Student Body President Gus Thomas celebrates his victory in front of the Pace castle. Photo: Ashley Myers

Knightly News: Hey Gus!

Gus Thomas: Hello there!

KN: How are you doing this year?

GT: I’m doing well. School’s crazy, but we’re hanging in there.

KN: Yeah. So, I know you haven’t participated in Student Council in the past – how’d you decide to run?

GT: Well, I did actually participate in sixth grade Student Council as vice president. I realized there have been multiple times where I had hoped that things would change and I knew a big majority of my grade was also hoping for things to change. Our former Student Council had not done a ton, and since it was my last year, I wanted to help the people.

KN: Yeah, definitely. Did anyone influence that decision? Any friends or family?

GT: Not necessarily, but I would say that a lot of my friends and family were definitely supportive. However, I kind of came up with the idea by myself, probably six months ago or so.

KN: So, what are your plans?

GT: I have a lot of big plans. We have a lot of things to do regarding Spirit Week, which is obviously up in the air right now. Pretty much, I want to basically democratize the process of Spirit Week so everyone can use their voice, and everyone can participate as much as they want. We also just started our student body email address, which has been successful so far. I’ve got a few more things tucked away that I’m not ready to reveal as well. 

KN: Any changes in terms of COVID-19?

GT: Yeah, I mean things are definitely different. We’re trying to work normally, but a lot of our fundraisers have gotten shut down, which is hard, especially for the younger grades. Therefore, we’re working on alternatives right now.

KN: How are you preparing for Spirit Week with COVID-19?

GT: We’re kind of putting Spirit Week on hold right now. Nothing’s been made official. We’re sort of just waiting to see how things play out and not making any big movements one way or another.

KN: Got it. How does it feel to be a senior?

GT: I love being a senior. It’s definitely really cool to be the oldest people on campus. It’s cliché, but I’ve waited for three years to get to this point, so it’s super exciting. I like it a lot and I’m going to be sad when I have to leave next year.

KN: What are you most excited for this senior year?

GT: I would say that I’m excited for the end of the year. There are a lot of Pace traditions such as Assassin and GAP day that really revolve around the seniors, and I want to experience those things with my friends and classmates.

KN: Were you sad to miss the beginning of the year traditions?

GT: I was definitely sad, but the way I look at it is that Pace is doing the best job possible for us to be here. If it means we can’t do the parade, that sucks, but it’s all in good spirit and all for helping us stay in school.

KN: What are you most nervous for this year?

GT: The common cliché would be to say college. However, I would say that I’m most nervous for baseball. We have a lot of talent, and we definitely have a chance to do very well this year. I’m not necessarily nervous, but I’m excited for that to start and to hopefully to get a ring on my finger.

KN: Definitely. When you go to college, what’s one thing you’ll look back on and miss the most about Pace?

GT: I think, to me, what makes Pace special is the community – the group of friends and the teachers that I’ve met here, I’ll definitely miss a ton. I love the faculty and my friends and, I love hanging out with them. And I’m really going to miss that in college.

KN: Yeah. OK, so, I have a fun question. If you’re stranded on a desert island with one teacher from Pace, who would it be and why?

GT: So, I’ve got to go with Dr. McCloskey. 

KN: OK! Why?

GT: Dr. McCloskey is my spirit animal. First of all, she’s a genius. She doesn’t get the credit she deserves from the student body, but she’s a Princeton grad with a Georgia Tech doctorate. She taught Dr. Walter. She’s done it all! So I feel like her intuition will help us out on the island. She’s also raised two kids, so I feel like her ability to care for people is on a next level. And for that reason, I would choose Dr. McCloskey.

KN: What advice would you give to freshmen as they begin their time here?

GT: I’d say, embrace it. You know, it seems like a lot longer than it really is. But I feel like it was yesterday when I was meeting Mrs. Wilhelmsen for the first time or walking into my freshman year physics class. So I would just say embrace it, enjoy the little things and have fun with it.

KN: Any last words? Anything you’d like to say? 

GT: I’m excited for a great year, COVID and all. 

KN: Thanks, Gus!

GT: Any time.

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