Class XII Leadership Retreat

SEPTEMBER 29, 2023

Undeterred by a heatwave in September, Class XII eagerly participated in the annual Senior Leadership Retreat during their first week of school. The full-day event takes place off-campus and consists of a variety of programming that serves to set the tone for the year ahead.

Heading into the retreat, Class XII Co-Presidents Bella D. ’24 and Lexie B. ’24 had several hopes for the day. “We hoped the retreat would provide the senior class with an opportunity to come together and reflect on the moments that had led us to senior year while also imagining the endless possibilities for our last academic year. We wanted it to be a bonding experience, creating meaningful memories for everyone and strengthening our collective identity. Additionally, we wanted the retreat to encourage reflection on the legacy we intended to leave behind. It was a chance to engage in discussions and activities that would help us define our roles and impact as seniors. We wanted the retreat to serve as a positive kickoff, with each senior leaving feeling inspired, having witnessed the growth of their peers, and with a sense of unity as we prepared to embark on our senior year with purpose and a shared sense of ownership,” Bella shared.

To begin, Bella and Lexie gathered their class in a circle with a ball of yarn. One by one, every student selected a fellow classmate to share words of appreciation with and then tossed the ball of yarn to them. As the yarn made its way back and forth and across the circle, a giant web began to form, representing the many ways that the Class of 2024 is connected through their gratitude for each other.

Students also participated in a series of workshops led by ProCom members. With Associate Head of Upper School Ms. Trotta, students dug into future thinking, inspired by the book Imaginable by Jane McGonigal (and one of the options for ProCom to read this summer). With Director of Institutional Advancement Elizabeth “Oz” Oswald and Director of Alumnae Relations Emily Bronstein, students learned about what the transition from being a student to a graduate entails and engaging with the alum network beyond the blue doors.

The culminating activity of the day was the grade-wide collaboration on their definition of leadership. Initially, the class was broken up into four groups who brainstormed and selected their own definition of leadership. Those four groups then became two and again, a new definition was agreed upon. Finally, the two groups collapsed and the entire grade was then tasked with creating their final definition of leadership—what will become their Class XII motto. With only a little over an hour to complete the entire exercise, the Class of 2024 proudly shared: “Leadership is reflecting on the past, engaging with the present, and constructing the future.”

For Lexie, the class motto resonates with her personally. “Having studied at Nightingale since Kindergarten, I appreciate our class’s choice to include past, present and future in our definition of leadership. We mirrored the change and growth our Schoolhouse has passed through over the past thirteen years, and our hope that it will continue to do so after we graduate this spring,” she said.