As we launch into the year ahead, we will consistently look to our elected school leaders, Vienna Marcus '20 and Hitch Graham '20, for wisdom, guidance, and representation of the student body. The role of School Leader carries with it significant responsibility: attending all faculty meetings, running student government meetings with class representatives, meeting weekly with the Head of School and Assistant Head of School to discuss initiatives and student life goals, as well as serving on the Appeals Committee when a student appeals their dismissal from Proctor. Vienna and Hitch share their thoughts on the year ahead below.
What are you most excited about in the upcoming year?
Vienna: I am excited for the upcoming year because the incoming students represent nearly half (42%) of the student body. I believe this is the perfect opportunity to instill change. I am excited to get to know the new students. Often we say that “you will leave Proctor a better person,” but I believe it is also true that each student has the potential to “better” Proctor.
Hitch: I am most excited about fostering the relationships between advisors and their advisees. Those relationships are the foundations of our community and with so many new students it is imperative that we help better those relationships every chance we get so that all students have a member of faculty that they can rely on.
What is one thing you would like to accomplish with your fellow student leaders?
Vienna: It is difficult to highlight one thing that I would like to accomplish in student leadership this year; there are many different areas that I believe need focus, but I may only be able to lay the foundation for that work. I would like to strengthen the student government program as well as create more opportunities for engagement between students, as well as students and faculty. Within those relationships we will build a greater bond of trust that will enable that change to happen.
Hitch: I would like to start regularly scheduled town hall meetings where students and teachers come together to discuss issues on campus. This would allow for more transparency about decisions that are being made by the faculty and administration and create better trust between all members of the Proctor community.
What do you anticipate will be your biggest challenge this year, and how do you plan to overcome it?
Vienna: I anticipate a learning curve when it comes to deciphering which tasks I need to push to completion within this school year and which tasks are those that will take more than a year to accomplish. I hope the work we do will be carried forward, but there are also things we would like to establish within the year. We will have to rely on the adults to help us prioritize some of those tasks but we would also like to empower the student government because ultimately, the future of our community rests on both of these generations.
Hitch: I believe that our biggest challenge will be attracting students to help solve issues on campus. Many students like to complain but do not take any strides to make changes on campus. The way to overcome this is by finding the students who truly care about seeing change happen and give them the necessary tools to make those changes.
Could you describe one of your personality traits that will help you in your leadership role?
Vienna: One trait that will help me in my leadership role is my ability to listen and communicate. I also feel as confident speaking to my peers as I do to the adults in our community. I believe I am good at both giving and receiving criticism (thank you Mountain Classroom)!
Hitch: One trait that will help me in my leadership role is my outgoing personality. This will allow me to branch out so students feel comfortable asking me questions and proposing new ideas that will improve our community.