Rhianna Searle ’23 has had an impressive tenure at George School. As the year winds down and Commencement approaches, she is finishing up her senior year with more achievement: winning the Bucks County High School Poet of the Year Award.
“[In] ninth grade I got first runner up, sophomore year I got third runner up, and last year I got first runner up,” said Rhianna “I never won before, but I won this year which is very exciting.”
Rhianna’s time at George School cultivated her passion for writing and poetry, and the myriad of clubs she is a prominent member of also inspire what she writes about. Themes in her writing include feminism, nature, climate action, and personal identity.
“I am one of the leaders of Climate Action Club and an editor of ARGO [the school’s art and literary magazine produced by students] and they fit well with my writing. A big theme in my writing is redefinition—thinking about how concepts like stereotypes are typically understood and then creating my own images,” she said.
Rhianna has certainly created her own identity here on campus, aside from being an ARGO editor, she is also a Lead Tour Guide Ambassador in the Admission Office. Rhianna comes from a long George School lineage. Her grandparents and parents attended the school, and her grandfather was a faculty member for forty-seven years. Though her family has a long history of being part of the George School community, Rhianna made her experience her own, and it all started four years ago while making the decision to come to George School.
“Ever since I was younger I would think, “Okay, George School’s there”…it was nice because it felt like I would have the people who knew my family looking out for me, but also like I could very much be my own person.”
As Rhianna reflects on her high school experience, she has advice for the incoming class. “Be able to change and be flexible in your identity, how you view yourself, and how you fit into the community, and with that be able to adapt. Another reason why I chose George School is because diversity is important to me, and I knew that I wanted to be surrounded by different people and learn from them,” said Rhianna. “I am very glad that I had the opportunity to meet people from different areas of the country, around the world, and who just identify in different ways as me at George School.”
It is a bittersweet time on campus as seniors anticipate Commencement and life beyond George School. Rhianna says that George School has prepared her for all that lies ahead at her next home this fall, Haverford College.
“Well, I’m currently a day student, so I’m excited to ‘be a boarder’ at college for the first time. I’ve also definitely realized how many different things I’m actually interested in after attending GS, so I’m excited to go to a liberal arts school and do a bunch of different things. I think I’m going to major in English and keep going with my creative writing, but I also want to use it to make an impact in the world.”
Read more about the Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest here.