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Learning to Lead 2019
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When: 04/03/2019
8:30 am to 2:30 pm
Where: Calvert School
4300 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland  21218
United States

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Event Categories: Conference with Direct Instruction, Hands On and Roundtables

Learning to Lead is a flagship event in the AIMS calendar each year, owing to its commitment to encouraging the development of leadership skills in our student populations. It is a day-long event with breakout options, a keynote and round table discussions. The 2019 Learning to Lead Conference will be generously hosted by The Calvert School in Baltimore. This year, we will invite a small group of students to participate in a sort of student incubator workshop led by our keynote speaker Ross Wehner.

Every year, NAIS issues a Megatrends guide and we’ll start by looking at this year’s trends. We’ll explore a way to take these apparently disconnected trends, laden with buzzwords we hear all the time, and stitch them into a meaningful narrative about the future of learning, which we’ll call “Skills + Action.” It’s no longer enough to merely create the opportunity for students to develop critical global skills like creativity and collaboration. In the future of learning, schools will help students develop these skills through taking action on real world, messy problems. Skills + Action allow students to get outside of themselves and their schools and into the world, and opens possibilities for exploring purpose. Purpose is a core of meaning inside of us, which is connected to an action in the world. As part of this session, we will examine case studies of “skills + action” from different K-12 schools, and we’ll look at some global competency frameworks and assessment tools that can help guide us. As we enter the Folio goal planning process, we will think about how we can bring a “skills + action” focus to our work this year. If time permits, we will work in small teams to come up with ideas, and workshop them through a school-wide innovation process called “Marketplace of Ideas.” This session is designed to get teacher teams excited about the future of learning and advancing on innovative ideas.

Ross Wehner is Founder and Executive Director of World Leadership School (, the mission of which is to empower young leaders to find new and innovative solutions to the world’s pressing problems. World Leadership School accomplishes its mission by helping schools develop innovative global education programs, which include classroom projects and global travel. World Leadership School manages hundreds of K-12 students per year in service programs across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Ross is a veteran teacher and facilitator. He taught leadership and risk management as a wilderness instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School and as a mountain guide for Alpine Ascents, a climbing agency in Seattle. He has guided clients on rock and ice climbs throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. He has also taught at The Bush School in Seattle and the University of Virginia, where he earned his M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literature in 1999.

Tentative Schedule


8:30 am                         Arrival

9:00 am                         Keynote Speaker

                Ross Wehner, World Leadership School


10:30 am – 1:00 pm     WLS Youth Action Accelerator (students)

                                      runs concurrently


10:15 am                       Outward Bound Initiative

10:30 am - 11:20 am      Workshop #1

11:25 am - 12:15 pm      Workshop #2


11:45 am                       Youth Action Accelerator Lunch


12:15 pm - 12:55 pm      Lunch

1:00 pm -1:50 pm           Outward Bound Initiative

1:50 pm - 2:30 pm          Closing

                 Ross Wehner & Students


#1 Engaging Students through Experiential Character Education

Presented by Chris Cox of St. Paul’s School for Boys and Kelly Reynolds of Outward Bound Baltimore

“How do we build middle schoolers with purpose?” This question was the driving force to rethink and redesign the 8th grade advisory track, resulting in a year-long endeavor to incorporate experiential character education into the academic year.  Participants will walk away from this workshop with an understanding of what experiential character education is, how it serves to truly engage students in purposeful character education, and grapple with us about how to extend students’ meaningful experiences into and throughout the school year.      


#2 Building a Curriculum with Purpose

Presented by Toni Woodlon of Friends School of Baltimore

Educating the world’s future leaders begins with purposeful planning to inform purposeful teaching and learning.  In this interactive and collaborative workshop, participants will learn how to put some purpose, engagement, and personalization (PEP) in the curriculum so that learners see themselves reflected in the curriculum and see how their unique strengths and attributes may be leveraged to lead for a greater good.  This workshop - designed for teachers, administrators, instructional coaches, and curriculum coordinators – will combine best practices of Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) and Mind, Brain, & Education (MBE). Participants will leave with a customizable tool that may be used in the classroom immediately!

Leading from the Inside Out: Finding Purpose Through Protocols

Presented by McDonogh School Senior student-participants of the Rollins-Luetkemeyer Leadership Program

Protocols serve as guidelines for meaningful and efficient communication to problem-solve and learn with the intent of ensuring that ALL voices in the room are heard and honored.  Students first learn more about themselves as individuals, then focus on how to effectively work together as a group by understanding and utilizing individual and collective strengths, with the ultimate goal of making a difference in our school and community. This workshop will demonstrate two protocols:

  1. Compass Points, a protocol used to better understand each member’s leadership style and how we best work together (20 minutes)

  2. Setting Agreements, a protocol to establish agreements for working together in order to reach year goals (20 minutes)


#4 Exploring Leadership in Partnership: St. Paul’s School for Girls & Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women

Presented by Joie Gill and 8th grade students of St. Paul’s School for Girls

With a shared mission of inspiring young women to find their voice and lead in the world, beyond campus and their immediate community, a partnership between St. Paul’s School for Girls (SPSG) and the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW) was a natural fit. It was identified that developing leaders at the Middle School level was a priority for both schools and that there was room for growth in that area on each campus. This workshop will explore how the partnership has developed over the past four years, highlight the ongoing impact in leadership development on both campuses, and provide examples of joint community service projects making positive differences in both campus communities.

Cultivating Leaders in a Values-based Community

Presented by Gerstell Academy Upper School Students

As a Leadership school, Gerstell Academy’s mission to create positive leaders is integrated throughout all curricular areas for all students, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. By providing leadership tools and values within a mission-driven community, Gerstell Academy gives students what they need to define their own purpose within and beyond the campus. When new students join the Upper School without the benefit of coming through Lower and Middle Schools, who better to acclimate them to the Gerstell Academy’s Leadership Mission and Value System than veteran students? New students are then mentored and nurtured by the entire community – faculty, students, and parents - to reach their full potential as leaders. This workshop will look at Gerstell Academy’s Summer Bridge Program and New Student Orientation from two different perspectives: the students who lead it and the new students who need it. Additionally, administrators/faculty will be available to discuss how the program has evolved over the years and what the future holds.


Applicable Grades: K-12


AIMS members: $85 (through March 20th); $95 (after March 20th)

Student Accelerator (By Invitation) $50 Per Student

Non-AIMS members:  $120 (before March 20th; $130 (after March 20th)

Please note that NO REFUNDS will be issued for cancellations for this class after March 23rd.

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