Sustaining Courageous Leadership in Schools, The Soul of Leadership: Courage, Presence, Integrity.
Over the past three years, the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association (MSAA) has partnered with Courage & Renewal Northeast to offer a new and unique professional learning experience for school leaders called the Soul of Leadership: Courage, Presence and Integrity.
With grant funding from the Angell Foundation to support transformational leadership, nearly 100 school leaders from a diverse cross-section of districts across Massachusetts have participated in our first four cohorts, including over 30 who have subsequently participated in our alumni network.
The world of schools has been dramatically altered by the pandemic, alongside urgent calls for racial justice and equity. Our work has expanded to meet a critical need among school leaders
while adapting from a partial to a completely online format. The challenges of leading today 2 underscore the need for school leaders who can handle stress and model caring and culturally responsive practices, creating trusting school communities where everyone feels safe, cared for, and valued.
Soul of Leadership grew out of the earlier work of Leading Together: Building Adult Community in Schools (2012), a professional development model for school teams that focuses on the critical role that clear and effective leadership plays in enhancing and supporting the adult community in
Both Soul of Leadership and Leading Together develop educators’ capacity for self-awareness, listening, and reflection in order to support the building of caring, respectful communities that are the foundation of safe, productive, and equitable schools. We enhance participants’ capacity as leaders by providing a lived experience of the process of building relational trust and offering strategies to help strengthen adult SEL. The programs integrate reflective practices into the routine of team meetings and help teams apply these practices to their daily work.
Soul of Leadership Bios
Program Developers & Consulting Facilitators
Pamela Seigle considers it a privilege to work with teachers and principals in building equitable school communities where everyone feels valued, seen and heard. She led Courage & Renewal Northeast, started as an affiliate of the National Center for Courage & Renewal and is the founder of Open Circle at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She has served on many nonprofit Boards, including as a Trustee of the Boston Public Library. Pamela is co-developer of Leading Together: Building Adult Communities in Schools and Soul of Leadership. She brings her love of singing and the belief that the arts connect us to our shared humanity, into her work in schools and non.-profit organizations.
Chip Wood is an elder in the fields of education and child development, carrying the soul of a five-year- old as a life-companion, and, for better or worse, never abandoning the corny nickname bequeathed him by his parents. He has served the public as a teacher, principal and curriculum coordinator, is a co-founder of Responsive Classroom, and has been a facilitator prepared by the Center for Courage and Renewal for twenty years.
Program Coordinator & Facilitator
Rick Rogers has been the program coordinator and a facilitator for Soul of Leadership since it began in 2018. He also serves as an adjunct instructor in the Salem State Educational Leadership graduate program and as a leadership coach supporting school leaders. He brings over 40 years of experience in public education as a teacher and a principal in both suburban and urban settings. He was also a facilitator for the National Institute of School Leadership. He is passionate about the principalship with particular interest in promoting inclusive and culturally responsive school communities with a strong professional learning culture.
Marco Curnen has been an educator for more than 25 years. His journey has included numerous roles in public schools: high school Spanish teacher, principal of a K-8 school, and currently, as the assistant principal at a dual-immersion (Spanish/English) JK-8 school. Through his work in schools and facilitating adult learning experiences, Marco strives to be an actively – as in, each and every day – anti-racist educator and instructional leader who aspires to find that elusive balance between working hard and slowing down enough to reflect on the impacts of his – and others’ – work.
Jennifer Francisco has been an educator for 30 years, including 20 years as the principal of the Berkley Community School. Before serving as a principal, she worked as an assistant principal and a grade four teacher. As a school leader, she works diligently to ensure that the students in her care are receiving a top notch educational experience, and that her staff is supported as they work to lead high quality educational learning in their classrooms. She believes that every interaction with students and staff is a teachable moment, and works to preserve the quality of those interactions each and every day. Jennifer has a particular interest in leadership, which has driven her participation in Soul of Leadership since its inception. She joined our team of facilitators in 2021.
Ed Kaufman has been involved in education for forty years, as an elementary teacher, junior high math teacher, college counselor, and college instructor in psychology and education. Before partial retirement, Ed taught and was principal at the same elementary school for 23 years. Since then he has done interim principal work and remote learning administration, and particularly enjoys consulting with principals individually, and in small and large groups.
Nancy MacKay was Co-Director and Senior Program Manager for Open Circle, a universal, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) program formerly based at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) at Wellesley College. Her role and responsibilities at Open Circle included program and curricula design and development, program leadership, and supervision of the training team. Nancy has been involved in education, training and development for over 30 years as a teacher, trainer and consultant. Along with her Open Circle experience and expertise as an elementary educator, Nancy has designed and implemented courses, workshops and seminars for businesses and nonprofit organizations focusing on the development of leadership skills. Nancy has been a facilitator for Soul of Leadership since 2020.
Pipier Smith-Mumford has been an educator for over 40 years, starting as a high school guidance counselor, moving to administration as a principal of a 9th grade campus, and then a PreK-8 school. Presently, she is working as a Senior Lecturer and Field Director in the Education Leadership and Policy Studies program at Boston University Wheelock College School of Education and Human Development while also mentoring new principals, and consulting with area school administrators and faculty on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. She has been a facilitator for Soul of Leadership since 2019.
Rick Swanson became principal of Hingham High School in 2017 after serving as assistant principal for ten years. A former history teacher and coach, he remains animated by the same values that first led him to an inner-city classroom in Chicago. An educator for more than twenty-five years, he continues to believe in the capacity of our public schools to transform society. He believes his students “not only develop their skills and expand their knowledge in powerful ways. They know what it feels like to belong to a genuine community, drawing inspiration both from their teachers and from each other. They leave our school wanting to improve the world and believing they can.” Rick has been an active participant in Soul of Leadership and joined our team of facilitators in 2021.