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We believe two things about leadership: anyone can learn to lead, and leadership is more than just titles or positions. 

The most effective way to lead is by first understanding and then building on one’s strengths. This approach, designed to maximize well-being, is based on research and outcomes from the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology program, and is a proven alternative to the more traditional focus on character deficits. Through the experience of being leaders, whether it is for a group project, a planned activity, or an elected position, students practice leadership throughout their time at school, and they get consistent feedback to help them grow as leaders. Each student develops leadership skills at their own pace, and we encourage them to assume leadership roles as soon as they are ready, regardless of grade level.

There are many ways our students practice leadership and grow as leaders, including:

  • Prefects - the highest leadership position at the school, prefects are juniors and seniors who oversee the Honor Council, proctor study halls, and serve the school community in a variety of other ways.
  • Student Government Association - student government elections are held each spring, and the elected students work together to establish their priorities for the upcoming year.
  • Students from grades 8-12 can organize, lead/coach, or collaborate on afternoon co-curricular activities for 6th- and 7th-grade students.
  • Clubs & Activities - both school-sponsored groups, such as the National Honor Society, and student-initiated clubs offer students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.

The most successful way students have developed their leadership is by identifying a need and then gathering students to address that need. Recent examples of this include:

  • The Black Student Union and the Environmental Club were both started by students and are entirely student-run groups that respond to needs in the community that those students identified.
  • Students researched Indigenous Peoples’ Day and developed a presentation for the entire school community to promote the conversation about why the School should celebrate this day instead of Columbus Day.
  • Seeing an opportunity to share their culture with those outside of the School community, a group of students plans and leads a Lunar New Year celebration every year that is open to the public.
  • The STU Spectator online newspaper was envisioned by students and now publishes regularly throughout the school year.

These are just some of the many ways students develop their leadership skills while at Stuart Hall. Leadership opportunities abound in a small school like ours, and our students graduate ready to lead in college and their careers because of their experiences here.