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Sixth Form in Fine Form at Dinner and Retreat

Sixth Form in Fine Form at Dinner and Retreat

After weeks of moving in, orientation, leadership training, and classes, our Sixth Form students were fully prepared to set goals and intentions for their final year on the hilltop during their annual dinner and retreat.

Interfaith Council Leader Noam Hoffman ’24 opened the evening with a prayer as the class enjoyed a delicious meal in the Dining Hall. During dinner, Head of School Rachel Stone P ’23, ’24 addressed the group, recognized the diehards, and challenged seniors to make the most of the year ahead: “Now you write your Sixth Form chapter. What do you want the contents of this chapter to be? How will you make this place home for all? How will you follow through on a theme that surfaced time and again during last spring’s Sixth Form Council election speeches—student voice? How will you ensure that you do not look back and wish you had met more people, attended more events, tried a new sport, performed on stage, or been a better and more involved leader?”

She continued, “Speaking of leadership, many of you have heard me say that we as faculty can set the rules and expectations, but that it is the students in general—and the Sixth Form in particular—who set the culture and the social, academic, and athletic norms each school year.” 

With that, Rachel introduced the 2023-2024 Sixth Form Council— Elsa Copeland, Ava Faruol, Jack Greenberg, Morgan Lau, Dominic Mazzuca, Nathan Ruzzi, Ziyi “Owen” Wang, and Lezhi “Martin” Zhang.

Ava kicked off the retreat portion of the program with a short reflection and prayer, and the Sixth Formers got down to business with a number of activities:

  • They broke into small groups to build and strengthen connections with classmates.
  • Each group created a bucket list of goals for the year ahead.
  • Students wrote letters to themselves and sealed them in envelopes to be opened in May.

A highlight of the retreat was a time-honored Canterbury tradition—all Sixth Form students lined up to give each faculty member a handshake or hug along with words of appreciation. They will do the very same thing at Commencement, bringing their senior year full circle.

The retreat concluded with an all-class gathering in the Chapel of Our Lady, where Geoffrey Moran ’24 offered a chapel talk. As a Sacristan, Proctor, and member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Council, Geoffrey was ideally suited to share what it means to be a student servant-leader.

“I stand here to discuss three powerful pillars that have shaped my life and continue to inspire me daily. These pillars are faith, service, and justice,” he said. “They are not separate ideas but interconnected values to living a meaningful life. Faith strengthens our will to serve others, and service helps us pursue justice. Together, they form a powerful set of ideals for making a difference in the world. They are the driving forces that inspire us to do better, be better, and leave a lasting legacy of compassion and equality for future Canterbury students. As we navigate our complex world, let us hold onto these pillars as guides to a better life, knowing that through faith, service, and justice, we have the power to create a brighter and more equitable future for all.”

Other students then came forward to share brief reflections on the evening’s experience, and each was meaningful and affirming. By the time Madison Lang ’24 delivered the closing prayer to end the retreat, these Sixth Formers were ready and eager to serve as positive leaders and role models for their classmates and the entire Saints community.