By Mairin Hoffman ’25
Eight new student leaders, The Prefects, are announced at the beginning of every school year. These leaders represent the community as a whole and organize many of the activities on campus. Our prefects this year include Ashleen Hay as head prefect, Maeren Hay, Chris Wang, Vivian Boucher, Emily Chiappa, Hunter Fonseca, Will Marich, and Alex Johnson. I’ve interviewed our new prefects to get insight into who they are and what they’re goals are for our community.
Question 1: What is your name, and where are you from?
Will Marich and I am from Washington, CT.
Emily Chiappa, and I am from New Milford, CT.
Maeren Hay and I am from Goshen, CT.
Chris Wang, and I’m from Beijing, China.
Ashleen Hay, and I am from Goshen, CT.
Alex Johnson and I am from Sag Harbor, NY.
Hunter Fonseca, and I am from Middlebury, CT.
Vivian Boucher, and I am from Watertown, CT.
Question 2: What made you decide to run for prefect?
Emily: Not only was I deeply inspired by the work of past prefects during my time at Frederick Gunn, but I loved the idea of prefect overall. Prefects are leaders who work to bring the whole school together, and the leadership skills they develop throughout the year are cherishable. As someone who hopes to bring leadership values into any place I happen to go after high school, being a prefect certainly attracted me.
Ashleen: My love for the people within our community. I ran as a way to attempt to give back to all of the amazing people and everything everyone has done for me in my time here!
Question 3: As a leader, what do you want to provide for the FGS community?
Hunter: I would like to provide a new sense of risk-taking and trying new things. People step out of their comfort zones and go to an event they haven’t gone to before or try a new club or co-curricular. Or stepping out of their comfort zone can just be as simple as sitting at a new lunch table or going up to someone you don’t know and talking with them.
Will: As a leader, I want to provide an amazing experience for anyone who walks onto campus. I love our school and want everybody to experience the “magic” of it.
Question 4: What is a tradition that you enjoy in the community?
Vivian: A tradition that I have enjoyed since my freshman year are advisor lunches/dinners. I love the sense of having a “family-style” meal with new and returning members of our community. I believe advisor lunches/dinners are an important aspect in learning more about your advisor, and fellow advisees and provides an opportunity to share information about yourself in a small group setting.
Maeren: I love Halloween at school and seeing everyone’s costumes.
Question 5: What do you want to leave behind when you graduate?
Alex: When I graduate, I hope to leave the school better than when I came, with great students and abundant opportunities.
Chris: I want to leave behind the environmental changes I will be making as a member of the Green Club.
Question 6: What advice would you give to people who want to become a prefect?
Hunter: My advice for anyone considering the prefect role, is to stay true to yourself. Especially during the early process when you’re getting signatures and having many conversations with faculty and students. It may seem like you should put on a different persona or character to please the person you are talking to. But it is important just to stay true to your own character and just be the best version of yourself that you can be.
Ashleen: The advice I would give to anybody who wants to become a prefect, is to set your mind to it and believe that you can. It is a huge commitment to take on, but no one can do the things or change our community the way that you can or you the way that you want to, so take the chance, and use that initial reason why you wanted to run to force you to achieve great things, for yourself and the community.
Question 7: What will you miss the most about the FGS community when you graduate?
Emily: To put it simply, I’ll miss the feel of the community. As someone who grew up going to public school, switching gears to a private boarding school was a new feel, but I’m very grateful I chose to pursue one. The FGS community gave me a family away from home, and I’ll definitely miss it when I graduate, though it’ll be exciting to gain new experiences as alumni!
Will: Although I don’t want to think about it right now, I will miss the community. For me, I have lived as a part of this community for 10+ years so this has been my home. So I will miss waking up every day and walking into campus and seeing everyone I have known for so long.
Question 8: What is your favorite dining hall meal?
Hunter: In my freshman year on Halloween night, we had chicken wings. I probably ate around 30 chicken wings that night. But ever since that spooky October night, I have never seen wings served again.
Vivian: Pizza! Definitely the pizza. I love very doughy, cheesy, saucey pizza and the dining hall staff does an excellent job of checking off all three of those boxes.
Will: My favorite is the steak dinner on the night of the winter concert. I love that meal and have for some time.
Emily: Definitely chicken tenders. No question.
Maeren: Chicken sandwich!!
Chris: My favorite dining hall meals are hot dogs and fries.
Ashleen: The other day, there was turkey and cranberry sauce, and I swear I made the best thanksgiving turkey sandwich of my life, so I’m going to have to go with that.
Alex: My favorite dining hall meal is turkey burgers.
As the next few months unfold, The Highlander Newspaper is excited to see each of the prefects succeed, and how they will each contribute to the community!