Seniors Pass Down Blue Key Head Skirts to Upper Spirit Leaders

A new crew of students will don blue paint and navy skirts, as the Blue Key Heads from the Class of 2011 selected Nick Camarda ’12, Gabbie Cirelli ’12, Kennedy Edmonds ’12, Ben Manuel ’12, Katie McLean ’12, Jordan Miller-Surrat ’12, Ben Romero ’12, David Russell ’12, Yuni Sumawijaya ’12 and Ray Thamthieng ’12 as their successors.

This past week, Blue Key Heads and students watched on as 26 Uppers auditioned to become next year’s Blue Key Heads.

For the audition, each applicant was required to fill out an application before March break.

“We try to get a feel for how much these kids want the position. I think that we can see how much time and effort they put in the application. It allows them to put why they want to be a blue key head in writing for us,” said Chris Cameron ’11, a former Blue Key Head.

Students were also required to host a public audition, held in Lower Right of Paresky Commons.

“I think watching all the auditions, certain kids brought an energy to the room. They had a presence. They seemed to know what they were doing. It seemed that everyone was nervous when they went, but I think certain kids were able to control their emotions and take control of the crowd,” said Cameron.

“The most challenging part would be dealing with the nerves before the audition. I got really nervous because I had seen people audition in years past and I had realized I was just about to embarrass myself in front of 150 people. Other than that the rest of it is fun,” said Manuel.

After break, Blue Key Head applicants receive emails with their audition times. Auditions consisted of performing cheers, impersonating an animal of their choice, a serenade and pumping up the crowd. In addition, Blue Key Heads conducted interviews during the applicants’ auditions, asking impromptu questions such as “Make us laugh.”

“My favorite part of the process is the interviews. The interviews are hilarious; you really get a sense of who the kids are. Conducting the interviews was a lot of fun because I had to be really intimidating like how the former blue key heads were incredibly intimidating to me when I auditioned,” said Cameron.

“The best part for me was making the interviewers laugh. Katie Hess and Jeremy Hutton asked me to make them laugh so I said to Katie I had had a crush on her for a long time, and I didn’t think it would be that funny, but they both broke out laughing and Jeremy almost cried,” said Ben Manuel ’12.

Christopher Capano, Director of Student Activities and Advisor to the Blue Key Heads, said there were certain qualities that separate a good blue key head from a great blue key head.

“A good Blue Key Head needs a great amount of spirit because they lead the school in that sense. I also think since younger kids look up to them, they need to be able to set a really good example. Also being willing to be out there in front of people and not be embarrassed is a key to being a good Blue Key Head as well,” said Capano.

Cameron said, “Beyond the yelling and loudness, the most important quality a blue key head should have is how willing that person would be to help a younger student, or how willing that person would be to go out of their way to help a student in need.”

Cameron feels the incoming class of blue key heads will need to mirror the current blue key heads and accomplish more in the winter term as well.

“I thought that we were able to keep our energy up the whole way through. Sometimes after the fall of Andover/Exeter interests start to wane, but overall I thought blue key heads continued a strong interest like going down to the meetings because we are a really tight group. That’s one thing I really hope the incoming blue key heads do is come together as a group,” said Cameron.

The blue key heads will inherit many responsibilities the incoming ranging from representing the school to setting up various activities.

“We run the orientation, wear our skirts every Friday, and we basically provide a face for the community, especially the younger kids that look up to these seniors wearing skirts and tie-dye shirts,” said Cameron.

“We do the pep-rally, go to games, set up senior spooning, and we do all of our events like to blue key head kisses, selling t-shirts, and going to certain events like admissions events for example. Our biggest responsibility though is definitely the orientation,” he continued.