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Branksome hosted its first ever three-day Leadership Conference to all students in Grade 10 to 12.
November 10, 2017
Everyone Is a Leader
For over 100 years, Branksome has recognized student leaders by electing them as Prefects. With that responsibility comes leadership training that was previously only offered to the Prefects—but that has since changed.

“I’m glad there’s acknowledgement of other leadership positions other than the Prefects because there are a lot of girls doing really amazing things. Just because you don’t wear the red uniform doesn’t mean you aren’t making a meaningful impact,” said R’na, Grade 12 student and the Senior and Middle School Parents’ Association and Alumnae Association Representative.

For the first time, at the start of the school year, Branksome hosted a three-day Leadership Conference—open to all students in Grade 10 to 12. “Where we took a big step forward was recognizing that everybody should have this opportunity and not just our student leaders,” said Ms Denise Power, Director of Student Life. “While it’s great that our leaders are getting this training, we decided last year it would be great to expose more students to it.”

Over 30 students participated in the conference this year, 10 of whom are not in elected leadership roles. Like Grade 11 student Jacqueline, who thought the training would be a great learning opportunity. “It was no longer exclusive. Branksome’s all about leadership, so even if you don’t hold one of the official titles, I still think it’s a great idea to allow other people to join because it’s all about everyone being a leader,” said Jacqueline.

During the conference, workshops were led by Ms Power, Ms Weinstock, and Mr. Barry Wright, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business at Brock University who specializes in leadership and entrepreneurship. Workshops included topics on impactful leadership, effective communication and empowering others.

“One thing he [Mr. Wright] really hammered home to me was that you can lead in your everyday life and its not just if you’re a Prefect, Clan Chieftain or a Grade Representative, but that every single day you can be a leader in yourself,” said Jacqueline. “You can be a leader just by your actions and by the way you connect with people.”

The Grade 10-12 students who attended the conference will spend the remainder of the school year hosting various training sessions for Grade 7 and 8 students. They will use the exercises they learned to teach the younger students some early lessons in leadership.

“I think the most special part was the fact that, for three days, I got to speak with my peers and discuss how we want to make this year the best we can,” said R’na.

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