What makes a Gibbons leader? Helping to answer that not-so-simple question is a goal of the annual, three-day Gibbons Leadership Conference or GLC.
The conference is intended to empower students' leadership abilities to celebrate and promote the vibrant campus life at Gibbons. This year's conference was held July 23-25.
Joining the 25 junior and senior students on their leadership journey were ten Gibbons educators. Among them were Principal Jason Curtis, the conference leader, and Science Educator Gabi Burn '08, the
conference coordinator. (See full list of 2018 GLC participants.)
"We hope to shift the focus away from leadership based on 'me' and turn it into leadership through relationships and mentoring younger students in this new way of thinking," says Gabi Burn '08, conference coordinator and Gibbons science educator.
Asked about the impact of the conference Burn says: "This conference totally smashes the conventional definition of leadership and teaches students to view leadership as a life-giving opportunity to help others understand and develop their own unique skills, but also to take those skills and do something positive in the school community... We hope to shift the focus away from leadership based on 'me' and turn it into leadership through relationships and mentoring younger students in this new way of thinking."
How does the conference help students reach those goals? This year's conference, Burn notes, was focused on "teaching leadership theory but also working on skills that allow leaders to be better leaders for others - how to care for others, make others feel comfortable, and identify unique gifts and talents in others."
Andrew Battistoni '20 says the conference taught him, "the difference between management and true leadership, the difference between visions and goals, how to utilize input from others, and how to model leadership for others." He adds that he hopes to use what he learned "to make myself a better leader for the clubs I serve."
Theology Educator Austin Faur also came away from the conference feeling empowered. "Every single Christian is called to lead others closer to Christ, and the Saints offer us a great model on how to do so..., " he says. "I'm excited to look at the lives of the Saints through the lens of GLC to see how we can deepen our relationship with Christ and enable others to do the same."
The lessons learned at GLC will continue throughout the school year. "This year," Burn notes, "students and educators will meet monthly post-conference to continue the learning process but also provide opportunities for practical application and to dig deeper into some of the theories and skills taught at the conference."