Class XII Leadership Retreat

SEPTEMBER 20, 2022

At the start of every September, Class XII ventures off-campus for a full-day leadership retreat to kick off the year. The day consists of programming curated by the class co-presidents that is equal parts thoughtful, intentional, fun, and inspiring. Julia D. ’23 and Annique B-A ’23, this year’s Class XII co-presidents, took on the day with joy and aplomb. Of particular note: they hand wrote personalized notes to every member of the class that were included with the presentation of their senior shirt.

Heading into retreat, Annique and Julia wanted their classmates to have time to reflect on what being in the Class of 2023 means to them and what it means to the rest of the school. Annique shared, “We are a pretty close class and we generally know what we all want our class to be within the context of the greater Nightingale community, but we have never sat down and had an actual discussion about it.”

Julia continued, “Something I love about our class is that we care deeply about one another and about Nightingale as an institution. We all want the best for our senior year and are excited to make meaningful, fun memories together as a class, and we also want to make Nightingale the best it can be. There is a spirit, sense of community, and closeness to our class that is hard to find elsewhere. As cheesy as it sounds, moments like the retreat where we come together as an entire grade make me so grateful for the mini family we have formed together—we are so supportive of one another and have grown so much both as a class and as individual members of it. The activities and conversations from the retreat reminded us that working together, we are capable of so much, and it also gave us the opportunity for quality time as a grade as we start our last year together.”

Back at school this week, Julia and Annique agreed that the retreat helped their class have a more solidified sense of who they are as leaders of the Upper School. It also gave them a chance to talk about how important traditions are to their class. Annique noted, “Our class is in the unique place of being the only current grade who knows what the Upper School was like pre-COVID. Since COVID hit there have been many changes in traditions and the general environment of the Upper School, especially relating to inter-grade bonding. We’ve all been trying to bring the Upper School back to its pre-COVID self and there was a lot of discussion on how to accomplish this and also allow space for new ideas and traditions.”

Another key aspect of the retreat is establishing the class’s definition of leadership. They worked closely with each other, Ms. Foster-Hinds, and Mr. Burke to ultimately bring together all of their voices into one unified statement. For the Class of 2023, leadership is, “valuing traditions of the past, celebrating the present, and seizing the opportunities of the future.”

“What resonates with me about our class’s definition of leadership is that it captures the urgency of the present moment, while still thinking broadly about Nightingale years from now. It speaks to our ability to recognize that the impact of our leadership can extend far beyond our time at Nightingale,” Julia said.