The Heights Forum

Leaders Initiative

Professional Formation for School Leaders

Starting Fall 2022

About the Leaders Initiative

The Leaders Initiative is a program of professional formation for current and aspiring school leaders. The Initiative will convene select groups of leaders for a series of targeted conversations on key topics relevant to school leadership. Drawing on the experience of The Heights School, the Leaders Initiative will give insights into the ideas and strategies behind directing a school. It will encourage participants to think deeply about the principles informing the practical decisions of leadership and will offer the opportunity for a collegial exchange of ideas and best practices.


The leader of a school is like a stone tossed into water: by his word and example, he produces a first circle, and it produces a second, which in turn produces another and another—until what was once a small pattern on the surface of the water reverberates throughout the whole body of water.

To respond to this great calling requires generosity, daring, and prudence. Even more, continuing to respond to this calling over the course of one’s career requires the support and fresh insights which good friendship offers. The Leaders Initiative aims to foster such professional friendships.

Program Details

  1. Foundations of Parenting: Schools that Support a Culture of the Home
  2. Placing Parents at the Heart of your School’s Mission
    • Part I: Why?
    • Part II: How? 
  3. Faculty Hiring and Development (Methods and Principles)
  4. The Role of the Teacher as Mentor: Personalizing an Education
    • Part I: Principles
    • Part II: Practices
  5. Developing a School Culture that Leads towards Freedom and Trust
  6. Best Ways to Encourage the Developing Will of Our Students
  7. Developing a Curriculum that Teaches Students to See the Beauty of Reality
  8. Key Characteristics of a School Leader
  1. Access to Presentations from the 2022 Teaching Vocation Conference
  2. School Tone with Alvaro de Vicente
  3. The Role of Parents in the Conspiracy for the Good with Alvaro de Vicente
  4. The Moral Imagination with Alvaro de Vicente
  5. The Heights School Mentoring Handbook
  6. Family: The Most Formative School with Andy Reed
  7. How Do WE See Our Sons? with Alvaro de Vicente
  8. The Bedrock Principle of Fatherhood with Andy Reed
  9. Drafting a Faculty of Friends with Alvaro de Vicente
  10. Guidance for Aspiring Teachers with Alvaro de Vicente
  11. Six Attributes of Great Teachers with Colin Gleason
  12. Why Students Need to Be Given Freedom by Andy Reed
  13. On Nature Journals and Observant Souls with Eric Heil
  14. Fact or Opinion: On Preventing (or Unwinding) Moral Relativism with Michael Moynihan
  15. Parenting: Patience or Optimism with Andy Reed
  16. His Anxiety and Ours with Alex Berthé
  • Small cohorts of leaders will meet virtually on a monthly basis for targeted conversations led by the Program Director on topics relevant to school leadership. In anticipation of each monthly meeting, participants will receive resources pertinent to the topic of discussion.
  • In addition to group sessions, each participant will have the opportunity to meet individually with the Program Director, Andrew Reed, at least once per semester.
  • Participants will also be invited to participate in specialized sessions at The Heights Forum’s Fall Conference on The Art of Teaching (November 9-11). Hosted on the campus of The Heights School, the conference will provide participants the opportunity to develop professional friendships with fellow leaders, as well as the chance to meet aspiring and current teachers from around the country.

Cost per Participant


The cost per participant of programs of this nature often exceeds $2,500. We are honored to provide this opportunity at a highly discounted rate thanks to the generosity of donors who recognize the cultural importance of education and especially the leadership that makes it possible.

The Team


Andrew Reed

Program Director

Andrew Reed is the Program Director of the Leaders Initiative. He began his career at The Heights School in 1998 and assumed his current role as Head of the Middle School in 2000.  He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he majored in philosophy and the pre-medical sciences, as well as participated in the Faculty Fellows Program. Twice he declined his acceptance to Georgetown University’s School of Medicine out of a continued commitment towards his work at The Heights. Andy completed his graduate work at Johns Hopkins University and holds a Masters in School Administration. In addition to his leadership duties, he has taught science at a number of levels.  Andy has written articles on topics at the intersection of parenting and education. He also directed both national and international conferences at The Heights, including the last three conferences: The Educating Leaders Conference, The Teaching Vocation Conference, and The Heights Mentoring Conference.  Andy enjoys connecting with other schools and educators, believing that an exchange of ideas about education provides valuable support to schools and school leaders.  Andy has also led a series of projects at The Heights, including the past several school accreditations and a number of engaging parent programs.


Alvaro de Vicente

Headmaster of The Heights School & Advisor to The Leaders Initiative

Alvaro de Vicente has served as Headmaster of The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland, since July 2002. Originally from Santander, Spain, Alvaro received some of his secondary education at The Heights and graduated in 1983. In 1987 he graduated cum laude from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Philosophy and received his J.D. from Georgetown University School of Law in 1991. He served as the Executive Director of the Tenley Study Center from 1989 to 2002, where organized and managed supplemental development programs for several hundred students and professionals per year. Between 1992 and 2002, Mr. de Vicente assisted the school in various positions, including coaching, college counseling, and mentoring. From 1995 to 2001, he served on The Heights School’s Board of Directors, the last four years as its vice-president. In addition, Mr. de Vicente also serves on the Board of Trustees of two other educational groups: the Youth Leadership Foundation and the Texas Education Works. In his capacity as Headmaster of The Heights School, he spearheaded and supervised the construction of the school’s signature building. But Mr. de Vicente’s most important work is in the classroom where he teaches Catholic Apologetics and mentors students daily.


Rich Moss

Director, The Heights Forum

Rich serves as the Director of Admissions at The Heights School, as well as the Director of The Heights Forum. He earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees, both Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Notre Dame, in 2005 and 2008 respectively. Prior to returning to his alma mater to lead its Admissions Office in 2010, Rich was an associate attorney in the Energy and Trial Practice groups of Jones Day in Washington D.C. While working as an attorney, Rich was also the vice-president of The Heights Alumni Association. During law school, Rich was an Article Editor for the Notre Dame Law Review. Rich graduated from The Heights in 2001. In addition to his work in the Admissions Office, Rich teaches AP US Government.


Nathaniel Gadiano

Director of Consulting, The Heights Forum

Nate is the Director of Consulting at The Heights Forum. He oversees the The Forum’s various consulting services, including campus visits, individual consultations, and The Leaders Initiative. In addition to his work with The Forum, he teaches Natural History in the lower school. After graduating from The Heights School, Nate earned his A.B., summa cum laude, from Princeton University, where he studied a combination of literature, philosophy, and theology. While at Princeton, he served as the President of The Tigertones, the University’s signature all-male a cappella group. He also served as the Co-President of Princeton Pro-life and as a Ministry Team Leader of the Aquinas Institute. After graduating from Princeton, Nate spent a year in the admissions office at The Heights. After his time in the admissions office, he worked for The Hawthorn Foundation in New York City, before heading to South Bend, where he studied Italian literature and taught Italian language to undergraduate students at the University of Notre Dame. During his time at Our Lady’s university, Nate was a Bradley Fellow in the Mendoza College of Business.


Interested in participating in the Leaders Initiative?