Greensboro Day School Hosts National Ethics Conference and Consortium
The Greensboro Day School Character and Ethics Committee, in collaboration with the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS) hosted the inaugural Character and Ethics Conference: Better than Booksmart: Teaching to Reach Both Heart and Mindfor educators from across North Carolina and throughout the United States. The event was held on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 on the campus of Greensboro Day School.
70 participants, representing 25 schools attended the conference to learn methods to educate and prepare students who will become our future leaders. Presentations were centered on research-based practices to promote positive, pro-social behavior that prioritizes integrity over conformity and ethics over winning. Topics included Primary Ethics: What Does a Balanced Character & Ethics Program in Primary Grades (K-4) include?, Ethics 101: Develop the Practice of Ethical Literacy and Discernment, and Best Practices in Critical Service Learning.
Several members of the Greensboro Day School community served as presenters and facilitators including faculty members, administrators, students, and alumni. These included Mark C. Hale, Head of School; Michelle Bostian, Director of Counseling; Kelly Sipe, Kindergarten teacher; Bridget Gwinnett, Upper School Counselor; Chrissy Olson ’85, Technology Coordinator; Barry Davis, Middle School Director; and Kathy Gillespie, Learning Resource Specialist. A panel of students presented on the topic of working through ethical dilemmas, providing real-life examples.The panel included students Bennett Lewis '19, Catherine Sar '19, Jacob Thomas '18,Kate Hodgin '20,and Babalwa Tetyana '18. Two alumni, Jeb Brooks ’01 and Zac Schner ’14 presented “Integrity for Life” and spoke about how Greensboro Day School helped provide them with lifelong benefits of attending a school with a strong character and ethics program.
Greensboro Day School is the first school in the nation to be awarded the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education’s certification of Ethical Excellence and as part of the conference, provided information about steps the school took to work toward this designation and how it is incorporated into the curriculum, policies, and procedures of the school.
The following day, GDS hosted a National Ethics Consortium with other leaders across the country including David Streight, Tim Leet, Anne Cass, Damaris McLean, and Lee Deick. Greensboro Day School faculty members, Michelle Bostian, Kelly Sipe,and Bridget Gwinnett also participated in the consortium. The event focused on best practices in the field of character development for students and how to best serve the professional development needs for educators.