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Prefect to the Head of School speaks at 2017 Dedication Service

September 14, 2017 | by pac-admin

The following message was delivered by Mr. Hunter Alexander, Class of 2019 and Prefect to the Head of School, at the 2017 Dedication Service on August 21.

John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are to love one another.” This year at Pacifica, our theme is love. At Pacifica, we practice the idea that we are an accepting community, a tight-knit community. We are all here for each other and don’t have the hierarchy that exists in other high schools. Based on my one year as a Pacifican, I can vouch for this.

A  little further background information on me: I moved here last summer from San Luis Obispo, knowing no one in the whole city. In addition to that, I was coming off a year where my grades weren’t up to par, and I didn’t feel like I was fulfilling my potential.

Head-PrefectI recall when I first visited Pacifica, I heard a lot about how the school was different, and everyone was very close. I remember hearing that everyone knew everything about each other.   To me as a transfer student, that was a little intimidating. I thought, “Wow, I don’t really want everyone at my school knowing everything about me.”

As I began my year at Pacifica, I didn’t immediately feel the inclusion and tight-knit community vibe. I felt like I didn’t have a place in this high school because of the history most of the students had as founders. How could they ever know me as well as they knew each other? I was confused and my confidence was at a low. However, I started to find my groove at Pacifica as the year went on. I even, embarrassingly enough, participated in a dance-off at our school retreat…and lost!  

Slowly, I began to realize the opportunity at Pacifica. I began to understand the school’s mission. My grades went up, and I started to feel more accepted. I began to feel like a better version of myself. It was a time of trial, but also a time of joy as I learned the importance of fellowship, a curious mind, and surrounding yourself with people who want you to succeed. I can truly say that I now feel part of the Pacifica community and am fully invested in what I can offer and what Pacifica can offer to me. I have found my place. And, I mean, here I am today talking to the whole school!

As we really focus on how to live out love as Jesus did, in our high school community and in the world, we must realize that Jesus’s type of love is sacrificial and will not be easy. If we go into the year with love in our minds as our motive, then we can go far. But we can go even further if we think of each other as teammates. Our brothers and sisters. Because in the end, we are sacrificing things from our own lives so that we can love others and be there for each other in a more wholesome and holistic way.

In 1 Corinthians 10:33, Paul says, “For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” This verse basically summarizes what we are trying to do with God’s love, and by His grace, this year. We are to be devoted to the well-being of one another. In the harsh environment of high school, this is one of the hardest things to do. But Pacifica is the perfect place to carry it out because our mission—to be men and women who think and live well—gives us direction for how to carry ourselves. It means that we have to sacrifice our status of thinking we are above other people. Even the class separation should be abolished. Freshman and seniors can interact without it being awkward. We can help each other, and impart wisdom to each other! That’s what’s special about Pacifica: We have the opportunity to start new traditions and new ideas with faculty and staff who genuinely care about us.

My challenge to you returning students is this: From the beginning of the year, let’s welcome everyone so that we don’t have anyone who even for a moment feels alone and lost. We don’t have to impress each other because we are all equals and loved by God. Therefore, we should love each other as Christ loved us. I believe this year, if we really work as a school, work for each other, and compose a grand effort to create a loving environment—not just at our school, but throughout different places in our lives—then we will truly leave a monumental legacy: not only as Pacifica students but as global citizens.