Liam Thomas is strongly opposed to the old leadership style which goes: “don’t do as I do, do as I say.”
The 2020 head boy of Jeppe High School for Boys promises that on his watch the senior boys in the school are going to lead by example and that he and his fellow prefects will personally embody the values that he feels the school should express.
“I rather say, don’t do what I say, do what I do,” he said. “I am not going to be a dictator, and neither will my prefects. We want to have a happy school where everyone feels they can have an opinion on how things are done.”
Liam is in Sable House and he is the second head boy to come from that hostel recently, following on Muzi Manyike two years ago. “I’m proud to be representing Sable and I will be trying to pass on the things I learnt there to the rest of the school,” he said. “We didn’t have a head boy from Sable for many years, so hopefully we will have started a trend.”
As the head boy he now moves into Droste House to look after next year’s grade 8s. “I think the system of placing the head boy as the mentor and protector of the new boys is a great one,” he said. “I remember my grade 8 year at Droste fondly. I cemented most of my friendships there and my love for Jeppe began that year. It’s my job to make the new boys feel welcome and to make sure there is no bullying or initiation.”
The boarders are definitely the backbone of the school, Liam believes. “Of course there are day boys who make a massive contribution too, but its in the hostels where the talent is concentrated and it has to be looked after and nurtured. The boys must be encouraged to give of their best, but they must also be introduced into the Jeppe family and its traditions. That’s my role at Droste House.”
Liam is very excited about the year ahead. “I have great deputies and a great bunch of prefects. My message for them is that we must leave the school a better place than how we found it.”
His only regret is that a serious knee injury is preventing him from playing sport. “I have tried most activities throughout my time at Jeppe and had my sights set on making the first rugby team next year,” he said. “I haven’t given up on it though. I’ll be back towards the end of the 2020 season and will still be going for it.”
The leadership of the Jeppe learner body is clearly in safe hands with Liam Thomas at the helm.