by Amy Baez, Staff Writer, May 2022
With the abundance of clubs and organizations that comprise the school community, leadership opportunities are often accessible to those who are interested. However, how does the selection process work with deciding who fits which role best?
Whether it is up to a community vote, or filling out an application evaluated by faculty, what criteria are being sought out? Who qualifies for certain positions, and what is done afterwards when the leaders are chosen?
Aside from senior prefects, there are many ways for Class II students to lead and represent their grade next year. Before March Break, Class II Dean Cameron Marchant sent out two emails. One was a class wide vote for senior prefects and members of the Disciplinary Committee (DC). The second email was a Google Form with a few questions asking which leader positions interested Class II students.
Marchant said, “The goal of that process is to distribute leadership amongst students in the rising senior class. By virtue of that, the groups benefit and [don’t] overload students with leadership positions.”
Class I leadership positions include the Experiential and Community Engaged Learning (EXCEL) Travel Advisory, EXCEL Service, Middle School and Upper School Mentors, Peer Help Program (PHP), and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) student advisory board. All rising seniors are encouraged to apply, and become a core leader for these teams that make Nobles a safe and receptive space.
When the votes and applications are submitted, the adults of the community read through them. The DC, since it goes through a peer voting aspect, receives input from the adults of the community of who actually fits the criteria. The person who receives the most votes does not automatically get the role.
Unlike the DC, Student Life Council (SLC), or senior prefects, the other groups of core leadership follow a standard application process. The submissions are read by faculty who run their respective organizations and they discuss final decisions without a student ote.
The first step of the selection process begins with the faculty leader reviewing all the submissions of the core leader applications. Three lists are made after: students who are interested in the leadership positions, students who aren’t, and a neutral list of students who didn’t list a given position as their first choice but still would accept it. .
After each faculty leader makes their lists, they come together to discuss which student leaders they think would be the best candidates for their group. EXCEL Faculty Laura Yamartino said, “Ideally we’re finding someone who is excited about EXCEL who has either gone on EXCEL trips, are going to do them, or even [who doesn’t] have a lot of connection to the program.”
Besides showing interest in being a leader for a certain organization, faculty pay attention to the character of the student. The faculty leaders typically know the students by working with them throughout the school day. An important factor each faculty leader pays close attention to is whether the student is open to trying new things and learning new things.
Yamartino said, “For my specific group, experience and enthusiasm are really great criteria I’m looking for.” Before each faculty leader decides on a student leader, they first make sure their chosen cohort represents their group well. “Balancing groups is a defining factor,” Yamartino said whenhen she mentioned how having a diverse team of different personality, gender, and experience is crucial to having a successful core leadership.
The DC, on the other hand, which goes through a voting process, is dealt with differently. The Disciplinary Committee handles cases of students who have allegedly violated community principles. Instead of a streamlined application, Marchant believes that class votes are important. He said, “Student input is valuable in validating any students standing amongst their peers.”
Similar to the core leadership positions for Class I, Marchant said, “The qualities we look for in someone who is going to serve in the DC are high moral character, and somebody whose behavior, speech, and time at Nobles is consistent with Nobles community principles.” Those principles include honesty, respect for others, and respect for themselves.
Leadership positions are open to all juniors at Nobles, as long as interest and dedication are obvious. When elaborating on the importance of providing many leadership positions for Class I, Marchant said, “A variety of avenues for students to lead is important because students have various interests and strengths that might lend themselves to certain groups.”
Having a diversity of opportunities leads to a diversity of leaders—a much needed element of the school community. This not only creates an inclusive environment, but also provides a chance for many students to develop and improve their leadership skills. The many leadership opportunities are overall beneficial to both the leader and the community they are supporting.