BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College Kalon Scholar Service Leaders hosted the first annual Leadership Academy — a free seminar for Bethany students designed to improve leadership and communication skills— on Saturday, February 11 at the Mountainside Conference Center.
The event featured Bethany alumnus Chad Barnett ’96, Headmaster of the Linsly School, as keynote speaker with his presentation on “Using the College Experience to Maximize Your Leadership Potentia.l. Chad Barnett is a recipient of the NAIS Edward E. Ford Fellowship Award for Emerging Leaders and is a published scholar with another forthcoming article in Philosophical Studies in Education. He has served as Headmaster of Linsly School since 2008.
In his keynote address, Barnett spoke to students about his experience as headmaster of Linsly School, dealing with both practical economic concerns and changing strategies in education. He emphasized the importance of respecting tradition and legacy while embracing change and progress for the future, a lesson which certainly applies to Bethany as well. Barnett also encouraged students to get creative; he presented them with a hypothetical situation- the possibility introducing iPads and electronic textbooks to the classroom- and asked them to discuss the benefits, the potential problems and alternative solutions, as well as ways to encourage support for the project.
Timothy Weaver, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation and Head Football Coach, and Renee Stock, College Counselor, also presented at Saturday’s event.
After the keynote speech, students broke off into smaller groups for more focused sessions addressing the challenges of leadership. For the first session, they chose between “Managing vs. Leading” presented by Barnett or an interactive presentation titled “Personality Types and Leadership” which was led by Kalon Scholars Amanda Madurski and Kelvin Thomas. After a break for lunch, participants attended a second session, choosing between “Personality Types and Leadership”, or a presentation on “Conflict Resolution” by Bethany’s counselor Renee Stock.
The day’s activities finished with a hands-on team building exercise led by Kalon Scholar Flynn Pollard in which participants applied their communication and leadership skills to accomplish a confusing task. Following their successful completion of the task, there was a final gathering for closing remarks, and each student received a certificate of participation.