Each week, a group of students is selected for their unique potential as leaders to come together as the 5 student Cacique Council, “Cacique” meaning leader in ancient Lucayan. During that week, the group will plan special activities for their peers, run morning and evening circles, facilitate communication between students and faculty, and fulfill other important roles as needed. Members of the council are welcomed into the new role during Community Meeting, in which a public acknowledgement of each individual’s leadership qualities is read aloud. Enjoy these “Cacique Pass-Offs” written below. Join us in welcoming the first Cacique Council of the semester: James Boelkins, Isabel Jamerson, Brayden Beardsley, Ivy Fasolo, and Shanika Foster, and look forward to more student leadership updates in the coming weeks:

This student emerged as a leader and great team member during 3-day kayak; his trip leaders were surprised and impressed when he jumped out of his boat for lunch on the first day and immediately had the tarp out, asking what needed to be done to set up lunch. Whether it was offering encouraging words out on the water or asking how he could help around camp, this student exhibited the qualities of eagerness and willingness to help that we value in our community. His friendliness, openness, enthusiasm and sense of responsibility will make him a solid member of the semester's first Cacique Council. Congratulations James!

I had the pleasure of being one of Isabel’s kayak leaders.  Whenever there was a task at hand—leading the kayak pod, setting up lunch or building a fire—Isabel always stepped up without hesitation.  I especially admired how her kind, positive and easy-going personality helped glue the rest of our group together.  Even though our trip was only 3 days long, it seemed like Isabel had created a genuine bond with each student.  Isabel has also stood out in the classroom.  While she has a strong and confident voice during Harkness discussions, she is also a compassionate listener and gives quieter students the space to speak up.  So far, Isabel has lived The Island School mission of “creating an intentional community” and there is no doubt in my mind that she will be a valuable member of the first Cacique Council.

In SCUBA week, we ask students to literally immerse themselves in the underwater world, to begin, as Lopez puts its, a conversation with the natural world.  This student has taken this goal, and quite actually blown it up.  In fact, his wild enthusiasm while diving resulted in a new underwater symbol for a mind being blown (demonstrate symbol).  This enthusiasm, demonstrated through a responsible undertaking of diligently cleaning a pair of borrowed shoes, has just begun to show its full force. Brayden's immersion into this place, exemplified by his first attempt at water polo and an honest desire to listen to others in this community, is representative of what we strive for at this school.  For this,  I nominate Brayden to the Cacique Council.  

The Island School is centered around students stepping outside their comfort zones and diving into new experiences. During our kayak trip, Ivy was a model for other students in trying new things. Whether it was learning to surf a kayak or grabbing a paddle and helping to launch a raft into the ocean, Ivy's spirit and drive to embrace new opportunities was evident. Additionally as we paddled into the wind on Day 2, Ivy's boat slowly started to fill with water and inhibited her steering. I was impressed with her determination and positive attitude as we slowly made our way to camp. I am confident that the leadership Ivy displayed on kayak will cross-over to campus, and she will be a strong contributor to this week's Cacique Council. 


Shanika has shown tremendous growth in just her two short weeks upon arriving at The Island School.  She has pushed herself unbelievably beyond her comfort zone in not just one sphere but multiple realms.  Her tenacious and determined spirit are inspiring, and I believe her relentless drive to try new things and propel herself into fresh challenges will motivate the people around her.  This young woman had never paddled a kayak before or camped, and embraced the experience with an open mind and a smile always on her face.  She conquered the art of riding a bike with persistence and a never-give-up attitude.  I believe her enthusiasm to gracefully accept new challenges will be a powerful influence on this campus and her examples of self-determination will lead people to push themselves to new victories.