School spirit award winner’s five steps to success

A former student leader has returned to Blackfriars to issue an important call to action.

Addressing last week’s Laureate Assembly, 2021 Head Prefect Lewis Saint called on current Blackfriars students to consistently strive to demonstrate outstanding school spirit.

The assembly, normally held in Term 1, but pushed back this year due to covid, celebrates the 2021 graduates who achieved an ATAR of 90 or above, as well as the 2022 scholarship recipients.

2021 Head Prefect and Blessed Jordan of Saxony School Spirit Award winner Lewis Saint addresses the Laureate Assembly.

“I’m not afraid to share that, unlike these boys, I did not achieve an ATAR above 90, nor did I receive any merits,” Lewis told the assembly.

“But I like to think, or I hope, at least, that my success last year can be measured, and that I can be remembered, in a different way. One of those ways might be being awarded the Blessed Jordan of Saxony School Spirit Award for 2021.”

The Jordan of Saxony School Spirit Award recognises the Blackfriars student who most aptly demonstrates attitudes and behaviours that promote the four pillars of Dominican life – Prayer, Study, Community and Service. It is the pinnacle of all school awards.

“Quite often you hear the term ‘natural-born leader’ thrown around,” Lewis said.

“But, like a lot of things, I believe leadership is taught. You are not born knowing how to walk, or play the guitar, or kick a footy. You learn it. And leadership is no different.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have so many amazing role models in my life to show me what it means to be a leader. I’m simply just a copycat of them all. And hopefully I’m a copycat that’s been able to teach one or two of you a few things so that now you can go and do the same.”

Lewis, who also won the City of Prospect’s 2022 Active Citizenship Award in recognition of his leadership at Blackfriars, said all students should strive to demonstrate outstanding school spirit.

“For me, winning the school spirit award was not even on my mind,” he said. “But I think it should be. If every student strived to be the recipient of the school spirit award, our school would be a very positive place to be.”

Principal David Ruggiero welcomes Lewis back to Blackfriars.

He shared his five key steps to developing outstanding school spirit.

  • Step 1 is simple, just be a good person. Every single person in this room is different and no one expects you to get along with everyone. But just be kind, be patient and don’t put others down.
  • Step 2, listen. You can learn a hell of a lot when you genuinely listen. Listen to your teachers, to your family, your friends. Everyone has their own story and opinion that’s worth your time of day.
  • Step 3, have a positive attitude. School is what you make it. You can choose to complain about homework, about waking up early, doing subjects that you might not always enjoy. Or you can choose to tackle the challenges with a positive attitude, enjoy the hard work and enjoy the time spent with your mates.
  • Step 4, get involved in as much as you can. The school has so many amazing opportunities for you. Make the most of it while you can. Play that sport that you’ve always wanted to play, join the team that you’ve always wanted to join. You really have nothing to lose.
  • The 5th and final step is do what works for you. At the end of the day, we’re all on our own journeys, so listen and take in what I’ve said, but, ultimately, go and do things your way.

He also had some final words for his fellow Class of 2021 graduates: “My only hope for now is that you’re doing something that you love, because, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters; that you’re chasing your interests and your passions and you’re doing what, in your mind, you know you want to do.”


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