This spring, students returned to the Leadership School as the ice melted and the loons returned to Damariscotta Lake. Over the last three weeks, the Educators at The Leadership School at Kieve-Wavus have worked with over 500 students from 6 different communities in Maine. Programs range from bringing ice-breakers, humor and familiarity to middle schools trying to break down school cliques and barriers during a mix-it up lunch to 5 day residential programs designed to improve school culture, personal initiative at Kieve’s campus in Nobleboro, ME.
The residential season opened with a 3-day program with 7th graders from Whittier Middle School. Whittier teachers and students arrived prepared to maximize their time connecting with one another, growing as a school community and simply having fun. As they left, Leadership School Educators praised the Whittier teachers for their high level of commitment to the students and the program – exemplified when they arrived at evening program in costume. Their enthusiasm and connection planted the seeds for the spring season and the energy they shared with TLS Educators is being cultivated and growing with each new program.
Students from Bucksport, Freeport and Ft Kent have participated in subsequent programs and after each, teachers and administrators marvel at how much they have learned about their students, how much their students have gained and wonder how they will keep the work alive in their schools. Teachers and administrators have come to view the Leadership School as a critical ally in their efforts to build and maintain positive school culture. As Shawn Vincent, Principal at Whittier Middle School said, “we had a terrific experience at Kieve . . . I hope we can make the Educator in Residence work.”
The Educator in Residence program is an adaptation of the work of the Leadership School in which a Leadership School Educator is embedded in a school community for an 8-week period. This provides meaningful, on the ground support for carrying the TLS language and lessons back to school and integrating them into the community. As the Educator in Residence nurtures and supports the school community, Kieve-Wavus builds ever deeper connection and commitment to the schools served by the Leadership School program.
Kieve-Wavus operates Leadership School programs to provide students with experiences that encourage responsible decision-making, build and maintain healthy relationships, broaden and raise aspirations, and improve 21st century skills like collaboration, cooperation and critical thinking. Kieve-Wavus provides scholarship support for ½ of the cost of each Leadership School program.