As a member of the Wilberforce House since Year 7, it should come as no surprise that Mrs. Sommerville has impacted me profoundly. However, I also suspect that every 7W class finds similar irritation at “independent” reading, weekly parental signatures in diaries, and mandatory participation in two athletic events.
Fortunately, this relationship slowly progressed from instruction to encouragement. In my case, Mrs. Sommerville routinely proposed that I start a club in one of my interests, an idea I balked at with similar regularity. I eventually came round in Year 12 and soon discovered her genuine care for each student’s success. She continually pushed me to grasp leadership opportunities and to expand my abilities beyond their limits. I then also realised that the harsh no-signature-in-diary lectures in Year 7 were not punishment, rather it was a process to teach accountability. Similarly, “independent” reading fostered sustained personal development and forced athletic sign-ups placed collaboration above individual honour in all our minds.
I have no doubt that Mrs. Sommerville will take the time and effort to help every student achieve their potential both within and beyond the classroom, truly embodying the Island School Spirit.
Wilberforce House, Class of 2017
Read more interviews with members of the Island School community in the 50th Anniversary Book. Available from the General Office, $100.