During summer 2022, the Forum launched the Leaders Initiative, a multi-month program of professional formation and executive coaching. The Initiative was the fruit of the Forum’s efforts to better serve educational leaders by giving intentional organization to something The Heights School had been offering for many years: counseling new school leaders and leaders of new schools.
Drawing on The Heights School’s over half a century of experience, the Initiative combined mainly online video sessions with a handful of in-person, on campus seminars, each targeting a different key aspect of school leadership—from working with parents to optimizing patterns of professional life. The sessions aimed at clarifying and deepening participant’s understanding of the principles that guide school leadership, as well as sharing insights for putting these principles into practice.
This past year, the Forum was honored to welcome two cohorts of select school leaders to participate in the program. The participants hailed from across the country: California, Boston, New York, Maryland, and Virginia. Beyond being formative in itself, the program also proved useful for career advancement, as two of the participants, who were in ancillary leadership roles this past year, have since been hired as school heads.
Although the year has concluded for these participants, the Leaders Initiative is designed to be an on-ramp to an ongoing relationship both with The Heights and with a growing network of schools across the country. Outside of the program itself, participating leaders have since visited The Heights School, together with members of their administrative teams, for a day of observations and conversations tailored to address developmental goals of their schools.
Ali Ghaffari, founder and president of Divine Mercy Academy, summarized Initiative’s broader vision well, when he said in a recent interview: “Community best describes the Leaders Initiative. We are creating a community of leaders who are leading schools in this new wave of renewal of education. And having that community makes us all stronger… bringing us together to see what we can all learn from each other and how we can be stronger. To go out and fight your own fights, but know that someone has got your back, that is really valuable.”
To learn more about the Leaders Initiative, you can visit this heightsforum.org/leaders-iniative.