By Justina Ferguson
Wow! Yes, indeed an entire year has passed since ten students of the current upper 6 body became school leaders in the various positions such as head girl, deputy head girl, house captains and house vice captains. The journey for these ten extraordinary individuals has come to an end but it’s not this does not mark their final moments as students of Holy Name Convent. Each one of these ten young ladies had something extremely unique to say about their experience as a school leaders at such a profound institution which upholds values and morals that contributes to molding young women into hardworking, dedicated, respectful and God-fearing persons. I’m pretty sure you are anxious to read about ten remarkable stories, here is what our 2015-2016 school leaders had to say:
“When I first found out that I was the new head girl, I was pretty shocked and suddenly it sank in that I would have so many responsibilities to adhere to. However, I had a lot of support from my classmates, teachers, friends and family who showed me that I was capable of doing this task. Also, when I was nominated this showed that I had the potential to be a head girl. That day in the office when Mrs. Aqui that I was head girl, it all sank in that, this is “it”. From that day I knew that I didn’t know I wanted to be a head girl who “goes and comes”, I wanted to do something for the school, I wanted to use my position to make a change. I had a great vice head girl who was there to balance out my “crazy” persona and we worked really well together.
As a school leader the biggest challenge was trying get the student body to listen to you, luckily this was not a huge challenge for be because more or less listened to you. There were a few who would give you “back chat” now and then yet they still obeyed to an extent. On the other hand, you had the few who were disrespectful who would not pay you mind because you were an authoritative figure. Those few people made me feel like I was not assertive enough or I was not a good head girl. So the biggest challenge for me as a head girl was getting those few people to listen to you as well as have respect.
The best part was succeeding in what you set out to do. Both Kristen and I, we set out to revamp the student council, the homework center to put things in place and keep them on a steady role so they won’t “collapse”. Achieving this under the pressure of an exam and even being successful at balancing exams and duties was the best part of my experience. However, the greatest part was after our tenure students would come up to you and be like “you were the best head girl ever” and “I’m going to miss you”. This melted my heart and showed that my hard work for that year paid off and that’s what I wanted to do, we wanted to serve the students, make them feel comfortable and make a change for them was what we set out to. Knowing that the students saw that and they were happy with the change we made was the greatest thing ever.
To my successor Celeste De Silva, I think she has great potential, I have worked with her for confirmation and I have seen her leadership qualities and I know she can do great things and be better than I was. She needs to keep pursuing, keep going and whatever she sets out to do she should set out her goals, organize her time and be successful. She should always keep motivating herself, never give up because she can make a change and in that position it means people can see she will make a change and she just has to believe in herself. Learn from your mistakes, a mistake is only a mistake if you learn from it otherwise it’s an intention”
Deputy Head Girl:
Kristin Mollineau “When I found out that I was happy. The challenges I had in my tenure as deputy head girl was trying to plan out everything and accomplish everything we set out to do. The best part of my experience was seeing Universal Children’s Day become a reality. The advice I would like to render to the incoming leaders is to manage your time wisely”
St. Dominic’s House Captain: Paige Craigwell
“When I initially found out I was going to be a captain, I found out with a close friend who didn’t get it so although I was overjoyed, my sadness for my friend who was very upset set into play. However, as the day began the happiness came out and I was ecstatic about it as I always wanted to be the captain of my house. My presentation the day before was a little “rocky” as I was nervous and I knew the competition was stiff. The challenges which I faced were balancing work and being a captain due to sports as even when I was not in the country for the Christmas vacation I had to plan things and set up things as the job doesn’t stop and then school started so that made it harder, also getting to bond with some of the girls were hard as it was 2 of us and 100+ of them and house meetings were not long enough. Lastly, all the ideas I had did not get seen through as the year flies by and is already jam packed with the million and one activities in HNC
The best part was actually being a captain, knowing the form ones and the rest of the house looked up to me and that they voted for me, yes that’s a big burden to carry but it’s worth it. Sports Day although it was tough with all the preparations and the fact that we didn’t perform to our best was still amazing as my house really represented and I felt and saw the house spirit. Also winning that discipline and punctuality trophy most, if not all while I was captain made me feel extremely proud of my girls
My advice to the incoming leaders is to get to know the girls, I tried talking to the “troublemakers” in my house and I find it helped so that’s a suggestion, also try to accomplish most, if not all, that u set out as it is tough but manageable and worth it. We have the best house and although the girls irritate you sometimes, they are the greatest and being a Dominican is the best. I wish Barbara and Andrea good luck in their year as captain’s and hope that keep that royal blue flag flying high remember actions not words.”
St. Dominic’s Vice-Captain: Emilie Dow
“When I found out, I got really anxious because I was not expecting to get this position at all. There were a few of us, and the other girls were all really good candidates for the position, eventually after talking to Paige, I was not nervous which allowed me the opportunity to be excited. The challenges I faced was having to wake up every day and be the best person that I can, as a role model for the students. I had to put my own personal issues aside and not let it impact the way that I handled situations at school. Also, I had to think ahead, even out of school. Ultimately, whether or not I’m in uniform, students and parents know who I am. I had to maintain a certain image which helped in a way to shape who you become after the year has ended.
I think my best experience as a school leader, although bonding with the other captains was an amazing experience on its own, had to be seeing the impact that I made on certain students. Seeing a change take place over a year, as you work with particular students and knowing that you helped them to reach a better place was amazing. My advice to the new leaders is to be humble. Never assume that you know everything about a student on her situation at a first glance, there is always more to a story. Be open minded and prepared to learn a whole lot about yourself in a short space of time and finally, sleep when you can!”
St. Catherine’s Captain: Jaime-Leigh Edghil
“When I found out I was going to be captain I was ecstatic. I never thought I would have been lucky enough to be given and trusted with such an esteemed leadership role. Knowing that the house wanted me to guide them for a year gave me a confidence that I hadn’t had before .The most challenging part of the year was definitely preparing for sports day. Justina and I had to spend a lot of time staying back after school to plant he chanters dance and chant, and also plan how we would raise money and get the house to cooperate. It was exhausting and time consuming but the benefits and lessons made it worth it. Despite being challenging it was very fun.
The best part was accomplishing challenges I never thought I would, and learning to believe in myself. I got to make a lot of new friends in the house, and when I was captain was when I felt most connected to the school, like I truly belonged here. To the new school leaders, I would say just have fun with it and enjoy it all. The days are long but the year is short. You’ll grow and learn things you didn’t realize you needed to, and that you will definitely miss it when it’s all done”
St Catherine’s Vice-Captain: Justina Ferguson
“On finding out that I was vice captain, my heart was filled with joy and I was truly proud of myself and those who encouraged me to run for this position. As a transfer, I initially thought that I was incapable of being a school leader, I was new to the school and it would have been difficult for my teachers to evaluate the person I was in such a short time. Nevertheless, I saw this as an opportunity to improve my house and the young ladies who may sometimes found it hard to comply with school rules. Through doing this I set out to achieve teamwork, friendships, unity and a sister hood which will reign on. “Forever upwards”, although I encountered many challenges, the most difficult of them was preparing for sports day, with the help of Jaime and the form 6 girls I was able to live up to the motto of our beloved house.
The best part of my experience was being able to act as a role mode to empower those in a lower form than me. There were many occasions where I was disrespected at but this did not affect my goal which was and still is to make an impact on those who I saw great potential in. However, the greatest part was doing so with so much love and support. My advice to the incoming school leaders is simple, do your best and let God take care of the rest. Know that you also need to improve your spiritual being in taking up such a position, pray about situations you may see as challenging, after all God will not give you a task that you’re unable to perform.
St. Albert’s Captain: Jiselle Huggins
“On finding out I was elected as captain, aside from being inevitably grateful, I was mostly determined. I had a multitude of plans and ideas that I was so excited to implement. Additionally, I immediately became more conscious if the vibe I give off to people and the way I approach situations, being extra careful to remain objective and open minded as best as I could manage. I encountered many struggles on this year long journey, one of them being the guilt that came attached to some of the decisions I was forced to make as well as knowing I was responsible for the direction of an entire house. It’s overwhelming and one must learn to deal with the fact that not everyone will a) appreciate your effort or b) agree with you. You see the negative side of responsibility and authority, the way it can affect people and it’s mildly alarming every time, but no regrets it wasn’t all bad.
The best part about my experience as school leader was knowing that, even in some small way, I impacted on the lives of my Albert’s girls. All I can ask of myself is to be a positive and motivating force, especially in a society where negativity is rampant. I may not having achieved all my plans and goals, but I was given the opportunity to inspire. What more can you want bro?
To all the incoming leaders, let yourself make mistakes. You are young and you know little. Let this experience humble you. Pick all your battles wisely and fight only when you know you can make a difference. Good luck!
St. Albert’s Vice-Captain: Ananda Poon
“I was ecstatic and so excited to be able to get a chance to serve St. Albert’s. The main challenges which I faced was balancing my school work and house activities especially during sports, there were many long nights. The best feeling was the day of sports, feeling the love and unity, I was so proud of my house. My advice to the new captains is no matter what, be patient and rely on one another for support, you will need it”
St. Roses Vice-Captain: Satya Poon
“When I found out that I was going to be a vice captain, I was ready to tackle the goals I had set right away! Being super enthusiastic helped me to prepare for a successful sports day. The biggest challenge which I experienced was balancing my academics and responsibilities which was tough. I had to grow and develop, especially be tougher as I am very soft-spoken. The best part was working with my fellow school leaders and my house to achieve our goals. My advice to the new school leaders: say yes and figure it out after! Be flexible and open to any suggestions, and have fun! Lastly, love your house and they will appreciate you”.