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Leaders in the community...

By this we mean that our students will grow in wisdom and stature, and they will bring wisdom and experience to their community's challenges.  First, they will do it by learning and becoming competent to speak and write effectively, they will become proficient in the sciences and in math.  This is needed in assessing and articulating community challenges.  Then, they will learn to follow, participate on a team, and then act as effective servant leaders. 

Overarching Goals:

  • Students will Demonstrate Servant Leadership.   Students will learn that leadership is really being an excellent follower and team player, that it is essentially relational. They learn different leadership styles and when they are appropriate. They learn that Christian leadership is following Jesus in such a way that others may, too.

  • Students will Serve.  The most essential element of leadership is a heart of service.  This idea that there is a person who possesses all the attributes of a great leader from early childhood has been discredited. A leader--one who serves the community--is humble and works hard.  A leader puts their interests behind those of the others in serving them.  

  • Students will be Good Followers.  Most of the Leadership literature emphasizes the truth that leaders must be effective followers.  Consider this: which could a team do without?   The answer is, a team of self-motivated followers can continue to perform without a leader, but it is not true that a team with an excellent leader and poor followers will excel.  

  • Students will 'See' the Community.  To step into a community's needs, an individual needs to be able to 'see' the community both personally (by listening to people around them) and statistically (by looking at publicly available data).  We teach our students to see their community. 

  • Students will Maintain Healthy Relationships.  Leadership is essentially relationship (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).  Our students will experience warm community and instruction in building and maintaining healthy relationships.   


Key Strategies: 

  • Formal Instruction.   Since you cannot do what you do not 'know' to do, students receive formal classroom instruction. 

  • We Use Like-Respected Role Models.  We bring in role models who are already leaders in the community, and allow the students to interact with them freely.  The more the students can relate to the model as being like them, the more powerful the interaction.    (Pleiss & Feldhusen, 1995; Lockwood, Jordan, & Kunda, 2002)

  • Scenario-Based Cases.   We use scenarios and serious games to put students in situations that force choice.  These experiences are great, but students don't learn from experience alone, they learn from experience plus targeted feedback and reflection.   

  • We Get Students Out of the Classroom to Serve.   We give students the opportunity to serve people in their community a few times a year, and we give them an opportunity in later years to plan their service and impact.   


Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The leadership challenge (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA.


Lockwood, P., Jordan, C. H., & Kunda, Z. (2002). Motivation by positive or negative role models: Regulatory focus determines who will best inspire us. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(4), 854-864. doi:

Pleiss, M. K., & Feldhusen, J. F. (1995). Mentors, role models, and heroes in the lives of gifted children. Educational Psychologist, 30, 159-169. doi:10.1207/s15326985ep3003_6

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