Athletic Director Rich Alifano Emphasizes Importance of Making Good Choices at Friday Morning Meeting

Billy Adkins ‘22 opened the Friday Morning Meeting on January 25 with a French horn solo. Everyone then joined in singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan, which Music Head Michelle Demko explained became an anthem of the civil rights movement.
Making good choices was the theme for the inspirational talk given to the Middle and Upper School boys by Rich Alifano, Director of P.E. and Athletics. “Our choices range from those that affect just us to those that affect others.” He explained that making choices “is like rungs on a ladder. If you make a good choice, you go up a rung, if it’s a bad choice, you go down one.”
Mr. Alifano described both a good and a bad choice he had made in his life. The good choice he said was deciding to come to work at Allen-Stevenson. “I am so lucky to be a part of this school. I enjoy being a lifelong learner and it has given me numerous opportunities to make more good choices.”
Speaking to the boys specifically, he said, “You can choose in life whether to be a leader or a follower. Either is fine. If you’re a leader, I hope you make good choices and as a follower, I hope you are following someone who makes good choices for you.”
Mr. Alifano went on to talk about respecting the School and having pride of place. He asked the boys to “think about your spaces and make the right choices…whether it’s where you leave your snack wrappers to behavior on the bus and at lunchtime…try to keep climbing up the rungs and keep feeding the good.”
As an example of the type of inspiration he continues to look for in his life, Mr. Alifano showed the audience a video of Rick Rigsby delivering a powerful speech about his father’s teachings.
To close, Mr. Alifano said, “I ask myself every day, ‘How am I living?’”

Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.