It might be difficult to fathom a society in which every politician, CEO and lawyer is completely honest, never deceiving for personal gain.
But Juliet Lancey ‘20, the new Honor Council Chair, is optimistic she can live in such a place. Her reason: Norfolk Academy students will be able to make a difference because they are learning the value of honesty and integrity.
“Imagine a world where leaders remain true to their morals, the morals forged and fortified with thousands of hours of practice,” Lancey told students and faculty during Convocation on Thursday morning. “This is a world I want to live in and one that I believe in when I look out at all of you.”
Headmaster Dennis Manning installed the 2019-20 Honor Council during Convocation, which was combined this year with S. Barron Segar Day, the school's official day when the new Honor Council takes office. The new members are: Lancey; Cole Moore ’20; Connor Tiffany ’20; Maddie Brooks ’21; Ella Deans ’21; Avery Britt ’22; and Kai Wang ’22.
In her speech, Lancey recalled an experience she had while working as a restaurant hostess. During down time one day, she did some math and calculated that between first and 12th grades, students spend 15,120 hours in school.
That realization led her to consider the most important lessons she has absorbed.
“At Norfolk Academy, we’re learning to be good people,” she said. “We're learning not to lie, cheat, steal or deceive. We are at a school where a moral education is just as important as an academic one and becoming an honorable human being is a part of the choices we make each day.”
Lancey said she studied at four different schools before Norfolk Academy, and thinks students here are doing a good job fostering a culture of trust. But there is always room for new ideas, she said. Last year, the Honor Council developed sentencing guidelines in response to concerns about inconsistencies in punishment severity.
This year, she called on her fellow students to do a few things: Reach out to teachers who are eager to help, if you feel like you’re falling behind; take a second to appreciate the culture you’re in, the next time you leave a computer unattended or your wallet in an open locker; and value integrity above earning a top grade on an assignment.
“Promise yourself you won’t let a split-second decision sacrifice your honor, no matter how high the pressure,” she said.
She closed by hearkening back to her summer accounting of the time spent in school. The future is in our hands, she said. Press play on all those hours of honor.
“Make the most of each one,” she said.