The 2018 Hilton College Head of School or head boy, Stuart Roy, has handed the baton of office to his successor, the 2019 Boys of House leader Cameron Coley.
Towards the end of his time as Head of School I asked Stu what he had learned from his leadership position, what was the highlight of his year and what advice would he like to give to his successors in the 2019 school leadership positions.
“Thank you for the opportunity Mr Cook.
“I have been privileged to have been the Head of School for 2018.
“The experience has allowed me to learn much and grow as an individual.
“This year has had its share of ups and downs. I think I have learnt more from the down times.
“A major point for me has been learning how to deal with a tricky situation effectively but also keep various people satisfied at the same time. I think this has developed my emotional awareness.
“My role has involved a lot of people interaction and consequently I think I have learnt how to deal with people according to who they are.”
Stu there is much food for thought in your response. I will take the time to return to it when I get a chance, as I think there is much I could learn, or at least re-visit.
The constant battle between meeting the needs of others and staying true to oneself – never easy.
Let’s get on to the less tricky stuff, the things that make the difficulties so worthwhile. So Stu, as head of the learner body, what has been your personal highlight of the year?
“Each year, the night before the Hilton vs Michaelhouse rugby and hockey derbies, we have several traditions within the school, Mr Cook.
“It was enriching and thrilling for me in leading these traditions, addressing the boys and seeing their emotional response. This is just one example where I have felt what we call a ‘brotherhood’.
“All my best memories come from the times when it’s been all the boys together. I love seeing boys passionate about their institutions.”
Yes indeed, Stu, there are few more thrilling sight-and-sound moments than a group of our schoolboys as one, in song when supporting their teams.
What would be the one best piece of advice you would give to the head of school of next year and his leadership group? (This interview took place before the 2019 leadership group was announced but is pertinent nevertheless).
“I have learned Mr Cook, that this is a role that can be very demanding: balancing leadership and school work is tough.
“The  leadership group – and those to follow – need to be proactive in order to remain on top of the different challenges that present themselves.
“Most importantly, the leaders should stay true to themselves once they are placed in positions of leadership. They are appointed because of who they are and should not change that.
“In closing, I think something that ties in nicely with this is what my brother once said to me about my role as head boy, “Stu, you are not the leader of the free world”.
“It was his simple way of saying, don’t take yourself too seriously, and remain humble.”
Thanks for that, Stu, I think your brother’s advice serves us all well. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in things, which seem so huge in that moment.
What I [Jono] need to say to myself is, “I’m going to take a step back, step out of this, simplify what actually is happening, then break it down into one-step-at-time and go from there.
I appreciate your time, Stu, best wishes in you further endeavours.
“Thank you Mr Cook. I wish the same for you.”