Sixth Formers Embody Theme of Trust in 2023-24
BY JACQUELINE PRIMO LEMMON
Student Council Secretary Kiki Hillery ’24 describes the Sixth Form Officers (SFOs) as the link between the St. Paul’s School student body and the administration. “We work to voice the needs and wants of the students to the administration, and vice versa.” Hillery, who wanted to run for student government after witnessing the positive impact previous years’ officers had at the School, says that SFOs are like “big siblings [to] the younger students,” meeting each new student during Opening Days and establishing a positive rapport with them to build trust — the theme the four elected officers chose for the 2023-24 school year.
President Cris Ramirez ’24 came to SPS as a Fifth Former last year and says that the support he received as a new student and varsity football team member inspired him to run; he wanted to help other new students feel welcomed into the community just as warmly as he was. Plus, he notes, more than one person told him he was meant for student government. He is also a member of the Latinx Society and Onyx. “I can speak for every single one of us: you can trust us with whatever you have to say, and we’re going to treat everybody with respect and have that same trust in them,” Ramirez says, a sentiment echoed by the other SFOs.
In addition to serving as confidants and role models on the grounds, these officers play a pivotal role in ensuring a positive and supportive student life culture at the School. The SFOs meet on Monday mornings with Rector Kathy Giles and regularly with School administrators and deans — all in service of addressing student concerns from a unified perspective. They also meet every other week with six other form representatives (two per form) and 17 house representatives (one per house). They also represent the student body at various events throughout the year.
Vice President Kaden Roy ’24, a member of the Entrepreneurship Club and self-proclaimed fan of writing and delivering speeches, echoes his fellow SFOs’ emphasis on the importance of trust at SPS. “Living at boarding school is almost like you’re living with a big family. You’re on this campus, that’s your big house,” he says. Trust, he adds, is essential to making a family as big as SPS work.
Treasurer Isa Martinez ’24 had prior School leadership experience when she ran for office, including as a LinC leader and Latinx Society head. She’s also captain of the varsity softball and volleyball teams this year. “I was motivated by the love I have for this School and this community,” she says. Martinez adds that one of her priorities as an SFO is to organize more community events that bring the whole School together, whether that’s a field day, house olympics, or pep rally before a big game. “For example, we really liked the idea of a teacher-versus-student basketball match in the winter,” she says.
“It’s really eye-opening because we get to see that just as much as we want the School to be the very best it can be, [teachers] want that as well. It’s a mutual relationship,” adds Hillery, whose additional leadership roles include founder of the Women in Weightlifting Club and captain of the varsity soccer and alpine ski teams. She also notes that SFOs can help students interpret the reasons behind different School rules and realize their importance, which helps contribute to the sense of community.
So what do this year’s SFOs have in store for 2023-24? They are floating a number of ideas as the school year gets underway, including many that will reinforce their chosen theme of trust.