What is personal excellence?

Posted January 27, 2020 in Opinion By Richard Ryan

In the Summer issue of The Wesleyan, Headmaster Mr Ross Barron looked at the subject of personal excellence. This is what he wrote:

Personal excellence is a topic I have returned to repeatedly as Headmaster.

For me, the ongoing advance toward personal excellence is now an important part of our vocabulary when discussing life at the College. From students to staff, I have spent my first year here ensuring everyone understands what is expected once you are part of this community.

I genuinely believe that if everyone gives their best every day, the already fine foundation we have always had in place at Wesley College will only grow and develop.

However, for some, the idea of aiming for excellence has the potential to be divisive. They assert that ‘excellence’ has an undertone of being elitist, of seeking to help only the most able. That is not how I view it at all.

In my mind, the focus here is on the ‘personal’ in personal excellence. It is about doing the best that you can do.

 

 

We will always celebrate those students who achieve over 99 for their ATAR. That is a given. However, I will celebrate just as equally with a student who worked extremely hard to get to 70 or 80 if they truly gave it their all.

It means we celebrate the students who have taken alternative pathways and left Wesley with a certificate or a job offer.

In addition, it means I will be at the sidelines at Junior School sporting events clapping just as hard for the student who came last, posting their best time ever, as I do for the student who placed first.

It is not elitism; it is pride. It is about instilling a pride to perform, in every arena, with a quiet determination to give it your all.

As Aristotle said, nearly 3000 years ago: ‘excellence is what you repeatedly do’.

This is where we turn to you, the parents. During my first year, it has been an absolute pleasure to get to know you as a community. You have embraced our march toward personal excellence and I want to take a moment to acknowledge your efforts.

Your support and warm welcome have been a huge part of my positive experience this year.

Still, I want to encourage you to speak freely. If you like something we’re doing, then please let us know – we can consider doing more of it. But, importantly, we genuinely welcome constructive feedback. If something could be done differently or better, let’s talk about it.

Excellence comes from all quarters. By working together to celebrate our achievements, to push Wesley College to new heights, we will stride toward our upcoming centenary with renewed optimism.

There are exciting times ahead!

 

To read more articles from Summer 2019 issue of The Wesleyan, please click here.

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