Trinity-Pawling School Prefects 2020-2021

Each spring at Trinity-Pawling, a small group of rising seniors are elected as prefects for the upcoming year. Derived from the Latin word for “leader”, prefects are voted in by the student body and faculty, serving as student leaders and modeling the School’s ideals of honor, respect, and hard work.

This past May, as the School community gathered on Zoom for its first-ever virtual Stepping-Up Ceremony, eight prefects were elected for the 2020-2021 school year — earning the honor by demonstrating their commitment to the School and most importantly, to their peers. In September, the group began their duties (both remotely and in-person), ready to rise to the challenge of a never-before-seen Fall Term at Trinity-Pawling.

Here’s a snapshot into the Class of 2021 Prefects and their plans for the year ahead:

Peter Claro ’21, Head Prefect

Hometown: Somers, New York

Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4

Interests/Hobbies: Cooking Italian food, traveling, history, playing/watching sports

“This year, the School is heading into uncharted territory, and my goal is to be a source of resilience for the community. To me, being a prefect means being willing to take on any challenge — especially in a special year like this. No one earns the role of prefect because it’s easy. It’s a challenge, and that’s what’s so great about it. I won’t always have all the answers, but I will give my best effort to make this a year to remember. And I couldn’t ask for a better group of prefects to help me along the way!”

Stuart Phillips ’21, Junior Prefect

Hometown: Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

Years at Trinity-Pawling: 3

Interests/Hobbies: Playing/watching sports, ATVing, watching movies

“I will share the academic and zeal prefect duties this year with Tommy and Michael. For academics, Tommy and I will oversee the academic wellness of the student body and advocate for our brothers, both in-person and remote. As the prefects of zeal, Michael and I will look to keep school spirit up in this time when we could all use it! With such a unique year ahead of us, I believe it’s more important than ever to listen to the student body. It’s our job to make sure their voices are heard. It’s an absolute honor to be Junior Prefect this year and I will lead with integrity, honesty, and kindness.”

Toby Berner ’21

Hometown: Brookfield, Connecticut

Years at Trinity-Pawling: 3

Interests/Hobbies: Drawing/painting, playing lacrosse and hockey, skiing, hiking, Star Wars, and running

“As the prefect of art, I plan to encourage all my classmates to enroll in a new art class this year. I also want to work with Mr. Poon, Mr. Burnham, and Mr. Avis to incorporate more art-related activities outside of the classroom. Being in this leadership position, I know the importance of leading by example. There is so much strength in being helpful, kind, and a good role model. Kindness and integrity are contagious, so the actions of one person, especially a student leader, can have a positive effect on many people every day.”

Michael Fritz ’21

Hometown: Gibsonia, Pennsylvania

Years at Trinity-Pawling: 2

Interests/Hobbies: Watching movies and The Office, music (80’s rock), playing guitar, playing hockey and lacrosse, and history

“With such a dynamic year in front of us, I think it’s very important to boost the positivity and enthusiasm around campus. Although we do not have competitive fall sports this year, as the prefect of zeal, I plan to keep the energy high among the student body. With the hybrid Fall Term, we’ve been given a challenge that no other classes have faced. I am confident that this group of prefects will do anything we can to make it the best it can be. My father was also a prefect when he attended Trinity-Pawling, and there’s something special about being part of the T-P family, while continuing our family legacy at the same time. I consider myself so lucky to be here.”

Peilun “Tommy” Li ’21

Hometown: Beijing, China

Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4

Interests/Hobbies: Traveling, reading, running, and playing squash and tennis

“As a prefect of academics, along with Stuart, my responsibility is to positively influence the learning experiences of our brothers. Although being a remote prefect is challenging, I am dedicated to listening to the voices of all students — especially those who are remote this year. I will pay extra attention to the academic environment to help ensure that we all have great educational experiences. From my perspective, my role as prefect gives me a chance to help others and create a more inclusive, caring community.”

Nolan MacLear ’21

Hometown: Jupiter, Florida

Years at Trinity-Pawling: 4

Interests/Hobbies: Computer science, board games, finance, rec volleyball, skiing, cooking, and fishing

“This year, I am proud to carry out the role of the community prefect. I hope to use the power of technology to keep everyone connected, both on campus and remotely. For me, being a prefect means standing up for effort, integrity, and kindness. Whether it’s organizing service trips (when we’re able to leave campus) or simply checking on the general health of our community, it’s my job to make sure the brotherhood’s bond stays strong.”

Jackson McAvoy ’21

Hometown: Poughquag, New York

Years at Trinity-Pawling: 6

Interests/Hobbies: Film, theater, American history, food (eating, not so much cooking), and writing

“My responsibility as the prefect of victuals is to oversee all of the meals on campus. During a year of such fragility and uncertainty, I’m hoping that good food can be at least one source of comfort for students. Although I am a Day Student and can only eat meals in McGraw (I miss Scully Hall!), I will do my best to make any difference I can in on-campus dining. My hope is that the boys can use me as a voice this year, for victuals and any other concerns they may have.”

Mingcheng “Kevin” Zhong ’21

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Years at Trinity-Pawling: 3

Interests/Hobbies: Traveling, environmental science, veganism, skiing, cycling, puzzles, and Rubik’s cube

“This year, I am the prefect of honor and academics. As a remote prefect, it’s difficult to connect with students the way I normally would on campus. However, I will make as many virtual appearances as possible — through all-school meetings, chapel services, sharing weekly articles from The Phoenix, and more. Although I am a prefect, in my opinion, you don’t need a title to be a good leader. You can lead by example, or quietly behind the scenes. As a good leader, you don’t need to receive praise for what you do. You just do the best you can to make the community a better place. That’s what I plan to do.”


by Emma Christiantelli