Jags Leap into Leadership

Jags Leap into Leadership

Great leaders are not born, but made. Nurtured, encouraged, and supported, children of all ages can develop the skills and growth mindset necessary to taking the lead in any situation. The concept of leadership and how to further foster it in our community has been at the forefront of the start of the new school year at Wellington.

The first Monday after classes began marked two special occasions in Wellington history. Dr. Jeff Terwin was officially inducted as the 6th head of school. In his address to the entire student body, faculty members, and honored guests, Dr. Terwin expressed his gratitude and humility in taking on this new venture. He also reflected on Wellington’s founding mission to challenge the traditional, standardized education model.

“We must consider the founders who willed this school into being,” he said. “They knew something better was possible and necessary. We can all celebrate with them, as we welcome the largest group of students to campus, with a new enrollment of 694. It is a gift that I get to step into this important role, to help build on that legacy.”

The gathering also included a new school tradition called The Leap. Intended as a fun celebration to open the school year, the event name is playful take on the fact that a group of jaguars is called a leap.

“We are excited to enter into a new annual tradition at Wellington, the Leap,” Dr. Terwin said. “As we identify and reaffirm our collective vision and purpose, we are also reminded that no two spots on a jaguar are identical. We will each bring our own perspective and unique talents to the priorities we identify. With that in mind, we are excited to welcome many new jags to our leap.”

To further emphasize the importance of leadership in the school community, this week seniors were invited to a reception in Dr. Terwin’s office as a launching point for their year ahead as Wellington’s top student leaders. Invited guests included parents of seniors who were members of the board or faculty, each was asked to dispense short words of wisdom to the graduating class for their journey ahead.

Board Member Hana Abdelbaki P ‘18 ‘20 ‘22: (in Arabic) Clean shoes means no dirty.
Board Member Tonda Adinsingh P ‘16 ‘20 ‘24: Chance favors the prepared.
Board Member Judy Chester P “16 ‘18 ‘20: This is the bell lap.
Board Member Jim Croft P ‘17 ‘20 ‘22: Don’t forget to call home.
Board Member John Marshall P ‘20 ‘22: We will always be family.
On behalf of Board Member Bob Wheeler, Kelley Wheeler P ‘20 ‘22 ‘25: People are what bring joy.
Board Member Doug Anderson P ‘08 ‘11 ‘15 ‘20: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Lower School French Teacher Patty Hans P ‘17 ‘20: (In French) Look outside yourselves, invite joy.
Middle School Physical Education Teacher Dave Herrick P ‘20: Live in the moment.
Senior Class President Neha Rao ‘20: Be happy, unified, and fearless.
Head of Upper School Rishi Raghunathan P ‘27 ‘30: You got this.
Upper School English Teacher and Senior Dean Drew Eberly: This is not a drill.
Head of School Dr. Jeff Terwin: Amir says, just keep swimming.

The social was aquatic-themed, with refreshments related to all things fish, a clever reference to Dr. Terwin’s advice. “In life, there will be ups and downs, or waves,” he explained. “The next hurdle you encounter, push through...just keep swimming.”

For the Class of 2020, these valuable life lessons will help shape their final year in upper school as well as impact the legacy they will leave behind for future Wellington Jaguars. In the words of John Marshall P ‘20 ‘22, though, we will always be family.

For more photos, visit Vidigami.