Student Ambassadors

Our Gold Key and Silver Key Ambassadors look forward to welcoming families to our campuses and providing information and answering questions on individual tours. When you visit St. Anne's-Belfield School, you'll likely meet one of the many dedicated students below as a sample of our volunteers.

Gold Key Ambassadors (Upper School)

Molly Morris '18

Name: Molly Morris
Advisor: Mr. Zunka
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2010, Grade 5

What attracted you to the School when you were considering schools?
I had been going to a public school where I felt lost in the scenes, but when I visited St. Anne’s-Belfield, I found that everyone is looking out for you.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
My favorite part of this community is that everyone cares about the well-being of everyone else. As you walk down the hallway, any student will greet you and teachers will stop and see how your day is going.

Why do you volunteer as a Gold Key Ambassador?
I volunteer because I love meeting and speaking with people from all different walks of life. Additionally, I enjoy getting to practice my people skills and what better way to do that is talk about something I am truly passionate about.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
I like to emphasize the student-teacher connection. What you find at St. Anne’s-Belfield are long-lasting friendships between the students and faculty, and I have never encountered a moment when a teacher is not willing to talk to me about anything.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
Along with being a Gold Key Ambassador, I am a peer mentor and compete on the Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey, Coed Varsity Diving, and Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse teams.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
Intensives are by far my favorite tradition. The three weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks change from a high-paced environment to the most eye-opening part of the school year. By engaging in Intensives such as Sports Medicine and Issues of Race and Gender I have learned about valuable topics you wouldn’t find in the typical school curriculum.  

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
St. Anne’s Belfield is a special place where diversity, community, and individuality thrives. This is a place where everyone is supported to find themselves.

Jerry Yao '18

Jerry Yao presents at Chapel.

Name: Yijie "Jerry" Yao
Advisor: Mr. Shoup
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2014, Grade 9

What attracted you to the School when you were considering schools?
I was attracted to the community feeling and location of the School, specifically its close connections to the University of Virginia (U.Va.) and City of Charlottesville.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
My favorite parts are that the host families and dorm students are very supportive, as well as the feeling of community and togetherness in Charlottesville. Also, students are also motivated and open to new ideas.

Why do you volunteer as a Gold Key Officer?
As an international student, I went through the same exact process as a student. When I went through it, I felt overwhelmed. I want to be the one who can help the prospective families get to know the life here and navigate through this process.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
I like to share the facilities, including the Grisham Hall auditorium and computer science labs for hands-on and interdisciplinary studies. I also am excited to talk about Charlottesville and local events such as the TomTom Founders Festival, TEDx Charlottesville, and U.Va.'s sporting events and Lighting of the Lawn. Our students have access to many local resources.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
I co-founded of the Greenway Symposium, a student-run speakers' event that promotes intellectual dialogue within Charlottesville. I am a teacher's assistant for Computer Science Principles course, where I am able to join the movement of changing everyone’s perception about computer science. I also serve as an elected member of the Honor and Boarding Councils.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
My favorite tradition is weekly Chapel. I am able to better connect with students and faculty through the stories and experiences we share. I gave a Chapel in the spring of my junior year, and was able to share my story how the community and bonding built within the student body can extend beyond campus.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
I would tell them the academic environment here can be challenging, but the faculty and students are always there to help and support you. I would also tell them that everyone can carve their own path at the School and in the local community. There are academic paths in the format of Independent Study and the Senior Capstone Project, but also many other opportunities that faculty can connect you to.

Mansi Tripathi '18

Mansi Tripathi studying in class

Name: Mansi Tripathi
Advisor: Mrs. Kovatch
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2010, Grade 5

What attracted you to the School when you were considering schools?
I wasn’t very involved in choosing St. Anne’s-Belfield. My sister went to a local public high school in ninth grade and then came to the St. Anne’s-Belfield to finish her last three years. My parents and sister loved her first year at the School, so they decided to enroll me as well. Although I loved my other school and was sad to leave the familiar environment and people, I found myself really enjoying St. Anne’s-Belfield. My parents were attracted to the School mostly because of what they had seen and heard about the close relationships between the teachers and the students— they knew those relationships would be healthy and beneficial for my sister and I as we grew up.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
The School lives up to its promise to be a strong, inclusive community. While there are always opportunities to expand diversity, I have continuously been impressed by the way St. Anne’s-Belfield values, respects, and loves each member of the community. You develop strong relationships not only with students, but with faculty as well. Personally, I’d consider a few of my teachers to be some of my greatest friends. The School has always been a place that emphasizes asking for help when you need it, and I have always felt as though the people around me have my back. I personally think that’s what really sets the School apart from other schools: the strong relationships and the general feeling that everyone deserves and receives respect.

Why do you volunteer as a Gold Key Ambassador?
I have been involved in the admissions process since my time in the Learning Village as a Silver Key Ambassador. I’m not sure what initially sparked my interest in the program, but when I entered high school, I found myself looking back on my younger years and remembering how much I enjoyed being a part of this admissions process at the School. I find it really valuable to be able to tell others about what makes our School so special, how everything works logistically, how the campus is laid out, and anything anyone wants to know. Although I am generally a shy person around new people, I also found it really helpful to talk to both students and their families I had never met before in order to break me out of my comfort zone a bit.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
The aspect of St. Anne’s-Belfield School that sticks out to me the most is the fact that so many students have such strong and personal relationships with faculty members. Coming from another small school, I knew I needed to have these connections with my teachers, and I believe the community here really fosters an environment that can create these relationships. I believe our incredible, hardworking, caring, and passionate faculty sets the School apart, which I always try to highlight when talking to someone who is unfamiliar with us.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
Apart from being a Gold Key Ambassador, I participate in many other clubs and teams. I am a member of the Girls’ Varsity Tennis team, co-founder of the Social Justice Club, co-leader of the Gay-Straight Alliance, editor of the school newspaper, peer tutor, and co-president of the student body.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
My favorite tradition is Doug’s Trip, an annual service trip for the ninth grade. I love this tradition because I find joy in helping other people. When my class went, we travelled to Martin, KY and helped build things like ramps and porches for people who could not do so themselves. Not only did I love the volunteering part of the trip, but it also really reinforced the sense of community that the School is known for. I felt like our grade really bonded and, because the groups were assigned randomly with both students and teachers, I felt like I got to know a lot of people who weren’t in my regular classes a lot better.

One of my other favorite moments was last year’s ping-pong tournament. We all had a great time watching, cheering, laughing, and having fun, and the energy in the room was electric. That ping-pong tournament will forever be one of my fondest memories of my time here.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
I would tell them to really encourage their child/children to take advantage of all the opportunities the School offers: get involved in clubs and extracurriculars, develop strong relationships with teachers, work hard, and really try enjoy the time in a community as close as ours.


Silver Key Ambassadors (Grades 7 & 8)

Ally Alvarez '22

Name: Ally Alvarez
Advisor: Señora Lezama
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2008, Pre-School

What attracted you to St. Anne's-Belfield when you were considering schools?
Since I came so I early I was not the one really looking at schools. However, my brother had been attending St. Anne's and had had a good experience!

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
My favorite part of being a member of the community is the intimacy of the relationships between everyone in the School. Teachers are always willing to support students and go the extra mile, whether it is working on an assignment or partnering to lead a Quest. Additionally, I feel comfortable addressing teachers when I have questions or am struggling. However, not only are the teacher-student relationships strong, but the same goes for the friendships between students. The small classes ensure every student knows one another, and things such as Chapel Buddies allow kids to bond with students from different grades.

Why do you volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador?
I volunteer to be a Silver Key Ambassador because it is a great leadership opportunity and I would like welcome visitors by showing them what it is like to be a part of the St. Anne's community.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
I am excited to tell others about the interesting projects we participate in for each curriculum, including Quests. Also, I look forward to showing the auditorium to visitors because it is such a beautiful space, constantly transforming to hold anything from thoughtful Chapels to fun plays.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
First, I am involved in playing field hockey, basketball, and soccer with the School throughout the year. The athletic programs at St. Anne's contribute deeply to our community because each season the teams grow as athletes and friends. Second, I am a member of Saintly Voices, the middle school choir. I always look forward to this class when we get the opportunity to sing many varieties of songs, learn about music, and talk about the components which build a strong choir. Lastly, I am in a Quest which is similar to a club or elective at St. Anne's. There, students from seventh and eighth grade work with a senior to help her run her non-profit business, Backpack Buddies. This is a charity she began when she was little to help give kids school supplies who cannot afford them. We discuss ways to fundraise, what goes in to owning a non-profit, and solutions to the business' future when the senior graduates.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
My favorite tradition at St. Anne's are the Chapels every Friday. I enjoy Chapels because the speakers change each week and their lectures have detailed stories and meanings behind the morals. You get to know and see the leaders in a whole new light.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
I would tell families considering joining our community that the School and faculty take much interest in the thoughts of the students. Teachers are constantly striving to make their classes better by asking for feedback on things that went well or things that could be improved upon in a lesson. The School community also thrives on conversation. Talking about contrasting opinions is deeply encouraged. What I have taken away from these two characteristics of St. Anne's is learning and improving never stops no matter your age or point in life.

Tyler Brown '22

Name: Tyler Brown
Advisor: Ms. Beckwith
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2010, Grade 1

What attracted you to St. Anne’s-Belfield when you were considering schools?
Although I visited the School at a young age, I could not help but notice how kind and friendly the other students and teachers were to me, and they continue to encourage me every day in my academic life at St. Anne’s-Belfield.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
One thing that I admire about the community is how closely tied we are. Even though we are such a diverse community, I have been able to learn much about other peoples' culture and background and simply have had the chance to know them better.

Why do you volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador?
I volunteer because I think being a face of the School is important. Whether it is touring, greeting parents, or anything else, I enjoy talking to parents and telling them just how great our School community is.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
I am really excited to talk to parents about our new Quest Program, which recently started in 2016. In Quests, students are able to take a class to explore a question of their choice, such as "What is fitness?" or "Is painting a skill or a talent?" etc. There are many options, and there's always at least one that will interest you.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
Here at the School, I play basketball and tennis. I enjoy it not only because I love both sports, but because of how supportive my coaches and teammates are throughout the season. Our athletics schedule is great because of how convenient it is for us as students. After study hall, we are able to walk down to the athletics facilities, where Grade 5 - 8 sports teams let out at 4:10 p.m.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
One of my favorite School traditions has to be Lessons and Carrols. It is a School-wide event that takes place right before Winter Break. I find it very interesting to hear many students reading passages to the large crowd of people. There are also many holiday-centered musical pieces performed by the choirs and orchestra.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
I would tell every family that this School is a very welcoming place. No matter what background or culture you come from, there is a place for you in the School community.

Brehanu Bugg '22

Name: Brehanu Bugg
Advisor: Mr. Palombi
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2015, Grade 6

What attracted you to St. Anne’s-Belfield when you were considering schools?
I was choosing between Peabody and St. Anne’s. I choose St. Anne’s because I really loved how people at St. Anne’s were inclusive. Peabody didn’t really have that.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
My favorite part about the St. Anne’s community is all the memories and friendships you’ll make with your peers and teachers.

Why do you volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador?
I volunteered as a Silver Key Ambassador because I remembered my first day and how it was really stressful. I wanted to make the new kids not as stressed out as I was.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
My favorite part to talk about is probably the theatre department, core classes, and sports.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
My favorite school memory was the seventh grade play of The Phantom Tollbooth. I loved it because for about an hour and forty-five minutes, you are submerged in your own world as other people are watching the story unfold.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
I would tell families go for it! St. Anne’s truly is a community where everyone looks out for each other. We also have really good teachers who care about what you’re learning too.

Jacob Dean '22

Name: Jacob Dean
Advisor: Mr. Palombi
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2009, Kindergarten

What attracted you to St. Anne's-Belfield when you were considering schools?
My older sister started at the School one year before I came to here, when she was in first grade. She had very positive experiences with the School, so my parents thought it would be a good idea to switch me to St. Anne’s-Belfield.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
I love the sense of inclusivity and kindness this community fosters. The students and faculty all encourage perspective and the growth of diverse opinions. This kind of environment helps develop empathy and an eager curiosity to learn and expand your horizons.

Why do you volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador?
I really wanted to be a part of being a Silver Key Ambassadors because I enjoy interacting with other people, and feel that every kid should be able to have an experience at the School.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
I love to share about the the sports and arts program, because they are my favorite things about the School, and it is easy to be friends with everyone from grades other than your own.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
I really enjoy being a part of the Saintly Voices choir, the football team, and the baseball team for the seventh and eighth grade.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
My favorite tradition about the School is the African Festival, because I love to dance and that is a thing that is very common at the African Festival.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
That if they became a part of the School community, they would have the same excellent experience I am. For me, I'm getting a better educational and social experience.

Phineas Hunt '22

Name: Phineas Hunt
Advisor: Ms. Beckwith
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2009, Kindergarten

What attracted you to St. Anne's-Belfield when you were considering schools?
My parents liked the small environment and they thought we would get a lot of attention in class.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
My favorite part is that it is small, so everybody knows everybody.

Why do you volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador?
I wanted to be a Silver Key Ambassador because I thought I would fit the position well because I have been here since I was in Kindergarten.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
I am really excited to show people the auditorium because I love everything that goes on in there like plays, concerts, and Chapel.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
I am involved in the grades seven and eight football team.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
My favorite School tradition is the Field Day piggyback ride run, when the Kindergarteners get on the back of seniors and they run 50 yards.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
I would tell them what a great place St. Anne’s-Belfield School is and that we would love to have them here!

Mary Holland Mason '22

Name: Mary Holland Mason
Advisor: Mme. Boulle
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2007, Pre-School

What attracted you to St. Anne's-Belfield when you were considering schools?
When my parents were first considering school options, they decided on St.-Anne's Belfield because of the inviting community and the high academic standards.

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
I love the sense of inclusivity and kindness this community fosters. The students and faculty all encourage perspective and the growth of diverse opinions. This kind of environment helps develop empathy and an eager curiosity to learn and expand your horizons.

Why do you volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador?
I volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador because it is a great opportunity to meet people and welcome them to our School.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
I am excited to share Brennan Hall with new families because it serves as a heart and cornerstone for our School. It is among the most versatile and beloved places within our School community. It hosts after school plays, Chapel, talent shows, and numerous other events that bring the School together.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
I have participated in the after school productions and I played on the basketball team in winter.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
One of my favorite school traditions is Field Day, where all the students and teachers compete in a friendly competition to win points for your team by participating in different events. My favorite event is the baton race because everyone is motivating each other and working together to accomplish a common goal.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
I would tell them to be happy and enjoy the community.

Hannah Miller '22

Name: Hannah Miller
Advisor: Mr. Lippmann
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2007, Pre-School

What has been your favorite part of being a member of this community?
I love being a part of the community at St. Anne’s-Belfield, and what's unique to independent schools is that you know every one of your peers.

Why do you volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador?
I volunteered to be a Silver Key Ambassador because this School has been my whole life and I think that it would be a good quality to be able to be a welcoming face to see when you first come to the School.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
I am most excited to tell people of the science classes because those were my overall favorite classes in Grades 5 – 8.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
My favorite activity that I do at school is going to sports. I look forward to sports all day because it is my highlight of every day, even if I've had a bad day.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
My favorite tradition is Chapel Buddies because I think that (younger students) look up to you a lot in their life to become better people.

What would you tell families considering joining our School community?
I would tell them that the sense of family and community is tremendous at St. Anne’s-Belfield and it's probably my favorite thing about the School.

Noelle Robinson '22

Hi, my name is Noelle Robinson, and I am an eighth grade student here at St. Anne’s-Belfield School. I have been here since the 2014 - 2015 school year, when I was in fifth grade. This year, my advisor is Madame Boulle, one of two French teachers here. She is so kind, nice, and altogether a really great French teacher and advisor.

I play three different sports for St. Annes, volleyball in the fall, swimming in the winter, and soccer in the spring. All the coaches are very helpful and encouraging. In volleyball and soccer, I had never played before, so they brought me from zero to great. If you were wondering about swimming, I have been swimming competitively, on and off, for five years. I am also interested in hobbies other than sports. In sixth grade I joined the School robotics league, which was a lot of fun. Every summer I do the technology camp, led by the wonderful tech teachers here. I also love to read and bake. Ms. FitzHenry, the School librarian, has a book club for each grade that I usually participate in. My sister and I love to bake and we bake for our teachers and classmates throughout the school year. I also play the violin. In fifth grade I started with Mrs. Lyle, who built the orchestra program at our School and is amazing. This year Mr. Lewis replaced Mrs. Lyle. In seventh grade, I was chosen to be one of the Student Council members, which is one of two leaders for the grade.

Now that I am in eighth grade, I would like to involve myself in more leadership opportunities, for example, being a Silver Key Ambassador. I can remember when I first came to the School and went on the tour with my parents. It was two eighth grade boys leading the tour, who were so tall, and knew everything about this big school. I wondered how I was going to figure out where to go, the School just seemed so big. Now that I am in eighth grade it is my turn to help someone start their St. Anne's-Belfield journey, just like those two eighth grade students started out mine four years ago.

Being a member of this marvelous community is a privilege that I am very thankful for. The feeling of community you obtain from the School is amazing. Through all the events, Chapel every Friday, the sports teams, it sends a good feeling throughout your body. In Chapel every Friday when we pray, we hold hands and hear a positive message. It lets me know I am part of a larger group, I am included in this ring of fantastic people.

Another thing I have gained from St. Anne’s-Belfield is all the memories. One of my favorite traditions at the middle school is the African Festival. Every year I am so excited for that day in the spring. It starts with the African Chapel, in which I remember standing on the risers in the auditorium, telling everyone about the South African culture, then we have an African feast made by the fifth grade. Another tradition I like is the Fall Family Picnic. In the beginning months of every school year we have a school barbeque on a Friday night. There is food, family, friends, and football. Also, it includes other sports games, a bounce house, and fun activities. Lastly, I love acting in the plays. Ms. Larkin, the theatre director, is wonderful. She knows how to put on a play so well. Grades 6, 7, and 8 have the privilege to put on a play. They are so much fun and I have lasting memories from them.

St. Anne's-Belfield School is not just a place to learn, it is a place for unfading memories of fun events, interesting people, and fascinating classes. Every year there are special things that you will remember, classes where you see a whole different perspective, values you find the significance of, new friendships, and through all four years at the middle school you will change. But, it is up to every student how they want to change.

Hudson Stolz '22

Name: Hudson Stolz
Advisor: Mr. Weis
Year and Grade You Started at the School: 2009, Kindergarten

Why do you volunteer as a Silver Key Ambassador?
I feel like I have a lot of experience in the School community and would like to share it with others looking to join the School.

What are you most excited to tell others when you are giving campus tours?
My favorite aspect about the School that I would like to share is our sports programs.

What are some of the activities with which you are involved here at the School?
Here at School I try to make it a better place by associating myself in many activities such as sports, the School play, and many more.

What is your favorite School tradition or memory, and why?
My favorite School tradition is Chapel Buddies, when in fourth grade you are assigned a Kindergarten buddy. You are now responsible for this buddy, you read books to them and do other fun activity. Every year you come together and have an ice cream social with your buddy. Having a Kindergarten buddy taught me how to be responsible and respectful.

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