At Monroe, we often talk about servant leadership, introducing the senior year with a retreat on leadership and service. My choice for student of the week this week has exemplified this leadership during her time here at Monroe.
In the beginning, assuming a new leadership position can be exhilarating, as you receive the accolades of friends, peers, and parents. The thrill of having people look to you for solutions or for advice can be an overwhelming honor, filling one with joy. This is the side of leadership that most often enters the mind when one imagines being a leader – that and, of course, the phenomenal cosmic power. Whether class president or CEO of a company, that initial euphoria fades as you either learn the servant nature of leadership, or quickly loose the rank to which you have risen.
Servant leadership can be lonely, and, sometimes, frustrating as you try to balance the needs and desires of your various constituents, all of whom have demands, some of which might be at odds. As class president, you must perfectly balance the spinning demands of your peers, tradition, your parents, your advisor, and the intractable administration all at the same time. Complicating this complex balancing act is the fact that sometimes meeting the demands of one group will harm – or even infuriate – another. Some of the demands are impossible and sometimes they are selfish. Sometimes, the demands are needs, and you have to do your best. All the while, you are a human being with your own flaws, your own homework, and your own goals and dreams.
Jordyn Sager, the senior class president, is my pick for student of the week. For the last several years, I have seen her support her classmates – nearly all of them – with very little acclaim and with humility. I have seen her come to my office to plead the case of a peer who was in trouble, to sit daily with a peer who needed help to pass a class, and to argue the desires of her classmates even when she knew I would say no. I have watched her try to find a peaceful compromise solution for a contentious class decision between groups that would not see compromise. All of this, she has done quietly, with humility, and often without thanks.
As principal, what impresses me most is not the public acts of Jordyn Sager as class president, but the quiet, unsung acts as a friend, peer, and servant to her classmates – the servant who would help them understand a problem, write a paper, or find the main idea. Thank you, Jordyn, for doing so much for your class over the years. You have done well.