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Two students in front of a crowd smiling at the camera.

Our One of 360 series rounds out the 2023-2024 school year with none other than day student and Communications Office regular (bookending the year with her best friend, Charlotte Lucarelli ’24 who kicked off the series in September), Roya Sanai ’24! Hear more from Roya on community at Emma, competitive swimming, and her favorite tradition on campus!

On home…

I was born and raised in Albany, NY. I’m an only child, so I live with just my parents, although when my grandma is here from Iran, she stays with us. My dad is an Iranian immigrant and has been through a lot to give me the opportunities that I have, so honoring family history is very important to me.


A student with curly hair, wearing a white top and jeans, sits on some stairs with fall flowers and smiles at the camera.

Roya in downtown Troy for her senior photos.

On Emma…

My mom used to work at Emma, so I grew up on campus, making it like a second home to me. I attended GirlSummer for almost a decade, and because of this, I knew Emma Willard had to be the high school I attended. My mom worked in Advancement, getting to know alums and their stories. She often tells me how all the women she met with, years and years after their graduation, still commented on how grateful they were to have gone to Emma Willard. 

The school community is so special to me because it truly feels like a family. I feel like I always have someone to talk with, no matter where I am on campus. Now that I am graduating, I feel so incredibly privileged to feel sad about leaving because I know not many people can say they felt that way about their high school experience. 


Three students take a selfie on some athletics stands.

Roya with Ceci Christian '24 and Charlotte Lucarelli '24.


On swimming…

I have been swimming competitively for almost 10 years, and I love it so much. I love working out and getting post-practice endorphins, but what matters most to me is my team. I have learned so much about being on a team and supporting your competition through swimming, and I’ve been able to apply these lessons to many aspects of my life. 

My passion for swimming was only amplified when I came to Emma and joined the Varsity team. In my four years on the team, we have won two Colonial Council Championships and placed in the top three at Sectionals twice. Our best year by far was my senior year, and I know it was because we all came together as a family. I love the Emma Willard Varsity Swim and Diving team, and what I love most about them is how much they care about their teammates’ successes. 


Two students at an outdoor theater take a photo together.

Roya and Charlotte at a concert at SPAC.


On photography…

I have always been particularly interested in photography and documenting my life through photos. I received a camera for my 17th birthday, and I have not stopped taking photos ever since. I would love to explore this hobby in college. 


On Revels

If you had asked me before senior year, I would have tried to stand out and not say Revels, but I can’t do that anymore. My favorite tradition by far is Revels, but specifically Revels Week. During that week,I made so many connections and life-lasting memories. I felt as though everyone was able to let loose and have fun. The best part for me was bonding over the nerves every night before a show. My best friend Charlotte and I even developed a nightly ritual before we went on stage!


A student kneeling on the ground looking at a dog that stands with it's paws on her shoulders.

Roya with Communications Office dog, Maple, at the 2024 Commencement.



Find more interesting stories about Emma Willard School on our Newsroom page.