The Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools was created by the
Friends Council on Education as a strategic network of Friends school
leaders working together in a learning community. Throughout the two-year
program, members strengthen their capacity and skills for the unique role of
Friends school leadership and the peculiar art of sustaining the Quaker
value-based ethos of a Friends school. Institute members collaborate as
learning partners with heads of Friends schools and conduct action research
projects that benefit the network of Friends schools.
Description of the Leadership Institute
This is a two year experience for those exploring or feeling called
to leadership in Friends schools. Candidates are expected to have had
full-time work experience in a Quaker school. Applications are invited
every second year. The next opportunity to apply will be in 2016, for
the cohort that will first gather in the fall of 2017. The process is
not complicated. One's head of school writes a letter to nominate the
candidate, and the candidate completes an application. Then there's a
group interview process in Philadelphia.
During the two years of the program, the cohort gathers four times
(three days, two nights) at Pendle Hill, the Quaker retreat center near
Philadelphia, for a wonderful program of well-paced exploration,
including leadership assessment, strengthening of skills, and other
leadership learnings and doings, facilitated by Irene McHenry, Drew
Smith, and guests (including panels of school heads and search
professionals). It is a dialogue-rich two years, producing personal
growth of all sorts, empowered selves, and wonderfully supportive
colleagueship and co-mentoring.
Each participant works with a carefully matched leadership partner
(all are current heads) and undertakes an action research project.
Short reports on the action research projects done by those in the
program's first three cohorts are archived on the Council's website.