Senior Prefects Pass the Torch

Senior Prefects Lwazi ’20 and Grace ’20, courtesy of Grace Mastrioni ’20

Grace Mastroianni ’20 and Lwazi Bululu ’20 led the school through one of the toughest times in recent years. The virus threw unimaginable challenges at them – as Grace said, “planning a virtual ‘prize day’ when we knew that no matter what our form was going to be unhappy”. Yet, they led with understanding and thoughtfulness. Recently, they tread the fine balance between the angry boycott of any ceremony and the full out pretense of the usual Prize Day, to reach a compromise with the help of the administration. Now, they look to hand the school on to the incoming leaders.


Lwazi’s outlook on leadership, to “trust your instincts,” played a great part in this process. He urges the next prefects to use “your unique point of view” – having the ear of both the administration and the student body – and not anyone else’s. Both Grace and Lwazi reminisced about one of their favorite memories when the prefects went to the Maqubelas’ house at 9PM the night before Fall surprise holiday to finalize the plan. Mr. Maqubela immediately called the Director of B&G, Tim Dumont, on such short notice for Marc Borghi to drive the security car the next day. Mr. Maqubela’s spontaneity and willingness to help reminded both of them that the administration is here to help. 


“Be resilient and make the best of what you are given,” advises Grace to the next prefects. She believes that although the administration is on the students’ side, there is still a lot out of the prefects’ control. Thus, they must think of new ideas or plans instead of being disheartened when rejected. Lwazi urges them to “ask for advice, for time, for help” when things become overwhelming, and stresses that “this does not make you any less of a leader.” Grace encourages future prefects to create new traditions, and she is “confident [she is] leaving Groton in good hands, not only with Gracie and Walker but the younger forms as well.”


As the 2019-2020 year comes to a close, Grace and Lwazi pass the torch to the next Senior Prefects, Gracie Mumford ’21 and Walker Smith ’21. With coronavirus and all the uncertainty that it brings, Walker and Gracie have begun to talk about their goal of bringing the community together. While the plans for reopening Groton have not been decided, “it is important that we all stick together and make everyone at Groton feel like they are a part of the family,” Walker says. 

Whether we are on campus following social distancing guidelines or on zoom, Gracie and Walker want to emulate the close-knit community from years past. Gracie says that “right now, there are a lot of things up in the air, so the circumstances of the fall will play a major role in dictating our priorities.” Good leaders know how to adapt to the situation at hand, and Gracie and Walker are doing just that. They are rolling with the punches and bringing the school together when the community needs it most.