Experience

Springer: Take time for yourself

Jan Garrison
 

'Recover to Discover'

 

August 18, 2021

With the 2021-2022 school year at Culver Academies only a few days old, CGA Senior Prefect Jenna Springer (Indianapolis) wanted to emphasize the need for leaders in the first rotation to “Recover to Discover.”

She told the girls gathered for the inaugural CGA Leader Induction ceremony on Aug. 12 that she wanted them to be sure and set aside time for themselves.

“In order for you to be your best self and to lead by example, you have to make sure that you give yourself some self-care and reflection time,” Springer said. “Find something that gives you passion and fire or something that calms you down and keeps you relaxed.”

Springer added that her counselor Jill Behling has helped her find “meditations and other mechanisms that worked for me” and her friends have encouraged her to “give myself some time when they could tell I was burning myself out.”

With the focus starting to turn away from COVID protocols, she told the new leaders to embrace the challenges they may face “with a positive and constructive attitude and know that you are not alone in your leadership journey.” There are girls who have held your position before, she said, so lean on them for advice. “Let’s remember that we are in this together, so let’s support each other, pick each other up when needed, and also learn and apply the different experiences we have acquired from followership to leadership.”

With Culver Girls Academy celebrating it’s 50th anniversary, Springer added it is important to remember “how far we’ve come” since the inclusion of girls at the boarding school. Everyone needs to stop and reflect on their past experiences so they can “fully move on and apply what we have learned to present and future lives and experiences.”

Dean of Girls M. Lynn Rasch ’76 sounded a similar theme, telling the new CGA leaders that “we will take time to look back to where we have been as a school, concentrate on the here and now, and explore what we can do to strengthen our leadership program further and continue to improve our school for the future. Together, we will look to the future and begin to design CGA’s path for the next 50 years.”

 

New CGA leaders watch as the rest of the girls receive their name tags.

 

“You are leading CGA into the next century,” Rasch added. “What lasting impression do you wish to leave upon our school? How will you motivate and guide others? What is your vision for your leadership role this school year?”

The 2020-2021 school year faced the “significant challenge” of forging through a pandemic year. “We were one of the few schools in the nation that had an in-person education the entire year,” she said. “Thank you for contributing to our success and being determined to make it the best year it could be.”

And, as Culver returns to a “more normal school year,” Rasch said, “I want us to raise the standards and expectations for our ourselves and for our school. We need all of you to model the way.”

She asked the girls to be role models for the younger students who look up to them “and want to be like you. Be conscious of how your spoken words, actions or social media posts can uplift an individual or cause hurt.”

“Take a moment to think back to your first days at Culver and what it felt like to be nervous, unsure, and perhaps scared. Now think of that student – or adult – who helped you when you needed guidance or encouragement or needed a listening ear.”

She asked them to “take a moment” to offer that same kindness and listening ear to a new student – CGA or CMA – when they need someone to talk to.

“You are an extremely talented group of leaders. I challenge you make this a historic year for our school, make a difference on campus for you Culver brothers and sisters. Take time to take care of yourselves and be kind to others.”

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