2020 has been a whirlwind year for our senior students. Earlier this term we welcomed our new student leadership team to lead the student body over the next four terms. Anthony Segaert chatted with 2020-21 school captains Jessica Duncan and Dylan Nguyen to learn about their experiences of the year, and how they plan to make the most of the next 12 months.
Why did you choose to apply to become school captains?
Jess: I think leadership is just something I’ve always been interested in doing. I don’t know. I never thought that I’d actually get a role if I’m being honest!
Dylan: For me, during my time at SACS, one of the things that’s been most evident about the school is that it’s all about giving. And I know that SACS has given me so much. And in applying for the role, it was my way of not just giving back but giving more.
You had your leadership team training day last Thursday. How did it go?
Jess: It was really positive. We started off with a chat with Rev Tubman, and we washed each other’s feet which was interesting! It was a good way to show humility towards each other. So I think that was definitely a highlight. We had lots of good food.
Dylan: So much good food!
Jess: But we got a lot done and we’ve set a lot of goals for the year with both long-term and short-term things that we’d like to achieve.
Dylan: And adding to that, we got to spend a lot of time working with our team. I am very, very excited. It’s an amazing team. We have people who are so excited, so dedicated and so willing to be involved. I mean, just sitting there listening to everyone, and hearing ideas bounce around without any prompting … it was pretty amazing. I’m excited to see what we’ll do as a team.
So what are your goals?
Jess: We can’t reveal everything this year… but our main vision for the year is to foster a sense of community in the school. It’s an interesting time to be coming into a leadership role like this.
Dylan: And I think coming out of this strange time, we’re looking to sustain and strengthen that SACS spirit. And we’re looking to do as much as we can to bring the community together. That’s going to be a big part of what we do over the next few months.
So far in 2020, do you feel there has been a strong sense of community among students during this strange Coronavirus era or was that damaged?
Jess: It was definitely really difficult to have that sense of community when we were all learning from home. But the teachers and staff and all the students tried their best to stay in touch. We’d spend recess and lunch chatting on Teams together.
Dylan: And coming out of that online period, I saw a lot more people trying harder to keep up that culture of checking in with people, even when we were back at school. I’m really happy to see that that is something we’ve sustained.
How have you seen that sustained?
Dylan: You get the sense that people want to listen more. They appreciate more that other people are there. It’s not something we take for granted anymore. Every day when I go to school now, I’m excited because I get to see people face–to–face! We now know it could quickly be so different.
What makes SACS a special school?
Jess: On one of my first days at school at the end of the day, there was a guy in front of me on the stairwell. We were all rushing to get out the door and this guy tripped and fell. And I went to try to help him up but in doing so I fell down too! And then the girl behind me also tripped up trying to help us! So the three of us all bonded a bit over being helpless. This helped me to understand the values of the school – it wasn’t just the school telling people to help each other, but it was the students who embodied that and valued that.
Dylan: Students are so willing to help each other. They make sure that everyone feels included and informed about what’s going on. That’s something that has only been reinforced the more that I spend time here.