New House Ambassadors to fill UAIS students with spirit


Giselle Sesi, Reporter

Student leadership is a large part of the Utica Academy for International Studies. In addition to the Student Advisory Board, Student Voice Committee, and Student Senate—emphasis on the word “student” before each board—IB coordinator Christopher Layson has recently established a new group, called the House Ambassadors.

While previously the House Ambassadors were simply an informal group, now their goals and purposes have changed. The House Ambassadors run house meetings during the UAIS Olympic games, and Fun Fridays, among other events that work to drive students to let loose and have fun.

In fact, when asked, junior and new Shark House Ambassador Isaiah Thomas attested to the fact that there is a lot of work going into the creation of this new board, in order to make it run as smoothly as possible.

“I think the group is really well organized, especially how Mr. Layson planned out the bylaws,” Thomas said. “Everyone in the group seems really passionate about being a House Ambassador.”

Passion, commitment, fun—all key details in the creation of a board that is meant to spark excitement within the student body. Seeing as the Winter and Summer Olympics, which the House Ambassadors will now aid SAB in running, are such a large part of UAIS culture, this new board will greatly benefit the students who feel that it is needed most.

But it is not only the students who yearn for the spirit and inter-grade relations these new House Ambassadors will bring to the school. This group had been in the works for quite some time, with Mr. Layson taking the initiative to take it a step further.

“Another layer of leadership was needed at the academy,” Mr. Layson said. “A population of the students may not have identified with SVC and SAB. And since neither of those boards really have the time to facilitate an ongoing level of spirit, this is where House Ambassadors can fill that void.”

Of course, this is not to disregard SAB, SVC, and Senate for all their hard work planning the various events that contribute to the foundation of the academy. Simply, the Utica Academy for International Studies is composed of many different groups and clubs, of which none specifically focus on school spirit. Until now, with the House Ambassadors.

Sam Wilson, senior in owl house and current president of the House Ambassadors, has even acknowledged how stressful it can be to attend such a rigorous program. She could not imagine what it would be like if UAIS lacked the ability to have fun.

“It’s important to have a job that revolves around getting people excited about being here every day, because it can be a lot,” Wilson said.

Mr. Layson posed an interesting statistic, regarding student leadership at UAIS. Out of the around 400 students who attend this program, 110 students are involved in either SAB, SVC, Senate, or the new House Ambassadors.

“That’s essentially a full class of leaders!” he said. “Thus, students should feel like they’re represented and have a voice.”

With the House Ambassadors officially established and all that they will do, it is the school’s hope that students will feel as though they have a say at UAIS.