Meet Your New Senior and House Prefects


Sophie Conroy '19

The new senior and house prefects

As we return for another year on the Circle, we are confronted with a version of Groton that is identical to and yet changed from the one we left in June. The physical features are all here, but the senior class, a defining feature of the Groton student body, has been filled with a fresh set of faces. As a whole, the members of the sixth form of 2019 are prefects, sports captains, club heads, and friends to those in the younger forms, but the four senior and house prefects will play an especially influential role in shaping Groton’s culture this coming year.

Elected in spring term, the senior prefects are Cho Nikoi and Johnny Stankard ’19, and the souse prefects are Lyndsey Toce and Walker Davey ’19. A primary duty for senior prefects is sitting on the disciplinary committee. They are joined by the house prefects for other responsibilities such as maintaining dialogue on behalf of all students with the administration, running roll call, and organizing Surprise Holiday.

To be a senior or house prefect is to operate within a rigid and traditional system, one that can make it exceedingly difficult for student leaders to accomplish anything of a non-symbolic nature. This year’s four student leaders, however, remain optimistic. Speaking to the cultural impact they hope to have, senior prefect Johnny expressed his desire for every student to feel included in the community: “We want to create a cohesive community where everyone wants to fully participate in the Groton experience… Everyone should be able to express themselves and their beliefs without fear of judgement or repercussion.” Lyndsey, a Hundred House prefect, similarly expressed her desire for increased unity. “Especially for the 2nd and 3rd form officers it’s probably difficult to know who to go to with ideas and how to go about organizing fun events within their form. I hope that the four of us seniors can act as advisors and help with any ideas the younger leaders may have,” she said.

In addition to an overarching goal of community building, these student leaders bring an easily detectable enthusiasm to their respective roles. For Walker, being a house prefect is a longtime dream as well as an opportunity to serve his peers and community. “Groton has given me so much through my three years here including a great education and a fun atmosphere that I look forward to being a part of everyday, and this is sort of my way of being able to give back to the school,” he commented. Likewise, senior prefect Cho also feels grateful for this opportunity, citing the strengths of her fellow leaders: “I’m really excited to get to work alongside Johnny, Walker, and Lyndsey, each of whom I consider excellent leaders in his or her own way.”

Arguably one of the greatest benefits of having a group of four student leaders is the breadth of skill and knowledge that they will have access to. Each house or senior prefect contributes something unique to their position and, by extension, to Groton as a whole. Johnny is able to draw from an array of experiences from past and current leadership positions, which will aid him in effectively communicating with students and administration alike. “I was very lucky to have been fifth form officer, so I already have some experience in this position. This means that I already have experience with the DC process and meetings with the deans [and] headmaster. I am also a third form prefect, so I can work closely with the lower schoolers to make sure their voices are not belittled.” Lyndsey, on the other hand, possesses an ability to advocate for her goals while still recognizing the inevitable need for compromise; she explained, “Something I think I’m pretty good at is balancing being determined to do something while also being flexible about how it’s inevitably executed.” Adding a third contribution to the mix, Walker’s enthusiastic personal disposition will positively impact student culture: “I think my overall energetic nature will help me with running roll call in the morning and getting people excited for the day ahead.” Finally, Cho brings a balancing, process-based perspective, explaining that “most of my actions are not focused on achieving a specific goal … I like to focus on the present.”

These prefectures are notoriously difficult positions to fill. Beyond the extensive time commitment, leaders undertake the difficult task of amplifying their class’s unique voice within a community that relies so heavily upon set tradition. Nonetheless, this year’s senior and house leadership is a united group of committed, enthusiastic individuals whose variety of personal strengths will aid them in their shared goal of increasing community engagement and cohesion at Groton. As Walker put it, “We as senior prefects hope to make this the best year at Groton. We also hope to instill a culture where everyone feels comfortable around everyone in other forms … It would only benefit us all if we knew everyone and felt comfortable with everyone on the circle.”