Student Leadership Development
Latin Leads with Honor
Leadership was an important part of Latin's Founders' vision for the school in 1970, and it continues to be a Core Value.We believe that for our students to excel at Latin and in life, it is essential for them to develop and exercise leadership skills. As part of the fiber of Charlotte Latin, leadership is taught throughout our classrooms. Latin Leads with Honor, our student leadership development program under the direction of Ann Thompson Brock ’81, identifies and brings various leadership activities into one cohesive program. Working with the North Carolina-based Center for Creative Leadership, Brock developed a scaffolded leadership development framework that adds complexity and challenge as students progress from Lower School through graduation.
Can leadership really be taught?
Yes! It can be taught and learned. Like any skill, practice is important. Charlotte Latin Leads with Honor provides opportunities to practice leadership and gives a common language to use when we talk about and reinforce leadership skills. The program utilizes a variety of teaching methods spanning our classrooms, athletics fields and artistic arenas to establish, nurture and exercise leadership skills every day.
How do we teach leadership at Latin?
We started with a well-articulated framework that pulls the myriad leadership exercises, conversations and topics together that span the School, from kindergarten to Grade 12, creating a cohesive, intentional program. Within the framework are four focus areas – Honors Self, Honors Others, Honors Learning and Honors Leading – which are designed to:
- Include all students
- Span the entire school
- Involve all key stakeholders (students, teachers, staff, parents, alumni and trustees)
- Operate from a clear, consistent, common language and framework
- Be guided by a set of long-term objectives
Ann Thompson Brock ’81,
Director of Student Leadership Development
Ann Thompson Brock ’81 is Charlotte Latin’s Director of Student Leadership Development. Brock, who began her lifelong connection to Latin as a second grade student in 1970, returned in 2012 from UNC Charlotte’s Venture program to create and direct Hawks Quest. Hawks Quest is Charlotte Latin’s experiential education program designed to build leadership and team-building. In 2017, Brock became Latin’s first Director of Student Leadership Development with a mission to provide tools to teach leadership to all students. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Brock currently serves on the North Carolina Outward Bound School Board of Directors.
At Charlotte Latin we believe:
- Leadership is not optional, it is essential.
- Leadership is a calling, not a title or position.
- A leader’s attitude can determine his or her destiny.
- Leaders embody integrity above all other virtues.
- Leaders admit their mistakes and learn from failures.
- Successful leaders can work both independently and collaboratively.
- Leaders cast a vision and embrace change.
When I was a student, leadership was focused on traditional roles – members of the Student Council, the lead in the play or the captain of the varsity team. It is important that we encourage leadership as a lifelong characteristic of our students and adhere to the concept of servant leadership as the ideal model. It might not come naturally at first and we should give each and every student the opportunity to try it on.
Ann Brock ’81, Director of Student Leadership Development
Leads with Honor in Action
Lamm Hawks Quest
Lamm Hawks Quest is Charlotte Latin’s signature experiential education program. Hawks Quest features an on-campus low and high challenge course consisting of a number of elements and activities designed to inspire leadership, encourage problem-solving and enhance a sense of community. An integral component of Latin Leads with Honor, the School’s student leadership development initiative, students become aware of self, others and the impact made on each other.
“Challenge by choice” creates an environment where appropriate risk-taking is encouraged to navigate obstacles. Latin students are provided hands-on opportunities in outdoor education, leadership development and character development. Participants’ age, maturity and physical abilities are considered in choosing appropriate elements for each group. Participants face increasingly complex challenges, followed by an opportunity to discuss their experiences. Hawks Quest promotes the power of experience combined with intentional and tailored challenge to inspire students of all ages to grow as individuals and as a community.
Eighth Grade Leadership Rotation
The Task: Build a sustainable fort in the woods
Timeframe: 13 sessions during P.E. class
How: Work as a team in groups of 10 to conceptualize, design and construct an outdoor fort while assuming different roles such as architect, project manager, inventory manager and weather forecaster
Results: Some of the skills the students exercised were adaptability, compromise, listening, decision making, deliberation, discussion and resilience. The project included daily reflections that identified successes and failures, as well as opportunities and challenges.
Student Athletic Leadership Team (SALT)
SALT is a group of non-captain juniors and seniors from each varsity team who meet monthly to discuss how they can best serve as leaders in their teams and for fellow students. Led by Assistant Athletic Director, Deb Savino, with Ann Brock as one of the advisors, SALT students set the monthly meeting agenda. Topics discussed include addressing teammates not "pulling their weight," approaching coaches respectfully and encouraging fellow students to support less well-attended athletic events. The topics led to the creation of initiatives by Brock.
SALT members were trained to lead their peers through implementation of the initiatives, taking the first step in leading their teams to solutions. Students learned how to debrief and discuss the initiatives' application to their teams and others at School.
McIntosh Leadership Center
Named for Arch N. McIntosh, Jr., Latin's Headmaster from 2001-2019, the McIntosh Leadership Center is scheduled to open in early 2020. Centrally located in the heart of campus, the building is currently home to the World Languages and Upper School History departments and will be renovated to serve as a “hub” for students of all grade levels and a destination for students to learn, collaborate and grow as leaders in our Latin community and in Charlotte.
Features of the Leadership Center will include:
- A bridge that connects the McIntosh Leadership Center to our signature covered walkways and main pedestrian thoroughfare of campus
- Outdoor gathering space
- A Student Commons area which offers students a space to dine, gather and study
- Additional classrooms
- Dedicated, collaborative space for all Latin Leads with Honor programming
Leadership is often seen as positional, like a team captain or a student body president. Our program is the opposite, with an intentional focus on everyday leadership that includes citizenship, integrity, empathy, collaboration and honor.
Arch N. McIntosh, Jr.