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Admissions Ambassadors Impress Prospective Families

Pace’s 2018-19 upper school Admissions Ambassadors pose for a photo on the day of the open house. Photo: Jen McGurn

“Welcome to Pace!” cheer an entourage of Pace students as prospective families make their way up the FAC steps on Nov. 17, the day of Pace Academy’s annual open house. These students make up about three quarters of the members of Pace’s Admissions Ambassador program and volunteer at numerous admissions events throughout the year, including the open house.

“This program allows students to take ownership of their school and tell their stories,” said Director of Admissions Jen McGurn. “These students are the smiling faces that greet parents, and they are a major reason why families choose Pace,” added Mac McCallum, Associate Director of MS/US Admissions.

In addition to greeting parents at the open house, ambassadors are given opportunities to greet and lead tours during free periods, and also to help out at several interview dates in the winter. On tours, families can look forward to hearing students’ knowledge of the campus and curriculum.

“The ambassador program is a great way to get involved with the Pace community and help applicants get a great idea of what Pace really means to students on a more personal level,” said sophomore Anthony Salazar, one of the 25 ambassadors new to the program this year.  Many freshmen also aid the admissions office, even if they aren’t ambassadors, by hosting visitors that are shadowing at Pace.

Also new to the Ambassador program this year is its highlight on the Pace website with several student ambassadors’ bios, alongside a new video. According to Mr. McCallum, the program has been “growing in numbers and interest, which allows for different stories to be told.” There are also newly designated spots in the front parking lot for prospective families to quickly park and begin their Pace application process.

Another facet of Pace’s Ambassador program is its eighth grade ambassadors, led by Associate Director of MS/US Admissions, Fé Patriciu. This program started four years ago, with the current juniors pioneering it. Most students that participate in this program, a model of the upper school program, apply to continue to be ambassadors as freshmen. These students also attend the open house, spending more time in the middle school and speaking with families applying there.

“Students are using their voice more, continually offering warm welcomes to families and making lasting impressions on them,” said Mr. McCallum. The ambassadors truly leave an impact on these families; the admissions office receives several emails each year citing students by name and reporting on how fantastic they were during tours.

According to Mrs. McGurn, families always comment on the depth and variety of the students’ interests and how happy they all seem to be at Pace, as well as their sense that students are familiar and friendly with everyone on campus.