Torch - Fall 2015

Parent Leadership

Leadership opportunities abound for Havergal community members. The Havergal College Parent Association (HCPA) includes parents who volunteer in roles such as committee chairs, Grade Reps and special events, to name only a few. Laurie Hay, Chair of the HCPA 2015–16, explains why parents enjoy taking on volunteer roles within the school: “Our members are ambassadors of the school. They enjoy being involved, making a difference and seeing the impact their roles have on the girls and the other parents.” One of the goals of the HCPA is to help encourage an engaged, committed community. “It is important for our girls to see their parents involved in the school,” says Hay. “When they see us taking on leadership roles and acting as ambassadors, our kids lose the perception of the school as a separate entity from their home lives. It helps them connect with the school on a different level.” In addition to assisting with school events and leading committees, members of the HCPA embody the school’s values of integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage. They are excellent ambassadors and are key to community building.

Technological Education, responsible for academic programming at the school, including teaching and learning strategies, implementation and learning support, as well as professional development for teachers. She says leadership opportunities for our Senior and Middle School teachers include roles as Department Heads. In the Junior School, faculty can take on the role of curricular co-ordinators to support specific programs, including literacy, science and kindergarten. Other roles include House advisors, Form teachers and roles assisting the heads of student clubs. Davis says teachers also lead professional learning communities to explore various teaching practices or ideas such as teaching through dialogue, creating cultures of thinking, looking at assessment practices or working on effective communication. Teachers may also lead working groups to look at issues such as timetables or leadership development.“All of our professional learning communities are led by teacher leaders who basically said ‘I’d really love to start a group to investigate this aspect

In the Junior School, leadership begins with building a sense of responsibility among the Junior and Senior Kindergarteners by putting their own belongings into their backpacks. “The reason why we do that and why it’s so important is simply because we want the children to know that they’re capable of doing things and to have a much greater sense of confidence within themselves. When children are confident within themselves and see themselves as problem solvers, they’re much more able to take on a more formalized leadership role later on,” explains White. Higher up the Junior School ladder, the Grade 6 students are in charge of the 10 Houses at the Junior School, developing relationships to increase intermingling between the grades. “It really strengthens the fabric of our school,” says White. Another source of inspiration for students is the approximately 120 teachers at Havergal. Leadership opportunities abound there, too. Seonaid Davis is Director of Curriculum and Faculty Development and Head of


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