Your First Hellos: A Look Into The Head Ambassadors Program


Sydney Chan

Being a head ambassador is a fun way to get involved at Bishop’s – just ask Ryan Arrowsmith (‘23), Shirley Xu (‘23), Justin Stone (‘24), Gabby Anderson (‘25), Audrey Lin (‘25) or any of the other students involved. They were all smiles during this lunch meeting from earlier this year.

Before you met your teachers, classmates, or even the friendly campus dogs, you probably met a head ambassador. You might have seen this year’s head ambassadors around campus, whether they were giving tours to families, or helping out at open house. 

Head Ambassadors, students from 10th through 12th grade, are one of the first people new students meet at the start of their Bishop’s experience. There are many things that the head ambassadors get to do such as social media takeovers, and more in-person tours on campus. After Covid, the roles and responsibilities of head ambassadors changed, allowing these new jobs to happen. Justin Stone (‘24), explained how through the head ambassadors program, “I’ve learned a lot about Bishop’s, which has really made me appreciate a few little things around campus more.” 

Recently a new job – social media takeovers- has been added to the list of things that head ambassadors get to do. Ms. Lauren Beattie, an Associate Director of Admissions, explained that “The social media takeovers have allowed us to tap into the creativity of this group and engage with prospective families in a fun way.” You might have seen head ambassador takeovers on the Bishop’s School Instagram story. These fun takeovers capture parts of a student’s day-to-day life at school, from zooming in on notes in history class, to experiments in chemistry class, to milk break snacks, to lunch, it gives a more creative approach to what student life is like at Bishop’s.

Along with social media takeovers, a main job that head ambassadors have is giving tours to families on campus. Gabby Anderson (‘25) said, “I remember I had a great experience with my tour being with a teacher when I was applying, but I definitely agree with Ms. Beattie and Ms. Kingsley that it would be a great way to have people be more interested if students were giving the tours.” During covid, since students were rarely on campus, teachers would give tours to families that were interested in applying for Bishop’s. But this year, the student head ambassadors get to do much more tours compared to the last two years. 

Ms. Beattie explained that surveys were sent out to families, and “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive; the families love having a student tour guide!” Audrey Lin (‘25) added, “because it’s a student giving the tour, it provides interested students with the opportunity to see the actual student experience.” Ms. Beattie and Ms. Kingsley hope that parents will get to see their kids’ interests and hobbies represented by one of the head ambassadors.

Audrey also explained that parents and students that visit ask many questions, but not the typical frequently asked questions you see on the Bishop’s website such as, “Is it better to apply in sixth or seventh grade?” or “How does the waitlist work?” The questions that families ask all depend on their child’s interests. 

The questions vary between students and parents. “Students ask more easy-to-answer questions, like day-to-day stuff, and sometimes parents ask uncomfortable questions, questions that I: A. don’t have answers to and B. I don’t want to give them answers to,” Ryan Arrowsmith (‘23) explained. These questions include what colleges Bishop’s students go to, and how many students end up going to ivy league colleges. Ryan concluded that “the more engaged the student is, the easier it is to make it exciting.”Audrey also mentioned that some questions that she was asked by parents during her last tour were, “how is the debate program here, how’s the tennis program here, and what sports do people do?” These questions always vary, and she also mentions that a lot of the time, you have to answer questions on the spot. 

When asked about their favorite place on campus to talk about, the head ambassadors gave a unanimous answer: the science center. Shirley Xu (‘23) said, “there’s always something exciting happening in that space, and I think it’s a really cool space in general too.” Gabby added, “the science center is pretty fun to talk about because you get to look into all of the different classrooms, you get to talk about all of the different projects.” However, Ryan laughed, “The cafeteria is my favorite place to talk about. It’s the easiest place to talk about and there are some jokes you can make with it. It’s where you can get the most laughs and the most engagement from people.” 

Head ambassadors give these 45 minute tours during their free period. Ms. Faimie Kingsley, an Associate Director of Admissions, explains that “With the change in how we schedule our Head Ambassadors’ tours, we are really trying to make sure that they treat their commitment as they would a job. Showing up, responding to emails, and communicating in a timely manner.” Head ambassadors are responsible for communicating with Ms. Beattie or Ms. Kingsley if they aren’t able to do a tour and finding replacements for themselves. Ms. Beattie also explains how the head ambassadors get a lot of real-world experience, and they have to manage their time with their free periods wisely. 

Overall, being a head ambassador requires a lot of responsibility, but is fun, and Audrey describes it as rewarding. Audrey explains how she joined head ambassadors because, “my parents and I were both really impressed with all of the student volunteers [at the open house], so I thought I wanna be that person to be the student volunteer to someone else and show them around campus.” 

With all of these different jobs, being a head ambassador is definitely a fun way to get involved in the community. Audrey concludes, “after having given my first tour before, it’s really really fun.” Head ambassadors have important and impactful roles in the Bishop’s community, and Ryan explains how they are role models for many younger students at Bishop’s.