All boarding, grades 9-12 in Alexandria, Virginia
November Leadership & Ethics Session Tackles Big Issues
On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 29, the community engaged in its second Leadership and Ethics program of the academic year.
The freshman class participated in an interactive workshop called The Ethics of Dorm Life. After answering some reflection questions about life on dorm, they discussed in small groups ways that they can positively contribute to everyone's experience in the dorm. Finally, Kristin Hosmer and Joey Halm from the counseling office led the ninth graders through conversations with their roommates in which they were encouraged to communicate their expectations with one another about visitors, managing conflict, and other crucial topics.
The tenth graders' workshop was called Owning the EHS Honor Code. They read and discussed a short story, So Much Unfairness of Things, written by an EHS graduate and first published in The New Yorker magazine in 1962. The story brings up the idea of turning in a friend who commits an honor violation. Faculty members led the sophomores through a conversation around the fourth point of the honor code: "I will report the student who does so." They asked questions such as, “Can the honor code exist without the fourth point?” and “How does integrity relate to loyalty?”
Eleventh grade students ventured into Washington, D.C. for a workshop called Styles of Leadership, in which they were charged with tracking down memorials and monuments of leaders who maintained qualities of the four types of leadership discussed in the Leadership & Ethics program. Junior Natalie Block ’19 went with a group that walked around the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
“My group looked for the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Daniel Webster, Samuel Hahnemann and many others. For each statue or representation of a figure that our group encountered, we tried to come up with a creative way to convey how that person expressed motivational, directive, analytical or communicative leadership qualities. It was a beautiful day to be in downtown D.C. and at one point during our adventure, we could see the White House straight ahead and Washington Monument peering over buildings. Overall, our program that day challenged us to think about what being a leader was, and how many people before us have been one."
The seniors engaged in a workshop on Being an Upstander with guest facilitator Dennis Clancey, EHS Class of 2000. Clancey spent six years as an active duty Army officer. Since then, he has worked for Amazon and Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that places veterans in work with disaster relief. Perhaps most interestingly, he has run with the bulls in Spain for the last nine years, where he guides and mentors first time runners! He encouraged seniors to think about how they can be an "upstander," the opposite of a bystander, in their lives here at EHS and beyond.
When Esther Kim ’19 left her small, predominantly white town in western Tennessee to attend Episcopal, she says she had little sense of what diversity means, or of its importance. Yet four years later, her work to make diversity a focus at EHS has earned her a Certificate of Accomplishment from the prestigious Princeton Prize in Race Relations.