Grade 9 Emerging Leader – Gabby Shaw

Originally from Oakville, Ontario, Gabby moved to Windsor nine years ago and has grown up in the halls of our Junior School since Grade 6. While Gabby has always showed her potential to be a leader, this year has been a breakthrough one for her as she has been engaged in all aspects of student life and is someone that our students look up to and our staff can count on. While Gabby has made a name for herself on the basketball court as the youngest ever member of the prep girls basketball team, her contributions in the Junior School extend far beyond the sidelines of the athletic centre. Whether it be stepping up in August to be a part of our Junior School welcome crew or more recently co-hosting our newest Junior School initiative, Highlanders TV, Gabby consistently shows initiative, is willing to take risks, and has a warm personality that allows her to connect with both students and staff alike.

What does leadership mean to you?
To me, leadership is about looking out for people and letting them know they have a friend. I think leaders have an awareness of others and don’t just think about themselves. Also, it’s doing things that other people might not think to do but then realise they can after seeing it happen.

What qualities are important for a leader to have?
Confidence is really important because you need to have the ability to speak out and step up when it’s needed. A second thing is definitely kindness. A lot of times it's easy for kids our age to be rude or think only about themselves, so leaders are the ones who show kindness.

How would others describe you as a leader?
That’s a hard question, and I’m not sure how people would describe me, but I hope they would say I’m honest, funny, and am someone who cares about others.

What are some areas of leadership you hope to develop as you grow at King’s-Edgehill School?
I’d like to keep looking for ways to make school better. I want to be aware of issues and do things that make it more enjoyable for everyone.

From your perspective, how important is diversity and different perspectives when it comes to leadership?
I think representation and different voices are really important when talking about leadership. If people only ever see the same types of people or the same perspectives it can be hard to relate. If people see leaders that look like them or have similar experiences as they do it gives them the confidence to know they can be leaders too.

Who is someone you look up to as a leader? Why?
Definitely my mom because she reminds me of the importance of kindness. She’s always a leader in everything she does. She inspires me and I want to impact others like she does.

Even though you are the only junior on the prep basketball team, how do you show leadership in that setting?
Honestly, I don’t really think of myself as the youngest, but more just like anyone else on the team. Even though I might not be a formal leader like a captain or senior, I still try to show leadership at practice by being positive and bringing lots of energy that my teammates can feed from.

What has been an important lesson you’ve learned throughout your time in the Junior School, and what advice would you give to a new student?
Don’t always do the things the other people are doing because it’s okay to do what you want to do even if it goes against the crowd. I remember wanting to do something that looked fun at Winter Carnival in Grade 6, but because my friends didn’t want to I didn’t. I wish I would have, but I know if it happened now I would do it anyway and they (a new student) should do the same.

What are your goals for the rest of this year and the future?
I want to be someone that everyone in the Junior School knows, feels comfortable asking questions to, and that I can help them and be their friend.

Rory Campbell
Junior School Faculty
Basketball & Rugby Coach

Atl Cdn Scholarship
King’s-Edgehill School is located in Mi'kma'ki, the unceded ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq People.