The voice of the student body

The Dial

The voice of the student body

The Dial

The voice of the student body

The Dial

First Friday 2023

Hackley students capped off the first week of the 2023-2024 school year with their annual grade-specific First Friday activities, designed to grant students a break from the regular class schedule and bring each grade closer together.

The freshmen teamed up with their advisories and, provided with corrugated cardboard and duct tape, were tasked with building boats. 

Their boats not only had to float but also had to support the weight of one student selected from each advisory group when placed in the Johnson Center pool. Students used makeshift oars to paddle from one end to the other to “race,” and the boat to complete the most laps would win. This year’s winners were English Teacher and Freshman Class Dean Jenny Leffler’s advisory.  

The sophomores were bussed off to The Adventure Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and were given the freedom to do any of the ropes courses they had to offer (with the exception of the most difficult ones). They had lunch there and then returned to the Hilltop in the early afternoon.

“It was sweaty, but it really unified the sophomore grade,” said sophomore Zion Bennett when recalling her experience at the park. “It was a lot of fun and I had the opportunity to connect with people I have never really been close with.” 

The juniors partook in the speech writing and presenting activity. They began by gathering in Allen Hall, where English Teacher Wil Lobko shared insight on how to best guide their writing process, and Performing Arts Teacher Willie Teacher warmed them up with a thought-provoking and collaborative game. They then broke off into advisory groups to write their own speeches, shared them with their groups, and voted on one person from each group to share their speech with the whole class.

The purpose of this activity was to practice public speaking and to prepare students for future personal narrative writing assignments, including Chapel Talks and personal statements for college applications. Junior Kayce Park said, “I enjoyed the speeches more than I thought I would, it was really fun listening to everyone’s, and the actual writing was really rewarding.”

The senior class began their day with a breakfast at the Gage House hosted by Head of School Charles Franklin and his family. Students had the opportunity to introduce themselves to Mr. Franklin and his wife, Mrs. Franklin. 

The seniors then went to the Chapel and attended a college counseling session led by the college counseling department. 

Senior Shiraz Awan said, “It was a great start to my senior year – meeting with Mr. Franklin, and having a nice reunion with all of my classmates. The college counseling meeting was very productive and helped to set the foundations for the start of a very busy fall trimester.”

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