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Seniors undertake leadership role on campus

On Feb. 23, the seniors of St. Martin’s Episcopal School will have an opportunity to experience a professional career. They have the choice to shadow any teacher, administrator, maintenance worker, or other faculty member.

Upper School English and Creative Writing Teacher Christopher Shipman sees Senior Leadership Day as a time for seniors to see their school in different way.

“Doing this at the school that a lot of them have been a part of since the George Cottage, (it helps them) to get a different look at the community they have been a part of,” Shipman said. “Instead of just being a student, they have to go to the other side and see what it’s like on the other side.”

Senior Diego Ortega chose to be Head of Upper School Kevin Weatherill for a day.

“I didn’t want to be a teacher,” Ortega said. “I also thought I was closest with Dr. Weatherill. I also thought it would be a really cool way to experience Senior Leadership Day. The typical thing most seniors do is they pick a teacher. I thought I only have one chance, so I might as well see it in a different way.”

While there is a lot of fun on Senior Leadership Day, Upper School Spanish Teacher Alexandra Simon believes the purpose of Senior Leadership Day is to expose the students to professional life.

“The purpose of Senior Leadership Day is to provide hands-on and real-life experiences for our seniors in different positions throughout St. Martin’s and to give them a taste of what the real world is like,” Simon said.

Senior Rimi Mandal is going to remember Senior Leadership Day as a time where she gets to experience someone else’s career.

“I’m going to remember this as learning from a professional who has been at this for a while,” Mandal said. “If you actually like the job they have, you can pursue that career or go on a different path.”

For Ortega, he will have unique experience this Senior Leadership Day because he is not shadowing a teacher.

“I have to lead a leadership meeting,” Ortega said. “All the administrative heads meet on Fridays, and it’s usually Dr. Weatherill who leads it. I am going to be leading it this time. I’m kind of excited but at the same time nervous.”

Though the seniors will have the opportunity to learn many things, many don’t fully appreciate the opportunity they are given, according to Simon.

“I feel like there is more room for the seniors to be more appreciative of Senior Leadership Day,” Simon said. “I think it tends to be an activity that after it’s over has a lot of reflection. They are able to gain a lot from it, but maybe going into it, they don’t really understand how important and eventful it’s going to be for them.”

For at least one senior, this is a moment he will never forget.

“It’s really cool that I’m the senior this time,” Ortega said. “Not only is it an experience where I get to learn how to be a leader, it’s a milestone that shows where I’ve come from and that I’m about to embark on the next step of my life.”

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