Upper School Celebrates Academic Pursuit During Honors Assembly

St. Margaret’s Upper School celebrated academic pursuit and attaining academic goals during its fall Honors Assembly in Hurlbut Theater on Friday.

“We are here to celebrate your efforts and to encourage you to keep setting high expectations for yourselves and working toward your goals,” Upper School Principal Jeneen Graham said. “As I have shared before, the goals you are setting will most likely be different for each and every one of you. Some of you may have goals to earn a particular grade, others may have goals to participate more in class, while others may have goals to be less focused on grades.

“Wherever you are along the spectrum of academic goals, we hope you achieve them.”

The assembly featured moving speeches that reflected on goal-setting and insightful perspectives on the understanding that imperfection is an inherent part of the learning process. Along with Dr. Graham and Assistant Principal James Harris, seniors Romina Sahafi and Nick Fournier shared their experiences in these topics.

Romina spoke of the terms “excellence” and “perfection” and how the words are no longer interchangeable to her as she finishes her high school studies and starts looking ahead to college.

“All of you are enough,” she told her classmate. “One bad grade does not determine your self-worth, and neither does only getting good grades. Be proud of your achievements, because any accomplishment is a sign that you put in effort.”

Nick, meanwhile, spoke of his academic journey and how an increased dedication to his studies led to a more fulfilling school experience, even if his grade on an assignment or test didn’t always reflect it.

“Through failure, I understood that imperfection is perfectly acceptable so long as you learn from it, and use your shortcomings and mishaps to better yourself for the future,” Nick said. “In a time in which societal pressures to excel and outshine are outstandingly high, people can let themselves be defined and labeled by the grades they receive, and forget about the unique person that earned them.”

Afterward, the Upper School jazz ensemble performed two songs: Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” (sung by Miranda Gilbert) and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” (sung by Lulu Arundale).

Click here to read Romina Sahafi’s speech.
Click here to read Nick Fournier’s speech.

Click here to see the list of students receiving Honor Roll and Head of School’s Honors.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California