• Educators learn about leadership at CGSC

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  • Principals and their protégés from around the country participated in an inaugural event at Fort Leavenworth Nov. 13-15 to learn more about how the Army develops leaders so that they can become better leaders themselves.
    Organized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the event at the Lewis and Clark Center’s Arnold Confernce Room highlighted the parallels found in military and secondary education.
    According to Dick Flanary, NASSP’s deputy executive director of programs and services, the seminar had been three years in the making. He said leadership makes a significant difference in secondary education.
    “We’ve been told from research that principals’ daily performance is second only to classroom teachers in terms of impacting student achievement,” he said. “They are very important.”
    Unfortunately, he said, in today’s “education enterprise,” the opportunity for professional development is limited, as are financial resources. Consequently, middle, junior and senior high school principals are so focused on accountability that they don’t focus on themselves.
    To do just that, 15 award-winning principals chose a protégé to attend the seminar with them, Flanary said.
    “So this is an opportunity to be here with the Army, to see a different perspective on how leaders are developed and the process that the Army goes through,” he said. “The expertise that the Army brings to leadership development gives these folks another view and reinforces the concept that, ‘Maybe I need to do this a little more in terms of my own development.’
    “These folks tend to be very modest, but that development of themselves is critically important on how they perform in their jobs,” he said. “From that standpoint, this is an opportunity to help our folks become better leaders.”
    The seminar was also an opportunity to promote the idea that young people should consider careers in the military or join the ROTC. Army officials speaking to the group included Dr. W. Chris King, dean of academics at the Command and General Staff College, and Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais, deputy commanding general for the U.S. Army Cadet Command, the official home of the ROTC.
    Flanary said that educators have the responsibility to apprise their students of opportunities that are available in the workforce.
    “I think we aren’t doing our jobs if we don’t say to young students, ‘You ought to look at this,’” he said.
    According to several educators who participated, the event was worthwhile.
    “I had no idea the level of education and the quality of education that was available to the military,” said Stephanie Feldner, principal of Menominee Indian Middle School in Neopit, Wis. “It is incredible. I literally had no idea of any of that, and to see the facilities here, to meet so many high-ranking officers, it’s absolutely impressive. So many of us will go back to school, not only with the leadership, knowledge and skills that we gained here, but also to be able to tell kids at school about the opportunities that are available to them.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Matt Saferite, principal of M.O. Ramay Junior High School in Fayetteville, Ark., said that one takeaway from the seminar was the Army’s emphasis on reflecting on how it performs against a high-level and objective standard.
    “That’s what we’re trying to incorporate in our building and our district,” he said. “I think that reflection piece is huge.”
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