February 7, 2014
PARTICIPANTS REPRESENTING LOCKLAND SCHOOLS:
ANDREW SOWDER, 12TH GRADE, ARLINGTON HEIGHTS ACADEMY
MARIAM HAMADY, 10TH GRADE, LOCKLAND HIGH SCHOOL
(PICTURED WITH SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER MR. RUSTY HEINTZ)
The West Point Society of Cincinnati hosted their second annual Leadership & Ethics Seminar at Springdale Nazarene Church in Springdale, Ohio. The seminar provided selected sophomore and junior students and faculty members from high schools in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, the opportunity to experience some of the leadership and ethics training developed for cadets at the US Military Academy at West Point.
Nearly 150 Students and 75 Faculty members from 73 local high schools attended the event. This seminar, focused on the same principles and values taught at West Point, was facilitated by West Point graduates from the greater Cincinnati area. After a short workshop to understand and establish each participant’s value and beliefs "framework", small groups of students discussed several situational case studies in which they might find themselves. These cases enabled them to explore their personal values within an ethical decision-making model – helping students develop and internalize a personal code of conduct that will make them stronger leaders.
Ethics and values-based leadership are often cited as making the difference between successful leaders and those who fail. West Point is often considered the premier leadership institution in the world. West Point seeks to "educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets, so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character." Cadets are taught, practice and live in an environment that develops this leadership character over a four-year period.
The seminar also featured two guest speakers. In the morning, the students heard from University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono, PhD. Dr. Ono has been recognized as one of the tri-state’s Most Influential Leaders and has served in teaching, research, and administrative positions at Emory, John Hopkins and Harvard University, as well as University College and Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. The closing comments were provided by Brigadier General Margaret W. Burcham. BG Burcham is currently Commander of the Great Lakes & Ohio River Division, US Army Corps of Engineers. She is a West Point graduate and is the first female general officer in the Corps of Engineers. She has led military units at company, battalion, and brigade levels in the US, Europe, Korea and Iraq. Both Dr. Ono and BG Burcham, who have been deeply involved in developing and mentoring young leaders and in leading transformative change in our community and our country, spoke about the role of personal values in addressing ethical leadership challenges they had experienced.
All participants received letters of recognition and encouragement from Governors John Kasich of Ohio and Mike Pence of Indiana, as well as from US Senator Daniel Coats (IN), US Representative Tom Massie (KY), US Representative Luke Messer (IN), and US Representative Brad Wenstrup (OH). The event would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of Procter & Gamble, Ethicon, AUSA, and The Joseph House along with several private donors.