Over 75 aspiring and returning student leaders, in grades 7-12, came to campus during the traditional “pre-season” week of August 15-19, to gain a deeper understanding of leadership opportunities and challenges at Derryfield. The summit was led by Reina Stimpson, Head of the Upper School, Greg Lange Student Activities Coordinator, and Becky Barsi, Clubs & Explorations Coordinator. Other DS faculty, including Mark Blaisdell, Gill Roberts, Courtney Cheetham and Chris Hettler, also participated.
On Monday the attendees were given a “big picture” overview of student leadership programming and learned about the Derryfield Student Leadership Program. The theme of the day was, “What makes a successful leader?” The next day the focus was on leadership in athletics. Participants learned about Derryfield’s philosophy regarding athletics, and how they could make a difference on each of their respective teams.
Wednesday was an open forum for the leadership groups: Class Council, Student Council, LEAD Council, club leaders, Discipline Committee. Existing members discussed plans for the current year, and new students were encouraged to visit with various groups to learn of the club or committee mission, and join the preparations for the coming year.
Derryfield senior Allie Byron, a member of the Class Council, summarized her experience:
My takeaway from the Leadership Summit is that Derryfield does such a great job at involving their students in important topics that affect Derryfield. Students who are a part of leadership got the chance to speak in front of the group and explain what they have done in their either elected role, or in a club that they joined, and how their involvement makes Derryfield a better place.
Thursday brought a discussion of values, as related to Derryfield’s culture. The students also learned about updates to the school handbook, and then participated in culture-building collaborative exercises.
On the final day the attendees talked about “next steps.” They then wrote and video recorded skits for conveying leadership skills to the DS student body at large.