Leadership is infused and integrated throughout every course in the curriculum. The Gerstell Academy Motto, Principles, and Attributes serve as the values foundation for the leadership experience and are constantly reinforced in every activity.
Gerstell Academy’s definition of Leadership is: the art of positively influencing others to unite in a common direction and guiding them to improve themselves and their community. A community can be very small such as a family or class or as large as the world. There is a need for effective leadership at the local, national, and international level. As a leader, each individual must develop their own style. At Gerstell, we work intently on developing our students to be positive leaders of character. Leadership encompasses many attributes; among these are; the ability to listen, express appreciation, set the example, be resourceful as well as persevere through challenges. Leaders have a vision and dedication to service and understanding of self and others. By integrating leadership education into our core curriculum and into student life, we encourage our boys and girls to grow and embrace life’s opportunities with vigor.
Leadership development requires specific education and comprehensive skill development. At Gerstell Academy the leadership education focuses on five academic areas:
1. Traditional leadership – which is an exploration and education of the behavioral expectations and values of a leader. This includes manners, civility, public speaking, values, moral, ethical and legal decision making, as well as critical thinking. The values taught are an expansion of the values embedded in the Gerstell Motto, Principles, and Attributes.
2. History – an analytical examination of the recent relevant history (25-50 years) that has allowed the United States to become the world leader it is today.
3. Science – the leadership emphasis is on environmental issues and concerns. We live in a world of limited resources and it is important to ensure that students understand how scientific leadership affects us and the world we share today and for future generations.
4. Psychology – all leaders must first understand themselves and then understand others in order to be effective. The study of psychology allows students to explore and understand who they are and how they develop as well as gain an understanding of group dynamics. Adolescent psychology begins in the middle school and continues into the upper school. The Upper School focuses on group dynamics, management, and sport psychology.
5. Comparative religions and cultures – are studied to develop an understanding of the five major religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Understanding the world’s major religions and their cultures is critical to increasing understanding, tolerance, and promoting a broader world view.