Amelia Pace ’25: I’ve found this amazing community.
Amelia Pace ’25 joined Oak Knoll in grade 7 after attending a Catholic Lower School in Morristown. Her parents were eager to enroll her in an all-girls Catholic high school, and she says, “After touring Oak Knoll, I knew it was the place for me.”
Pace officially joined the student ambassador team in grade 9 but had a taste of parent tours in grade 8 as a volunteer for admissions. She has also taken advantage of leadership opportunities at Oak Knoll. Currently, Pace is captain of the fencing team and leads the Asian American Pacific Islander Society at school.
Amelia’s maternal grandparents emigrated to the United States from Japan after World War II. Later, her father, Italian American, and her mother, Japanese American, met in Tokyo, married, and settled in New Jersey. Both cultures are honored in their home, where English and Japanese are commonly communicated.
“I’ve been a member of the Asian American Pacific Islander Society at school since seventh grade, and it’s nice to have that sort of community,” said Pace. “Recently, I was offered the opportunity to take on a leadership role, and I just thought that it’s so important to share my culture — not just for people who have similar backgrounds to me, but also for the wider community here — whether through recommending reading or making presentations when possible.”
As for fencing, she said, “I was never interested in fencing at an early age. I didn’t really know about it at Oak Knoll until after my freshman year when an upperclassman mentioned it to me. Since then, I’ve found this amazing community and an amazing coach, and I’m so proud to have taken the leap to get involved in the sport. I think that’s something that’s not talked about enough at Oak Knoll — there are so many opportunities to experience and try new things, and you don’t have to be an expert. Fencing is a different type of skill set. It’s similar to chess, where you have to anticipate your opponent’s moves. So besides the physical skills I’ve learned, I’ve definitely learned the intricacies of strategic plans, and when a plan doesn’t work out, revising it in real-time.”
When touring parents around campus, Pace is most eager to highlight the wonderful campus and community. “I really am proud to show off our nice classrooms and sometimes to pass by friends in the hallway and have them wave at me just to show the close-knit community here,” she explained.
Pace would like to further her passions in higher education, pursuing a career in some area of history, language, or international relations. “I’m definitely looking for a career that will allow me to travel and meet a diversity of people,” she said.
“Oak Knoll has given me an opportunity to expand on my interests and the leeway to pursue my passions. I feel it’s safe to try new things here. The school has given me the freedom to grow into the person I am today. There are days when I just walk onto campus, and I think how lucky I am to come to school here. I have a routine, I have a community. I know the faculty. And beyond the community, it’s just the experience I have going here which is what I’ll miss most when I graduate.”