Charting Course: Aim High and Look Up in 2021

By Principal Leanne Entermann

Some time amidst the complexity that was 2020, a new day dawned in space travel with the launch of the first manned rocket since the space shuttle program ended around a decade ago. Unlike previous space forays, NASA astronauts were sent into space by SpaceX, a privately owned aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company.

SpaceX’s goal? To reduce the cost of space transport for a future of space tourism, and to colonise Mars. Later this year, SpaceX’s first crew of non-professional astronauts will take off in a mission called Inspiration4—yet another first in space history. These achievements are important steps on the way to reaching SpaceX’s ultimate goal. 

I have only recently developed an interest in space exploration and the more I learn, the longer my list of questions grows:

  1. How do pioneers of space travel imagine what’s possible if no one’s ever done it before? What kind of thinking does someone do to imagine that possibility?
  2. What does it take to be an astronaut, and how do astronauts train for something that very few living people have ever experienced? If 6,000 people apply for only 15 positions in each intake—which means that most astronauts have applied multiple times over successive years before they’re chosen—how committed must they be?
  3. How do astronauts and space engineers deal with the inevitable overload when they eventually experience everything they’ve been training for— cerebrally, emotionally, and spiritually?

After playing our Secondary students some introductory footage in our first chapel of the year, I asked them: “If the cost of a ticket to space were free, would you be willing to take it?” 

There was some trepidation in the audience. While many adventure-lovers quickly raised their hands, there was a significant portion of students who did not. Admittedly, I told them, I was once one of them, not so very long ago. I would have enthusiastically endorsed anyone else’s ambition for space travel—but it was not for me! Now I am beginning to think differently after spending some time imagining the possibilities, witnessing the fun and hijinks of zero gravity, and getting an expansive view of the beautiful earth and universe from the International Space Station. I then introduced the BAC theme for 2021—AIM HIGH & LOOK UP. 


When it comes to achieving goals, the outcomes depend—to a large extent—on our ability to imagine the future, set expectations for ourselves, and aim high. 

If we launched into life as adventurers and pioneers of our own life project, we’d set our expectations high. We’d think about what we wish to achieve, what we plan to contribute, how we might have the most positive impact on the outcomes of our College, our class, our teams, our colleagues that is possible. In a school setting, there are four basic dimensions within which we can aim high with our expectations:

  1. How we speak
  2. How we act
  3. How we learn, and
  4. How we listen.

I’ve learnt in life that it doesn’t help to aim high alone, it also matters where we focus our attention. As a Christian college, this involves looking up. 

King David in Psalm 19:1-4 says: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day, they continue to speak; night after night, they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”

Anxiety, fear, and uncertainty can make us look around for something or someone else to save us—but I challenge everyone to look up and see the expanse of the universe. Look up and be reminded that the Creator God spoke our world into existence, and He knows us by name. Look up to see Hope and Love for all. Point out the stars to others, too, because God is bigger than the circumstances surrounding us.

At the beginning of another school year, I pray for our students, staff, families, and especially for our new students and their families who have joined us this year. May God bless the efforts of all and give us guidance and wisdom.

Charting Course is a series of principal's blogs in which Mrs Entermann shares topics and ideas that are significant to the future direction of our College.