Ethan Brown has always dreamed of becoming a leader. After testing the waters as house captain for Whenuapai last year, he has extended his leadership responsibilities in his new role as ACG Sunderland Head Boy.
“It’s a position I’ve wanted for a long time, and seeing the effort the Head Girl [Shannon Macdonald] and Head Boy [Jack Feng] put into the community last year inspired me to run for the role,” says Ethan.
“Being Head Boy is an awesome opportunity to learn more about the school community and how its many facets work. I’ll be meeting new people and mastering lots of new skills that will prove invaluable for life – things like time and resource management, communication, problem solving and organisational skills.”
Ethan is relishing the prospect of learning more about the school community, tackling new challenges and increasing participation in ACG Sunderland events.
But while he’s filled with enthusiasm for all the Head Boy role entails, Ethan appreciates the hard work and dedication required to become a great leader.
“I was thrilled when my name was announced, but I also had a feeling of apprehension about whether I’d be able to fulfil my role to a high enough standard and not tarnish the legacy of those who have come before me.”
However, Ethan’s doubts seem unfounded to those who know him. His friendly, approachable nature, combined with his dedication and passion for the school, make him a natural role model.
“I think good communication and organisational skills are very important when it comes to leadership. You need to be adaptable so that you can be the best person for the current situation. You need to be approachable so that students feel they can come to you and ask for help or even just tell you about something cool they’ve done recently.”
The conscientious teen possesses all these qualities and more and believes ACG Sunderland has been instrumental in helping him develop them.
“I’ve learnt so much during my time here – attention to detail, organisation, etiquette, attitude, the list goes on,” explains Ethan, whose favourite subjects are history and design and technology.
“The teachers are always willing to give out advice or encouragement in the form of phrases that soon become their mottos. A big lesson for me is that if you want to rise to the top, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been somewhere; it depends on how much effort you put in.”
During his time at ACG Sunderland, Ethan has made the most of all that’s on offer. He’s enjoyed the small classes, the individualised teaching and the feeling of not getting lost among a sea of students.
His most memorable moment? “It’s a tie between the annual school ski trip and winning the staff versus students swimming relay race for the second year in a row this year. The school spirit shown during those races is a great example of students banding together to cheer for a common cause. Being a part of that was really special.”
With many more highlights undoubtedly still to come, Ethan is excited about embracing all that 2021 brings – and he’s looking forward to encouraging all ACG Sunderland students to do the same.
The high-achiever has the following advice for students dreaming of becoming future leaders.
“Get experience! The difference between having no experience or having just a little can greatly impact how easily you adapt to a leadership role. Captain or coach of a sports team, peer tutor, and associate or primary leader are all good roles in preparing you well for a leadership position. School leadership is a team effort, and so enthusiasm and a willingness to work in groups will make the experience even more fulfilling.”