Sometimes, it is the small, normal things that help to start a day off right: hearing class announcements and the lunch menu, celebrating birthdays and athletic team victories, and even having the thrill of being named student of the week. Most of all, the skits, videos, and inside jokes are what everyone eagerly anticipate; somehow, having a reason to laugh makes everything better. A much-loved tradition in the Upper School, Morning Meeting this year transformed to continue fulfilling its purpose: bringing a community together.

“It was important to our student leaders that we continue to gather in some way, and Morning Meeting has always been one of the ways we come together as a full community,” said Dean of Students Kelly Sumner. “Having a virtual Morning Meeting provides us with a common experience that helps us to feel as if we are all together, even if we aren’t in Davies Auditorium as we used to be.”

Most mornings, student body president Mary Scott Brisson ’21 joins other student council leaders to create that unifying force. Broadcast after the first class block of the day, Morning Meeting (and the associated expectations of an entire division) has fallen onto their willing shoulders. “My goals for Morning Meeting this year are to keep the student body and faculty engaged,” Brisson emphasized. “I want to attempt to preserve the ten minutes of fellowship every morning that we have had for so many years, even if it is over Google Meet. I want more underclassmen to be involved!”

Liv Hansen ’25 helped answer that call to action by re-establishing the Nautilus Program’s own Morning Meeting. In addition to tuning into the main meeting, once a week she leads her own team as chief promoter of fun. “Having a Nautilus Morning Meeting is important because it makes school fun even through this whole pandemic and reminds us all that we have each other to lean on,” she said. “I look forward to Tuesdays because we get to dance and start our day with positivity, and we get to have our own announcements so everyone knows what is going on for the week. I love to get everyone excited. It gets me in a good mood and awake for the day!”

Creating an environment where that positivity can shine is crucial, especially for a school that advocates for the benefits of student connection. “The tradition of Morning Meeting is important because it provides a sense of normalcy, but more importantly, it gives the younger girls a platform to gain voice and confidence while forging an even stronger connection among the Nautilus group,” said Assistant Director of Upper School and Director of the Nautilus Program Chris Hughes. As the student leaders fostering those ties, Brisson, Hansen, and their teams have worked hard to be a force of positivity for others. “It is important to preserve the essence of Morning Meeting this year because it is an integral part of the sense of community within our Student Body,” asserted Brisson. Through all the costumes, dance routines, TikTok videos, and shared laughter, they are bringing a school together, ten minutes at a time.