Over the last two weeks, Concord Academy has elected most of its all-school council members other than class presidents and representatives for the 2021-22 school year. Hannah Wixom ’22 and Zachary Tung ’22 stood out among the many competent candidates for head and vice head of school. Under their leadership, they aim to bring the CA community back together by focusing on preserving traditions, building connections between classes, and improving communication transparency.
Hannah, our new student head of school, shared her main goal for next year: “I [want to make] sure that by the end of the year, you don’t just know the people within your class. I want freshmen to know seniors, juniors, and sophomores. I want everyone to be connected and feel like they are part of the community, and not feel like they missed out or that they are on the outskirts because of COVID. I want us to feel whole again.”
With the goal of fostering community interactions, the community action representatives Lilia Kasdon ’22 and Kelly Zhang ’22 plan to implement a bi-monthly campaign similar to “Issue of the STAC,” student versus faculty lawn games, and more weekend volunteering opportunities.
This objective will also be supported by the entertainment representatives, Andy Dietel ’22 and Jarrett Gath ’22. They are working to expand the variety of events, such as planning a spring concert featuring local artists and incorporating a system where every student has a platform to voice ideas of events and activities.
Communication and collaboration are the key. The head of day students, Ishan Narra ’22, shared that he will be working with the head of school and the head and vice head of boarders, Melanie Tapia ’22 and Shihab Moral ’22, to reintegrate day and boarding communities, as well as working alongside the entertainment representatives to help plan bonding events.
To increase communication transparency and student involvement of the administration’s decision-making process, Hannah and Zachary are hoping to include student representatives on decision-making committees, create a student status report where students get to speak at faculty meetings once or twice per semester, and address the delay in the school’s digestion of student feedback.
One challenge to bringing the whole community together is that some students are still apart from the CA campus because of the pandemic. Hannah explained, “We are not only going to have the freshman class coming in, not really having any idea of what CA is all about, but, at the same time, we’re going to have some people already in the community that are not completely involved in the traditions, so it’s going to take everyone to really get excited and stay motivated in the spirit of the school. Besides that, it’s going to take council to plan events like normal. [If] the community is going to stay together and make a change next year, we need each other.”
As part of Council, we also have six newly elected environmental representatives—Shahin Aliabadi ’23, Sarah Collier ’22, Will Gladstone ’23, Grace King ’22, Annie McGarry ’23, and Carter Wood ’22—and two community & equity representatives, Kiran Bhat ’22 and Gio Clark ’22. After a difficult year under COVID-19, we truly need every member of council and the whole school to unite as one and bring the pre-pandemic CA back.