Why Leadership

Leadership development permeates all aspects of the curriculum, and is derived from the Gerstell Academy mission, motto, philosophy/vision, value system and diversity statement.  
Gerstell Academy offers a distinctive curriculum anchored in our Leadership Model. We are committed to developing young leaders who embody the Gerstell Leadership Principles and Attributes, Mission, and Motto. Our graduates are equipped to compete, think critically, exude confidence, maintain physical fitness, and are proficient in Spanish. Graduates possess a global awareness and are poised to make a positive difference in the world.

Additionally, leadership development requires specific education and comprehensive skill development. At Gerstell Academy, leadership education focuses on the five academic areas of leadership, relevant history, science, psychology, and comparative religions and cultures. Leadership skills are further fostered by instilling the language of leadership which reinforces the mindset of an effective leader, including the "Rule of One" ["Perform one random act of kindness; Learn one new fact or item; Compliment at least one person"], the quote, "Leave it as you found it or better", and the definition of critical thinking. At Gerstell, we define "critical thinking" as "The ability to analyze facts, to generate and organize ideas, to defend logical results, to make comparisons, to draw inferences, to evaluate arguments excluding bias, to solve problems, and to be open-minded when reflecting on the process." The ability to think critically ensures that leaders, including future leaders, are objective in their analysis of information.
    • John Harbaugh

      Guest Speaker - 2012 Inaugural Graduation

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School Leadership

    Lower school provides the foundation for the Gerstell Academy values-based leadership education program by teaching and modeling the Gerstell MissionMotto, and Leadership Principles and Attributes throughout all disciplines and classes. Students practice leadership in the hallways, at lunch and in all aspects of their daily routines.
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  • Middle School Leadership

    Middle School students graduate to a mentoring program similar to the lower school's Falcon Friends, known as "Oaks and Seedlings." The Oaks and Seedlings program highlights the partnership of upper school "Oak" students with the "Seedling" students within the middle school. Students are paired through their classes in four-year intervals, with 6th grade paired with 9th grade; 7th grade with 10th grade; 8th with 11th; and 9th with 12th. The purpose of the mentoring program is to build strong and enduring relationships between the classes as they matriculate through Gerstell Academy and beyond graduation. Throughout the school year, a number of specific Oaks and Seedlings events are scheduled to foster school spirit, community and the mentoring relationships between the participants. Events can range from simple lunches, teaming for specific events, or participation in formal events.
  • Upper School Leadership

    Leadership opportunities are woven throughout the curriculum for upper school students. In conjunction with participation in the Oaks and Seedlings mentorship program, upper school students have the opportunity to participate in the Gerstell Academy Community Action Group. The mission of the Community Action Group is to promote community service within the school and take a leadership role in community service. Additionally, the Community Action Group serves as a liaison for the student body to the Gerstell Academy Parents' Association (GAPA). The Gerstell Academy Community Action Group leads the Gerstell Academy student body in community service inside and outside school. They connect with the nearby community, becoming an example to other organizations to participate within the community of their schools and society. Previous contributions by the Community Action Group include coordinating donations to Fisher House (for injured and ill active-duty and veteran military personnel) and assembling Thanksgiving lunches for the homeless at the Carroll County Human Services Program.
2500 Old Westminster Pike
Finksburg, MD 21048-1823