“Back yourself; respect each individual; nurture, don’t police; be the change you want to see, it’s a powerful thing. And enjoy it.”
These are the phrases that stayed with me when I considered Northwood head of school Cameron Ciaglia’s responses to my questions.
Cam, thanks for your time; what have you learnt about yourself this year?
“Thanks for your interest, sir.
“What I have learnt from being head of the school has to be two things.
“The first is how to work with people.
“It came to my attention very early on in the year that everyone has different personalities, expectations and values and the way you interact and communicate with one person could be totally different to the next.
“In these situations it was important for me to remember that everyone is different and that in order to complete your goals you often have to take different approaches, depending on the person or situation.
“It allowed me to mature and grow, mentally and emotionally.
“The second thing that my position in the school taught me this year was to back myself. You are where you are for a reason and you must start to believe that.
“I always think of the quote, ‘Work until your idol becomes your rival’.
“Well, my school idol never really became a rival, but reaching the position as head of school grew my confidence and allowed me to be in the shoes of my idol and build on what he had left.”
Wise words indeed. Cameron, what policy did you introduce or play a part in that had as its goal a healthier interaction across the student body?
“This year we set a goal to nurture instead of police.
“I feel we exceeded our expectations in this regard, as the entire school vibe changed for the better and was evident in the pride the boys showed, not only in their appearance but also in starting to adopt the qualities of a true Northwood Knight.
So what would you consider to be a personal highlight of your year?
“The culture that was created built an energy best expressed on the sports field, and in doing so leaves my favourite memory as head of school.
“Our Old Boys Day 2018. The pure excitement and passion on the day could bring any Old Boy to tears, and it is one of the many reasons I’m finding it’s so hard to say goodbye to this place I’ve called home.”
Phew, Cameron I’ve got goose bumps reading those words. I was at your Old Boys Day – St Charles College your worthy opponents – and I recognise exactly the sentiments that you have expressed.
It was an electric atmosphere… The passion, I could almost touch it.
So, to wrap it up, from what you have learned as Northwood head of school 2018? What advice would Cameron Ciaglia like to leave with the leadership group of 2019?
“The greatest and most valuable piece of advice I can give to next years’ prefects, and the years after, is that you must just enjoy it.
“Time flies when you are having fun; and if you work together instead of against each other the duty becomes less of a task and more of a will.
“To be the change you want to see is a powerful thing.
“Take every moment you are not only given, but also create, to make your community a better place.
“You are a group of brothers; let your chivalry show and be proud of both your past and future.
“At the end of the day all that really matters is the Blue and the White, you were once a Squire and now you’re a Knight’.”
Tell you what, Cameron, after hearing those words I’m so pumped up at this moment that if you give me a jersey of the Blue and White I promise to give you 30 seconds as a no-impact player.
Any longer would be unwise.
Cameron Ciaglia… once a Squire, now a Knight. Long may you continue to be a proud ambassador for all that being a Northwood Knight means.