Embracing Leadership and Impact

Embracing Leadership and Impact

by Jacquie Pender, Elementary School Principal

Leadership has always been an important part of our learning program and guiding statements at YIS. Often when leadership comes to mind, we think about positional leadership. However, through our Impact Strategy we aim to empower all members of our learning community to embrace leadership dispositions and opportunities that will have a positive impact and make a difference, not only within our school community but beyond. We want our students to be able to articulate their impact and know how it has made a difference.

A team of highly experienced teachers from across the school; Andrew Hutton, Sam Abernethy, Susie Clifford, Jeremie Rostan, Virginia Zamora-Lopez, Jay Brownrigg and Larissa Sears worked together to examine data that had been collected over a period of time from the school community in order to develop and refine the planned actions that will guide our learning around leadership over the coming years.

Some of our youngest leaders: Members of this years Elementary School Student Council pose for a photograph

The Leadership and Impact focus area is for all students to have the skills, knowledge, understandings and dispositions to make an impact through leadership.  After much conversation and reflection the team identified four areas that will serve as guidance and evidence in creating a sense of Leadership and Impact for all students: 

  • Students choose to act in a way that makes a positive difference for others in our community and beyond
  • Students identify growth and goals to increase their leadership impact
  • Students actively apply their learning to support leadership growth in others
  • Students contribute to the development of appropriate policies and decision making

Library Council members show leadership through their reading sessions with Gr. 5 students

In recent years, our school has been actively cultivating leadership expectations and pathways for our teaching staff. Recognizing the significance of this initiative, our Impact Strategy Team believes it is equally crucial to extend the development of leadership skills to our students, empowering them to recognize their own growth and development. The establishment of leadership expectations and pathways serves to clearly define and provide guidance for the explicit teaching of leadership skills.


Gr. 12 IBDP students demonstrate leadership in action by hosting a concert entirely planned and delivered by senior students

The Leadership and Impact strand encompasses various aspects of our program, including Service Learning, Student Councils, Sports and Athletics, and class-based projects. As indicated in the aforementioned evidence of impact points, a specific focus moving forward is to encourage student participation in key school policy development and review processes. Our overarching goal with the Impact Strategy is to create diverse opportunities for students to assume a variety of leadership roles and provide them with numerous avenues for doing so.


This is the fifth article in a series of five articles about the five pillars of our Impact Strategy.