By MIKE ZINN     12/26/2023

Leadership comes in all forms, types, ages and sizes. Leadership has been defined as the ability to lead, influence or guide other individuals, teams or entire organizations. Some leaders influence and guide by bigger-than-life, boisterous means. Others quietly lead with confidence and an inclusive manner.

St. Bonaventure Catholic School’s Jane Wilton follows the quietly confident approach, looking to guide fellow students on an inclusive journey.

The eighth grader’s leadership style is evident to the staff members at St. Bonaventure.

“She is not outwardly aware of her leadership skills,” said school principal Mary Flock. “She’s a born leader.”

Science teacher Alexandra Wysokinski added: “Wilton’s leadership style comes from very being organized. When doing class lab projects, she takes on a leadership role for her group. She takes a kind position in organizing everyone so that the group is successful.”

There are many key traits for being a leader. Flock references the school-wide program that St. Bonaventure implements to illustrate Wilton’s leadership style. The HALO Program (from saints having halos) emphasizes Humility, Accountability, Leadership and Optimism.

“She embodies these traits of the HALO Program consistently every day,” said Flock.

Wilton started at St. Bonaventure as a kindergartener. She enjoys all of her eighth-grade subjects but lists Spanish as her favorite. ELA (English, Language, Arts) is also at the top of the list due to Wilton’s love of writing. In fifth grade she won a story writing contest at the Huntington Beach Public Library.

At St. Bonaventure, Wilton is involved as an altar server, both at church and school Masses. She has also been involved in the Art and Drama Club. Outside of school, Wilton is involved in AYSO Soccer and “Friday Night Lights” flag football. She is fully immersed in community volunteering through her involvement in the National Charity League. She volunteers at the Shipley Nature Center and the Orange County Down Syndrome Association.

Although Wilton still has seven months to go at St. Bonaventure, she has made some plans for high school. She will attend Fountain Valley High School, joining her older sister, a sophomore, and her father, a teacher. Wilton would like to play soccer and join the swim or flag football teams during high school. Wilton would like to keep her love of art active in high school by maybe taking classes in pottery. In the future, she would like to further her love of animals with a profession as a veterinarian.

Many role models guide Wilton’s life. She is grateful for her parents, “supporting me in the right direction.” She also looks to her older sister, Rita, for positive guidance and direction. For historical role models, Wilton calls on Mary, Mother of Jesus, “who I pray to when I need help and answers.” Also, St. Rita of Corsica, patron saint of the impossible.

When asked what she likes best about St. Bonaventure, Wilton first complimented all of the teachers she came into contact with.

“I love our teachers,” she said. “They continually give me great support.”

When Wilton reflected on her proudest memory at St. Bonaventure, she specifically spoke of a story she wrote. This was a Halloween story about four friends. If one friend got lost, the others would work together to find her. This “Teamwork Story” follows Wilton’s view that the most critical leadership trait one can have is to “bring everyone up and foster good spirit.”

In her remaining months at St. Bonaventure, Wilton wants to maintain her straight-A grades. She would like to make her friendships even stronger and join her classmates in growing their faith and keeping that faith strong.