Head Prefects-elect ready for next year’s challenges


Julia Cosgrove ’18 speaks to sophomores and juniors as part of her successful bid to become Head Prefect for the 2017-2018 school year. Cosgrove, who will serve alongside Wilder Short ’18, defeated current junior Prefect Princie Kim ’18. Credit: Lucas Gelfond/Chronicle

Indu Pandey

Julia Cosgrove ’18 and Wilder Short ’18 headed to chaplain James Young’s office after school March 30. Together with current Head Prefects, Cate Wolfen ’17 and Matt Thomas ’17, dean Sharon Cuseo and fellow candidates Princie Kim ’18 and JP Cherry ’18, they eagerly anticipated the results of the Head Prefect election. Then, Young announced the results: Cosgrove and Short had won.

Short then called his mom and continued his afternoon like usual, attending Playwrights Festival rehearsal.

“The next morning when people were congratulating me, that’s when I started to realize [that] this is happening,” Short said. “This is really happening. I can’t be more appreciative of the whole process and the community coming out and supporting me.”

Their victory followed a two-part election process. First, a wider field of juniors gave speeches to the junior class. After juniors narrowed down the field, the four remaining candidates delivered speeches to the sophomore and junior classes.

“I’d like to give back to the community just because last year was a very difficult period of time for me and coming to a new school, I would’ve expected something far different from what I received,” Short said. “I’m really grateful for that and giving back in my own way as a leader on campus and off campus is something that I really aspire to do.”

Cosgrove has served on Student Council and Prefect Council since seventh grade, while Short first joined Prefect Council this year.

“For [Short], he came in a somewhat unknown quantity and definitely hit the ground running,” Young said. “He was like a pro. For Julia, she’s had the experience of having more years experience, which I think’s important.”

Current Head Prefects aid in the transition process for the new role during the summer and the beginning of the school year, Wolfen said.

“I’ve seen such growth [in Cosgrove and Short] just from the beginning of the year until now,” Wolfen said. “I really couldn’t be happier for either one and I also think they’ll work very well together. I think their skill sets are very complimentary.”

Both Cosgrove and Short emphasized their goal of unity.

“As Head Prefect, I’d like to unify the Upper School more,” Cosgrove said. “So bring our grade closer together, bring our grade closer to the other grades, have more communal activities on campus such as Spirit Day, Spirit Week.”

Cosgrove and Short acknowledged misconceptions some students have about the role of Prefect Council.

“That’s definitely an illusion that Prefect Council doesn’t do anything,” Cosgrove said. “We literally have class every day where we’re constantly working to try to improve the school. We’re constantly working on new events, promoting diversity and happiness and balance, all of the things that our Mission Statement and our ‘Vision Statements for 2020’ discuss.”

As Head Prefects, Short and Cosgrove will set the tone and agenda for the rest of Prefect Council, Short said.

“I can’t really put it into words quite yet, like the whole Head Prefect thing,” Short said. “It’s still sort of going home and like smiling wildly when I take my backpack off. Just the fact that you guys trusted me in the voting process.”