In the summer of 2011, Norwin School District sent a group of educators, administrators, and a school board member to Gettysburg to participate in the Gettysburg Foundation Leadership Program.
Most recently in summer 2012, Norwin School District – in partnership with the Gettysburg Foundation – once again had a new group of administrators and teachers experience the In the Footsteps of Leaders Program, which proved to be a highly successful and educational leadership seminar.
The program helps school leaders understand leadership theory from a new perspective, while the battlefield experience makes history come alive.
In the Footsteps of Leaders:
Norwin's Gettysburg Leadership Program, Summer 2012
Map of Union and Confederate Military Formations, Gettysburg, July 2, 1863
One might ask: How does the battle of Gettysburg relate to leadership? President Dwight D. Eisenhower answered this question in his book, At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends.
"The battle was not just a contest of armed muscle," Eisenhower wrote. "On the field, men found themselves resources of courage, of leadership, of greatness they had not known before. And, they were not only men of physical courage. High moral courage marked them, too.”
Character, Competence and Courage are three qualities of effective leaders. During the Civil War our nation was engaged in a costly struggle for survival. The leadership decisions made at Gettysburg determined the fate of a nation. Ordinary men were placed in extraordinary situations. Some led effectively, others did not. The problems that many of these historic leaders faced are similar to the kinds of issues that today’s leaders face – issues such as empowerment, accountability, communication, and team building.
History and Background
Dr. William Kerr, Superintendent of Schools for Norwin School District, first experienced the Gettysburg Leadership Program through the Western Pennsylvania Forum for School Superintendents which partnered with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the summer of 2009 when school administrators participated in “A Leadership Walk Across Gettysburg.”
In October 2009, Dr. Kerr was one of five educational leaders from Pennsylvania and Virginia to participate in the Gettysburg Foundation and Indiana University of Pennsylvania Leadership Forum to discuss ways in which to promote the Gettysburg Leadership Seminar for School Administrators. As an outcome of “In the Footsteps of Leaders” experience, Dr. Kerr initiated a partnership with the Gettysburg Foundation so administrators and teachers could have the opportunity to participate in future educational seminars. The professional development initiative is made possible through the use of federal funds.
To learn more about the origins of the Gettysburg – Norwin Leadership Partnership, please read this news release.
The Norwin administration is profoundly grateful to Ms. Sue Boardman, Program Manager of the Gettysburg Foundation Leadership Program, for outstanding leadership, knowledge, and commitment to fostering a professional development initiative with the Norwin School District, which has been enlightening, productive, and inspirational.
In the Footsteps of Leaders:
Norwin's Gettysburg Leadership Program, Summer 2011