What does the CFL stand for?

Olivia Schwartz '19, Arts Editor

The Center for Leadership (CFL), an important component of the St. Luke’s community, can be an incredibly helpful resource for both students and faculty, but many still struggle to understand the true role that it plays within our school community. I asked several classmates, “What does the CFL do?” and, “What does the CFL stand for?” and many stared back at me with a blank face. To get a clearer understanding of the CFL and the many opportunities it has to offer, I sat down with the new head of the CFL, Ms. Parker-Burgard.

Ms. Parker-Burgard believes that the confusion that surrounds the Center for Leadership stems from our societal definition of leadership. When most individuals hear the word “leadership,” they often think of a president, a club leader, or someone who is confident and extroverted. As she puts it, “When people think of leadership they usually think of positional leadership, but in the CFL we are also concerned about situational leadership. In our communities, we are all in situations where we can lead our communities by moving them forward.” Thus, a current goal of the CFL is to educate students and faculty on how they can use their personal strengths to help others, while simultaneously identifying and developing weaker skills.

Though the CFL has been successful with the growth of its programs, the Center still struggles to reach all members of the school community – especially those who may be classified as “quiet” leaders. Ms. Parker-Burgard notes that, this year, the CFL wants to “be more specific in teaching and installing leadership skills” in their programs. In design thinking, students are tasked with problem-solving; through global studies, students see the impact of their actions; with community service, students can experience leadership first-hand. In fact, the direct impact of community service demonstrates true leadership and develops confidence and other important life skills.

While the CFL is the hub for St. Luke’s leadership, the reality is that the whole school is teaching leadership. “Even though we are the Center for Leadership, teachers and students have been modeling leadership in the classroom and their everyday lives,” Ms. Parker-Burgard notes. If you’re wondering how you can get more involved with the CFL, Ms. Parker-Burgard believes that joining the current programs is the best place to start. This includes participating in Thursday’s Lunch and Leads held in the global classroom, giving a meditation, starting a club, and being active with community service.

Ask yourself this: in every group at St. Luke’s that you belong to, how are you contributing? The Center for Leadership can help each of us contribute in more meaningful ways – and become improved leaders along the way.