Kelly Zhang ’22

Boarding Student, Beijing, China

Kelly Zhang poses for their headshots during the " Annual Head Tour Guide Photoshoot" outside the Chapel on Sep. 13, 2021.

What are you involved in at CA?

I am a Head Tour Guide, Community Action Representative, Head Peer Buddy, Orientation Leader, and in the Arts Council! Some clubs I am involved with on campus include Model UN, the Centipede, and CASA (Concord Academy Students in Action). I am also in Dance Project and the Chamber Ensemble!

Why did you choose CA?

I was particularly drawn to CA because of the wide range of academic electives and the close-knit community. Everyone here at CA is so different and unique, but at CA, no matter what you are interested in, there is always a path available for you to flourish!

Another reason why I chose CA was that dance was never a part of the curriculum in my middle school; everything was academics-based. Courses like visual and performing arts were considered an extracurricular activity. But when I arrived at CA, the art courses had just as much weight to them, which I found really creatively empowering. Take Dance Project as an example: It’s considered a major course here at CA, which is super cool!

How would you describe common trust?

Common trust is a deeply rooted value here at CA; not only does it exist physically but also in and outside of classroom spaces. We trust each other in our process of learning when asking questions, making mistakes, and sharing experiences — helping each other to grow and flourish! Common trust is exhibited in everything from the MSL [Main School Lobby] and library, where we leave our bags out or our laptops wide open, to senior chapels and extended campus.

What is the best class you’ve taken at CA and why?

It’s hard to pick my favorite class, which itself speaks volumes about the quality of the teachers and their classes here at CA. Honestly, every class has had rewarding experiences and bestowed different values and lessons. This past fall semester, I took Sabrina Sadique’s British Romantic Poetry class. We explored poems and authors from the Romantic period, where concepts like transcendentalism, imagination, and powerful feelings all came into play. The discussions in this class allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and speak my ideas. I also loved the creative project at the end of the course; we had the flexibility to explore the poem “Kubla Khan” through different art mediums. I choreographed a partnered dance piece, interpreting the poem through movements.

What is your favorite boarding memory or tradition?

As a boarding community, we share an extraordinary bond, as for many of us we are across the world or country from our home. One of my favorite traditions is house competitions. House comp is a friendly competition between the boarding houses throughout the year, consisting of entertaining activities. There are lip-sync battles, musical chairs, and volleyball, just to name a few. Lots of our faculty reside on campus too, and on Saturday nights we have house food, making Saturdays my favorite night of the week! House food is where the house parents cook homemade comfort foods for us and we all sit in the common room as a house and hang out.