What is your favourite memory of York House School?
Having written and rewritten many attempts to describe my favourite memory of my time at YHS, each a different story with a different lesson, I truly cannot choose only a single moment of all the incredible memories I have made in the past five years as a favourite. For this reason, I am so grateful for YHS, as this is a demonstration of the vast number of experiences, friendships, and opportunities that have been offered to me over the course of high school. I’ve performed on stage, competed on the field, learned in the classroom, explored the great outdoors, and travelled to other countries all thanks to the YHS philosophy of a well-rounded education. I am so lucky to have had all of these experiences that make choosing only one as a favourite a seemingly impossible task.
Who at York House has influenced you the most and why?
There is no doubt in my mind that the course, and thus the teacher, that I was most influenced by was my English 10 class taught by Mr. Robertson. Each day, my thoughts and values were questioned, forcing me to reflect on my own identity and that of those around me. Mr. Rob led discussions that allowed his students to converse and connect on a level that I have not seen replicated in any other classroom, and I am forever grateful for the privilege of experiencing these lessons.
Why did you want to be Head Girl?
I had always looked up to the Head Girls at YHS, but I never envisioned myself taking on the role. The fact that five years later I was confident enough to put my name into the election is a testament to the ability of YHS to empower their students to take on opportunities that they once believed were beyond their abilities, but come to realize are achievable. Ultimately, I wanted to be Head Girl for an opportunity to better the school, whether that be the fostering of community in all elements of the school, creating new initiatives to represent the desires and goals of the student body, or organizing events to engage and connect the student body.
What did you learn from being Head Girl?
Through every speech, every assembly, and every meeting as Head Girl I have been taught a multitude of lessons. Some were as simple as the importance of a firm handshake, but others have significantly impacted how I view and practice leadership. First and foremost, this past year has shown me that actions define leaders, not titles. The greatest challenge, and thus the greatest lesson, of my role was living up to the title of Head Girl to which I was elected through meaningful dialogue, action, and connections. The experience of being Head Girl redefined my definition of leadership from being driven by a title, to being driven by the people whom you lead.
What are some of the accomplishments of the Student Exec this year that you are most proud of?
Our student executive set many goals for this school year, most of which we are proud to say we have achieved. However, the greatest goal we decided to pursue last September was to set a tone for the senior school in which every student felt heard, valued, and excited to come to school. We hoped to foster the already incredible York House community to reach more students at a greater level. The degree to which we succeeded in this goal is hard to quantify because it is more of a feeling, but I truly think the twelve girls that comprised this year’s student executive put great effort and thought into making that goal a reality for as many Yorkies as possible.
What words of advice do you have for the incoming Head Girl?
To the incoming Head Girl, I would say to take advantage all of the opportunities that come her way in the upcoming year. She will have the chance to meet inspiring people, attend incredible events, and learn valuable lessons, all of which should be appreciated. She has earned an amazing opportunity, and now it is up to her to optimize her experience not only for her own growth, but that of the school and student body.
As your time at York House comes to an end, what are you looking forward to the most?
Although these last few months of many ‘lasts’ have been bittersweet, there is so much to look forward to after graduation. The prospect that excites me the most about the future, yet is simultaneously the most daunting, is jetting off across the country to Ontario for university. The opportunity to discover a new city, new people, new curriculum, and maybe a peek at independence and adulthood is very exciting.
What are your plans for the fall?
In the fall I will be heading to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario to study in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
Read the Q & A with Vice-Head Girl Kira here.