World Leadership School Comes to Calvert

Jay Parker
Last week, the Institute for Leadership & Purpose at Calvert School hosted the World Leadership School for two days of events and trainings for our community and area schools. The World Leadership School (WLS) is an internationally recognized expert in program development with a mission of “partnering with K-12 to reimagine learning and create next-generation leaders.”
Calvert’s history with WLS runs deep. Last June, faculty members Kelley Schultheis, Skip Howe, and Sandry Sanchar traveled with ten students to Costa Rica for an immersive experience. Over the past year, we have carefully considered a stronger, schoolwide relationship with WLS as we grow our Institute for Leadership & Purpose. This alliance was launched this past week, and will continue to evolve in the year ahead with faculty professional development, academic integration, and student global travel programs. At the core of this initiative is a shared commitment to instilling “purpose” within our students.

As WLS founder Mr. Ross Wehner states, "Purpose formation in youth is a game-changer for leadership development and can be measured, taught, and instilled across all grades." He defines purpose as a “stable intention that is meaningful to self and beneficial to the world.” Based on extensive research by the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, students with high levels of purpose formation not only lead happier lives, they also have lower rates of stress, anxiety, and depression as they align their values with meaningful actions in their lives.

World Leadership School Sessions
On Tuesday, Mr. Wehner led a workshop for area administrators attended by Elizabeth Martin (Head of Lower School), Matt Buck (Head of Middle School), Sarah Crowley (Director of Academic Affairs), and Jay Parker (Director of the Institute for Leadership & Purpose).

On Tuesday night, Mr. Wehner and Calvert hosted an Evening of Purpose for students and parents attended by over eighty community members.

On Wednesday, the Institute for Leadership & Purpose hosted the full-day Learning to Lead Conference, one of the largest regional events on leadership development, for one hundred and sixty Maryland teachers and students. This event was in partnership with the World Leadership School and the Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School.

Eighth Grader Teddy S. participated in the day, “I really enjoyed being part of an event with so many different schools and students coming together. I went in to Learning to Lead not knowing what to expect, and walked away more confident in my strengths.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Wehner facilitated in introductory workshop for the Calvert School faculty.

Seventh Ager teacher Casey Briggs beautifully summarized our faculty’s introductory workshop “During Ross Wehner’s discussion with faculty, I was struck with the feeling that our Eighth Graders are filled with purpose and are able to be because they allow themselves to be vulnerable in their reflection speeches and service activities. They are thinking about how they relate to the world, and how they can help others. At a time in life when many teenagers are trying desperately to blend-in and not be different, here at Calvert our Eighth Graders own their voices. It always reminds me that as adults and teachers, we can learn a lot from our students.”

Mr. Wehner and his WLS team will return in August 2019 for a full-day immersive workshop with the Calvert faculty, and collaborate with the Institute for Leadership & Purpose throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

Want to learn more about Purpose?
Ross Wehner’s Article - Igniting the Spark from Independent Schools Magazine
Calvert School is a coed independent lower and middle school.