Torch - Fall 2015

Principal’s Message

Learning to be a good leader is a lifetime process that brings a lifetime of rewards.

—Helen-Kay Davy, Principal

The Women of Tomorrow

By Helen-Kay Davy, Principal

W e’ve just had a federal election in Canada and there’s an election underway south of the border. During these campaigns, you can’t help but notice we still have a problem with women in leadership roles. There are not enough females in high- profile positions in politics, business and beyond, and those on top face additional challenges. At Havergal, we know our students are going to be the leaders of tomorrow—or the women of tomorrow, contemplating their relationship with leadership. We make it a daily mission to prepare them for this future. We believe the best leaders have passion and vision, but also empathy. Truly effective leaders bring everyone into their vision. They’re compassionate, inclusive and put the needs of their constituents ahead of their own popularity and privilege. Our girls not only learn all this by leading in highly visible, structured roles, but also by taking command in small groups, having the chance to be entrepreneurial and looking to role models. As part of our new strategic plan, we will weave even more leadership opportunities and teachable moments into our curriculum and co-curricular activities. One of the best places to learn how to lead—and to follow—is in sports. We have a large athletics program and run as many teams as we have girls who want to compete: no one is left out. Team captains learn very quickly that being a leader on the field, court or rink is not

about individual glory, it’s about the team. Leaders with character are able to pass on the the captain jersey and tackle the role of team player with just as much passion and conviction. Our girls also learn by watching their teachers. We have a substantial professional development program at Havergal that allows teachers to take courses to become experts in new subjects or learn from a professional coach. We have key leadership roles that teach our girls how to take on power positions. Elected school Prefects, House Captains, Senior Year Presidents and the School Captain, as well as leadership roles at a variety of clubs and councils, help our school run smoothly. What’s special about Havergal is that every year one of our girls is honoured with the J. Herbert Mason Medal for Character. This award dates back to 1897 and the recipient is chosen by the students. It’s not a popularity contest—our students learn early on there’s a big difference between being well-liked and tackling the responsibility of leadership. The winner of this award is always one of those special girls who is able to manoeuvre the delicate balance of leadership at a young age. At Havergal, we know it takes years to master the ins and outs of taking charge effectively. It is our privilege to start as many girls as we can down that challenging path. Learning to be a good leader is a lifetime process that brings a lifetime of rewards.


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