This Mod has provided me with a really interesting added bonus: partnering with Satinder Parmar '17 in his Capstone project about leadership. When Satinder initially approached me, he proposed shadowing me and learning a bit about what I do as head of school.
In further conversations with Satinder and his Capstone adviser, Anjali Bhatia, we discussed expanding the focus of the project to be more about leadership in general, suggesting that he research leadership types, types of organizations and skills of leaders, and encouraging him also to think about his own emerging leadership skills. (Satinder is a co-head of Diversity Committee, a dorm leader in Trapelo, and an officer in the United Students of Color affinity group.)
Since the start of his Capstone, Satinder has observed me leading several meetings (some of which he was also a participant) and I have enjoyed asking him for feedback afterward -- and he has outlined some shrewd observations about my style and actions! His research has included reading Jim Collins’ Good to Great in the Social Sector, providing insights into the differences of leading in a non-profit versus a for-profit organization, and reading John C. Maxwell's Leadership 101 which explores business leadership.
With just over a week to go in our time together, here is what Satinder has to say about his Capstone and our work together:
“This experience is one of the many unique projects I have been able to work on in my years at CSW. And while my Capstone project started off as a funny joke -- to be head of school for a Mod -- it has evolved into developing a legitimate understanding of leadership and management. Through my reading and by shadowing Jane’s day-to-day work and speaking with both her and her assistant, Sherrill, in confidence, I have become fully captivated by the experience. Doing this research has allowed me to improve my own leadership skills and prompted me to plan and think ahead for the future. I still have a lot to learn and understand, but I feel more confident in my understanding of private business success and social-sector (non-profit) leadership.
I thank Jane for this opportunity and am glad that I have had the chance to more deeply understand her multifaceted and complex role as head of school. I am glad my Capstone project has turned into a variable, daily experience, rather than just fitting into one academic block every school day. I look forward to presenting and sharing my Capstone experience with the school community on April 11th."
I must say that, as our time working together comes to a close, I feel as though I have gotten as much out of this project as has Satinder -- his periodic presence here in the head’s office has proved to be a very worthwhile and successful “takeover!"
The Cambridge School of Weston is a day and boarding independent school, located near Boston, for students in grades 9-12 and PG. We offer an innovative and rigorous academic program that fosters critical thought, hands-on experiential learning and deep academic inquiry. Students choose from more than 300 courses through our unique Mod System; no two student schedules are alike.