Members of SLUH’s administration and Global Ed program, along with representatives from Jesuit schools all over the Central Province, convened at the annual High School Leadership Group meetings in Kansas City at Rockhurst High School last weekend.
Traditionally, each school sends four representatives—including a Jesuit rector, the Board Chair, the school President, and the school Principal. Thanks in part to some conflicts in schedules, SLUH sent President Alan Carruthers and Principal Ian Gibbons, SJ along with Global Education representatives Maria-Paz Campos and Robert Chura.
“These meetings are a great opportunity to strengthen our bonds of Jesuit education,” said Gibbons. “We hope to expand our global education partnerships and interactions between our faculty and students.”
The many Jesuit schools located in the Central Province that sent representatives to the High School Leadership Group meetings ranged from St. John’s College, in Belize, and San Ignacio, in Puerto Rico to De Smet, in St. Louis.
One of the highlights from the meeting for the SLUH community was the Global Education presentation given by Chura and Campos along with leaders from the Jesuit Schools Network in Washington DC.
“One of the pieces was a more global approach to Jesuit education,” said President Alan Carruthers. “That’s one of the reasons why it has ended up as a priority within SLUH’s strategic vision and why we have been growing our global education program.”
Chura and Campos were asked to present on SLUH’s Global Education program because it has been recognized as a program that is on the cutting edge of Jesuit education initiatives worldwide.
“Mr. Chura has become a recognized leader in global education, and has put SLUH on the map, so to speak. SLUH is at the forefront of all 63 American Jesuit High Schools in terms of its global ed programs,” said Gibbons.
“We are blessed with a great global program. Because of the leadership of people like Campos as well as Chura, we have become one of the leaders, if not the leader, within the Jesuit School Network. We have become the hub of the wheel,” Carruthers said.
The goal of the Global Ed presentation was to give the other schools’ representatives ideas as to how to start working this initiative into their student life. For examples, Chura cited the inclusion of many separate languages into the curriculum, immersion trips, speakers, and more. Perhaps the best example of this initiative in action at SLUH is in the topic of Campos’ presentation, the One World Club.
“We were trying to present some ideas that we have been able to come up with within our global curriculum that could be good starting points for some of the other schools in the province,” said Chura. “Ms. Campos talked about One World Club, and how we have created this as an in-house opportunity for students to be involved with both global issues and local issues.”
Following Campos’ presentation, Chura talked about the Jesuit Global Activism Leadership Summit, an initiative that began last year.
The most resounding message that other schools received from SLUH’s global education team was to see the global education opportunities everywhere.
“One of the things that Ms. Campos and I feel really passionately about is the idea that global ed is everywhere,” said Chura. “It's everything. It's not just the foreign language teachers putting together language immersion trips, there's so many opportunities for it, there's all kinds of other interesting ways. You can never do too much global ed because (through global ed), the world becomes a much more connected place.”
Besides the global education portion, the HSLG meetings also featured a presentation on the intersection between racism and the Catholic Church, and segments on the new office surrounding Ignatian spirituality, and a collaborative service opportunity coming in the future between SLUH, De Smet, and Loyola Academy in St. Louis.
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