The Assistant Head of the Middle School Kathy Dunn has instituted a Student Leadership Council at the Middle School composed of two groups: Upper Prep and Form 1 combined council and a Form 2 council. The Student Leadership Council replaces the former Student Government which Dunn felt did not have sufficient focus on cultivating leadership qualities.
This self-selecting group of students applied for the positions and requested two recommendations from faculty members. The students were reflective in their essays regarding the attributes of a leader. One student wrote, “I want to learn about leadership so I can make an impact on the people around me and influence them for the better by setting an example and by being a role model." Another student shared, “I feel that I am a good leader, but I don’t show it enough at school. I want to come out of my comfort zone and practice showing how good of a leader I am. I am friends with a lot of KO students, and kids trust my ideas and look to me for advice.”
Just recently, Form 2 students in the Leadership Council workshopped a civil discourse exercise in the Leadership Center run by Upper School teacher Sandi Goss. The students, organized in four groups, presented their arguments and respectively and effectively disagreed with one another. The lesson involved the students discussing a hypothetical case in which one of five people was deserving of receiving life-saving treatment. The groups determined the criteria and rationale for selecting their individual. Goss also gave these Middle School students on the Leadership Council a journal where the students will write their thoughts on leadership. The group will meet once a week and work with Upper School students who are also leaders in the school.
“The end goal is for students to intentionally work on their leadership skills so that when they arrive in the Upper School and they want to apply for different leadership positions, they’ve already started to think about the characteristics of good leaders. What are leadership skills? What do I have to develop in order to become a really good leader myself? It’s part of a continuum. We want to ensure that when they apply for Prefect or Senior Advisor that it is the culmination of a process as opposed to waking up in junior year and saying 'I think I want a leadership position' and you don't have any skills to go along with it,” Dunn said.
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.