Dear Barrack Students,
I’m Ari Hirsch, the 2016-17 President of Barrack’s Student Association (SA). I have attended Barrack since ninth grade and can safely say I would not be the person I am today without everything I have learned in my time here. I also have two siblings, one who attended the middle school and is now in high school, and one who is currently in middle school, so I have a really good idea of what life is like here for everyone, not just high schoolers.
Barrack is an amazing community. The community here is so strong due to the inclusive, pluralistic ideology. Every single student here has a place, regardless of background, religious beliefs, or general philosophy. This has fostered a community where 6th graders are perfectly comfortable joking around with seniors. A community in which a Jewish Studies teacher may invite his class over for Shabbat dinner. A community in which huge numbers of classmates will go out of their way to support and sit by their friends at Shiva for their grandfather.
Academic life at Barrack is truly unique. Every single teacher and administrator genuinely cares about the success of each and every one of their students. Teachers here go above and beyond to meet with students, even after the day ends, in order to, for example, perfect their thesis in their history essay, or to solve a Physics problem with which they had difficulty. The teachers really want to meet with their students. Inside the classroom, classes are relatively small, encouraging discussion. In class, people will argue their opinions based on a certain text, all while the teacher will present alternative ideas. Students here are constantly being challenged, forcing them to really think deeply for almost any assignment. There is no busy work handed out at Barrack. The academics are one of the aspects of school that really show why Barrack is such a great place to attend school.
But besides going to classes, learning with teachers, and just hanging out with friends, Barrack students spend their time in a variety of different ways.
Sports are another huge part of life here. All students are given the opportunity to play any sport they wish, regardless of skill level, due to the no cut policy. I just started playing lacrosse in tenth grade. I had never played before but I was still completely welcome to the team. Now I look forward to lacrosse season each year! Teams here are still extremely competitive, often making the playoffs in our league and sometimes even attending state tournaments.
Clubs are another major part of life at Barrack. There is a huge range of clubs, allowing students to participate in something they are truly passionate about. We have a number of great, student-run publications that you can join like The Cougar Chronicle (school newspaper), L'shem Shamayim (foreign policy journal), Gateway (art and literary magazine), M'et L'et (Hebrew language publication), and Citadel (yearbook). There are also many activism clubs, such as Cancer Awareness Club, Israel club, or Human Rights Club. And if those don’t sound interesting to you, there are even more clubs ranging from Harry Potter Club to Engineering Club. Now, if none of that sounds interesting to you, all students are encouraged to create their own! All you need is a couple friends and a couple signatures from administrators and you can run your own club, where you can do whatever it is that you’re specifically passionate about.
As President of SA, I believe my job is more than just acting as a representative for students. I want to be another source of support for every student here. If you have any questions, problems, complaints, or just want to talk, please reach out to me. I welcome you to just come up to me if you see me, or send me an email at email@example.com. I am truly here to support all of the students here. I want to ensure that all of you have as good an experience at Barrack as I have had.
Ari Hirsch '17