Student Ambassadors gather at Training Dinner


Davis Marks/Chronicle

Student Ambassadors socialize on the Middle School Lower Lawn while waiting to get food from In-N-Out and Rice Balls of Fire trucks.

Davis Marks

The Admission Office hosted the annual Student Ambassador Training Dinner at the Middle School campus Monday, Sept. 20.

The Student Ambassador Training Dinner is an annual event dedicated to preparing Student Ambassadors for the upcoming admission season. The Student Ambassador program is the second-largest student program at the school, following Peer Support at the Upper School.

The event featured an opening session in the Middle School’s Saperstein Theater, during which all Student Ambassadors gathered to hear introductions from Admission Officers and the Student Ambassador co-chairs, the student leaders of the program. Students also watched the co-chair Training Video, an annual tradition in which the Student Ambassador co-chairs create a humor-filled instruction video.

Students gather in the Middle School’s Saperstein Theater to hear announcements and introductions. (Davis Marks/Chronicle)

Assistant Director of Admission Julia Kraft, who runs the Student Ambassador program alongside Assistant Director of Admission Megan Salmon, said it was great to welcome Student Ambassadors back to campus after not being able to have an in-person event in 2020.

“Welcoming the Student Ambassadors back in person was so wonderful after missing the in-person event last year,” Kraft said. “It was so nice to catch up with students and see the excitement at the event. The buzz on campus during this event is unique, definitely something that we weren’t able to replicate online last year.”

Following the session in the Saperstein Theater, Student Ambassadors split into multiple smaller groups to be instructed on expectations and tips for being Student Ambassadors by student room instructors.

Student Ambassador co-chair Izzy Welsh ’22, who was also a co-chair in 9th grade, said despite being sad it’s her last Training Dinner, she was happy to be back with other Ambassadors and is excited to lead them through this year’s admission season.

“Being at the Training Dinner this week was certainly bittersweet given that it was my last one as a senior,” Welsh said. “Yet, it was still really exciting because we had not been back together as a whole program in two years. We’re the largest on-campus student organization, so leading the program is certainly a challenge, especially in a hybrid year. This year alone, we have about 620 ambassadors across the two campuses, so the co-chairs and admissions officers have been working closely together to ensure that prospective students are able to learn as much about our school as possible while keeping everyone safe.”

Student Ambassador Co-Chair Izzy Welsh ’22 and Head Prefect Quincey Dern ’22 conduct training in a middle school classroom. (Abigail Hailu/Chronicle)

After the small group sessions, Student Ambassadors split off to get dinner from two In-n-Out trucks and two Rice Balls of Fire trucks. There was also dessert in the form of churro and cotton candy carts for students to eat.

Kraft said the preparation work for the Training Dinner stretches months in advance to ensure every aspect works come the day they welcome 600 Ambassadors to the event.

“There is a lot to be done—coordinating food trucks, working with maintenance to ensure the set up on campus is completed on time, planning rooms, and making sure we have enough Room Leaders and chaperone assistance,” Kraft said. “It’s a huge task but an event we all love so much that it is worth all the effort.”

Student Ambassador Sophie Shabani ’24, who led a room at the Training Dinner, said it was great to have an in-person event and make more fun memories after Student Ambassadors weren’t able to last year.

“I am so glad that we were able to be in person for the Student Ambassador Dinner this year,” Shabani said. “I have such good memories of it from seventh and eighth grade, so I was glad to make more as a room leader in 10th grade. It was also really nice getting to see everyone and catching up with people.”