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Round Square Conference Inspires HIES Students

Five students and two faculty recently represented Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School at the annual Round Square International Conference, held at Emerald Heights International School in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.

During the conference held in early October, which was attended by 1,000 delegates from 156 schools around the globe, students worked on service projects, attended six keynote speeches, participated in a 3K Run to benefit a local cancer hospital, toured the ancient city of Mandu and interacted with others in breakout discussions framed around one of the six ideals of Round Square – internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, adventure, leadership and service. Taking action was a key point that they discussed throughout the conference and students returned home with ideas for improvements they would like to implement, such as inviting new speakers to campus and reducing plastic and overall waste in our community.

Every evening, attendees were delighted by carnival-like activities, each of which included food and cultural performances representing the different regions of India. Students stayed in the dorms at Emerald Heights where they roomed with students from Ghana and Kenya and also made friends with students from Canada, Germany, India and the U.S. west coast.

“The students who represented our school were amazing,” Kacey Michelsen, HIES Round Square representative, said. “I encouraged them to put themselves out there and they jumped into every activity.”

The students most enjoyed the collaborations and connections they made with students from around the world.

“You see the similarities you have,” Abbie Reams ’21 said. “We face a lot of the same issues and talked a lot about finding better solutions to fit a variety of backgrounds.”

As part of the conference, Round Square member schools were invited to submit artwork that reflected this year’s theme “The World We Wish to See” for consideration in the Roy McCormish Art Award competition. HIES sent more artwork than any other member school; school delegates were thrilled to accept two of the three awards presented for works by HIES students Ben McGinty ’23 and Blake Maguire ’22. Ben said that he was inspired by the theme for his piece, which shows students’ hands on a globe.

“To me it symbolized diversity and making the world a better place,” he said.

In another accomplishment, HIES was recognized as a new Global Member of Round Square and received a flag and medal to bring home and present to Paul Barton, head of school. Congratulations to the team that represented HIES so well: students Emma Schlatterer ’20, Heath Foster ’20, Abbie Reams ’21, Clark McArthur ’21 and Caroline Foster ’21 and faculty Amie LaPorte-Lewis and Kacey Michelsen

To see more from the conference, enjoy this video: https://youtu.be/dcnCzqJnHNo