each other.”

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About the Contributor
Zoe Gazzuolo
Zoe Gazzuolo, Culture Editor
Zoe Gazzuolo joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and became the Culture Editor in 2023. She plays tennis and joined the Archer Varsity team her freshman year. In her free time, she loves hanging out with friends, baking and listening to music.

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