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Congratulations Leadership Institute Graduates

Friends Council on Education is grateful to be the host and facilitator of the Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools/IELFS – a two-year program of thoughtful and inspired professional growth and development. At the Annual Meeting on April 18, the 2022-2024 cohort of 20 members joined the broader community of 153 Institute alumni.

This year has been one of transitions as Irene McHenry stepped down from the program and Darryl Ford and Shu Shu Costa became more involved as program facilitators. McHenry says, “I am honored to have co-founded and shepherded the growth of the Leadership Institute for the past 21 years. As I step down from leading the program, I look back on many experiences and persons that have enriched the Friends school network. Each cohort member’s engagement in the reflective work of our retreats at Pendle Hill, shadowing a head of school, and creating an action research project has made a huge difference for the individual leader, their school, and the wider community of Friends schools.”

McHenry continues, “Most of our graduates have become heads and administrative leaders in Friends schools, and some in independent and public schools. In the way of Friends, we are influencing the wider world of education and intentionally bringing the special essence of Quaker education into the world.” The composition of leaders in today’s Friends schools is palpably different from a generation ago. There are more women who are heads as well as more heads of color. Moreover, there is a strong sense of shared responsibility of the community of Friends schools to claim the time and space for collaborative and reflective leadership.

Costa echoes McHenry, sharing her thoughts on the program from her added perspective as a member of the 2009-2011 Cohort. "IELFS is a different kind of leadership program, one that fully embraces the idea that true leadership comes from within. When we know who we are, when we have generous space to listen to our Inner Teacher, when we can see the Light that comes from others, we can learn to lead in transformative ways."

Interested in zeroing in on a particular colleague or topic? Use the links below to go directly to a cohort member’s action research project summary.

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