Headmonitors Ready to Take Charge
by Jonathan Chan on Friday, May 16th, 2014
Three weeks into their jobs as newly elected Head Monitors, Caroline Wall (II) and Louis Demetroulakos (II) have been keeping busy by meeting with the administrators and laying the groundwork for the forthcoming academic year. They are also taking a hard look at what has worked well this past year under the two departing Head Monitors, Cam Park (I) and Liam White (I), and what has not.
The pair’s main objective remains trying to come up with activities and initiatives to make the Milton community more cohesive and more supportive. Both Caroline and Louis want more “mingling” between everyone: whether that is upperclassmen and underclassmen, boarders and day students, or athletes and artists. They also hope to reach out to the “adult powers” – faculty members, school administrators, and even Flik caterers – so everybody can work together to improve our community.
Louis believes there exists “amazing, unappreciated talent” in the student community. He wants to set up “pep teams,” which would go out to support Milton athletes and actors in sports events and artistic performances, uniting the whole student body in rallying behind and celebrating fellow classmates’ hard work and achievements.
Caroline wants to connect everyone by setting up small “mingling units,” which would consist of members of all four classes, led by a senior and a faculty member. The intimate groups would play games, participate in fun activities together as a unit, and compete with other units in larger scale competitions.
Both Caroline and Louis believe that the Olympus Teams initiative started this past year by outgoing head monitors Cam Park and Liam White was a gallant effort to achieve more cohesion within the student body but were ultimately not successful because of the teams’ large size. Matt Chea (II) commented: “Although the goal was to have all the classes intermingle, I noticed that most of the time, people only hung out with people they already knew”.
The new Co-Head Monitors would also like to create more support for incoming underclassmen by introducing a buddy system, where a freshman student will be paired with a rising junior, who could help this incoming freshman through the beginning difficulties of his Milton career. Caroline remarked that this would add an “additional layer of mentorship” for new students.
Both Head Monitors have many creative ideas of their own to spice up student life at Milton. For example, Caroline wants ice cream from Flik on Saturdays, assemblies with food, and more rolling check-ins for assemblies. Louis thinks the library should have a sleeping room for students. However, both Caroline and Louis feel strongly that the collective wisdom of Milton students will ultimately generate the best ideas to improve student life.
Some students have very specific ideas of how to improve student happiness. Carter Wilcox (III) offered, “Whenever I see doughnuts, in assemblies or recesses, it brightens my day and makes me feel very happy. So for me, it is simple: just keep up the doughnut flow.”
Louis and Caroline both think it is imperative that they get close to students in order to understand their true feelings and needs. They believe a big part of their role is taking ideas from students, shaping these beliefs into a reasoned argument, and advocating for the students’ interests in SGA.
Sam Murray (IV) agrees, saying, “I think head monitors need to be able to put themselves out there and not be afraid of what people think.” Judging from their personalities as people’s persons, Caroline and Louie should have no difficulty doing so. They both count on being approachable, open, and friendly as their personal strengths. Caroline thinks of herself as being a friendly person but also aims to reach out by becoming “an even more frequent distraction from your current conversation.”
Louis believes one of his personal virtues is his ability to grasp “a good understanding of different people and their feelings” fairly quickly. Louis’ advisor, Mr. Edgar, agreed, articulating, “Louis’ greatest strength is his interpersonal skills. He is very capable of relating to all kinds of different people. He is also a caring, kind soul. He can relate to adults, which is important in his role as a bridge between the student body and adults.”
The two Head Monitors certainly seem to have made some very favorable impressions on campus so far. Natalie Perlov (III) described them as having “dynamic personalities… there will be a lot of energy…charisma, wit, humor, and just all around entertainment to spice things up [in assemblies].”
While Caroline expects there will be challenges ahead with respect to school administrators’ inflexibility with accepting more “disruptive initiatives” such as rolling check-ins for assemblies and the dress code, both Head Monitors are looking forward to the future with enthusiasm, energy, and confidence.
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