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Students Blaze Trail at Leadership Forum

Leadership is not easy to define yet we often talk about it when we work with students—we ask them to be leaders, to set an example for their peers, to be captains of teams, members of student council, and to lead clubs.

This year a small group of faculty members from the middle and upper school worked together to develop the Leadership Forum. The goal: to provide an opportunity for our students to think about, discuss and plan for the year as student leaders in our community. The faculty planning team included Bruce Zellers, Meg Seng, Bridget Maldonado, Luke Jansen, Amanda Harper and Cathy Renaud.

Greenhills hosted its Student Leadership Forum Aug. 20, with 84 middle school and upper school students on campus for an afternoon filled with speakers and workshops.

The event began with lunch in the dining room. This was the first time some of the students had seen one another since school ended in June. The energy and excitement was evident from the moment students entered the building. Following lunch Adam Baru, Class of ’89 and owner of the Mani Osteria and Isalita restaurants in Ann Arbor, discussed how he exercises leadership through establishing a vision; an expectation of excellence and a community built on trust and communication.

Following Mr. Baru’s talk, students adjourned to the senior forum where small groups of both middle and upper school students participated in an activity to identify leaders and leadership. The groups then split by division to complete a self-assessment and discuss their own leadership characteristics.  Doug Finton, a leadership development specialist who works for Vital Skills International, led the upper school students in a visioning and communication exercise.Bridget Maldonado and Amanda Harper led the middle school group on a structured form of brainstorming known as a chalk walk and community building exercise. The group reconvened to talk about their roles and goals for the upcoming school year.

Head of School Carl Pelofsky closed the forum by reflecting on Mr. Baru’s opening remarks and his own experience as a student leader. He asked those present to set the tone, show up, and value kindness in their respective roles this year.  Finally, he pledged his support in helping students achieve their goals.

 — By Cathy Renaud, Head of Upper School; Meg Seng, Director of Athletics; and Bruce Zellers, 12th Grade Principal

Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.