Humility and Excellence
We are coming to the end of a busy quarter.
When reflecting on all the wonderful activities and achievements of the quarter, what stood out were the variety of activities and the level of excellence achieved.
If I had to single out one highlight this quarter, it has to be the recent staging of the Fair Trade Faire.
As this was my inaugural experience of the annual Faire, I was kept informed of all the stages of planning, student preparations and tasks. While I was updated regularly, I had no idea of the incredible occasion that I would be privileged to witness.
As I type this newsletter and reflect, even after the praise that I gave at the closing of the Faire, my sentiments expressed at the time have not changed. If anything, after the closing of the Faire, I stand in awe of what has been achieved.
So what do I think now?
I tried to find an adjective to describe my feelings. I mentioned that I was in awe, so awesome comes to mind, but the word awesome has been used in such a casual manner these days that it has lost its gravitas.
I could say outstanding, brilliant and superb. These are all applicable, but they did not resonate with me. I finally settled on one word….
- Astonishing – that a young body of students offered such a professional collection of stalls, activities and performances.
- Astonishing – that the Faire, through incredible mentorship by Linda Wilson, our Business Studies teacher, developed and nurtured in our students, vital entrepreneurship talents, self-confidence, project management skills and retail abilities.
- Astonishing – that the students achieved all of this while still doing homework and tests and being teenagers.
- Astonishing – that the Faire was described as “iconic” and life-changing to quote one visiting business leader.
- Astonishing – that the students from a range of ages and backgrounds all bonded and collaborated to work seamlessly together for the greater good of the school, the environment and themselves.
- Astonishing – in that I do not think that the students realize what they had achieved. The students have taken this acclaim in their stride. Being humble in the limelight is an endearing quality and one that I find that we as a school have embraced.
It is the latter point that I wish to expand on.
Whether we are busy with the Faire, learning in class or taking part in extra-murals, recognition for excellence and being in the limelight is not why we at the Bay Academy give of our best. Rather, we excel to prove to ourselves what we are capable of.
In a past letter, Mr. Alan Thompson, past Head of St Andrew’s College, highlighted this quality so eloquently and captured my sentiments perfectly:
“Humility is a sign of strength, not weakness. People with humility possess inner peace. They are modest about their achievements, grounded in their values, and they have nothing to prove to others. They are down to earth, comfortable in their own skin, and quietly proud. Humble people shift their focus from taking to giving, from talking about themselves to listening to others, from hoarding the credit to deflecting the praise, and from being a “know–it-all” to knowing there is so much more in life worth learning. There is no ego, no pretence and certainly no gamesmanship. Humble people are authentic.”
All that remains for me to say is that as Principal, I am very proud of what Linda Wilson our Business Studies teacher achieved, our team of supporting teachers and the students in their astonishing accomplishments and their humility.