The Institute for Leadership & Purpose


The Institute for Leadership & Purpose recognizes that in order to build the strongest program for our community, we need to establish collaborative partnerships with regional, national, and global leaders in education. The relationships reflect a commitment to bringing the outside world into our School and ensuring we are providing the best experiences for our students, teachers, and families. 
Middle Grades Partnership

This fall, The Institute for Leadership & Purpose at Calvert School is joining forces with the Middle Grades Partnership (MGP) to create an interactive School Year Student Leadership Program for over one hundred and fifty students at area public, charter, and independent middle schools. Since 2006, the Middle Grades Partnership has been changing the trajectory of the lives of Baltimore middle school students. The nine public and private school partnerships provide “exceptional summer programming that halts summer learning loss, balances enrichment with skill development and brings communities together to address silos of race, class, and opportunity.”

Our newly launched School Year Program will bring together like-minded stakeholders from across the city to inspire student from all a diverse population to discover their own strengths, and design initiatives to improve their schools and community.

Our School Year Program is marked by two full-day Leadership Summit on November 17th and April 27th and will welcome interested partners who share in the common goal of building tomorrow’s leaders, today. In between each leadership summit, students from each of the nine public and private partnerships engage in a school culture or social action project.

Opening MGP Leadership Summit
Saturday, November 17 9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

9:00 - Opening Session, Discovering Personal Leadership with Hamilton Middle and Calvert School Student Leaders
9:30 - "Inspire" Opening Speaker, Fagan Harris, CEO Baltimore Corps
10:00 - 12:00 PM: Collaboration in Action, Team Building and Design Thinking with Calvert School Faculty and Student Facilitators
12:00 - 12:30: Lunch
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM: Engage Speaker, Rachel Brooks, Senior Associate Organizer, BUILD
1:00 - 2:30 PM: Action Planning Workshop, Student Leadership Action Plans, BUILD Community Organizers
2:30 - 3:00 PM: "Inspire" Closing Speaker, Leon Pinkett III, Baltimore City Councilman - District 7


The Gardner Carney Leadership Institute

Calvert School is in the midst of a budding relationship with the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute (gcLi), based out of Colorado Springs. The Gardner Carney Leadership Institute was founded in 2005, by the Carney family in memory of their son Gardner who perished in a kayaking accident years before. They believed leadership could be taught to all students and sought to create an intensive leadership development for teachers to learn effective pedagogy in “teaching leadership.” Each summer, the sold-out week-long institute welcomes over sixty educators for a transcendent professional development opportunity at the Fountain Valley School in the shadow of Pike’s Peak. gcLi also hosts a Leadership Symposiums every three years for over two hundred and fifty educators. In 2014, the Symposium was held at Columbia University. In 2017, the Symposium was held at the University of Pennsylvania.

Three members of our Institute team are graduates of the summer gcLi Leadership Lab. This includes Sean Donmoyer (Lower School Spanish), Joseph Ali (Middle School French & Leadership), and Institute Director Jay Parker (Director of Student Life). In addition, Jay Parker served as a gcLi Scholar in 2017. In this role, he is only one of fourteen educators to be invited back to Colorado as a guest faculty member. Since 2016, Jay has been one of only two middle school educators nationwide on the staff of gcLi, serving as the Executive Editor of the gcLi Leadership Blog which highlights best practices in leadership education across the global, independent school community.

Calvert faculty and staff have written the following articles for the gcLi Leadership Blog:

Mr. Jay Parker, Building Schools that Care (October 2018)
Mr. Joseph Ali, A Week at the gcLi Leadership Lab (August 2018)

Christopher O’Neil Peer Health Program

Beginning in 2018, the Institute for Leadership & Purpose at Calvert School has partnered with the Christopher O’Neil Peer Health Program to initiate an age-appropriate, character and social skills program for our eight and nine-year-olds spearheaded by Sixth Grade Peer Educators.  The Calvert Peer Education Program is based out of our new Sixth Grade Leadership Course, a one-a-cycle course co-taught by Jay Parker (Director of Student Life), Kim Daly (Fifth Grade Homeroom Teacher), and Joe Ali (MS French Teacher). This Peer Education Program will bring our two divisions together around the collective mission of delivering meaningful socio-emotional lessons to both our Eighth and Ninth Ages as well as our Sixth Grade educators. Through this leadership experience, our 6th Graders will grow into more confident, self-aware adolescents.

Established over twenty years ago, the Christopher O’Neil Peer Health Program is dedicated to the life of Christopher O’Neil., who in 1992 died in an automobile accident involving a teenage drunk driver. Since 1994, the program seeks to promote healthy decisions by addressing the attitudes that often lead to unhealthy risks for students. The Christopher O’Neil Peer Health Program is currently established in fourteen area, independent schools. At each of these schools, teams of high school Peer Educators teach younger students in teaching teams. Calvert is extending this program to elementary students for this first time, enhancing the health curriculum for middle and lower school students with a focus on healthy friendships and positive behaviors.

World Leadership School

In 2017, Calvert cultivated a programmatic partnership with the World Leadership School. In June 2018, teachers Skip Howe (Middle School Math), Sandry Sachar (Director of Global Outreach), and Kelley Schultheis (Middle School Science) co-led a World Leadership language and service expedition to Costa Rica with eleven middle school students. For over a week, these students were engaged in collaborative work with fellow students from El Licio del Paraiso to implement sustainable practices in the neighboring communities. This relationship will continue throughout the 2018-2019 school year, with another group of students traveling to Costa Rica in June 2019.

Our relationship with the World Leadership extends beyond expeditionary learning. Kelley Schultheis is an experienced WLS instructor since 2013, and Sandry Sachar is a 2017 graduate of the WLS, two-week, intensive expedition Exploring Educational Practice in the Peruvian Andes. In October 2018, Jay Parker spent four days in Boulder, Colorado as a participant in the 2018 WLS Purpose Summit with educators from across the globe. Lastly, on April 2nd and 3rd of 2019, World Leadership School Founder, Mr. Ross Wehner, will be leading workshops at Calvert School for parents (6pm on April 2), local educators and students as the keynote for AIMS Learning to Lead (9am - 2:30pm on April 3), and a two-hour purpose implementation workshop with Calvert faculty (3pm on April 3).

The World Leadership School was established in 2008 by Ross Wehner. “The World Leadership School was founded on the belief that we live at a crossroads of world history. World population continues to increase and issues such as climate change and education are getting worse in many areas of the world. As educators, we have a responsibility to help young people develop a sense of purpose and make connections to the world around them with service learning. Empathetic, world-connected citizens can make a huge difference to our planet’s future. That’s why we bring service learning and student enrichment opportunities to our partner schools. WLS’s mission is to “empower young leaders to find innovative solutions to the world’s pressing problems.” We do this by helping K-12 schools transform learning.” - courtesy of the World Leadership School website.

Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools

The Institute for Leadership & Purpose at Calvert School has a long-standing relationship with the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS) that began in 2014. AIMS is one of the most robust regional independent school associations in the United States and provides risk management, professional development, and certification programming or one-hundred and twenty-one schools in Maryland and Washington, D.C. The AIMS network has a reach of over 8,000 area educators, and hosts over four dozen conferences and trainings each school year.

Since 2014, Institute Director Jay Parker has served as a committee member for the AIMS Learning to Lead Conference, one of AIMS’ flagship events each year. Since 2016, Jay has served as co-chair of the AIMS Student Leadership Committee, which plans and organizes the annual Learning to Lead Conference. In 2019, the Institute for Leadership & Purpose is hosting the sixth annual Learning to Lead event on April 3rd. Our keynote speaker is Ross Wehner, the founder of the World Leadership School.

Since 2017, the Institute for Leadership & Purpose has hosted and planned the AIMS Building Partnerships workshop each fall for area educators, students, and community leaders. In 2017, the event focused on best practices in service learning. In 2018, we co-hosted the event with the Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School and the National Network of Schools in Partnership with a focus on public-private partnerships and community engagement. In 2019, the workshop will focus on best practices in outdoor and environmental education.
Calvert School is a coed independent lower and middle school.