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District receives leadership grant PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 November 2017 12:42

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ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times



In recognition of some of the district’s recent successes, the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) recently announced Liberal Public Schools as one of the recipients of a Leadership Transformation Grant for 2018. 

“Our Leadership Transformation Grants provide skills training so Kansans from all walks of life can more successfully engage in the civic environment,” Patty Clark, acting CEO for the KLC, noted in a recent KLC press release. “Over the past decade, the Kansas Leadership Center has built a proven framework for leadership development and created a global reach for leadership education.” 

Upon receiving word of the grant back in October, Liberal High School Counselor Ashley Prosser said staff was excited. 

“I was pumped because the leadership skills they teach are so transferrable on a lot of levels. I could go, even though I’m not a teacher or administrator, and use those skills to be a good example for the students and also help lead the office ladies and it would also be great just in the community,” Prosser said. “I think it would also be great for some of our teachers to go because they have three different conferences as part of the grant – there’s the Leadership Edge, which is just the general leadership conference anyone can go to, then there’s the Equipped to Lead, and while anyone can go to that, you have to have gone through Leadership Edge first, and that one shows how to teach leadership not just to students. We’ve only got 40 spots, but I can see us using some of those who go to the Equipped to Lead coming back and giving some mini-sessions on leadership qualities for those here at LHS who didn’t get to go. The third conference is Lead for Change and that one’s for the leadership organization, so for like the principals, those people.”

This grant does a lot for its recipients, the KLC release noted. 

“The grant will provide leadership skills training through a variety of KLC programs offered in Wichita and Kansas City,” the KLC release noted. “The programs are designed to help organizations, communities, businesses, school districts and individuals make progress on the issues they care about most, as well as provide a common language for addressing tough challenges. Forty grantees were selected from the 93 applications submitted this year. These grants are funded by the Kansas Health Foundation and provide more than 1,500 spots in leadership programs for Kansans.”

Those programs, Prosser said, are particularly exciting. 

“After we go to the conferences, we’re going to bring it back to the meetings people are already involved in because the teachers don’t want yet another thing they have to spend a day away from the classroom to travel to,” Prosser said. “Our idea is to take the leadership qualities and bring them back and use them in the meetings they already are part of. I’m really pumped for the opportunity to get more leadership into the schools. We have great leadership right now, but I’m excited for other people from the school to have the opportunity to forge ahead. We’re in the beginning of our redesign project and that’s going to require a lot of leadership from other people. The teachers are going to be more in charge of what they teach and how they teach it, and I think that will encourage leadership from those who might not be in those roles, whether it be because they haven’t yet had the opportunity or because they don’t want to. So the redesign is really going to foster that in people and help.”

Overall, Prosser said, there will be several benefits from staff participating in the conferences and there will be a lot of good to come out of participating in the grant. 

“It’s already started for my stuff, I’ll be doing a presentation soon to get people recruited to go because a big point is to not try to recruit people who don’t want to, so we won’t sign people up, we’ll ask them to sign up,” Prosser said. “Then the first conferences are in February and then we have all year to take those classes and use the 4-year registration and everything. I think just that encouragement of leadership throughout the building and then throughout the community since a lot of our teachers are part of different community organizations outside of the school. So if we have that grassroots spread of leadership, it will help not only our school but the community too.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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