The Leadership Theme

every student because there are [typically] only a few leaders in every group. That’s not to say everyone can’t be a leader in their own right, but you are more likely to be leading in situations where you feel confident or informed. I think with future themes, we need to be able to keep the theme going throughout the year, and not just for the first couple of months. This could be done through activities or just simply publicity, like signs or posters reminding people of the theme. Overall, the school just needs to care more about the theme and working to start a culture around the theme.” When I asked sophomore Joe Kennedy about his views on the theme, he gave a thorough and honest answer. “The goal of this year’s theme was not to make everyone a leader,” he said, “but to support anyone who wanted to be one. Leadership has been evident throughout the year, and in particular freshman and sophomores have shown exemplary leadership. I’ll point you towards Emily Breitenecker starting a girl’s lacrosse team as well as Maeve Healy and Savannah Brock putting together a walkout. The list goes on and on. I will say some ideas have flopped such as the ‘Leadership Committee’ which doesn’t really seem to serve a purpose. Overall, leadership in this school is at its height right now. Leadership isn’t about starting a club or being a sports team captain, and it certainly cannot be forced on a person. Student leadership is about the lasting impact a person leaves on Latin, and I think Latin has grown a lot this year because of the students which point to strong leadership. One thing I will say is that any theme that is chosen needs to be reinforced throughout the year. I think many people have forgotten about the theme mostly because it disappeared after winter break. More emphasis throughout the year would be beneficial.” In order to get an administrative opinion on the matter, I asked Mr. Edwards and Mr. Tebbens for their responses. “Leadership takes many forms,” Mr. Edwards said. “And I think if one understands the crux of leadership to be the ability to find one’s voice in a moment when it matters, to raise your voice, I think we encourage that in a wide variety of ways. The way that I believe leadership to function, not everybody’s going to be captain of a sports team or a club president, but everybody has thoughts and ideas, and they all matter. In the classroom, teachers encourage discussion, help students formulate arguments, and help them share those arguments in informed, thoughtful ways. As deans, Tebbens and I work with students all the time in ways that often include finding one’s voice in a given moment. All of these different experiences add up to increase participation in the community, which creates an opportunity for leadership and influence. If we continue the model of education employed at Latin, development along leadership lines will be a continuous outcome.” This year’s theme has clearly manifested itself in many ways, and as Joe said, I feel that it has helped everyone who wants to be a leader become one. I am all for the theme, and I think leadership is an important message that should be spread, but the theme cannot properly be acted upon without being properly addressed. However, this year is the first with the new theme system, and the faults must still be assessed and dealt with. In order to create an effective theme, we must collectively be engaged in it, meaning that we must advocate it during our school time, and we must address it at gatherings and other events. The theme system is still in its infancy, and though there is much work to be done, the future of the program looks quite promising.  ]]>