The growing leadership of BFA


Owen Biniecki, Writer

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) is a non-profit organization based out of North Carolina that is centered on the belief that anyone can become a leader. Dr. Margaret Waddington, a late neurologist and Vermont native left a multimillion dollar fund towards a leadership initiative through the CCL for Vermonters. BFA teachers and students have gotten the opportunity to receive leadership training through this organization.

Shannon Warden, Assistant Principal for Curriculum at BFA, went through an “intensive” training program through the CCL.

“The program that I did was for principals and school leaders on learning about who you are as a leader, so there were all these different surveys that we had to take, like the Myers-Briggs to learn about who we are as a person, how we act, how we make decisions. We had to have different people take surveys about us, like assessments about who we are, how we make decisions, how we interact with others, and then we got all of these reports,” Warden said.

Warden discussed one survey she was required to take for the program.

“One of them was called the Skillscope, and it was about how you set goals, how do you strategize them, what are your personal strengths, what are your areas of growth that you need to really focus on to be able to incorporate into achieving your goal, and then you based this off of this report that… I had to have peers, I had to have people that were above me, and I had to have people that reported to me take it, and then it reports back on how do you manage and develop yourself, how do you manage your time, how do you drive for results. It gives you all this data and then you spend time with them analyzing it and how you can apply that to your work to become better,” Warden said.

The programs administered by the CCL go toward the organization’s many ongoing research projects, all of which comprise the “Largest leadership research database in the world.” according to their website, Warden also commented on the connection her program had with such research.

“[The CCL] does a lot of research, so everything they do is research based, and they do ongoing research. The program that I just completed, they’re taking some of the work that we did and incorporating it into current research that they’re doing around educational research and educational leadership,” Warden said.

Leadership development is not only important for school administrators and teachers, but students as well. Mary Brouillette teaches the Leadership Training class at BFA.

“The philosophy [of the CCL] is great because it’s basically giving students an opportunity for everyone to lead, to take a chance to be a leader because everyone has those skills,” Brouillette said.

Ella Simmons (‘20) is a BFA student who has been involved with CCL’s activities. Simmons took part in Maple Run’s “convocation” with the CCL, where she was part of the “speak choir” and performed for all of the faculty and staff of the Maplerun school district.

Student leadership is really important. It gives students a chance to be more invested in what they are doing because it gives them a voice,” Simmons said.

Simmons also gave her definition of a leader, and even briefly talked about the potential of student leaders in BFA.

“A leader must be firm but also compassionate. They do not just have to be intelligent, but they have to be wise. But most importantly, they know when they should be a leader, and when to be a follower…. There are definite leaders in BFA. There are people who take the role of a leader in athletics, the arts, academics and more,” Simmons said.