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  • Prep Perspectives
Shared Leadership
Robert T. Jordan

Left: President Robert Jordan poses as students complete timed portraits during Olympic week

Recently, I had the opportunity to join the Jesuits and some of my lay colleagues in the Province at Loyola Marymount University for three days of visioning and planning for the future.

It was really my first time since my start at Seattle Prep to be surrounded by so many leaders working on behalf of the Society of Jesus in the western half of our country. I walked away from that experience excited and energized about how we at Prep will support the Jesuit mission in how we deliver education as a ministry of the Society over the next several years. However, beyond all the visioning and planning for the future, I also received some insights in how leadership is animated within an Ignatian context. I was impressed with the diversity of leaders I encountered. I met Jesuits who are involved in key issues of social justice such as immigration and advocacy for the poor and vulnerable. I spent time with one of the Jesuits who is a physician, and another who is trying to help young people create a bridge between science and faith. Still others lead parishes, universities and schools, while others minister to the sick in hospitals or work with veterans. However, all of them within that diversity of ministries, quietly or loudly lead with an Ignatian spirituality as a rich tool, and the Jesuit mission as their context. At Prep, we are called to do the same as an extension of the broader Jesuit mission through secondary education in Seattle. In my short time at Prep, it is clear to me that this type of leadership is happening every day on our campus. In my one-on-one conversations with our educators, I have been impressed with not only what they do, but also their understanding of why they do it. They consistently refer to the call to help create people for others through their work. Leadership at Prep is not by title, it is by example. It is by each person discerning for themselves what their contribution looks like to the greater glory of God and our community. This issue of Panther Tracks highlights how leadership is manifested in our school community. It holds up examples of people who quietly lead within an Ignatian context, and how that is passed on to the students entrusted to our care. Everyone involved at Prep whether a trustee, teacher, student, staff member, alum or parent is called to lead in some way through the sharing of the gifts bestowed upon them by God who desires all of us to be instruments of peace. How fortunate we are to have a mission so needed in our world to motivate and inspire us. Our school is not built on any single person or leader. Leadership, in my experience, is most impactful when it is exercised by many who collectively assume responsibility for not just their part of the mission, but for that larger vision. That is how we are able to be the Magis at Prep. On a personal note, thank you to the many Prep leaders who have welcomed my wife Nancy and me to the Prep Community and the Pacific Northwest. I am so humbled and honored to serve this incredible community that has created thousands of leaders since 1891.

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Lisa Fernandez, Director of Communications & Marketing