NEWPORT COAST — When Olivia Simon sat down in Cha for Tea to write the speech she would give at her graduation from Sage Hill School, she wasn't sure how to explain her time there, but all that changed when three junior girls walked in.
Simon, who will attend Washington University in St. Louis in the fall, said although she didn't know the girls well, they recognized each other from school and immediately sat down and started talking.
"We laughed together like we were old friends," she said.
That moment crystallized Simon's experience. In her speech at Sage Hill School's graduation Friday afternoon, she described a world unlike the high school norm, where teachers always take the time to read essays students need help with, freshmen unabashedly read poetry at school events and students become friends regardless of class, race, interest or clique.
"The truth is moments like [these] reaffirm my beliefs that Sage thrives and functions by some magical force called Sage-iness," she said.