Alumni Profile: Tristan Hotung-Shea

Class of 2019 Spotlight: Tristan Hotung-Shea
Skilled Rhetorician & House Leader

Tristan Hotung-Shea began attending Ad Fontes in the eleventh grade. Having been homeschooled in the past, Tristan was not sure he would fit in at a private school. Thankfully, the AFA community proved to be the perfect place in which Tristan could thrive. 

Tristan marches to the beat of his own drum, and in doing so, created cherished memories for the faculty and students at AFA. Who designed and built an amazing Titanic costume for famous person day, but Tristan? Who wore a green tutu on his head to show his allegiance to House Athens? Who turned a bike helmet into a mushroom for his Toad costume? Who presented a note-worthy thesis called “On the Necessity for American Arbitration in the South China Sea” and subsequently won the senior thesis award? You guessed it. 

Tristan was also active in mock trial and play reading club during his time at Ad Fontes. When asked at the last minute to play a minor role in the student-led production of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, Tristan was quick to take on the challenge. His peers describe him as a loyal and caring friend.

In addition, Tristan also served as the House Assistant of Athens this past year, a position for which he displayed both great enthusiasm and dedication. During the house dance competition, he danced to the Cotton-eyed Joe (with great flair) in front of the entire school in order to win points for his house. Winning the House Olympics in his eleventh grade year meant a great deal to him. The house system is Tristan’s favorite element of AFA because of “the inclusivity it fosters between all grades of the upper school.”  

Some of Tristan’s favorite AFA memories include the House Olympics, spirit week, the Trinity Forum field trip, and laser tag with the teachers after the seniors finished their thesis presentations. An academic highlight was junior year’s Rhetoric One class with Mrs.Moore. “Rhetoric was my favorite class because it taught me all of the tools I needed to succeed in senior thesis, in day-to-day discourse regarding controversial issues, and beyond. I went into the class with only a basic understanding of rhetoric and through Mrs.Moore’s rigorous, but dedicated efforts, she was able to teach me the fundamental elements of rhetoric.”



Tristan chose the word “complete” to sum up his AFA experience. “I entered the school in the eleventh grade with good foundations in most subjects, but I had no idea how to apply them to the real world. Over the past two years, I have learned skills in all subjects ranging from physics and science to theological debates. I truly believe I got everything that I could have gotten out of AFA, and I’m glad I was able to refine my secondary school skills under such great tutelage.”

Tristan will be attending the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown this fall. After that, he hopes to work abroad, perhaps in the State Department. 

No doubt, Tristan will continue marching along to the beat of his drum, both enlightening and delighting others with his scholarship, creativity, and unique talents.  

By Ellie Houser, Class of 2019

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