Leadership has been a prominent theme for the beginning of the school year. This week saw four different things-a presentation, an assembly, a poem and a funeral- contribute to confirming what I believe leadership should look like. Leadership must be authentic and be driven by relationships that model mutual respect, integrity and humility. St. Clement’s School is committed to ensuring this for our girls through both explicit teaching and important role modeling.
During a staff meeting at the beginning of the week, our Coordinator of Student Leadership spoke about the scope and sequence of leadership at St. Clement’s both curricular and co-curricular and he shared a quotation from Jennifer Sieble Newsom, the CEO and Founder of MISSRepresentation, who said, “Each of us, regardless of our age, gender, class or ethnic background, has a role to play in making sure the next generation of women and girls is given a chance to reach their full potential.” I was thankful for these important words as they emphasize that our mission goes beyond working with our girls when they are with us to ensuring that we are developing outstanding women for life.
The next day our morning began with our Leadership Assembly where our Grade 12 students received their gold belts, signifying that they are our most senior leaders and responsible for being role models for all of our students from Grades 1-12.
Following assembly I received a card in the mail from a colleague with a wonderful poem enclosed for which I have provided a link: http://www.donmick.com/list/leadership.pdf. The words in this poem spoke clearly to the need to demonstrate humility as well as to the need to nurture others.
Finally, I attended the funeral of a highly respected man whose wife, daughter and granddaughter attended St. Clement’s. I did not have the pleasure of getting to know him well but remember his sincerity and interest when I had met him for lunch a year ago. As I listened to the tributes to him by his colleague, a friend and a son, it was evident that this man had been a strong leader. While I cannot recall the exact words, one of the comments that resonated was that the way his lived his life, demonstrating integrity and dedication, was the way he led his firm. It was clearly evident that he was appreciated because of his authenticity.
We have so much to learn from events and activities in our lives. This week provided some moments for me to reflect on why St. Clement’s believes so strongly in nurturing leadership that encourages authenticity and role modeling.