As part of the recently implemented house system, two leadership positions have been created to further promote student ownership of the house to which they belong. The house prefect, which was open to Grade 11 students, and the house captain, which was open to both Grade 9 and Grade 10 students. These positions are integral to the operation and will provide valuable learning opportunities for both those in the position and the House in its entirety.
The job of the prefect is more of a pastoral role, something akin to a big brother or sister. They work closely with the house master to help ensure that members are feeling well in every aspect of boarding school life. Recognizing when a house member might be struggling in the classroom or boarding house, and being able to bring that information to the house master, is a vital part of the role. The prefect ensures that communication between the house master and members is fluid at all times and works to support and clarify.
Prefects are expected to locate, organize, and lead the weekly house dinner. Run similarly to a meeting, they guide discussions of any issues that have risen and expand upon ideas members have for the house. While planning the dinner, prefects learn how to stay within a given budget for each month, which helps promote financial responsibility and planning ahead. Overall, the position can be described as an “internal” president because they are assisting with the inner workings of the house.
The house captain highlights very different responsibilities than that of the prefect. They are meant to work on external relations with other houses through activities such as organizing athletic, academic, and service events or competitions. House captains are expected to step in when or if the Prefect is unavailable to lead house dinner, but are readily encouraged to assist within the organizing of them. When readying the house for departure to or from activities, it is the captain’s responsibility to gather the house and ensure that all members are present and ready to go.
Several students in each house were nominated by their peers for these roles. Nominees were given a week to consider their speaking points in preparation for election night. They were required to state why they felt they were right for the position and what they wanted to see for the future. Needless to say, speeches were impressive and it was fantastic to watch nominees state their visions for their respective houses. Some included powerpoint presentations, background music – even handshakes and cheers – in their speeches.
The results are as follows and are reflective of two houses having draws for positions:
House Prefect: David
House Captain: Alejandro
House Prefects: Emma and Bailey
House Captain: Gawa
House Prefect: Maya
House Captains: Hudson and Isaac
It was outlined prior to nominations what being a leader truly takes. Both positions were created to build upon characteristics that TGS students already exemplify. The house prefects and captains will further empathize their humility, reliability, punctuality, and patience. They will learn time and again to put others before themselves and consider the good of the entire group. It is intended that the position teaches the value that leading sometimes means following, and that those in leadership positions should utilize their power to empower others into reaching their full potential.
And thus far, everyone is.