September 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm 1 comment

Prefect Orientation          —- Marc Kets, Associate Dean of Students


Prefects are an integral part of the leadership structure here at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. The prefects are essentially our best and brightest who we entrust with keeping their fellow students safe and informed, being the communicators between the students and the faculty all while at the same time pushing the school forward by organizing events and coming up with ideas that will make our wonderful school that much better. Not an easy task, I am sure that you will agree.

We are very lucky to have a multi-national group of prefects this year who come from as far afield as Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea, Mexico as well as the United States who all truly understand what it means to be apart of the culture here at the Academy. We are also very honored to have seven four-year seniors who have enough institutional memory to help the rest navigate the various obstacles that will be presented as the year progresses.

Prefect Orientation always starts off with a cacophony of screams and high-pitched squeals as our young lions are reunited after what they inform me was “forever”, and after a few joyful tears are shed and a couple “you’ve grown”’s are uttered it is time to begin orientation in earnest with introductions to the entire faculty.

This year after the introductions were made I took the group down to the picturesque Holmes Amphitheatre to discuss a few goals for the year and for them to sit on the stage from which they all intend to graduate on June 4th 2011. I gave them a few moments to sit silently to soak in the atmosphere and to contemplate what the school means to them, which we shared afterwards. It is always heartening to hear how much the school means to our students and especially how much respect and gratitude they have for their teachers, mentors, peers and ultimately for the institution as a whole.

Then with a new sense of purpose it was off to our traditional opening barbecue that gives them an opportunity to talk amongst themselves and catch up but which unfortunately this time was somewhat hampered by a barbecue that was not quite playing ball but there weren’t any complaints as the food took a little longer than planned. It must be said that Devon did yeoman’s work flipping the burgers and everyone left relatively full and satisfactorily well-reacquainted before we got down to the knitty-gritty of our opening meeting.

Our first meeting is always a nuts and bolts affair with the expectations and protocol for the year laid out. This year because of the overall quality of the group there will be more expected of them and with new support structures in place such as breakfast check-in and weekly pod reports they all seem more than prepared to face these challenges, which remember go over and above their usual commitments at a school like ours that has a challenging dual-curriculum. For the first night they were allowed to sleep together in Pierson Commons and even though some such as Hoon were very much jetlagged they all seemed to have a great time bonding until the early morning as clearly evidenced by their tired but radiant smiles the next morning when I went to wake them up before our hike.

For the first time Daniel Gray, our PE Coordinator, MacNeal dorm parent and an IAA alum from ’97, along with myself and Matt and Beth Thomas, parents of one of our prefects, Melanie, took the group up South Ridge to take in the scenic views that overlook the idyllic little town in which we reside. This was also their chance to read their prefect pledges, which are promises to both themselves and the community. I was very careful to remind them that these promises should be attainable and all of them complied beautifully with deeply thoughtful pledges that will only serve to benefit the school as they check off their goals one by one.

After the hike the students were allowed some free time to prepare their dorms for the imminent arrival of their new pledges as well as to get themselves and their own rooms ready for the beginning of the year. That night we settled in for a final meeting to go over the game plan for the weekend as they are entrusted with the mammoth task of making registration smooth sailing for the new students and parents. In addition, we went over a few scenarios that may play out in the months ahead by playing a little game that I like to call, ‘Absolutely Right and Criminally Wrong’, and it was hilarious especially as I am sure that you can imagine the theatre students hamming up the wrong way to do things with hysterical results. A brief overview of the Student/Parent handbook was also done and many lessons were learnt and a new understanding of the rules and regulations and why they are in place were forged.

The next day they knuckled down and began their work and so far I can quite honestly say that this is the best group of prefects that I have had the privilege of working with here at the school. They are to a (wo)man exceptionally articulate and mature students who are more than capable of laying the platforms required to make this year at Idyllwild Arts Academy a tremendous success.

Entry filed under: student services.

Audition day 2010 Black History Month

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. sarah holliday  |  September 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Nice write up and so glad the honor of being a prefect is greeted and treated in such a special way!


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September 2010


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