Carlisle Unites Educational Community

A panel of community leaders speak to attendees of Carlisle's Leadership Summit.

A panel of community leaders speak to attendees of Carlisle’s Leadership Summit.

Carlisle School is making efforts as part of its strategic plan to serve as a convener of educational opportunities for the local community. Two recent events, the Youth Leadership Summit and Edcamp SoVa, provided opportunities for students, educators and administrators to work with those in the community to develop skills, knowledge and expertise in the field of education and leadership.

On Friday, April 9, students from Carlisle, Magna Vista, Bassett and Martinsville High School participated in the inaugural Youth Leadership Summit held at Carlisle School.

The day-long conference was planned, coordinated and carried out by 22 student leaders from Carlisle. Panel discussions led by local leaders were held on a variety of topics. Dr. Jared Cotton, Henry County Public Schools Superintendent, and Tommy Hudgins, Carlisle’s Head of School, led a discussion on Networking/Educational Leadership. Katie Connelly, CHILL Community Coordinator, and Heidi Pinkston, Piedmont Arts Director of Exhibitions, spoke about Community Leadership. Charles Aaron and Burr Fox, both leaders within Boy Scouts and the Order of the Arrow, and Tim Mills, a local minister who has been involved in mission trips, led a discussion on Leadership Through Service.

During the summit, hands-on workshops were conducted where students worked together as a group to make difficult decisions in various role-playing scenarios. For example, in “Kidney Machine,” students role played members of a hospital board who had to decide which patients would receive life-saving home dialysis machines. In “Moon Landing,” students role played as a team of astronauts with damaged supplies who had to determine which remaining supplies would allow for the best chance of survival.

The day closed with a motivational video of the 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas by a former Navy Seal Commander.

Teachers and administrators from the community hold a session at Edcamp SoVa, hosted by Carlisle and NCI.

Teachers and administrators from the community hold a session at Edcamp SoVa, hosted by Carlisle and NCI.

While this event was held just for students, Carlisle also recently hosted Edcamp Sova at New College Institute geared toward local teachers and administrators.

Unlike traditional conferences, Edcamps are considered to be an “unconference” where there are no set classes or schedules to adhere to. Topics are determined the day of the Edcamp by the attendees and are fueled by the concerns, interests and ideas of those in attendance.

More than 40 participants, both teachers and administrators, attended the March 1 event from Henry County, Martinsville, Rocky Mount, Chatham, Danville, Pittsylvania County and Winston-Salem, N.C. With the help of NCI’s Associate Director Leanna Blevins, Edcamp participants were able to take advantage of NCI’s innovative technology and facilities to ensure a productive conference. Teachers were able to earn recertification points for attending and completing an assignment due to involvement from Longwood University’s Pam Randall.

Due to the success of both events, Carlisle plans to offer them on an annual basis in the hopes of developing relationships with community educators and enhancing the leadership potential of local students.