Upper School students gathered Tuesday morning for the school’s annual Honor Convocation. The student-led assembly – a longtime tradition of the Upper School – is the Walker community’s public commitment to its schoolwide Honor Code.
“The Honor Code is not a set of rules – it is a statement of the principles that guide the actions of the community,” Senior Ayan Goel, president of the 2023-24 Walker Honor Council, told the assembled students. “It is intended to encourage the community to embrace the concept of honor as a way of life.”
As part of the solemn ceremony, students remain silent as the code’s four principles are presented: truth, respect of property, academic honesty and defending the Honor Code. These principles require students to be truthful in their relationships with each other and faculty – and respectful of each other’s property – for the express purpose of making the school a better place.
“All of our bags are unattended right now in lockers without locks, and I do not worry about them because we have a culture of respect and trust,” William Darko, a junior delegate of the Honor Council, said from the podium. “We have created an environment where we don’t need to worry about the safety of our stuff.”
Anthony Spradling, vice president of the Honor Council, spoke about academic honesty and the importance of ensuring students’ work is their own.
“The Walker School is mainly a special place because of the people who make it up,” Spradling said. “Your actions represent the type of person you want in your community.”
The final pillar – defending the Honor Code – speaks to the importance of every Walker student protecting the community of trust, guiding others from making a wrong decision before they violate the code.
“Be a friend,” said senior delegate Caitlin Maroney. “Love your friends enough to help them be their better selves.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, faculty advisors and students signed their class Book of Honor, making a promise to uphold the code and carry themselves with integrity as a student, as well as in life after high school. Michael Arjona, Head of Walker’s Upper School, and Head of School Carl Carlson also signed each class book.
In his closing remarks, Goel said: “The Honor Code distinguishes us from all other schools and communities. We all have each other’s best interests at heart and hold ourselves to a higher standard. By writing your name on the top left corner of your test and your homework, you are upholding a vow.”
Members of the 2023-24 Honor Council are Ayan Goel
(President and Senior At-Large Delegate), Anthony Spradling
(Vice President and Senior Delegate), Caitlin Maroney
(Senior Delegate), William Darko (Junior At-Large Delegate), Maya Patel (Junior Delegate), Finley Radding (Junior Delegate), Andy Rossitch (Sophomore Delegate) and Caroline Turner
(Secretary and Alternate Delegate).
Through Honor Codes in each division, Walker provides an environment in which our community learns to value honesty and respect others. All students and faculty are guided by the belief that honor is a way of life rather than a set of
rules to follow, and the expectation is that our graduates will carry these values with them after they leave our campus.