By Roos Schut, 2009

IPS graduate and Queen’s University student Roos Schut sends thoughts about¬†learning leadership at IPS. She¬†is currently completing an exchange semester in Utrecht, Netherlands.

The thing I miss most about IPS is:

The small close-knit environment, the teachers, and the amazing excursions and expeditions!

What I’d like to share about my experience at IPS

I was always just an average student. I didn’t ever feel like I stuck much, wasn’t usually the group leader, just always went with the flow. IPS was the place where I really became my own person: I excelled both academically and socially. Don’t get me wrong, I was perfectly happy at my prior school and I was doing very well. However, IPS has given me a different educational experience that is really unique from most schools. Most importantly of all, IPS gave me the tools to grow into a leader. I remember clearly the first moment I felt like a leader. In grade 6 or 7 Ben Tamblyn came to do teamwork workshops with us. We were split up into groups and told to create a play about IPS. I don’t remember who my group members were or what our play was about. But I do remember our discussion after the plays had been presented, and I do remember when he was talking about leadership and when he said the following,”I was walking around the groups while you were all rehearsing together, and I see Roos in her group. This quiet girl who all of sudden I see taking the reigns and the role of a leader.” That was the first moment I really felt like I could be a leader. All because of that one activity and what Ben had told me. I will never forget that moment. In the years following, I was doing really well in school-especially excelling in French-and growing as an individual. In grade 9 I often led group meetings when planning our assemblies, and I also won the Gluteus Maximus award. Brad talked a lot about my leadership qualities in his speech before he announced my name. I will always remember that as well, and I think it is really a great thing that they have at IPS. After my Masterworks and then Rites of Passage, my journey at IPS had ended and I was ready to move on another school and another adventure. In the words of Dr. Ted Spear, I finally felt like I had a “head on my shoulders”.

A few words about what I’ve been up to since leaving IPS

I am currently writing this from Utrecht in The Netherlands where I’m doing an exchange semester. Thinking back to IPS, it is amazing to see all the other places I have been and experiences I have had since. After IPS I went to West Vancouver Secondary School. There I did the pre-IB program in grade 10 and then the certificate program in English and French in grade 11, and then just IB French in grade 12. Now, I am a third year student at Queen’s University. I am getting my Bachelor of Arts Honours, with a major in Linguistics and a minor in Psychology. I hope to go on to get my Masters in Speech Pathology after I graduate. For now, I am enjoying my term abroad and will be travelling as much as I possibly can. I really want to make the most out of exchange here!