Simon Says…

Home » 2016 » June

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Getting Things Done, One-to-One

commencement_3891 060416 lo

Head of School Simon Holzapfel and Class of 2016 Student Body President Ross Matican.

School leaders are always looking for ways to use their time more effectively, to actually get done the things that matter most. One way in which I accomplished that in the recently concluded school year was through weekly one-to-one meetings with Darrow’s Student Body President Ross Matican ’16. Having that regular check-in allowed me to do several things that would have been much harder otherwise.

The first tangible accomplishment was launching a new and much sought-after student snack bar, in a way that was truly student-led and organized. Another benefit came following a student protest in April. Being able to meet with Ross allowed me to directly influence how the event was processed, resulting in a new dress code proposal, as well as several other ideas for the coming year. Without a well established and open line of communication, I would have been operating in the dark, and would have had a much harder time responding constructively to the issues our students raised. Finally, as a teacher, the meetings allowed me to directly mentor a young leader in how to use his time effectively to create change.

In reflecting on the experience, I asked Ross how he felt about his meeting time with me during his term. Here’s what he said: “Through our weekly meetings, I learned first-hand that change is a truly collaborative effort. I also realized that there is no better way to become a leader than to be mentored by a leader.”

What Ross helped me learn this year is that the value of that interaction can be just as great as any of the others I have each week. Thanks for that, Ross. And to Zion ’17, who will be next year’s Student Body President, I look forward to keeping the momentum going with you. School leadership needs to be as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. That won’t happen unless students are part of the equation.