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Student Stories

New student leaders to set culture for the future

“As teenagers reaching our last few years of high school, I think we like to think we have our independence down pat! In a school already highly tailored to university-style life, what I see the needs of students being is that last bit of support and guidance around the paths we will face as young adults”

ACG Parnell College has announced its student leaders for 2019 and their energy is magnetic, says Principal Russell Brooke.

The leaders, who come from both ACG Senior College and ACG Parnell College, are Tessa Barker (Head Girl); Jack Carden (Head Boy); Maia Szecket (Deputy Head Girl); and Travis Manning (Deputy Head Boy).

They were appointed following an interview process with Mr Brooke, ACG Senior College principal Tracey Dykstra and secondary education leader Paul Daley.

The appointments have been made earlier than in previous years to enable the students to be fully involved in the development of ACG Parnell College, Senior Campus. The campus, for students in Years 12 and 13, will open early 2019 for the start of the academic year.

Modern leadership is not top down, explained Mr Brooke.

“With new teachers, new students and a new campus, next year’s leaders have a unique responsibility and opportunity to help establish the culture of the campus.”

As part of the founding cohort, students would be driving conversations and sharing their ideas, he said.

“Right now we are building a modern campus right in the heart of the city. We are bringing together the most amazing teachers and students from two schools. Our students will have incredible opportunities. We’re looking forward and asking ourselves: what can we create here that’s going to be really special?”

Each of the four leaders submitted their thoughts about the new campus, and how it would influence them as leaders. Their ideas broached continuity and transference, integration, acceptance, bonding, compromise and the effect of ‘togetherness’.

“It will give us the chance to really settle into the kind of culture we want to create,” Tessa said.

Deputy Head Boy Travis said the leaders had an opportunity to influence the future.

“How we adapt to the new building, plus the habits we put in place, could affect the future students of this campus for years to come. On a more personal level, the skills we learn to cope with the change will be invaluable.”

Deputy Head Girl Maia said the campus provided a fresh start and a way to encourage student voice and cooperation.

“The forward-thinking decision to make a separate space for seniors will hopefully raise excitement in the student body to ensure better engagement and a sense of school spirit.”

Jack said senior students’ relationships with their teachers was crucial.

“It’s important that they have great teachers and small class sizes that result in intimate and personal teaching. However, most important to me is respect. To be treated like adults and be given creative freedom and independence.”

They all agreed that senior students have unique learning needs, which Senior Campus is uniquely positioned to meet.

“As teenagers reaching our last few years of high school, I think we like to think we have our independence down pat! What I see the needs of students being in a school already highly tailored to university-style life is that last bit of support and guidance around the paths we will face as young adults,” Tessa added.

 

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