Captains of the ships

Plank Article Lucas Rucker ’24

Jesuit High School Sacramento has a long tradition of forming the leaders of the future, which is, in fact, one of the stated goals of a Jesuit education.

Jesuit’s Principal Dr. Michael Wood ’99 believes that leadership is very important for positive group action.

“Leadership is important because what leaders are trying to do is get a group of people or an institution from point A to point B,” Dr. Wood said. “Leaders are necessary to make things happen and to make sure that the process of getting there is a good and life-giving process for all who are involved.”

Kenny Castro ’23 is the President of the Jesuit Car Club as well as a leader in Campus Ministry. He echoes Dr. Wood’s views on leadership and believes that identifying direction is an important skill for any leader.

“Leadership is important because you always need somebody to either make a new path or to guide people along,” Kenny said.

In recognizing the importance of leadership, Jesuit offers many opportunities for students to grow as leaders themselves. Student Body President Jake Swanson ’23 believes Jesuit provides an environment that fosters leadership.

“In general, Jesuit [offers a lot of opportunities] for leadership,” Jake said. “The best thing about Jesuit is how many clubs and events there are. If you wanna get involved, you can. That same idea: if you wanna be a leader, you can.”

Kenny encourages students to lead new clubs based on their interests because he believes that a very important aspect of leadership is having the courage to do something that has never been done.

“Don’t be afraid to start something new,” Kenny said. “Don’t be afraid to do it and to tell others about [it] because […]there’ll be somebody out here on campus who has that same interest as you.”

Jake also offers advice to aspiring leaders, suggesting that once their group is created, they should focus on goals as well as group morale.

“At the end of the day, the most important part of leadership is who you’re leading, and what you’re leading them to,” Jake said. “Otherwise, it’s just pointless. You’re just someone trying to drag people around to a pointless objective.”

Retreats are another important part of the Jesuit culture that aims to nurture leaders, and Kenny cherishes his experience on retreats and how they impacted his growth as a leader.

“I would say going on retreats, especially this year as a senior, has really helped me become a leader,” Kenny said. “It has really had me play a bigger role as a leader, leading those retreats.”

Dr. Wood urges each student to take advantage of these opportunities at Jesuit to become a leader.

“You gotta get involved,” Dr. Wood said. “You got to be around what’s happening. You can’t be a leader when you’re at home the whole time; you got to be here.”

Moreover, Dr. Wood believes that every student can and ought to seek ways to develop their leadership abilities.

“Talking about leadership, thinking about leadership, is a really important topic,” Dr. Wood said. “I hope all of our students find in what ways they are developing as a leader. [It’s] not that some are leaders and some aren’t, every single student here ought to be developing as a leader in some way.”

Jesuit believes that all students are called to be leaders. In their club, their friend groups, in unique moments of crisis, all students will find themselves called to lead, so work now to be ready then.