Student Leadership

Student Leadership

Prophetic leaders who are courageous, inclusive, counter cultural, authentic, and hope filled

We aspire to:

nurture opportunities for students to acquire, demonstrate and deploy leadership skills

utilise the principle of subsidiarity;  purposefully building and empowering future leaders

foster visionary, vibrant and visible leaders that are inspiring, encouraging and personify excellence

focus on leadership for improvement

Student Leadership at St. Joseph’s College, Echuca is a service carried out within the context of our College Vision Statement, and the Core Values of the Kildare Ministries.  Leaders need to understand and be committed to these values:

  • Compassion – Walking with and having empathy for all
  • Hope – Bringing a sense of purpose
  • Hospitality – Welcoming all
  • Courage – Speaking and acting with integrity
  • Wonder – Celebrating all that is good with joy and gratitude
  • Justice – Making the needs of the vulnerable paramount

Introduction

Jesus Walks on the Water   (Matt  14: 22-33)

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

This Gospel reading is set on a lake in a distant land. In the unfolding drama the characters of the story are called into a deeper relationship with Jesus.  As the full force of nature is described in this story the full force of Jesus’ identity and power is revealed to those who chose to follow him.

Throughout this story, which reveals God’s power and human longing there is a struggle for Peter between courage and fear.  Jesus challenges him to trust and move forward. To do so, he is required to leave solid ground and secure foundations.  Jesus calls Peter to embark on a journey into unknown territory and unchartered waters.  Central to this call is Jesus’ request for Peter to let go of his fear and doubt which holds him back. Peter is finally enabled by Jesus who holds him as he conquers an enormous and unimaginable challenge.

Seeing this, the crowd bows down before Jesus; having experienced a sacred moment of God’s loving presence.  The crowd has been somehow transformed by what they have experienced.

Like Peter, we too are all called to discipleship and to be agents of change in our world. The story we have heard today ignites in us this call once again. As Leaders in our College we are called to work toward a common journey in our College Community.

Rationale

At St. Joseph’s College, Student Leaders work in service of our College Community with the aim to contribute positively to the flourishing of all its members. Student leaders are encouraged to be prophetic and courageous leaders who are authentic, service oriented, inclusive and hope- filled.  Leadership is exercised in all areas of our College life. It is important, therefore,  that we offer opportunities for all students to develop leadership  skills. We intend to provide students across the College with opportunities in formation and skill development to exercise leadership that reflects democratic processes.

In line with the Sandhurst COSSI recommendations for Student Leadership in Catholic Schools we intend to promote and provide the following:

  • Leadership formation opportunities that are embedded in the learning and teaching program so that all students progress in their understanding of themselves as leaders in the school community and beyond.
  • Students leading across dimensions of school life – in Catholic identity, learning and teaching, pastoral wellbeing and in the stewardship of resources.
  • Students recognizing that they are valued contributors to decision making in the school and encouraged to participate in school improvement, school review and future planning.
  • Inclusive, collaborative and distributed leadership models forming the basis for student leadership in the Catholic school.
  • Student leadership roles that are defined carefully to ensure that they are developed in a way that will serve the school community and provide opportunities for service and representation across a wide group of students and at all year levels.
  • In line with our values, formal leadership roles are available to a broad range of students with appointment to these roles being made after a period of discernment rather than by popular vote.
  • Formation in leadership that is available to all students and embedded in the learning and teaching program.
  • Targeted training that provides for Student Leaders who take on specific roles or responsibilities.

In our formal Student Leadership Structure, students are encouraged, in a variety of ways, to develop and exercise leadership. Many opportunities are available to students from Years 7 to 12.  Where a student holds an official Student Leadership Position, they are provided with the appropriate skills and formation in order to successfully act in the capacity of that leadership role.

Senior Student Leadership Program Goals

The Student Leadership program aims to enhance student development by reinforcing commitment to the Kildare Ministries Values and by fostering a connectedness to school, peers and community by:

  • Providing a framework for the development of a variety of the mental, social and physical wellbeing of the students involved
  • Enhancing the personal and life skills of students involved in the program
  • Strengthening the relationships between students at different year levels
  • Creating a leadership path for students in lower levels
  • Developing organisational, decision-making, communication, interpersonal and team building skills in those undertaking leadership positions
  • Providing the opportunity for positive peer role-modelling
  • Establishing a process for leadership selection that emphasises the importance of the leadership role in the school community and provides a nurturing, transparent and consistent process of selection in an environment that provides interested students the confidence to demonstrate their talents.

The Senior Student Leadership

House Captain x 12

House Captains, with the support of staff, are responsible for the organisation of all Houses and associated House events.

Middle Level Student Leadership

House Vice Captain  x 12

House Vice Captains, work in conjunction with the House Captains and with the support of staff.  They are responsible for assisting in the organisation of all House events.

Junior House Captain  x 12

Junior House Captains, work in conjunction with the House Captains, House Vice Captains and with the support of staff.  They are responsible for assisting in the organisation of all House events

Beacon Leader  x 6

Beacon Leaders, work with the Campaspe Cohuna Local Learning & Employment Network to foster and develop career pathways and connections for all students.

Other Leadership Positions

These groups include:  Social Justice Groups (JAG, JIM, Justice and Democracy), Fire Carriers and Beacon Leaders (Year 10 only).