Upper School Explores ‘Finding Beauty in Chaos’ at Honors Assembly

St. Margaret’s Upper School had its first honors assembly of the year last week, celebrating the hard work and achievement of each student and hearing speeches from leaders of the senior class. 

“We recognize that every day, students in the Upper School are working and sacrificing to achieve academic goals while balancing all the other demands in their lives,” Upper School Principal Jeneen Graham said. “It is important for each of you to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work you put in to your classes and to recognize and honor the ways you continue to challenge yourselves, explore your interests and keep a growth mindset. We, the professional community, see it and appreciate it.”

The assembly was a recorded webinar, with a theme of “finding beauty in chaos” as the world grapples with uncertain times. The first speaker was senior Sarah Pence, who shared her advice on seeking small victories in turbulent times. 

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the valleys in my life, it is that in order to emerge, you need to find small points along the way to celebrate, and a team of people willing to cheer you on,” Sarah said. “It is together that we have struggled, and it is together that we will persevere.”

Senior Kaelyn Dunnell also spoke, sharing her wisdom about resilience. 

“When I think of beauty and chaos, I think of yin and yang,” Kaelyn said. “See, in order to manage everything that’s been going on—racial unrest, the COVID-19 pandemic, normal school stress —we have to understand that life exists in duality. For all the chaos that has occurred across the nation, there’s been a multitude of good in response. We have seen people from all walks of life come together to stand up for the rights of others. We have seen brilliant, hard-working health professionals rise to a challenge that they should not have to face. We have seen how resilient people are and can be, especially those in our generation. 

“So, don’t get discouraged by hearing the word ‘chaos.’ I have to quote Dr. Chugh on this: things will get better. Yes, they might get worse before they get better, but they will get better. And we will continue to persist through the worst parts.”

The assembly finished with a musical performance of “Juggernaut” by the Upper School honors orchestra, led by orchestra director Linling Hsu.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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