I have been in Ottawa this past week, participating in a CAIS Accreditation of a Girls’ School of similar size and with a similar Mission – Inspiring each girl to reach her full potential. Although I miss St. Margaret’s and our girls, I walk through the halls of Elmwood and am reminded that there are many schools committed to providing an exemplary learning environment for girls with a shared goal of helping each girl achieve her personal best.
On Tuesday morning, I had the real pleasure of having breakfast with the Senior Student leaders. Although their titles were somewhat different from our student leaders as SMS, they shared the same stories of successes and had similar aspirations for their futures.
The girls articulated their appreciation for the opportunities they have been provided at Elmwood, and how the School has prepared them for the future. Below is just a sampling of their comments (which wasn't easy to track – they were all eager to share their thoughts and did not hesitate to jump into the conversation):
The School provides me with a rigorous academic program that will help me with the transition to university.
The School pushes me to believe in myself and my abilities and to not shy away from challenges.
Because of the numerous co-curricular opportunities that the school provides, I am a well-rounded individual who values participation and a winning attitude.
The School gives me permission to develop my voice; I am comfortable sharing my opinions with others and feel that I am heard.
The School helps me be comfortable with making mistakes and, in fact, helps me understand that making mistakes is part of learning.
The School provides me with a safe place to explore my passions, push my thinking and to personalize the learning experience to meet my needs.
Although the faces were different and the school setting far from home, I was astounded that these are the same goals we have for our girls at St. Margaret’s. These are the things I believe will ensure our girls are future leaders who will be able to influence the world around them. I am excited about returning home and sharing these stories with the SMS community. This experience has also reminded me that we are not alone in our goals for our girls and that we can build a network of support with other girls' schools in Canada.