The Leadership Program

“I hope you will take Suffield’s culture of caring—of investing deeply in others and genuinely helping people prosper—into the communities you are part of in the years ahead. This will likely be Suffield’s greatest legacy in your lives.”   Charlie Cahn, Head of School
Many schools discuss the importance of leadership training, but at Suffield Academy we have fully established programs for all students to develop leadership skills. In 2002, Suffield embarked on an ambitious project to bring formal leadership studies to the academic program.

The aim of the Leadership Program is to develop human beings with integrity who wish to make a significant and positive impact on society. Our graduates will have the capacity to define and achieve meaningful goals and dreams. We will teach ways of thinking and develop skills, traits, and habits in order to enhance each student’s leadership qualities and capabilities. Core elements of the program include life skills, moral foundation, goal-setting, communication skills, successful problem-solving, self-awareness and inspiring others.

The Leadership Program Curriculum

Freshman Year: Personal Mastery / Foundations of Leadership
The freshman seminar in the leadership sequence stresses the discipline of “personal mastery.” It is designed to develop the skills, habits, and thought processes that will enable students to succeed at Suffield and beyond. The Personal Mastery course sets the experiential and conceptual foundation for Suffield’s subsequent leadership seminars. This class meets during an academic period.

Sophomore Year: Values, Vision, & Citizenship
The sophomore Foundations of Leadership seminar builds its curriculum from where the freshman Personal Mastery course leaves off. Expanding its curricular focus beyond the basic self-management, public speaking, and collaborative skills stressed in 9th grade, the 10th-grade seminar reinforces these habits of personal mastery while introducing elements of group dynamics, service learning projects, and more. This class meets during an academic period.

Junior Year: Preparing for Leadership
This course is designed to reinforce the competencies of personal mastery established in the freshman and sophomore seminars, while focusing more explicitly on developing the students’ leadership capabilities. This seminar does not meet during an academic period.

Senior year: Leadership in Action
Each Suffield senior is expected to exercise significant leadership responsibilities at school. Class time during this seminar is used primarily to reflect on and improve students’ performance in their leadership roles and responsibilities. This seminar does not meet during an academic period.