Tabor Academy’s student co-heads of school have become important leadership roles at our school by the sea. Electing one senior boy and one senior girl to the role takes time in order to give the process the weight the job deserves.
On Tuesday, at All-School meeting nine finalists spoke to the student body after an arduous process of application. First, interested candidates came to a meeting to learn more about the job description and the many expectations for leadership, public speaking, and tone setting. Those still interested filled out a form that included several essay questions and a listing of their previous leadership experience. Advisors of candidates also must sign off on the form so that they have had a chance to speak with the student about expectations and the process. The next step was an individual interview with the senior class dean, the dean of students, the dean of studies, and both of the current student co-heads of school. Phew….
Then, and only then, were the finalists selected to proceed to All-School to deliver their first campaign speeches to the student body. These speeches are always incredibly thoughtful and heart-felt, and it so gratifying to hear how much the students appreciate Tabor and our community. It is also enlightening to learn how they feel the school can improve and where students need to take the lead in bringing on those changes.
Just like any important job, this selection process was created to be sure that only truly interested candidates have the opportunity to run for office. These positions are somewhat symbolic, but they also have a great deal of influence as the student leaders have the opportunity to set a positive tone for the year and bring issues of concern forward for discussion and change through the faculty and administration.
Later this week, after a little time for consideration, the student body will vote for their top 2 male candidates and their top 2 female candidates. After another round of longer speeches in Chapel next Thursday, the final vote will happen over the weekend, and the winners will be announced in Chapel on April 22.
We always look forward to who will be our next student leaders while also looking back gratefully on our current leaders. Owen Sughrue and Sophie Browning have given countless, but hopefully not thankless, hours to this role. Their positive leadership encouraging inclusivity, kindness, and respect for others, while also sporting a “Why Not?!” outlook on life at Tabor, has inspired many students to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. Owen and Sophie have had fun with the role, bringing smiles to All-School meeting despite the level of stress in any given week. In a word, they have been awesome; we are very grateful to them, and we maintain high expectations for our future leaders.
With the right student leadership, there is very little the student body can’t accomplish in building a supportive community for all at Tabor. As with all elections, it is important to think twice and vote once: wisely. Good luck to all the candidates!