April 14: Servant Leadership

Spotlight on Schools: Servant Leadership

April 14, 2017 — Hello Black River Falls Community, this is Dr. Shelly Severson with the
School District of Black River Falls here to share this week’s installment of our Spotlight on Schools! I’d like to take today’s spotlight time to talk about servant leadership and a program called Character Strong.

If you haven’t heard of the term Servant Leadership, it can easily be defined as leading through being a servant first. Robert K. Greenleaf, who is sometimes considered the servant leadership guru, says this: “ Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enrich the lives of inpiduals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.”

There is a movement through several business partners in the La Crosse area that want very much for schools to incorporate servant leadership into their schools. They are funding the curriculum and teacher training necessary for students to become leaders through service. I have frequently said that schools exist to serve the communities that support them. This is an excellent opportunity to pass this service to community idea to our students in a way that will engage and motivate them.

In an effort to increase positive student leadership and have a positive impact on the overall climate of the high school, there is a group of staff that are taking advantage of an outstanding opportunity to receive training and TONS of resources to engage and empower students in the area of Servant Leadership. We will be facilitating a week-long Servant Leadership Institute to build the toolboxes of these students and empower them to have that positive impact in their everyday interactions. We are inviting all students that currently hold a leadership title within the building; whether they are class officers, FFA officers, captains on sports teams, class officers, student senators, etc.

The program is called Character Strong and we can’t wait to see the positive impact this group of students will have when we give them the empowerment and tools to reach outside of themselves and focus on their service to others, to positively impact the good of all! When we take the time to serve people and not just projects, we create a school where everyone wants to be there, and this makes all the difference.

In keeping with our routine this year of sharing some sunshine each week, I wanted to highlight some of the comments that parents of Forrest Street Early Learning Center responded when they were asked; “What do you appreciate most about the District?”

  • “Open Communication.”
  • “It’s a large family as a whole, all working together to bring the best education to today’s youth!”
  • “The feeling of pride that most of the teachers and staff have in our district.”
  • “Great small town school and feel connected to teacher.”
  • “Appreciate everything.”
  • “Teachers are friendly and do a nice job communicating with parents.”

    As always, if you have any questions about this or anything else within the
    district, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you so much for your support of
    the School District of Black River Falls! Go Tigers!


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