Oak Knoll’s Seniors Champion Leadership and Teamwork in the ‘Emerging Leaders’ Program

The Emerging Leaders in a Globalized World Program at Oak Knoll encourages students to hone higher levels of leadership and reflection throughout a collaborative process while bolstering their individual strengths and areas for development and their skills working on a team. By increasing self-confidence and fostering self-knowledge and higher-level leadership skills, the students are empowered to serve their community better now and as they venture on to college and their careers.

On Tuesday, March 5, 2024, senior class members gathered in the Choral Music Room to share the results of this year’s participation in the program. In May of their Junior year, students are oriented to the program, which then meets during eight sessions of their senior year. In a collaborative learning environment, students develop an understanding of leadership theory and practice by working in learning teams on problem-solving projects.

Dr. Rebecca Stilwell, Ph.D., an Organizational Psychologist and professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, facilitates the program. Students benefit from eight two-hour synchronous classes between September and April, and they individually benefit from three one-hour executive coaching sessions with Dr. Stilwell.

This year, the ten student leadership teams collaborated on solving a range of issues at school, including mechanisms to increase school and house spirit, increase attendance at sporting events, better methods to welcome and engage new students, ideas to connect Oak Knoll students with Holy Child Network students in other countries, buddy programs between Upper and Lower School, ways to foster alumnae/i engagement in senior capstone projects, and ways in which students can experience part-time jobs while assisting Oak Knoll parents. 

Though students generate these ideas and work together on solutions throughout the year, this culminating event has them summarizing their progress and reporting to their peers what they learned about their leadership styles and strengths and what they felt were the unique contributions of each team member.

As the Class of 2024 graduates enter institutions of higher learning, they will carry more arrows in their leadership quiver and serve as expert collaborators and problem-solvers.