On February 24, Mr. MacInnis and 8 Trafalgar Castle students in Grades 8 to 11 participated in Thrive Leaders 2017, an inter-school student leadership collaboration at Toronto Montessori School in Richmond Hill. The purpose of the conference was to examine unique challenges and successes, and build skills together to enrich their own school community.
The day began with a key note speaker followed by learning sessions which included: leading with finances, young leaders, social engagement, public relations, group management, creative problem solving, sales and promotions and epic programming. Students chose two of the sessions to attend, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, these sessions were then shared with attendees from their own school at the end of the day during a master sharing session.
Caroline G., a Grade 11 student shares, “The other schools I talked to have such amazing programs and engaging structures set up and all of the schools are so diverse in the ways they run. I believe there is definitely something to learn and think about from each school.” She especially enjoyed learning about the various ways the other schools set up their house systems.
Kiera L., another Grade 11 student from Trafalgar who participated echoes Caroline’s interest in the house systems at other schools, “Several students mentioned that their schools had a captain from both the middle and senior schools for each house.” Kiera believes that this model is something that would enable younger students with less experience at Trafalgar to show they have the skills necessary to become good leaders. She adds, “This model also ensures that the house leaders would collectively represent all members of the group regardless of grade and age.”
When asked about their favourite part of the collaboration, Caroline shared it forced her out of her comfort zone speaking to new people during the social engagement session. By networking with other students, she realized just how much Trafalgar had in common with some of the other schools, “We are not alone in our endeavours to empower women…We can learn from the experiences the other schools have had to improve our own!” Attending Thrive Leaders 2017 has left Caroline excited for the rest of her time at Trafalgar, “I have some really great ideas that I hope can be implemented in Trafalgar’s future,” she shares. “I believe that by looking back at what other schools have done, we can help to improve our future as an all-girls’ independent school.”
Kiera is also excited to take what she learned from this experience to make changes to improve both leadership and student life at the school, “I’m taking away new perspectives on what it means to be a leader, how I can help boost the spirit and productivity of a team through leadership, and ideas for how we can improve student life and make leadership opportunities more meaningful at Trafalgar.”