Saxton '23 Demonstrates Servant Leadership On & Off Court

by St. Andrew's Communications Staff
For Alex Saxton ’23, leadership is about serving others, and it shows through the ways he impacts the St. Andrew’s community and his neighbors in Bowie.
As co-captain of the varsity boys basketball team, he encourages his teammates on the court and listens to their personal wins and losses off the court. The stakes are particularly high this year – it’s the team’s first regular season of play since February 2020, when St. Andrew’s won the MAC Championship.
 
“To win that championship, that gave me a lot of excitement for the upcoming years here.” said Saxton, who played on the championship team as a ninth-grader. “Now, having more responsibility, I feel more obligated to help the younger ones, because I want to win a championship for them, too.
 
“Off the court, in order for your words to stick with somebody on the court, you don’t have to be the best of friends, but you have to have some personal relationship with them off the court. I might drop a teammate off at home so I can talk to them on the way home. If they’ve had a bad practice or if they’re in a slump, just make sure you’re talking to your teammates not only about basketball.”
 
Saxton has built these types of trusting relationships with his teachers as well, who are a big part of his “Why St. Andrew’s?” that he shares with prospective families as a Student Ambassador.
 
“St. Andrew’s has allowed me to be in a place where there are people who listen, who allow me to voice my opinions and views, and if I have any concerns, they will genuinely listen to me and try to understand what I’m saying to them,” he said.
 
St. Andrew’s has helped Saxton gain the confidence to put himself out more, he said, motivating him to apply for a spot on the Bowie Youth Council, a new year-long program designed to give youth a voice in city affairs and address policy matters affecting city youth. So far this school year, Saxton and the Bowie Youth Council have organized community events for Bowie youth and learned how to work collaboratively as leaders.
 
“I think I’ve learned how to listen better,” Saxton said. “At the end of the day, having this committee brings together all different types of people with different perspectives. It was tough at first, but now we’re learning how to listen to each other and hear each other’s ideas. If we both have a great idea, combine them.”

Kevin Jones, Athletic Director and Boys Basketball Head Coach, said Saxton leads not just with his actions, but with his voice, a skill Jones considers the most important form of leadership in basketball.

“Ultimately, I think for any team to truly be successful, someone has to emerge among their peers as that vocal leader,” Jones said. ”It doesn't have anything to do with production on the court; it’s literally a person who commands the respect of their peers and when they speak, people listen. He’s done a good job stepping up in the role, whether he’s on the court or not.”

Looking ahead to college, Saxton said he is considering studying political science. For now, balancing academics and sports are the main goals for Saxton as he prepares his team for the MAC Tournament. All the while, he said he knows he is supported by his St. Andrew’s community.
 
“We had a huge win against Flint Hill, and Ms. Clyburn asked me about it. She was so happy for us, and then she was still there to help me with my Spanish, because she knew I got home late, and she was trying to make sure I was on top of everything.
 
“All the teachers realize how big of a responsibility playing sports is, but they’re still there willing to help you make sure you’re keeping up with academics," Saxton said. "The teachers here all want to get to know you better on a more personal level because they want to be able to teach you in the best way possible that fits you, because everybody’s different.”
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St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in preschool (Age 2) through grade 12, located in Potomac, Maryland.