In early April, the Leadership Blog of the Gardner Carey Leadership Institute (gcLi), a national forum on student leadership, published an article by St. Mark's faculty member Liz McCullough about the innovative Lion Term program begun last spring.
McColloch describes St. Mark's Lion Term as "a two-week experiential education program that ends the school year. During Lion Term, each grade has its own unique focus."
Ms. McColloch, Director of Lion Term and a French teacher in the School's Modern Language Department entitled her piece "Leadership from All Directions—The Collaborative Effort of Lion Term." In it, Ms. McColloch traces the story of how Lion Term came to be, reflecting on the challenges entailed in that experience and sharing some successes from its debut.
Shortly after the conclusion of St. Mark's first-ever Lion Term, Ms. McColloch attended the gcLi Leadership Lab in Colorado. The mission of gcLi is to empower teachers to teach leadership to students. "Young people," declares the Instiutute, need to develop a thoughtful awareness — indeed a reverence for — leadership qualities in themselves and others." Teachers, asserts the gcLi website, "are the best conduits for conveying this reverence to young people, but they need training and support to do it well."
The Gardner Carney Leadership Institute has more than 700 graduates in schools around the country. Several St. Mark's teachers have attended gcLi summer Leadership Labs, and current Assistant Head of School/Dean of Faculty Samantha Brennan is also a gcLi faculty member.
"Lion Term promotes student leadership in a variety of subtle ways," writes McColloch. "Lion Term is not about replacing our core curriculum, in which teachers are experts in their fields and have a wealth of knowledge to share with their students, but rather about complementing it. How can collaborative, creative, and metacognitive skills enhance the knowledge base our students gain throughout the year? What roles will leadership, resilience, and empathy play in our students' futures?"
"It is a wonderful article," says Jay Parker, executive editor of the gcLi's national Leadership Blog. "It has been posted online and sent out to hundreds of educators across the country and globe. We are proud to share Liz's outstanding scholarly work."
Congratulations to Ms. McColloch.