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Branksome Hall Launches the Centre for Strategic Leadership

Excitement was in the air on September 21, 2023 as Branksome Hall launched the Centre For Strategic Leadership (CSL), led by Karrie Weinstock, Head, Centre for Strategic Leadership, and Patricia DiNicolantonio, Head, Talent Management. The first of its kind at a JK–Grade 12 school in Canada, the CSL plays a key role in the school's strategic priority to invest in the growth, development and retention of its employees by taking a strength-based approach and using values-driven practices to uplift teams and build school-wide leadership capacity. 
While the CSL was officially launched in 2023, it had been growing and developing for two years.  A casual conversation between Karrie, Patricia and Karen sparked the idea of the CSL—an initiative that would provide Branksome Hall employees with a range of leadership programs to assist them in identifying their path to personal and professional leadership development. Before the official launch, employees have had numerous opportunities for leadership learning, coaching, team workshops and lunchtime conversations. “One of the key takeaways I had at one of the CSL sessions was the concept of adult development,” said Eric Ammerman, Manager, IT Support. “It helped me realize that I had room to be wrong sometimes.” These sessions, which continue to be part of the CSL’s offerings, are open to all employees and give them the opportunity to engage in leadership development as a group.
 
Guests of the launch included many members of the Branksome Hall community, including employees, Prefects and Branksome Hall’s fifth principal, Allison ROACH’51, who all gathered to celebrate in the Athletics and Wellness Centre Dance Studio.  In her opening remarks, Karrie Weinstock expanded on the state of leadership in the world: “Leaders create the future, and this is a very exciting time to be a leader. It is a time of experimentation, innovation and reinvention.”
 
Guests were treated to an in-depth leadership conversation between current Branksome Hall Principal, Karen L. Jurjevich and incoming Principal, Grace McCallum. “The whole idea of sharing perspectives and ideas is what our Centre is all about,” said Karrie before kicking off the discussion. Karen and Grace shared their insights about the qualities they have developed in their leadership capabilities, contemporary issues that have challenged them as school leaders and what excites them about the potential of the CSL. 
 
Following the discussion, Patricia DiNicolantonio closed out the event by thanking Grace and Karen for their insights: “The thoughtful, relevant and uplifting comments that you made really made it feel like we had leadership learning today.” The event ended with a toast to the Centre for Strategic Leadership.
 
We look forward to seeing how employees take advantage of this exciting opportunity to develop the leadership skills necessary to take them to the next level of their careers. To learn more, visit the Centre for Strategic Leadership webpage
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT
We wish to acknowledge this land on which Branksome operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and go to school on this land.

Setting the new standard for girls' education everywhere takes collective action. From all of us.
 
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