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Student Story

Student leaders 2019: Head girl, Stephanie Weatherill

"A good leader is someone you not only turn to in a crisis, but also in moments of celebration. They are someone who validates your successes and makes not only others but yourself aware of your contributions, whatever the situation might be. They are someone you turn to for not only guidance, but support and encouragement in your own endeavours."

What does it mean to you to be selected as a student leader?

In short: Amazing. A student leadership position has been something I’ve wanted and worked towards since day one and to not only be blessed with the opportunity of Deputy House Captain last year, but to go on to be Head Girl this year, it’s a dream come true.

In your opinion, what are the traits of a good leader?

A good leader is someone you not only turn to in a crisis, but also in moments of celebration. They are someone who validates your successes and makes not only others but yourself aware of your contributions, whatever the situation might be. They are someone you turn to for not only guidance, but support and encouragement in your own endeavours

What makes ACG Sunderland unique?

Being such a small school, after your first week at ACG Sunderland, you pretty much know everyone by face, if not by name already. It is a wonderful feeling to be a part of a place where Year 13s and Year 7s not only greet each other in the corridor every morning, but stop and talk to each other too.

In addition to the close atmosphere of the students, there is this amazing feeling of everyone working towards the same goal. Whether they admit it or not, every student cares so much about their grades and their classwork, whether they do it for themselves, their families or their teachers. Students may act nonchalant but come exam time, they’ll all be frantically reading their notes in the atrium.

What are you planning to do/study when you leave school and why?

I want to study genetics and creative writing. Genetics has the power to change the world for the better, whether it be a cure for cancer or a potato plant that can grow anywhere, gene technology has astounding capabilities that I can’t wait to help explore.

As for creative writing, I’ve always found that books have an overwhelming power to inform and educate those who read them. To be able to create something that distracts even just one person when they needed it, or comforts them, or provides them with an answer they have been seeking is a truly amazing feat and one I hope to do through literature.

How did it feel to be selected as Head Boy/Girl?

Surreal. I remember the day of the interviews, everyone was so nervous, but I was so excited I couldn’t sit still. I was so genuinely stoked I got the interview, I couldn’t stop smiling for the whole day. In the end I didn’t really mind who got it, because if it wasn’t me, it would have been one out of a group of my closest friends. That being said, when I found out they had chosen me, I was completely over the moon, and to have the support of my friends and family behind me, it was nothing less than spectacular.

What would you like to achieve this year?

As a team, we have so many goals we are already working towards and plan to begin working on in the near future. For me, personally, however, to have students come up and ask questions or tell me about their day or even just saying ‘Hi’ in the corridor would be the ultimate indicator of success. It would prove to me that we, as a team and as a school have built upon the atmosphere that has always been there, creating a place where students feel comfortable to be themselves not just around their close friends, but around everyone they meet.

To achieve that kind of feeling throughout the school would be something to truly be proud of.

What initiatives are on the cards for term one?

We like to keep what we are doing under wraps until it is officially announced to the staff and students, but let’s just say that we have a couple of things in the works that we hope not only the students, but the wider Sunderland community will enjoy.