A Remark to Remember: Seniors Reflect at All School Meeting

From top left to bottom right, Dori Rosentrauch ’23, Jaeyong Shim ’23, Devan Hernandez ’23, and Alice Fan ’23.

Four seniors — Jaeyong Shim ’23, Alice Fan ’23, Devan Hernandez ’23, and Dori Rosentrauch ’23 — shared personal stories and advice from their Andover experience at All-School Meeting (ASM) on April 27. Their speeches constitute the first out of two ASMs dedicated to hearing from members of the Class of 2023, formally known as “Senior Remarks.”

During his speech, Shim reflected on his relationship with his grandmother, encouraging students to be grateful for every moment with the people they cherish at Andover. Shim appreciated the experiences that he has shared on campus and posed questions for the audience to consider going forward with their Andover journey. 

“However many years you have at Andover is finite, and it will go by a lot faster than you imagined, [so] really spend each day like it matters. Make connections that you keep beyond high school and express gratitude towards everyone who has made an impact in your journey here… Who would you be and how would you live without your best friends, teachers, coaches, teammates, or even Commons staff? Who would you be without Andover?” said Shim.

Meanwhile, Fan described embracing an “and-not-or” mindset. Fan emphasized the importance of reimagining and redefining oneself throughout the Andover experience by being open-minded and taking risks. 

“It is up to you to carve your own path at Andover. One that is winding, complex, and hard to explain and one that truly feels like you… In each of the spaces that you inhabit, you have the opportunity to choose whether you will listen and learn from the incredible people around, and whether you will gift yourself the freedom to grow in ways that you have not even imagined… This is what success at Andover really means,” said Fan.

As she was used to attending ASMs by older people who were more experienced, knowledgeable, and successful, Gracie Aziabor ’26 enjoyed this opportunity to hear from relatable speakers that she also knew on a personal level. Aziabor commented on Fan’s remark and how it shifted her views on the different possibilities she could seek.

“Coming to Andover, you’re told you can do almost anything you want. There’s so many opportunities and because of that, I liked her message because it reminded me that you don’t have to squish yourself into a box. And something that you do Fall Term of your [Junior] year isn’t something that you have to continue on until you graduate. You could if you wanted to, but you can [also] try something completely different,” said Aziabor.

Hernandez began his remarks by displaying a photograph of Earth titled “Pale Blue Dot,” explaining how the photo reminded him of what was truly important to him in life. Hernandez encouraged the audience to follow their heart and to take on challenges in order to gain a sense of purpose.  

“Why not make the choices that give you the most meaning? Why place so much importance on metrics such as grades or test scores, when my true worth comes from my values and beliefs? Why not take risks and put myself out there, even if there’s a chance that I fail?… At the end of the day, one life is all we’ve got on our pale blue dot. How are you going to make the most of it?” said Hernandez. 

To conclude the ASM, Rosenstrauch framed her remark as a love letter to the friends that she cherishes here at Andover. Rosentrauch emphasized the valuable impact that people play in a community and motivated listeners to discover their place at Andover. 

“The best thing about wherever you go is the opportunity to find your people, and I hope all of you listening have found that here,” she said. “I will admit, I got lucky. I didn’t have to do a lot of digging. But, I would have excavated this entire campus to find my friends. These relationships are the most meaningful thing I have received [from my time here], so I encourage all of you to grab a shovel or a drill. There is a place for you here, you just have to find it,” said Rosenstrauch. 

Brandon Fu ’25 complimented Rosenstrauch for her heartwarming address and her bubbly energy. Fu spoke on how Rosentrauch’s speech reminded him to savor the time that he has with his own friends and to make the most of his experiences. 

“I really felt inspired to continue sharing the time I have left here with the friends that I have. Because by the time you finish high school, I’d say ninety-five percent of the time you’re going to spend with these guys and people there [is] gone. It’s really [important] for every single day to just connect with and be with them as much as you can because when you leave, you leave,” said Fu.