At Good Shepherd, we believe in purposefully cultivating leaders. We do this with our students and with each other so that we can model the type of leadership we encourage.
Our underlying philosophy in leadership development is that students must learn to lead themselves before they can lead others. So in our youngest grades, we teach students to be responsible and then evolve during Lower School into teaching the habits of leadership.
Using Steven Covey’s resources,The Leader in Me, 7 Habits of Happy Kids, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, teachers at Good Shepherd recognize and encourage leadership habits daily. Using daily classroom interactions to reinforce the concepts, leadership is also facilitated through 7 Habits Assemblies, Cougar Awards, Leadership Clubs, Retreats, important roles in chapel and Eucharist, and community building work. Students graduate from Good Shepherd with both the knowledge and experience of being a leader.
The faculty and staff at Good Shepherd don’t just teach leadership habits to students, they live it every day in their own lives and profession. Our faculty and staff lead beyond the walls of our school in a variety of ways:
- Serve as an officer in professional organizations
- Conduct original educational research
- Present educational findings at state, regional, national and international conferences
- Model continuous learning with book studies
- Publish original educational research and thinking in academic journals
- Apply for and win prestigious educational grants
Being recognized as a leader by others, Good Shepherd faculty and staff have immediate credibility when they teach leadership habits to students. We understand that our faculty and staff have so many gifts to share. So we even designed our summer faculty and staff learning to foster leadership development as well! Typical summer learning at most schools includes assigning one book for all faculty to read or even a choice among a few books, and then beginning the school year with a book discussion. Our leadership and educational stance meant that we knew there was a better way. We asked an overarching question – “How will I enhance my students’ ability to be curious, innovative and willing to take risks?” – and let faculty and staff find resources and create an answer to that question. The leadership and educational benefits were obvious when we returned to school and shared our summer thinking!