‘Perfect’ Prefects: Leadership and Scholarship Go Hand in Hand

Deleise Brewer, Faculty

Great things were expected of the ACA graduating class of 2012, and we are not disappointed. These are just some highlights of students who have not only exceeded great expectations during their high school career, but are already taking steps toward their future — and it looks bright.

The development of student leaders has long been a goal here at ACA. The system of Four Royal Houses is an integral part of this process. Near the end of each school year, students are chosen by their peers and advisors to hold key positions and lead the Houses through the next school year. The prefect is the position that leads the House and works alongside the faculty advisor and principal. The following four students were the prefects for the 2011-2012 year.

Rachel Knorr is the prefect of Griffin House. Attending ACA since 5th grade, Rachel talks emphatically about how the school has impacted her life — in ways she can’t even explain.

“There were times during my high school life that if I had not had the support I received from the ACA faculty and fellow students, I would have been completely lost.”

Rachel is confident of the skills and knowledge she has received here at Augustine. “I take with me a worldview that was developed through classes that have built on each other and helped me to delve deeper into the real issues of life, the real issues of the gospel. I learned through conversations that occurred in all my classes, whether it was calculus with Mrs. Swenson or biblical exegesis with Mr. Tracy — in any class, we could talk about how to love each other well and many other things.”

Rachel has been in many of the ACA plays. She entertained audiences last year during The Boyfriend with a tango dance number that will long be remembered. She was also this year’s Winter Court Queen. Her plans are to attend Oklahoma State University.

Matt Woods is the prefect of Pegasus House. Thinking back on what he has learned, Matt commented, “It is easy to work with people you are really close to — always laughing and sharing. This has really set the tone for how I lead.” Matt knows that there are many experiences that he will take with him. “I know that you have to sacrifice your own needs for the good of the whole.” He really enjoyed getting to see qualities in his House members that have surprised him. “It is really great as a leader to see your fellow House members step out of their shells and channel their gifts into something constructive, moving beyond what they thought they were capable of doing.”

Matt is the photography editor for the yearbook this year. He has participated in several plays and won the poetry contest at this year’s Winter Court. He will be majoring in journalism at the University of Oklahoma, where he has earned an academic scholarship.

Chris Asher, the prefect of Falcon House, chuckles when asked about what he learned as a leader.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I would be very good at it. I was reluctant because I didn’t want to be the bad guy.” But, as it turns out, he is good at it. “It is still difficult to do those things, but I have learned how to delegate and not micromanage. I also feel like I have learned how to manage issues and challenges that come along.”

Chris was tapped to speak at the ACA fundraiser banquet this year. His peers voted him King of Winter Court. He has also been in six ACA plays through the years and is currently managing the vending machines in the great room for the yearbook fund.

His leadership skills will be used at Oklahoma State University in the fall where he will be in the Freshmen In Transition (FIT) program, which plugs freshman into leadership positions on campus. Chris has earned the Academic Excellence Award and plans to major in fire ecology and management. His dream is to be a forest firefighter.

As the prefect of Dragon House for two consecutive years, Grant Spencer knows what it is to lead. Grant is also the business manager for the yearbook. He was voted the King of Winter Court in 2011 and has taken part in several ACA performing arts productions. One of the things that he gained from being prefect is the ability to take ownership of a position. “Honestly, when I first became prefect, I thought I would have a list of things to do and just have to check off the list. I then realized, it is my job and it involves much more than just a list.”

Grant has always been skilled at relating to students of various ages at school. All of the prefects commented on how much it meant to them to be able to know sixth graders and up in their Houses, but Grant especially appreciates the leadership abilities he was able to develop by being a mentor figure in the House.

“This aspect has helped me develop who I am as a person; to understand love and compassion for one another is more important than legalism.” Grant was awarded the Regent’s Distinguished Scholarship for Oklahoma State University. He will be majoring in chemical engineering with a premed option.

The following seniors have also been awarded scholarships:

  • Ellarie Burney is the 2012 valedictorian and has attended ACA for three years. This year, she is the yearbook editor and the stage manager for Hello, Dolly! Ellarie has been awarded an Honors Scholar Award from the University of Oklahoma, where she will be studying biochemistry.
  • Currently the chaplain of Griffin House, Samantha Oard will be the first ACA graduate to have attended here since kindergarten. She has earned the Cherokee Scholarship Foundation and is a Cherokee Distinguished Scholar. Samantha will be attending Oklahoma State University in the fall and will be majoring in strategic communications.
  • Julie Karnuth, who was chaplain for Griffin House last year and has been a major part of ACA plays and talent shows, earned the $11,000 Whole Person Scholarship from Oral Roberts University. She will major in communications.
  • Adrienne DePrisco earned the University of Oklahoma’s Honors Scholarship. She is not yet sure of her major.
  • ACA’s 2012 salutatorian Stephen Good played a lead in Hello, Dolly! and is the current chaplain for Pegasus House. He will be attending Oklahoma City University, where he has been awarded the University Scholarship, the Petree College of Art Scholarship, and Music Talent Scholarship. He plans to major in psychology.
  • ACA has yet another National Merit Scholar this year. Out of more than 1.5 million contestants, only 15,000 finalists are chosen, and our own Lyrica Krautter was one of them. She is also the recorder for Griffin House. She will attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall to study speech disorders.
  • Nathan Rieck was awarded the True Blue Scholarship from Oral Roberts University. He will major in English with an emphasis in literature.