The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

[STAFF EDITORIAL] Packing up the school’s greatest gifts doesn’t require a backpack

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Annika Kim
VALUES REIMAGINED. The school’s six core values are: achievement, accountability, community, resilience, inventiveness, and passion. These can remain important guiding principles for current students and alumni/ae of the school; they take on new meaning but are still applicable for graduates’ next journeys.

The Class of 2024 is out of the building finishing senior project, looking toward Commencement, and many will be rightfully focused on the adventures ahead.

These milestones offer a chance to reflect on what each student takes with them: values developed during the time here. The mission “Shaping the minds and hearts of people who will change the world” is about a future beyond school. Every student develops their own personal values, but the values prioritized by the school offer a foundation that guides graduates, and all students, as they turn from a student into an alum.

These six values are published alongside the mission statement on the SPA website.

ACHIEVEMENT: While achievement within the academic framework neatly falls on an A-F scale, achievement after graduation looks different. Setting personal goals to push yourself to improve is essential to success in all aspects of life. From developing individual skills to building a career, striving to achieve something is critical. Your goals and aspirations will look different than your peers because achievement in life means something different for everyone.

ACCOUNTABILITY: The school provides a wide variety of opportunities for achievement, learning and academic excellence with many measures of accountability. Alums will, however, be accountable for their words and actions, which will mean facing criticism or consequences. Acknowledge the power you have in choices that impact not only yourself but others. Be curious and kind with your words, thoughtful and intentional in action, and create space for others to do the same.

COMMUNITY: Many families are drawn to the small size and tight-knit culture at the school. Still, this community includes a broader network of former students, and there are opportunities for alums to stay involved. During their time at school, alums served as both participants in their communities and as facilitators, making it possible for others to feel welcome; remember this dual role in the communities you join. Some connections will be stronger than others and change over time, but the school community will be there when you need it for a return to campus, a networking connection, or a reunion. You may become the support for someone else; be ready to lend a hand.

RESILIENCE: Many have heard the cliche phrase, “Moving past failure.” Resilience means taking life lessons from failure, pain, and hardship to bounce back stronger. Part of the learning in school happens in moments of struggle, when students lean on faculty, family, and peers to get through. In life, this teaches us how to build connection for good times and bad. In addition to finding perseverance within yourself, seek out networks of support, much like the wide variety of relationships cultivated at school, and trust them to help.

INVENTIVENESS: Every graduate will embark on their own new and authentic path. However, contrary to the concept of inventions, nothing is truly original. All ideas are inspired by the people and world around us. While the school’s values emphasize courage and curiosity to see the world in new ways as key to invention, so are collaboration and peer appreciation. Your life will need to be designed, planned, and built through your own ingenuity. Recognize the strength that exists in valuing those accomplishments built on what’s come before, on those who inspire, and on forging (or abandoning) a path.

PASSION: When it comes to success, passion is often an afterthought. We are sometimes discouraged from following our passions because they may not lead to conventional definitions of success. Pursuing one’s passion does not have to come at the expense of something else. Expand your mind to label passion as a flexible, essential part of life. Recognize that being multifaceted and exploring love is its own form of success, as it allows you to grow as an individual. Dissolve the term of its rigidity, and find meaningful ways to bring a sense of fulfillment in life. Even if you are not fully enthralled with everything you do, recognize the potential for passion in other areas, and seek out the next thing that lights up your heart.

Graduates are close to moving on from the role of student to joining a network of thousands of alums. “Changing the world” doesn’t rely on singular achievements or future awards. It happens when our community honors the values that have equipped us.

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About the Contributor
Annika Kim
Annika Kim, Illustrator
My name is Annika Kim (she/her). I work as the Illustrator for the Rubicon, and this is my second year officially on staff. At school, I work on Iris Art & Lit magazine and act in the theatre productions. I love animation and want to combine computer science with art to tell a story. I can be reached at [email protected].

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