Our latest Emerging Leader is West Hants’ very own Sierra Phillips, who, in just her first year at KES, has made a tremendous impact on our Grade 9 class and our entire Junior School community. Sierra is known for her fun-loving spirit and her focused and diligent work in class. An exceptional athlete, Sierra has been a contributor on the soccer field, basketball court, and now the rugby pitch! Always one to lend a helping hand, Sierra is a regular member of our volunteer programme and recently gave up her weekend to help paint the set for our upcoming Junior School production of The Lion King Jr! With only a few school months left, her teachers and peers alike know that they can depend on her leadership as we have a strong end to the academic year.
What does leadership mean to you?
To me, kindness is the most important thing. As a leader, you need to be kind and show kindness to everyone. Taking time to ask someone how their day is going or even a simple smile can go a long way in making someone feel more comfortable. I think leaders are also able to help others achieve their goals, but you need to be respectful, positive, and honest with people.
What are skills that leaders need?
I think leaders need confidence but also awareness of others. If you are walking by someone and they are struggling or need help, a leader needs to recognize that and stop and offer to lend them a hand. Even if you don’t know the person that well, by taking the time to check in with them could really make a difference.
How would people describe you as a leader?
I think I have a funny but strict approach. My friends and teammates know that I can have a good time and have fun, but that I also will be serious when I need to be. Also, people know they can trust me because I never talk behind people’s backs, and they know I’m not interested in gossip or anything that would put other people down.
Who is someone you look up to as a leader?
Gabby Shaw is someone I’ve always looked up to. I got to know her through basketball and even though we didn’t really talk very much at first, our relationship has been building and building and she has helped me achieve so much even just in basketball. She inspires and motivates me to do and be my best.
As someone who is new at our School, what has been a challenge and a positive that you’ve encountered in your leadership journey?
A challenge has been adjusting to the demands we have at school and outside of school. For example, we obviously have a lot of homework and things for class, but then in the evenings I also have outside commitments like basketball or other friends that I want to make time for too. A positive thing though has been meeting and being around so many motivated people. I look around school and I don’t see followers, but I see leaders who want to be better so that helps me want to do the same thing.
What are your goals moving forward?
My biggest focus is to just do my best and if I can do that I hope I can earn an honours tie by the end of the year. I want to keep making my grandmother and parents proud of the work I do in classes. Outside of academics, I’d like to work my way up to the highest level of basketball I can so I can continue to challenge myself and grow as a player.
Junior School Faculty
Basketball & Rugby Coach