Freya Gehlsdorf and Hannes Dewender, School representatives in Salem
“What matters is our deeds!” – On the occasion of the ceremonial awarding of Salem pins at the Nikolaus Dinner two school speakers gave a moving speech.
Student co-government is one of the pillars of the fundamental education for democracy at every Round Square school, and of course at Schule Schloss Salem. Each student, every girl and boy, has the opportunity to actively participate in the community and take on positions of responsibility. On 7 December 2020 around 100 students of Years 5 to 10 were honoured for their dedication with Salem’s Red Pin. Along with holders of the main five offices (Ämter) (Council Speaker, Service Speaker, Aide Speaker, and two Class Speakers), the pin was also awarded to helpers, helpers’ assistants, service captains, and the class speakers of each class year. The award ceremony, conducted by the middle school’s head of boarding, Stefan Steinebach, was held during the traditional Nikolaus Dinner. At the ceremony, the school speakers Freya Gehlsdorf and Hannes Dewender gave a stirring speech:
“To be honest, this Red Pin doesn't mean much to either of us. This year, so many people are being pinned, some of whom probably don't even know that they themselves are an office bearer or are not aware that taking responsibility is not only about their own need for attention, but about others – about paying attention to others, and seeing that others are doing alright – it’s not about themselves! This year about 100 members of this community will be pinned. On the one hand it is impressive that so many are willing to take responsibility for the community, but on the other hand we wondered whether all of them deserve the pin.
Office bearers, the school looks up to you! Not only today, but always! For over 100 years already! Holding an office does not only consist of taking care of everyday things, but also of providing impetus, setting positive accents and not going along with the mainstream! It is our task to steer the school in the right direction and make a difference! With every little contribution, with every crazy idea, we shape our lives here and can improve it for all of us! If you come forward soon and take the Red Pin, you are expected to make a difference and do your job! But a Red Pin does not make us special, it is our actions that count – and if they are missing, then we are not worthy to wear this pin! Otherwise, all of this is worthless. So, make a difference and raise your voices for the good of Salem! And if you haven’t done it yet, then with this esteemed Red Pin, it is just about time! Be true office bearers!“