YHS Launches a Women and Leadership Speaker Series

An absolute highlight of this past week was our launch of a Women and Leadership Speaker Series at YHS on Tuesday, November 30. On this day, Dr. Indira Samarasekera and Dr. Martha Piper joined our Grade 10-12 students and faculty for a rich conversation about their book, Nerve: Lessons on Leadership from Two Women Who Went First. They spoke with our Senior students about stories, experiences, lessons and growth as leaders of two public research universities in Canada. Among her many achievements, Dr. Samarasekera served as the President of the University of Alberta and is a current member of the YHS Board of Governors. Dr. Piper served as the President of the University of British Columbia. We are fortunate to have had them join us in lively discussion about finding the nerve to step up and lead.

Canadian leaders, co-authors, and dear friends, Drs. Samarasekera and Piper engaged in a lively interview with three YHS student leaders. Sophie, Finny, Diya had read their book ahead of time, prepared questions, and facilitated a dynamic conversation that inspired much conversation in the hallways afterwards. We learned about Drs. Samarasekera and Dr. Piper as teenagers. We learned of their very different journeys to leadership. If you know them, you will know they are fine storytellers who share insights in very relatable and human ways. Students, faculty, and administrators have spoken of how animated and human the experience was, and how privileged we are to have learned from these two prominent leaders in Canada.

A very special thank you to Dr. Samarasekera and Dr. Piper for joining us this week. Thank you, also, to Sophie, Diya, and Finny for your fine leadership this week. Please stay tuned for future speakers in this series who will engage students across the school and families as well.

Kara McDonald
Assistant Head of School