The backdrop of the welcome and opening remarks ceremony on the first day of school. The backdrop was inspired by the Maypole, a spring tradition that takes place on May 1 every year. Sixth grade dean Lauren Sekula said seeing that backdrop on the first day of school made her 'excited' for the spring tradition. (Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez)
The backdrop of the welcome and opening remarks ceremony on the first day of school. The backdrop was inspired by the Maypole, a spring tradition that takes place on May 1 every year. Sixth grade dean Lauren Sekula said seeing that backdrop on the first day of school made her 'excited' for the spring tradition.

Photo credit: Celeste Ramirez

Beginnings: Back to school with sixth graders

On the opposite side of the courtyard, members of the class of 2026 reconnected with their new peers after Fall Outing. They wore long khaki skirts, purple polos and white cardigans, carrying large backpacks.

Sixth grade dean Lauren Sekula shared that as dean she gets to have “different,” “really special relationship” with the sixth grade class and “love[s] it all.”

Being an advisor and teacher, I love getting to know the families. There’s more opportunities for me to get to know them a little bit better,” Sekula said. “I love getting to work with my team. I have literally the dream team; they are fabulous. I think they really make the sixth grade experience so special.”

Communications and Strategic Marketing Manager Avani Shah is “excited” for what this sixth grade class will bring to the rest of the school year. What specifically stood out to her about the class was her first interaction with the sixth graders during Fall Outing. She explained that the students were assigned a “bus buddy” and given “chat pack questions.” Their task was to get to know each other and introduce their partner once they reached their destination.

“That’s what really brought that kindness to light. They really got to know one another and made one another feel comfortable and loved[…], ” Shah said. “Not a single girl sat by herself or was upset and had to come to an adult by herself, either. There was some girl who was conscious of it and would just go to her, saying ‘What’s going on?’ That wasn’t something we told them. It was natural to them.” 

Shah, who is also a sixth grade advisor, said back to school season with sixth graders always “makes her feel like a kid again” and she always “loves” seeing how by the end of the school year, they are “full on Archer girls.”

“They are so energetic, and they’re just so full of life, and they are just experiencing everything at Archer for the first time, and I really like being able to see that magic come to life for them,” Shah said. “You can see them kind of putting the pieces together, being a big kid.”

Shah also acknowledged the range of emotions sixth graders go through at the start of the year and the challenges they face throughout the year.

“It was really really really scary because I didn’t know where any of my classes were or anyone who was there,” sixth grader Julia Smithson said. “I got lost and was late so many times.”

However, Shah shared some words of advice for the sixth grade class.

“Take a deep breath. It’s going to be fine. You are going to make it. You are doing great. Keep being kind.”

Additional reporting contributed by Lizette Gonzalez, Cadence Callahan and Sabrina Kim. 

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As part of Archer’s active and engaged community, the Editorial Board welcomes reader comments and debate and encourages community members to take ownership of their opinions by using their names when commenting. However, in order to ensure a diverse range of opinions, the editorial board does allow anonymous comments on articles as long as the perspective cannot be obtained elsewhere, and they are respectful and relevant. Because we are a 6-12 school, the Editorial Board reserves the right to omit profanity. We do not publish comments that serve primarily as an advertisement or to promote a specific product. Comments are moderated and may be edited in accordance with the Oracle’s profanity policy, but the Editorial Board will not change the intent or message of comments. They will appear once approved.




    Endings: Back to school with seniors

    Before the welcome and opening remarks on the first day of classes, seniors wearing gray blazers filled the front side of the courtyard at the unofficial “senior section.” They wore red accessories, including firefighter hats, beaded necklaces, hats, wigs, and earrings to represent the class’ senior theme: “Girls on Fire.”

    This particular moment “stood out” to senior Hailey Adams as she is “excited” for the “energy” and “impact” the senior class will bring to this school year.

    “The seniors really just rallied together on the first day, and we were all super excited and I felt like we did a good job of being pumped that day and welcoming people,” Adams said. “It was just such a great moment and everyone…[had] smiles on their faces and [were] getting goofy pictures together.”

    As Adams reflects on her four years at Archer, she recognizes how much “wiser,” “calmer” and “aware” she has become. She reflects on the changes she has undergone and gives her younger self some advice.

    “Be yourself and enjoy your time and make the most of every moment because it does go by really fast,” Adams said. “I think it’s just important to be very appreciative and enjoy where you are at in the moment.”

    Senior Hannah Kim says that this time of the year is “surreal” having been at Archer since the seventh grade.

    I remember I was wearing my purple shirt and my khaki skirt that went all the way up to my knees, and I was taking pictures with my parents. My parents wouldn’t let me leave for the school bus,” Kim said. “I can’t remember a time without Archer because I’ve been here for so long, so definitely it’s going to be super sad when I have to say goodbye to this chapter of my life, but I’m definitely very excited to go to college and be outside of this Archer community and make a difference in [environments] other than my school.” 

    Senior Class Dean and English teacher Jennifer Dohr said senior year is a “journey of self-awareness and of leadership.” She recognizes that the year is filled with “consistent highs and lows” but is nonetheless “excited” for what the senior class will bring this year.

    “I like to think of senior year as the beginning of a whole brand new beginning with exciting and new journeys ahead and so yes, it is the culminating year at Archer but it’s the beginning of a life journey that extends well beyond college,” Dohr said. “It’s a year where there is so much newness. I guess it is the beginning of the end in terms of the Archer journey, but I’m certainly not going to think about it that way because the thought of saying au revoir to the senior class makes me emotional.”

    Dohr said she had had multiple “amazing” moments with her senior class in just the first weeks of classes. She speaks for the faculty and staff at large when she says everyone is “tremendously excited” to see how the class that “has it all” will continue to “make their mark” on Archer. She ends with a message for her senior class.

    “Class of 2020, [I’m] honored as always to be your dean,” Dohr said. “Let’s have a fantastic journey together and not just back to school, but the whole year. Let’s really see what you want to achieve and how I can support you.”

    Additional reporting contributed by Lizette Gonzalez, Cadence Callahan and Sabrina Kim. 

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    Leave a Comment

    As part of Archer’s active and engaged community, the Editorial Board welcomes reader comments and debate and encourages community members to take ownership of their opinions by using their names when commenting. However, in order to ensure a diverse range of opinions, the editorial board does allow anonymous comments on articles as long as the perspective cannot be obtained elsewhere, and they are respectful and relevant. Because we are a 6-12 school, the Editorial Board reserves the right to omit profanity. We do not publish comments that serve primarily as an advertisement or to promote a specific product. Comments are moderated and may be edited in accordance with the Oracle’s profanity policy, but the Editorial Board will not change the intent or message of comments. They will appear once approved.

    1. Gracie Wilson on November 4th, 2019 5:18 am

      This definitely made me emo! Killer article, Celeste. Can’t wait to see what else you write this year.




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