• Senior Speeches on Jan. 26: Belle Smith, Val Hart, Emilia Topp Johnson, Naya Tadavarthy

  • Senior Speeches on Jan. 23: Numi Katz, Sophia Rose, Allie Verhey, Marlo Graham

The Rubicon

STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

Negativity+can+overshadow+all+the+great+opportunities+we+have+at+a+school+like+SPA.
Negativity can overshadow all the great opportunities we have at a school like SPA.

Negativity can overshadow all the great opportunities we have at a school like SPA.

Melissa Nie

Melissa Nie

Negativity can overshadow all the great opportunities we have at a school like SPA.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






SPA has fostered an amazing culture of critical thinking and inquiry that often takes form in criticism of the school itself. Students feel able and encouraged to challenge SPA to constantly improve; senior speeches, the opinion board, and hallway discussions are often calls of action to the administration and to the student body itself, asking for changes in policy, attitude, and treatment of peers. While it’s important to be always looking for ways to make the SPA community better, it’s equally important to take a step back and recognize all of the reasons to be appreciative of SPA.

The culture of inclusivity. SPA offers a diverse program of award-winning and prestigious musical ensembles, sports teams, clubs, a debate team, and student-led publications. None of these programs cut students, and everyone has the opportunity to take part. Teachers and the administration encourage and support student initiatives, whether it’s forming a new club, sponsoring awareness weeks, or bringing in speakers for issues that students personally care about.

The culture of respect and trust between students and teachers. Teachers feel comfortable stepping out of the classroom and knowing that their students will continue productive discussion, because the student body has earned that trust by being engaged, interested, and driven to learn. Teachers speak to students almost as peers and are understanding and flexible to each student’s individual needs. No student is forgotten around the Harkness table—it’s quite literally impossible to hide and go through the school day apathetic and disengaged. And respect goes both ways—there aren’t many schools at which students thank their teachers after every class.

Respect goes both ways- there aren’t many schools at which students thanks their teachers after every class.”

The student body. While students often complain about a toxic culture of competition and extreme academic rigor, the student body in reality is supportive and caring. While SPA is undoubtedly competitive, students are more often competitive with themselves than with each other. It’s a culture in which everyone pushes each other to be their best. At school, students are surrounded by peers who care about school, about learning, and about doing their best work. Because the school is small, there’s comfort in knowing everyone (at least a little) more and more each year. The administration works to provide opportunities for the student body to grow closer and eliminate competition: every class goes on a retreat each year, and there is no homecoming royalty, no class rank or valedictorian.

And let’s not forget about the lunches. SPA’s lunchroom has a hot lunch with vegetarian options and mixed vegetables every day, a salad bar with toppings, a soup bar, different quinoa or couscous or noodle salads, dessert, and ice cream. The lunch staff is beyond accommodating for any possible dietary restrictions, and the food itself is good enough to be served at a restaurant.

SPA is by no stretch a perfect school, but it’s easy to acclimate to your environment and see only the flaws in the SPA community. Let’s take a moment to recognize how fortunate we are to attend this school—even the freedom of the student body to openly criticize SPA is indicative of the privilege we have

This post was originally published in the December issue of The Rubicon.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: Vaping does not have a place on campus

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: Detention needs to include accountability

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: Students must take responsibility for their work

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: Mentor program needs attention

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: We must strive for equality in sports attendance

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: Gun laws have to change

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: Step toward a brighter future with green choices

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: Turn hopes into action with community service opportunity

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: It’s time to get political

  • STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits

    Editorial

    STAFF EDITORIAL: Don’t forget that AP testing is a choice

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School
STAFF EDITORIAL: Curb complaints and appreciate SPA’s merits