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Latin Leads Update
By Dr. Sonja Taylor, Assistant Head for Academic Affairs
Following the January 2023 launch of the Latin Leads strategic plan, the immediate focus has been on Goals 1, 3, and 4, with the formation of three task forces addressing the Portrait of a Latin Leader (Goal 1), Community Wellness (Goal 3), and Purpose and Belonging (Goal 4). Work on Goal 2 will begin in the 2023–2024 school year. Work on Goal 5 begins this spring.
Progress on Specific Goals
Portrait of a Latin Leader
The Portrait of a Latin Leader (PLL) Task Force was organized in November 2022. (Leadership + Design is a consulting partner to complete this work.) The task force comprises faculty, staff, and administrators. The group held its initial meeting in December 2022, which introduced model portraits and allowed for reflection on the meaning of leadership at Latin. Since that time, L+D has held visioning sessions with the senior administration, faculty, and staff (January 2023) and two follow-up working sessions with the task force members (January and February 2023). In March 2023, all employees were invited to explore progress and offer feedback on the emerging attributes that have begun to shape the portrait. The design team used this input to further refine the portrait and narrow the list of attributes. During the April professional development day, the L+D team led an all-employee session for cross-functional ideation and collaboration among faculty and staff where they discussed the characteristics that personify student leadership within and beyond the classroom. The portrait will be completed in June 2023.
Goal 3: Community Wellness
The Wellness Task Force was organized in September 2022, and has met regularly since its inception. The task force has focused on Initiative 3.1, defining wellness. The larger task force was subdivided into working groups charged with exploring best practices in peer and aspirational schools, in higher education, and in corporate and non-profit entities. The working groups conducted interviews with representatives from each of the aforementioned entities and this data is being analyzed to identify themes. To understand the current state of wellness at Latin, Middle and Upper School students, as well as employees, recently participated in the Authentic Connections survey (Initiative 3.2). The findings from this survey coupled with the work of the task force will help us to identify appropriate responses to identified wellness needs. The first phase of the Task Force’s work will conclude in Summer 2023.
Purpose and Belonging
The Purpose and Belonging Task Force held its first meeting in October 2022. This task force meets regularly and is focused on Initiative 4.2, Accountability and Reporting. Similarly to the Wellness Task Force, some task force members have been interviewing peer and aspirational schools to learn more about the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) metrics that inform their goal-setting and measures of progress. Other task force members have been interviewing internal constituents about how DEI metrics are used in academic, operational, and advancement areas. This work is ongoing. Another essential part of Goal 4 is Isa Stokes’ work (Initiative 4.3). The most significant progress is that Stokes was hired. But more specifically, Stokes has been actively working with students and families to support their successful retention at Latin. Examples include partnerships with faculty to ensure students set and meet academic goals, assisting students with time management and self-advocacy strategies, and supporting new-to-independent school parents as they learn to navigate an unfamiliar setting.
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HAWKS TAKE A BITE OUT OF THE BIG APPLE
September brought a long-awaited trip to New York City, as the Alumni Relations office, accompanied by Head of School Chuck Baldecchi and Upper School faculty member Chris Downing, spent a fun few days in the Big Apple. From attending a storytelling show headlining Will Clegg ’98 in the East Village, to hosting more than 100 Latin alumni and New York Giants fans on a Saturday afternoon in Greenwich Village, to having a Hawks fan section at the MetLife Stadium cheering on a Daniel Jones ’15 and Giants (vs Panthers) win, it was an all-around great re-entry into life Out of the Blue.
Chip Griffin ‘15, Chuck Baldecchi, and Perry Zollicoffer ‘15
Chiege Okwara P ‘08 ‘09 ‘12 ‘15, Kathy Ibach Horvath ‘78 P ‘13 ‘15, Avery Horvath ‘15, Carrie Mittl ‘15, and Amma Okwara ‘12
Julia Cantalupo ‘16, Sarah Jordan ‘16, Elizabeth Lang ‘16 and Emma Saba ‘16
Fans of the Hawks, Panthers, and Giants
Liz Asti ‘96 and Will Clegg ‘98
Director of Alumni Relations Sally Gray Smith ‘82, James Gallagher ‘05, and Lyde Spann Uffleman ‘94
Compie Newman ‘78 P ‘16 and Chris Canty ‘00