On Sunday, July 10, a group of Jewish educational leaders from around the country arrived at The Harvard Graduate School of Education, excited to begin LEV – Leadership: An Evolving Vision, a one-week intensive leadership program. The Day School Principal’s Program was developed and funded by a well-respected national foundation.
The administrators who were chosen for sponsorship are lifelong learners, committed to their roles as day school leaders and striving to improve their practice to enhance the school experience for every child and family. Working with Harvard professors and experts in the field, this cohort was part of the 140 educational leaders from around the world who came to Harvard to explore their craft.
The course load touched on all aspects of school life, including school culture, family engagement, leadership, strategic planning, collaboration, equity, and the various roles of a school leader. The administrators participated in days filled with presentations, workshops, seminars, small group collaboration, and self-reflection. The participants discovered that, across the world, all educational leaders have similar challenges, and yet the greatest commonality was that each and every participant truly cared about his/her students, staff, and school communities.
As part of the cohort’s participation in the program, each school leader is tasked with implementing an initiative at his/her school throughout the year. Their work will be supported with guidance from the program’s co-directors, Jonathan Cannon and Alanna Kotler of Educannon Consulting. These projects will be based on the content and ideas introduced at Harvard. Throughout the week, the cohort leaders from schools of different sizes, varied divisions, and religious affiliations came together to learn from each other and grow from the collaborative and introspective learning at Harvard. The depth of knowledge that was acquired while on the program provided each participant with new insight and ideas about leadership, and collectively they have formed important bonds and relationships that will enable them to continue as a powerful collaborative team.
The cohort, including leaders from Akiva Academy (OH), Barkai Yeshivah (NY), Ben Porat Yosef (NJ), Caskey Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia (PA), Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys / HALB (NY), The Adelson School (NV), Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy (NJ), Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School (IL), Magen David Yeshivah (NY), Northwest Yeshiva High School (WA), The Leffell School (NY), The Ramaz School (NY), Torah Academy of Boca Raton (FL), Yavneh Academy (NJ), Yeshivat Darche Eres (NY), Yeshiva University High School for Boys (NY), Yeshiva University High School for Girls (NY), and Yeshivat Noam (NJ) are so grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this program and look forward to the work that lies ahead.