At the Hun School’s 103rd Commencement on June 9, Sophia Albanese, of Hamilton, received the school’s Faculty Prize, its highest honor for students.
Voted on by teachers, the prize goes to “the senior who most exemplifies … the scholarship, integrity, reliability, sportsmanship, leadership, and character we most desire in our students.”
Albanese will attend Wellesley College this fall. During her time at Hun, she was the school’s Student Government president, and she said knew when she arrived at Hun four years ago that she would eventually run for the student government’s top office.
“I’ve always had the desire to run things,” said Sophia, who attended Our Lady of Sorrows School before going to Hun. Her sister, Olivia, and brother James, preceded her at Hun.
After several years as a senator, Albanese knew she wanted to run for president and shake up the student government.
She said she wanted to make it more dynamic, more positive and energetic. Student government advisor Joanna Hallac said Albanese accomplished her mission.
“Sophia really demonstrated her leadership as an underclassman, so I was thrilled when she was elected president,” Hallac said. “Sophia brought the government to a whole new level of organization,” using electronic records, such as Google Docs, to post agendas, meeting notes and bills.
Another major achievement: an Oct. 26 Homecoming Weekend football game, held for the first time ever under lights. Building on legwork by last year’s student president, Albanese led this year’s government in securing permits, reaching out to neighbors, renting lights, and organizing Hun’s first sporting event under lights. The event drew hundreds from the school community, and may become an annual tradition.
Albanese said she is proud of that major success, as well as getting water bottle filling stations installed in the academic building, to cut down on plastic waste. But her organization of the student government stands out in her mind.
“I’m most proud of the way the Senate really became high functioning, and the way more people got involved,” she said. “We had a freshman-sophomore formal that we wouldn’t have had without the student government’s involvement. I think we had great, ambitious ideas flowing, and I know that will continue.”
“Sophia has set the bar as high as possible; I’m using her as the measure for incoming officers,” Hallac said. “She leaves a very positive legacy; I think she has leadership in her future.”