Assembly and Senior Speeches
Upper School assemblies take place once or twice every week, usually on Mondays and Fridays. Assemblies are often planned by students, and provide an opportunity for the Upper School community to come together for guest speakers, panel discussions, special events, and recoginition of student accomplishments.
Friday assemblies are almost always dedicated to Senior Speeches. As part of the requirement for graduation, every member of the senior class writes and delivers a speech to the entire Upper School community. The Senior Speech is one of the most significant and anticipated rites of passage at SPA. Students begin thinking about Speeches in the spring of the junior year, when the order in which speeches will be given is decided at the Junior Retreat. During the senior year, each student meets with the Senior Speech Advisor a few months before the speech date, to begin planning and preparation. Students usually write at least 2-3 drafts of their speech, and practice delivering it with the Senior Speech Advisor several times before the date. Speeches are attended by all Upper School students and faculty; parents also frequently attend not just their own child's speech but those of classmates and friends as well.
At the end of the year, the Hart Senior Speaker Award and the Stringer Senior Speaker Award are given to the senior boy and girl whose Senior Speeches are deemed to be outstanding in the eyes of the program advisors. View the speeches of recent Hart and Stringer Awards, below.