Event Recap: 2019 Autumn Christian School Leadership Retreat

By Sarah Burt  |  October 7th

Last week over 100 school leaders gathered in Niagara-on-the-Lake for two days of collegiality and renewal at the 2019 Autumn Christian School Leadership Retreat. Participants were challenged and inspired to increase the competencies of their leadership team in the areas of business, legal, and finance/development.

Both the opening and closing keynotes were presented by Jim McKenzie, Headmaster of The Rock School. Jim shared a mathematical formula for leadership; using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to ensure we enhance our leadership capacity and amplify the vision we are called to achieve.

Next, Eric Roher of Borden, Ladner, Gervais LLP walked us through some of the legal issues that face independent schools, illustrating each with memorable examples from the courts. The day was rounded out by a panel discussing teams, development, and finance.

In the evening, Ron McKerlie, President of Mohawk College, joined Deani Van Pelt, President of Edvance, for a fireside chat. Ron shared his vision to reach a broader community with the benefits of secondary education, and how he’s brought industry partners alongside the college to make this vision a reality. We were inspired by Ron’s story of courageous transparency and servant leadership in his role.

The evening was also an opportunity to formally say thank you to Ren Siebenga for his contributions to Edvance as Director of Leadership over the past year.

Friday morning began with a moving time of communal worship in the atrium. Our singing caught the attention of several other guests and hotel staff, who came at a run to see and hear better. What a blessing to come together in such a simple way to sing praises to our God!

Next, participants chose from six different roundtable topics presented “speed dating” style. Jim McKenzie closed with a challenge to be intentional about 4 Cs of how we should lead our communities: culture, clarity, competency, and change.

A big thank you to the team at Christian School Foundation for co-hosting this event! We’re already planning for our next Leadership Retreat, coming in the spring.